When: 7.30pm on Friday 5 November 2010
Where: The Deaf Institute, 135 Grosvenor Street, Manchester M1 7HE
We’re welcoming back long-time Hey! Manchester favourite Casiotone for the Painfully Alone for a final time before the band disbands. And, what with this being a Bonfire Night event, we’ve gone and named it ‘Casiotone for the Painfully Alone goes out with a bang!’
Casiotone for the Painfully Alone is the musical alias of 28-year-old American film school drop-out Owen Ashworth. Ashworth began making music in 1997 after he realised that song-making was a far more cost-effective means of storytelling than film-making.
The first three Casiotone for the Painfully Alone albums were made using only battery-operated keyboards and electronics recorded to four-track cassette. With 1999′s Answering Machine Music, 2001′s Pocket Symphonies for Lonesome Subway Cars and 2003′s Twinkle Echo, Ashworth defined a hybrid strain of raw, emotional, and very home-made synth pop that was instantly recognisable as his own. Claustrophobic two-minute character studies shuddered with reverbed beats, blown-out chords, and simple but infectous melodies, all layered beneath Ashworth’s sometimes funny but always heartbreaking lyrics.
Believing he had taken his self-imposed set of limitations to their logical conclusion, Ashworth expanded his sound with 2006′s Etiquette. Etiquette removes the focus from a decidedly utilitarian aesthetic to a broader production spectrum that finally gives Ashworth’s personal, affecting song-writing the space it deserves. In collaboration with producers and musicians like Jherek Biscoff (of Dead Science and Degenerate Art Ensemble) and Jason Quever (Papercuts and Pan American Recording Studio), the sound of Casiotone for the Painfully Alone has grown to include pianos, organs, strings, flutes, drums, and pedal steel guitars in addition to Ashworth’s signature electronics and drum machines.
Owen recently announced that ‘after nearly thirteen years of being the dude from Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, I’m ready for a fresh start and a new challenge‘. He wants to play as many shows as possible between now and 5 December, the official retirement date, and we’re lucky enough to be hosting one of them. Please join us in offering Owen a fond Mancunian farewell.
Tour support comes in the form of Robert Stillman, who makes ‘wonderfully sympathetic music that has the feel of Glass or Reich, whilst retaining an organic warmth’.