Published Jan 13, 2010The last scheduled Vancouver appearance for Owen Ashworth's Casiotone for the Painfully Alone was over before it began thanks to a car accident, so this show was some time in coming. The evening opened with a short but sweet performance by Vancity's Edo Van Breemen (also of Brasstronaut, the sadly defunct Clips and Unfamiliar Records), premiering characteristically strong solo material.
Next up were To Bad Catholics, a project of No Kids' Nick Krgovich and vocalist Mallory. The duo's faux-naïve dance pop definitely has an element of the tongue-in-cheek, and although the set wasn't without its successes ("I Want to Marry a Rich Man" had the crowd moving), the joke fell flat at times. On the other hand, if you've seen Krgovich perform with No Kids or P:ano, his gold chain and earring probably made you giggle, and Mallory was rivetingly hyperactive.
Slowing things down a little, Owen Ashworth took the stage next with his array of sequencers, drum machines and synths. Some of Casiotone's recent recorded output has featured a full band and various guest appearances, but this was a solo performance, personal and confessional in the vein of Ashworth's earlier work. The set took a while to gain momentum - Ashworth's songs end abruptly when he silences the drum machine, and he seemed to be singing down an octave for part of the performance - but it was also charming, as he quipped, "Thank you... Any questions?" between songs and graciously thanked the thinning audience for their attention. Not exactly a raging Friday night, but lovely all the same, and "White Corolla" reminded everyone that it was one of the best tracks of 2009.