Back to My College Radio Roots

Earlier this month, we checked out the Davis music scene with a KDVS concert. One of my favorite bands from my KALX days, Casiotone of the Painfully Alone, headlined the $5 concert at on the UC Davis campus.

LA-Based Foot Foot opened up the show.

Foot Foot @ UC Davis from Kris Vera-Phillips on Vimeo.

Foot Foot had a sweet, indie folk sound. At times Josh and Robin Brown flirted with country twangs…but they stayed grounded with solid string harmonies on guitars, banjo and any other percussion tools they can get their hands on. Robin’s airy voice wrapped around lyrics looking back on memories of childhood, love and more wistful times.


Casiotone at UC Davis from Kris Vera-Phillips on Vimeo.
I fell in love with Casiotone for the Painfully Alone almost 8 years ago, back when I was a KALX DJ. During my midnight DJ shifts, Owen Ashworth’s electronic landscapes helped ease me into the world of free-form, independent music. “A Normal Suburban Lifestyle Is A Near Impossibility Once You’ve Fallen In Love With An International Spy,” from his album “Answering Machine Music,” was one of the first songs to show up on my playlists. That album had me hooked on glitches, tinny keyboards and electronic-pop harmonies.

His lyrics were conversational, funny and sarcastic, with a timeless touch of hope.

At this KDVS concert, I was amazed at the lush sound he produced all by himself. He was wizard on the mixer, keyboard, vocals and anything that could be plugged into his show. He played a couple of songs off his 2006 Album, “Etiquette.” After his set, I introduced myself and told him I’ve followed his work since my Berkeley radio days. I sounded nervous and stupid, I’m sure and Ashworth’s such a down-to-earth kinda guy…

In any event, my hubby and I walked away with my own copy of “Answering Machine Music” and on the way home, we listened to the origins of my aural fixations.

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