When the brothers Kashio started tinkering with the musical possibilities of calculator chips, they couldn't have predicted that Devo, the Cars and even his Moby-ness would turn their cheap tricks into gold. Casiotone For the Painfully Alone (aka Owen Ashworth) falls somewhere in between lo-fi pop and high-concept pomp, the Human League and the cryptic crush-wounded poet lurking in every circuit-bending nerd. Last year's Etiquette tested Ashworth's dark spectrum with warmly colored stringed instruments, though the interpersonal terror alert remained at red. CFTPA's opening slot for Pedro the Lion killer (and recent Barsuk records signee) David Bazan makes more sense than one might guess. Bazan recently feted OK Computer via the blog Stereogum, and he's been known to turn psycho-dramas into small, self-reflexive symphonies alone or with unexpected others.
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