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Advance Base 

When: Wed., Dec. 11, 9 p.m. 2013
Price: $10
Owen Ashworth has been making catchy lo-fi pop about nostalgia and depression since the late Nineties, most notably in his solo project Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, which he disbanded in 2010. His deep voice is reminiscent of that of The Magnetic Fields’ Stephin Merritt: He sounds unbothered even as he’s singing about lost love and his many troubles. As a result, there’s a whiff of irony that keeps A Shut-In’s Prayer, his first debut under the moniker Advance Base, which was released in 2012, from feeling too dark. As a singer-songwriter, Ashworth refreshingly avoids sounding folksy or bluesy. He mostly sings over simple drum machine beats and spare percussion, occasionally accompanied by electric piano. Yet he’s got such a strong sense of melody and songwriting that he doesn’t need anything else to captivate an audience. See Ashworth — a Redwood City native who now lives in Chicago — at The Night Light (311 Broadway, Oakland) this week, with singer-songwriters Young Moon and Bro. Stephen.
— Madeleine Key

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