Part-Time Punks Halloween Night! Presented by Dark Entries and Aquarius Records
The Soft Moon
Led Er Est, Chelsea Wolfe, Josh Cheon (Dark Entries Records SF)
Mon, October 31, 2011
Doors: 8:30 pm / Show: 9:00 pmThe Independent
Tickets Available at the Door
This event is 21 and over
Total Decay EP Release Partyhttp://www.theindependentsf.com/event/62569/
The Soft Moon
Luis Vasquez did not expect to stumble upon The Soft Moon again. He buried those feelings over a decade ago beneath the sands of the Mojave Desert — where, in younger days, he played in local punk bands, all while absorbing the propulsive Afro-Cuban songs that permeated family gatherings. Restless, Vasquez relocated to Los Angeles, traveled around South America, and eventually settled in the San Francisco Bay Area. But, like a reoccurring dream, the specters of that past life returned, compelling Vasquez to revisit what made him originally conjure The Soft Moon in that relentless desert climate. Through The Soft Moon, Vasquez consolidates his disparate musical talents for playing both analog equipment and live instruments. Frigid synth chords, foreboding bass-guitar riffs, and vintage drum machine hark back to the experimental sonic palette of early 80s post-punk. But, Vasquez invests that raw electronic sound with the frenetic pathos of Afro-Cuban music, fracturing the familiar in a strangely resonant way. Hypnotic songs weaving lonely, nearly apocalyptic tales, hinge greedily on demanding more out of life — on sucking the marrow out of the vast desert skies. Repetitive vocals chant in a haunting whisper over hazy atmospherics, spinning like whirling dervishes around a cold glimmer of redemption. The Soft Moon manages to inspire warm revelry in the midst of such a stark environment, allowing a merciless freedom to emerge from a landfill of discarded memories. Vasquez sees the effort as an “introspective ritual,” one that forges personal release and restoration. With each song he reconciles with the rubble from his past, unveiling a disjointed story of self-discovery. Yes, nostalgia colors every recess of The Soft Moon, from its inception to its aesthetic, but this sort of life-affirming nostalgia prefers hope to paralysis. It undertakes to revive innocent feelings dulled by the grind of adulthood. It longs to channel the driving indigenous rhythms clouded in the dance of Diaspora and assimilation. It reaches for something necessary and permanent in the throws of fleeting desire. And although Vasquez may not regain what he lost, he ends up creating utterly engaging and moving music in the process.
Led Er Est
California native Chelsea Wolfe has always embodied light and dark. Her music is a raw, dirging doom-folk with hints of black metal, deep blues and minimal synthesizer music, but it’s as prone to triumph as it is despair. Her voice is both haunting and seemingly haunted, though whether by angels or demons is unclear. And her lyrics reflect an obsession not only with life’s murkier moments, but the unlikely truths and beauty they so often reveal. It makes sense then that she hails from the wilder, woodsy northern part of her state. Wolfe’s hometown was a small unspecified burg amidst the trees, idyllic by day and begging exploration, but forbidding once the fog crept in. Her skewed romanticism began early. At 9, she started sneaking into her father’s home studio to record warped covers and goth-R&B originals. But growing up, she never shared her music. It wasn't until recently she considered making music for others to hear.
After a stint abroad with a nomadic performance troupe playing cathedrals, basements and old nuclear factories, Wolfe returned home inspired. She began toting around an 8-track and recording as the mood hit, eventually winding up with the songs that would become her stunning 2010 debut, The Grime & the Glow. Described as both healing and harrowing, enchanting and narcotic, the album established Wolfe as an elemental force on the rise. Just as telling were a pair of cover songs — the timeless “You Are My Sunshine” and a deep cut from Norwegian metal icon Burzum — that in her capable hands managed to sound equally burnt and terrifying. Drawn to Los Angeles’ unique mix of gloss and grit, she moved to the city late last year and recorded her second album, Ἀποκάλυψις (pronounced “apokalypsis”), out on Pendu Sound Recordings in 2011. Chelsea Wolfe’s name exploded in the music world after pop artist Richard Philli
Josh Cheon (Dark Entries Records SF)