When a friend asked Owen Ashworth for a collection of gloomy original tunes, the fledgling composer responded with a mixtape he christened Casiotone for the Painfully Alone. The name stuck when he started playing solo gigs, accompanied by gently pulsing electronic beats and tinny melodies from chintzy synthesizers. Ashworths vocals lend emotional gravity to the whimsical backdrops. His delivery combines Stephin Merritts depressive bass with Daniel Johnstons clipped, amateurish diction. Ashworth, a former film-school student, recently scored the movie Stay the Same Never Change, and on the West Coast leg of this tour hes toting 300 limited-run copies of a 7 called STSNC Instrumentals, released on colored vinyl by the Olympia-based label People in a Position to Know. (This single, which contains instrumental snippets as well as ring-tone jingles from the movies characters, serves as a sequel to the Town Topic EP, named for a diner featured prominently in the film.) Ashworth has worked on treating his Painfully Alone affliction, bringing additional musicians on recent outings, but this show will feature only the solitary performer and his basic battery-powered keyboards.
Sat., May 31, 7:30 p.m., 2008