Music Day 2

Team Clermont / Utne Reader Party

by Jennifer Kelly

20 March 2009

 

Music Day 2: Team Clermont / Utne Reader Party

Modern Skirts

Modern Skirts

Meanwhile, at the Flamingo Cantina, Athens, Georgia pop band, the Modern Skirts have deconstructed the drum set, handing out cymbals to one member, snare to another, and bass drum to a third. All together, they are banging, clanking, slamming, bending from the waist in full taiko style, still the song is decidedly pop. Later, they turn to more conventional instruments, guitar, keyboards, and tambourine, but the beat remains very hard and dry, even as singers trade vocal counterpoints and harmonies. It’s not bad, but nothing to write home about.

 

Casiotone for the Painfully Alone

Casiotone for the Painfully Alone

Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, or, to his mom, Owen Ashworth, takes a while setting up his considerable pile of amps, synthesizers, drum machines, and keyboards, so in the lull, someone from Team Clermont offers ten $100 gift certificates from the Container Store to the best dancers. Not immediately, but not that long after either, the small dance floor is writhing with people, some from bands (Peacedrums), and some just in for the excitement. I personally am not giving up an actual place to sit for a chance at $100 worth of bins, but some people will do anything for a door prize.

So, then, Casiotone starts, and despite my genuine admiration for his short, sharp, story-fragments set to beats, I’m a little disappointed. Part of it is sound. When you have to struggle to make out the lyrics, as you do here, that’s a large part of Casiotone’s charm conceded already. Things pick up when he’s joined by an additional keyboard player—Tyson Thurston from the band Magical Beautiful—who coaxes the tremulous, church organ at the opening to “I Love Creedance”. It’s a lonely, lovely song about a boy struggling with early adulthood, working in an office and pining after a childhood love, its melancholy drawn out with luminous interlocking keyboard parts and braced by a steady beat. The songs are good, often very good, but the performance is unexciting. Casiotone for the Painfully Alone is, perhaps, best enjoyed alone, not in concert.

 

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