The Birth of the '[Forget] You Pepco' Song
One-third of trio "Acoustic by Circumstance" tells of the group's origin.
Three Washington, DC residents channeled the frustration of days without power into an ode to Pepco last week. The result was a humorous (though profanity laced) local YouTube hit that had received more than 38,000 hits by Monday afternoon.
One-third of the trio "Acoustic by Circumstance" answered a few of Patch's questions about the song's origin in the email below. Katie Zacharkiw said the song was "was born out of a moment of frustration at a company that has a notoriously bad record in customer service" [link added by Patch] and was not directed at the crews who worked to restore service following the June 29 storm.
Here is the email sent to Patch:
Though none of us are professional musicians, Dwight has played the one open mic in DC and is hoping to play more in the future. Before moving to DC, Dwight played open mics and had a few regular gigs in Portland, Oregon. He has recorded several songs and his music can be found at http://www.human-voices.com/home.cfm. Neither Kelly or I have much music experience (I played bass in high school but hadn't picked one up in five or six years. Kelly had been playing the ukelele for about a week at the time the song was written).
"[Forget] You Pepco" was the first time the three of us have played together. We all pitched in on the lyrics, but all of the musical credit goes to Dwight.
We wrote and recorded the song in one hour. We dubbed ourselves "Acoustic by Circumstance" (get it?) because we thought it was funny, and Serena acting as our "band manager" was a continuation of that joke. It was Serena who recorded us and then took her computer to a place with WIFI so she could upload the video to YouTube and send it to a few local blogs. Kelly, Dwight and I were fine with the video being posted online, though we never for a moment thought the video would receive as many views as it has. Serena has been great about managing the attention. She has fielded the media requests we've gotten, as well as tracking where the video is popping up and compiling the best responses for us to see.
We are Bloomingdale/Eckington residents in northeast DC. We didn't lose power until Sunday, two days after the storm hit. Our power finally came back on—and stayed on—on Wednesday night. We had gotten it back (for an hour or less) and lost it again four times in three days. The song was written after we lost power for the third time.
We were contacted by an NBC reporter yesterday about doing an on-camera interview to go along with a story that he was working on. But his boss decided that the clips from the video would not be able to get past FCC regulations (not really surprising, I guess) so we ended up not doing the interview. Though I'm not 100 percent sure, I think it was NBC4.
We know that many people share the sentiment of the song, but we meant it as a joke. It wasn't meant as an attack on the workers who are still out there sweating their way through a heatwave to get the power fixed. It was born out of a moment of frustration at a company that has a notoriously bad record in customer service, and we just happened to express that frustration in song.
Hope this helps!
Cheers, Katie Zacharkiw