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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tuesday's Pick: Casiotone for the Painfully Alone

Posted By on Tue, Sep 21, 2010 at 8:15 AM

  • Hannah Persson
Casiotone for the Painfully Alone
8 p.m.

A lot of bands struggle to keep their shit together and eventually part ways, and Owen Ashworth admits that he's found himself feeling a little bit jealous. Specifically about the part where the musicians move on to other projects. So even though he has always been the sole proprietor of Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, he decided to break up the "band" and launch something new. 

"I've been dragging 13 years' worth of songs around, and I think I'm due for a fresh start," says Ashworth, who was born in San Francisco but now lives in Chicago. "The next album I make will be released under the name Advance Base, which is the name I've been using for my little home studio. I'm not planning any big, dramatic changes with the new project. I imagine my music will progress on a similar sort of trajectory that it's taken for the last few albums." 

Casiotone for the Painfully Alone's sound has been evolving over the years, going from an electropop bedroom project to one that has been opened up to include live instrumentation. His most recent disc, last year's Vs. Children, includes the song "Natural Light," which Sun Kil Moon's Mark Kozelek has performed live and recently included on his I'll Be There EP. "I'm so honored by that cover," Ashworth says. "He simplified the chord progression a bit, and I think it sounds so much better. I've been tempted to start playing it like he plays it, but I feel obligated to defend the D-minor that he skipped over."

Ashworth's next local gig is tonight at Oakland's Bar 355, and for the time being it's the last chance for Bay Area residents to hear him play Casiotone songs. His website says that after heading to Europe in October and November, he's planning a "Grand Finale California Weekend" Dec. 3-5 -- which coincides with the 13th anniversary of his first show -- but fans would be wise to take what they can get now. "I don't intend on performing Casiotone for the Painfully Alone songs after December 5," he says. "I mean to retire all of the old songs along with the name. I want the challenge of starting over, and for me, that means writing a whole new set of songs."

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