Casiotone for the Painfully Alone

January 15, 2007

Owen Ashworth is Chicago’s Casiotone For the Painfully Alone. The band’s name gives away its modus operandi, I suppose: a low-fi version of electronic music (aka Casio keyboards… hey, where are the barking dog and laser gun effects?), heavy on the synthesizer and programming, and equally enthusiastic in its misery and isolation.

“Young Shields” was one of my favorite songs of last year, and it’s quite impressive how painfully alone Paul Simon’s Graceland can sound, sung through the eyes of this Pitchfork favorite.

Casiotone’s most recent album, Etiquette, raises the bar in terms of instrumentation and musical complexity, proving to us all that this isn’t just a guy singing with a Casio SK-5 playing vibra-phone to Disco-2 after all. But hell, Mr. Ashworth’s songs are probably up to the task.

Listen: Young Shields and Bobby Malone Moves Home from Etiquette, available on Tomlab Records. Graceland from the limited edition Graceland 7 inch on Rococo Records. Lonesome New Mexican Nights from an out of print 7 inch record, on Stationary Heart Recordings.

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