When: Thu., Dec. 10, 9 p.m. 2015
There’s been a recent run of film think pieces trumpeting It Follows, The Babadook, and A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night as a horror renaissance, and I’d be inclined to agree if a few more directors showed the kind of empathy for characters that Advance Base main man Owen Ashworth does on August’s Nephew in the Wild (Orindal). Inspired by frightening flicks, Michigan’s wilderness, and parental fears, Ashworth produces warm, introverted electro-pop tracks that paint vivid, loving portraits of, for example, a burnout who disappears without a good-bye and a screwup who can’t seem to follow the directions of devil-summoning incantations. On “Pamela” Ashworth sings about hapless teenagers rearing an unlucky child whose apocalyptic future will set the world ablaze. The gentle vocals and romantic keys make the song’s revelation that much more unsettling, and his emotional investment in his tragic characters make it even more affecting. Tonight’s show is a record release for Advance Base’s “Pamela” seven-inch, and even though Ashworth can sound like a band entirely on his own, he’s busting out a rare version of group for this performance. Joining Ashworth are two of his original Advance Base collaborators, bassist Nick Ammerman and pianist Edward Crouse, plus drummer Mike Adams (Mike Adams at His Honest Weight, Husband&Wife), guitarist Matt Barnhart (Tre Orsi, Mint Mile), trombonist Nick Broste (Mucca Pazza, ex-Magical Beautiful), lap-steel guitarist Howard Draper (Tre Orsi, Mint Mile, ex-Okkervil River), and percussionist and keyboardist Tyson Torstensen (Night Terror, formerly of Magical Beautiful and Ga’an).