Sophia Cacciola
[sophia@sophiacacciola.com]
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Sophia Cacciola and Michael J. Epstein

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Sophia and Michael are Somerville, MA based musicians and filmmakers
TEN the movie! MAGNETIC the movie!

Michael J. Epstein
[mje@michaeljepstein.com]
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This is a personal weblog.
Opinions expressed here
represent my own and
not those of my employer.

Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling [Music][Blog][Facebook][Twitter][Youtube] bass/drum duo based on The Prisoner
The Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library [Music][Blog][Facebook][Twitter][Youtube] Indie ensemble
Darling Pet Munkee [Music][Blog][Facebook][Youtube] garage/surf songs about items sold in comics
Space Balloons [Music][Blog][Facebook][Twitter][Youtube] Children's space-traveler music
The Motion Sick [Music][Press][Blog][Facebook][Twitter][Youtube] Indie rock with emphasis on song

Neutral Uke Hotel
[Facebook][Blog][Twitter][Youtube] Uke based Neutral Milk Hotel sing-a-long


Monday, January 31, 2011

Sophia's Rock Beat - January 2011

The situation is that Michael and I go out A LOT to see our fellow local rockers, well, rock out. And, because we're awkward and we need to be doing SOMETHING with our hands while being rocked we take a lot of video of these bands. Last year (2010) we saw 139 individual local Boston bands (many of them multiple times) and have video of most of them. (Here's a blog post with all of it). This first month of 2011 I've seen 30! So, my new effort is every Monday I'll give a little recap of all the shows I saw the week before with a tiny bit about what I'm looking forward to for the current week. Since I just thought of this (and had to make that awesome logo!) I'm going to start by giving a quick recap of everything I saw in January.

Links will go to youtube videos I/or Michael took. Many of the links are playlists of several videos.

The first show I saw this year was decided upon a bit spontaneously so I didn't actually have my camera with me, but let the record show that the first two bands I saw this year were Naked on Roller Skates and Muy Cansado at The Rosebud (1/7/11). The next day I planned better and did bring the camera to Axemunkee and Tony Savarino at Atwoods for an amazing night of instrumental, guitar-centric rock.The next show of they year was one I was very much looking forward to but the flu got in the way of me doing much besides laying on the couch and repeatedly asking Michael if I was dying. I allowed him out to catch the show and he got to enjoy Low Static Romance, Parlour Bells, Sarah RabDAU and Self-Employed Assassins (second Sarah video), and St. Helena. I'm including this on my list to showcase the videos AND because I was there in spirit.

Next up, (my band) Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling was added to a last minute show at the Brighton Music Hall on 01/21 and we got to play with Gene Dante and the Future Starlets (sorry no video of Gene & Co. at this show, but we're catching them again in February!) and Dirty Bombs (a newer band featuring the rhythm section from Televandals and a member of The Luxury). The next night we were at TT's for the first part of the evening to see Ed's Redeeming Qualities (a Boston twee-esque band that did pretty well nationally in the '90s) - they played with Bob and Guy, Jeffrey Gagnon, Thief in the Night (featuring Kurt Konk from The Konks), and The Buckets.



Then we hopped, skipped, and jumped over to The Middle East Downstairs for Soozapalooza (link to Sooz/Exploit Boston) for Kristen Ford Band, The Lights Out, Mistle Thrush, The Candles, and the Soozapalooza Supergroup (a rag-tag group of some of Boston's best musicians doing songs picked out by the hostess). We didn't tape any of these bands for ourselves at this show as we were actually helping to man Sooz's cameras - watch her site for those videos being released. The highlight of that evening was seeing the Mistle Thrush reunion. The guitar player, Master Scott P. is a friend of mine (as well as the awesome guitar player of Gene Dante & The Future Starlets) but I met him after Mistle Thrush were pretty much over, so I never got to see them back when. They were really, really awesome and I hope they end up playing some more together!

On 1/27 we headed over to the new side-stage at TT's for the launch of a new music series being put on by Louder Now Boston - a new partnership between Glenn DiBenedetto (Killer Suit Pictures)  and Anngelle Wood of Boston Emissions. The music series is intended to highlight newer acts. We caught Brittany Gray (2), M.G. Lederman (2) (very Tom Waits/Shane McGowan-esque), Hello Ninja (2) (3) -who I've been meaning to catch for a long time - I really liked their punked out new-wave sound, and Ashpark (2).

Friday (1/28) we were back at TT's for Ryan's Smashing Life 4th Anniversary Show. Check out Ryan's very smashing blog! Boston bands The Cinnamon Fuzz and RIBS (2) (3)  rocked the room, as they both usually do. Also, Blake of RIBS had great two-face (hipster-grunge) pants.

Saturday, we had a major fail situation. We were shut out at the door (we were lame and didn't buy our tickets in advance) from the Lizard Lounge for the One Happy Island CD Release, This Blue Heaven Video Release, Aloud homecoming show, and Oranjuly. This Blue Heaven's video is for their gorgeous song, "Slow Dance Slow" - It has many, many friendly faces. Watch it:



Then, we just couldn't bear to trek to Allston and we missed The Konks farewell show. The Konks were the first Boston band I discovered (since moving here) that I really, truly loved. Very sad they've called it a day. Here is some video I took of them at The Middle East Downstairs back in 2008:


That is it for now! Next Monday I'll have video links for the show I saw last night at Great Scott - Mr. Sister, Bunny's A Swine, and Banditas. On my radar for this coming week is Sarah RabDAU and Self-Employed Assassins with Wakey Wakey at Brighton Music Hall on Saturday - 2/5 and the epic snowpocalypse we're about to get!

If you want to get in touch with me for whatever reason, my email is: sophia@donotforsake.com

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sophia has interesting theories about France

We've been going through some artifacts from our youth for a top-secret The Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library surprise and I found a letter from my French pen-pal. I must have asked her if they have to wear gas-masks in France - who knows why I thought that might be the case, but her confused response is pure gold:


"Dear Sophia, Where did you hear that wearing Gasmasks it's a new style in France. My town is very polluted but I don't wear Gasmasks. I love comic books. I like watching Horror Films, and Walt Disney films. Dancing is one of my favorite hobbies. What about you?. I would like to know when were you born? I would like to know what did you do at school? What do you learn? What is your favourite teacher, me my favourite teacher is Mrs Peirano: my english teacher. Have you got a nickname? My friends didn't say Caroline but "Carolyn ! No Soucy!" Best wishes Your Friend Caroline 
This cat looks very friendly, doesn't he!"

I still like gas-masks now:


The Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library Poster Series: "Throw words not punches"

Here is Poster #6 in the MJEML Poster Series!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I demand a handwriting analysis!


I found this in an old journal of songs I wrote circa 2001-2004. I guess it needed a diary lock.
Michael is obsessed with monkeys, just consult the tribute page to his monkey mug for evidence. I think this proves that the torture started very long ago.

Lyrics:
I sing songs about monkeys
I sing about the lack of hair on their butts
monkeys, they are the topics of my songs
monkeys, they are my friends

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Motion Sick: "30 Lives" cover

We've posted covers of "30 Lives" and "Aquaman's Lament" before (including Golden Bloom's cover on our split 7" with them)...and even posted a "30 Lives" karaoke session.  Heck, we've even done weird versions of our own songs.  Nevertheless, it's always a great treat to get a chance to check out someone new giving one of our songs a go!  Here, Jake's Room from Wisconsin plays "30 Lives" - awesome!




Here's America: The Robot:



http://youtu.be/f8lrJUE59ME?t=2m24s (starts around 2:24)




The Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library Sleepover Show Preview (plus proof that we hate freedom)!

As you are likely aware, I do have extensive spy training, much of it undertaken to resist information extraction using Sodium Pentothal®. However, after entering the sordid, bibliophilic world of the library, the combination of allergies from book dust and dreams of butterflies in the sky led me to talk under the pressure provided by the curators of the Sleepover Shows. They got all of the information they needed from me and more. Their sinister plot even led to me allowing the use of our music for torturing political prisoners. Nemo mortalium omnibus horis sapit.*

Here is a preview of what is to come. Moments to enjoy include our terribly failed attempt to make up a song on the spot about how we allow ourselves to be taken into the realm of the sleepover and then the Pentothalic acceptance of their sinister plot. Also, they have some really, really awesome sessions already posted, so after you watch this preview of our soon-to-be-released session (that actually involved no truth serums of any kind), check out their site: http://sleepovershows.com/



*No animal slippers were harmed during the taping of this session.

The Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library Membership Cards

...which also happen to be stickers, are now on the way.  These will be available to those who qualify for access to our collections.

Design by Sophia Cacciola

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Strange Vids Featuring TMS: Valentino Rossi, Motorcycle Racer Slideshow to "30 Lives (Up-Up-Down-Dance Mix)"

What's strange about this is not so much the video, but that it actually has more views than anything else we've got on Youtube.  Anyway, here's a slideshow of this Italian motorcycle racer to "30 Lives (Up-Up-Down-Dance Mix)" for you

134,305 views





Other notable view counts:
Inception ending explanation to "30 Lives (instrumental)" - 96,208 views

Coat-hanger antenna to "Satellite" - 86,071 views

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library Poster Series: "If you don't read, the Terrorists win!"

Here is Poster #2 in the MJEML Poster Series


Don't forgot to come to our CD release on 2/26 (special discounted advance ticket/CD combo here!)

Strange Vids Featuring TMS: Clothed Bath to "30 Lives" (wet clothing fetishists are fans of The Motion Sick?)

Unfortunately, embedding is disabled on this one, so you have to head on over to Youtube to see it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JHNXGs0gnA

I don't really totally understand it, but it certainly feels like yet another strange fetish video that is tame enough for Youtube (i.e., no nudity). Whatever the heck it's all about, it makes me extremely uncomfortable. As such, I figured that I had better share it with you. On the plus side, lots of people asked what the song was in the comments section, so I guess people who are fans of this particular type of thing are also fans of The Motion Sick. Maybe there is some kind of bathtub tour opportunity here...

Monday, January 3, 2011

Michael J. Epstein's 2010 in review...

Here's a quick recap of all my musical nonsensicals in 2010 broken down by project (see also Sophia's recap):

The Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library
With The Motion Sick winding down in 2010, it was time for me to decide what kind of outlet to take on for my songwriting.  When The Motion Sick began in early 2006, I kind of hit a fork in the road.  I had been playing a lot of songwriter rooms and open mics and had to decide whether to continue down a songwriter-focused path or a rock path.  The Motion Sick led me to the rock.  Now, 4+ years later, I have decided to explore another fork in that road.  The MJEML was designed to be a large, but scalable, ensemble giving dense and interesting arrangements to songs with very simple structures.  The goal was to put together a troupe that felt more like a free-for-all song-arranging collective with lots of singing and lots of layered parts.  As such, I recruited an all-female band, specifically seeking out people I didn't know, or at least didn't know well.  I particularly encouraged people who weren't too involved in the rock scene to join in.  I really didn't know what to expect.  It could have been a disaster.  What it ended up being is absolutely better and more exciting to me than anything I could have even imagined.   We debuted with a sold-out show in September.  We recorded a couple of "special collections" cover videos.  We had some adventures that were turned into comics.  We won an Iguana Music Fund grant a little while ago to help pay for our debut record, which is being released locally in February.  I am really proud of how this project is coming along and really, really excited about the talented people that I am collaborating with in this band.  Although we really just got started at the end of 2010, I already think the groundwork is there for a big 2011.  I really look forward to watching it unfold.



Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling
DNFMOMD started the year off right with a fun visit to WMFO's On the Town with Mikey Dee to record a live session and a couple of British interviews, here and here. We released our debut EP (recap), The New Number 2, to much local press fanfare!  We then decided to toss it all out and perform some songs on acoustic guitar and glockenspiel on WAAF's Bay State Rock.  Then, we went on our first ever tour, which was extensively documented.  We performed acoustic songs in front of Foamhenge, the burned-out shell of a giant Jesus statue, in a field outside a prison (even got busted by prison security) near Cincinnati, and an industrial park in Cleveland.  We also visited a theme park with giant displays of dinosaurs eating Confederate soldiers.  We returned to show off Sophia's physics education and play a college-themed rock show.  We spent the latter part of the year working on a new 7-song collection, which will be released in early 2011 along with 2 music videos, one a massively planned recreation of the opening sequence of The Prisoner, the other an original narrative.



Neutral Uke Hotel
Neutral Uke Hotel felt like more of an accident than anything else.  The brilliant and talented Shawn Fogel of Golden Bloom asked me if I wanted to join in for a one-off show he was putting together at the Somerville Armory.  He was going to perform all of Neutral Milk Hotel's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea on ukulele.  Rather than interfering with the cohesion of the project, I offered to play an outtake song at the end.  I ended up meeting up for the prep for the show and it worked out that I could strum along to a few other songs during the set.  The show went so well that we decided to go on tour in June (including NXNE and an awesome Take Away Show) and August.  On the latter tour, I documented bathrooms and genital graffiti.  We also played CMJ in October.  Most exciting of all, was that we had the opportunity to record a Daytrotter Session.



The Positronic Rays
I actually flew back from Iowa, skipping out on 2 days of the Neutral Uke Hotel tour just to arrive back in Boston in time to participate in One Night Band.  In short, 40 musicians are randomly assigned into 8 bands of 5 in the morning.  At night, each of the bands plays a 4 song set, 3 originals written that day and 1 cover.  My bandmates were extremely talented and great to work with and we were all in for a solid day of hard work.  At the end of it all, we ended up with a 3-part rock opera about the plight of Spaceman Max, Earth's final failed hope for an interstellar diaspora.  It was an absolute blast - so much so that we did a little reunion show and dropped into the studio to begin recording the tracks.


The Motion Sick
2010 arrived with a bang as we rocked a New Year's eve show with The Upper Crust and the Gentlemen.  The greatest moment in my musical life arrived in early '10 when a couple in Texas decided to use "30 Lives" as their first dance at their wedding.  How awesome is that?  (Very awesome!)  Soon after, we experienced the bloodiest rock show of 2010.  We recorded and released (to a sold-out Middle East), a lovely split 7" with one of favoritest ever, Golden Bloom.  We covered their "Doomsday Devices" and they covered our "30 Lives" and we love it!  We also remixed, remastered, and remade better our 4 novelty songs recorded for our Ash Wednesdays residency at Church in 2008.  We also made some little cut-up videos for "Aquaman's Lament" and "I Grew A Mustache" and had people in Brazil covering our songs.



A lot of videos started popping up on Youtube that inexplicably included The Motion Sick's songs in the background.  One such video, which has since been removed, was so horrific and inappropriate (i.e., horses having intercourse set to our "Some Lonely Day"), and there were so many videos using our music, that we started the What The Motion Sick?  Strange Videos Featuring TMS Songs blog series.

We ran for office in The Rock Primary and made a series of videos with the help of Killer Suit mogul Glenn di Benedetto.  We played our last show for a while and then had our female friends give us a nice sendoff.  I closed the year out by finally getting to dance to our song in DDR X Arcade.


Oddities
Skippy, the Mummified Squirrel of Somerville - what can be said about Skippy?  I found a mummified squirrel on my street.  Four months later, it was still there.  So, I declared the patch of grass a "national park" and silliness ensued, including a lot of local press coverage.

Embarrassing Things From My Youth - I started posting scans of silly stories and drawings I created as a young boy.


I started a series of posts with my thoughts on band operations and the music industry.  I may not know much of anything, but I'll gladly tell you about it!



Sunday, January 2, 2011

The 139 Boston Local Artists Sophia saw in 2010 (with video)

Sophia (right) with Erica enjoying some
Rock 'n' Roll at Church
Here it is! All of the local Boston artists that I saw in 2010, plus some videos that we took of them! This is my list, but Mike probably saw all of these as well.

The five bands I caught the most were:
The Motion Sick x7
Naked On Roller Skates x7
Walter Sickert and THe ARmy of BRoken TOys x6
Highly Personal Trash x5
Ad Frank and the Fast Easy Women x4



The complete list:
1. #1 Dad and DJ Fred Mertz
2. 10 hours of chaos (VIDEO)
3. 28 Degrees Taurus
4. Ad Frank and the Fast Easy Women (VIDEO) x4
5. Aloud (VIDEO)
6. Andrea Gillis (VIDEO)
7. Anne from Pray for Polanski
8. Apple Betty (VIDEO)
9. Banditas
10. Ben Karis-Nix
11. Bleu
12. Brad Byrd x2
13. Brendan Boogie & The Best Intentions (VIDEO) x3
14. Brownboot (VIDEO)
15. Bury Me Standing (VIDEO) x2
16. Champagne of Bands (VIDEO)
17. Cheap Leather
18. Christa Renee Band
19. Comanchero
20. Coo & Howl
21. Croquet (VIDEO)
22. Daniel Harris
23. Dave Magario (VIDEO)
24. Dead Cats Dead Rats
25. Dr. Vorhees (Chris Barrett) (VIDEO)
26. Dramamine (VIDEO)
27. Dream Tigers (VIDEO)
28. Ed in the Refridgerators (VIDEO)
29. Emperor Norton's Stationary Marching Band
30. Faux Ox (VIDEO) x2
31. Francine (VIDEO)
32. Garvy J. & the secret pockets of hope and resistance (VIDEO)
33. Gem Club (VIDEO)
34. Gene Dante and the Future Starlets (VIDEO) x3
35. Golden Bloom (VIDEO) x4
36. Grass is Green
37. Hark! (Chris Pappas' Orchestra) (VIDEO)
38. Heather Maloney
39. Highly Personal Trash (VIDEO) x5
40. Ho-Ag (VIDEO)
41. HUMANWINE (VIDEO) x3
42. I like your leather
43. I, Pistol (VIDEO)
44. Jaggery (VIDEO) x3
45. Jed Parish (VIDEO)
46. Jenny Dee & The Deelinquents (VIDEO) x2
47. Jessica Sun Lee
48. Joe Kowan/J. Krafty (VIDEO) x2
49. Joel Ninesling
50. John Gerard
51. John Shade (VIDEO)
52. Jordan Valentine and the Sunday Saints (VIDEO) x2
53. Kev/Col
54. Kingsley Flood (VIDEO) x3
55. Kuuluuko (VIDEO)
56. Lady Lamb the Beekeeper (VIDEO)
57. Lainey Schooltree
58. Lauren Flaherty (VIDEO)
59. Leo Blais (VIDEO)
60. Liberation Day
61. Logan 5 and the Runners (VIDEO)
62. Lovewhip (VIDEO)
63. Low Static Romance (VIDEO)
64. MacKenzie Outlund / Stu Dietz (VIDEO) x2
65. Magen Tracy (VIDEO)
66. Magen Tracy and the Quests for Mediocrity (Out of the Box dance show) (VIDEO)
67. Mark Stepakoff
68. Mascara (VIDEO)
69. Meff 'n jojo's Tiny Instrument Revue (VIDEO) x2
70. Mellow Bravo (VIDEO)
71. Mercy James
72. Mighty Tiny (VIDEO)
73. Mike Mirabella (VIDEO)
74. Milk of Amnesia (VIDEO)
75. Molly Zenobia
76. Muy Cansado (VIDEO) x2
77. Naked On Roller Skates (VIDEO) x7
78. Nate Leavitt (VIDEO)
79. Neutral Uke Hotel (VIDEO) x2
80. Old Jack (VIDEO)
81. Oranjuly (VIDEO)
82. Parlour Bells (VIDEO)
83. Peter Moore
84. Phat Alligator
85. Planetoid (VIDEO)
86. Rob Potylo (VIDEO) x2
87. Robbie Roadsteamer
88. Roman Traffic (VIDEO)
89. Sarah RabDAU (and Self-Employed Assassins) (VIDEO) x3
90. Shoney Lamar and the Equal Rights (VIDEO)
91. Sidewalk Driver (VIDEO) x2
92. Slant of Light (VIDEO)
93. SodaFrog (VIDEO)
94. Somerville Symphony Orkestar (VIDEO)
95. St. Helena (VIDEO) x4
96. Static of the Gods (VIDEO) x2
97. Stereo Telescope (VIDEO)
98. Streight Angular (VIDEO)
99. Sun Lee Sunbeam x2
100. The Backup Factor (VIDEO)
101. The Bedss (VIDEO)
102. The Blizzard of '78 (VIDEO) x2
103. The Cinnamon Fuzz (VIDEO)
104. The Come On
105. The Crushing Low (VIDEO)
106. The Downbeat 5 (VIDEO)
107. The Everyday Visuals (VIDEO)
108. The Fatal Flaw (VIDEO)
109. The Future Everybody (VIDEO)
110. The Lights Out (VIDEO) x2
111. The Luxury (VIDEO)
112. The Motion Sick (VIDEO) x7
113. The One Smith
114. The Organ Beats
115. The Peppermint Patties (VIDEO)
116. The Positronic Rays (VIDEO) x2
117. The Pretty Pennies
118. The Rationales
119. The So-Sos
120. The Upper Crust (VIDEO)
121. The Year Million (VIDEO)
122. Thick as Thieves
123. This Blue Heaven (VIDEO) x2
124. Three Day Threshold
125. Thunderchunk (VIDEO)
126. Tired Old Bones
127. Titler (VIDEO) x2
128. Trabants (VIDEO)
129. tripod
130. True Vintage (VIDEO)
131. Vivian Darkbloom (VIDEO)
132. Voltron Forceflex
133. Voodoo Screw Machine (VIDEO)
134. Vostok 4 (VIDEO)
135. Vulgarrity (VIDEO)
136. Walter Sickert and THe ARmy of BRoken Toys (VIDEO) x6
137. What Time is it, Mr. Fox? (VIDEO) x2
138. Who Killed Who (VIDEO)
139. ZoooPTS (VIDEO)