The Soft Moon

Lower Level

The Soft Moon

The Gotobeds, The Garment District, SILENCE

Fri, February 19, 2016

Doors: 9:00 pm / Show: 9:30 pm


Pittsburgh, PA

$10 Adv/$12 at Door

This event is 21 and over

The Soft Moon
The Soft Moon
Luis Vasquez never intended for The Soft Moon to reach the public's ears; for him, music has always been about self-actualization rather than self- aggrandizement. Nevertheless, the bleak, hushed sounds he created years ago in his small Oakland apartment bubbled to the surface and 2010 saw his debut LP, 'The Soft Moon,' released on Captured Tracks rise to critical acclaim. Pitchfork's 8.1 review stated that Vasquez made "oblivion seems like an enticing prospect" and, indeed, listeners were immediately drawn into his murky musical wasteland, swathed in the moody atmospheres of jagged dark wave and wayfaring post-punk. For them, and for Vasquez, there was no turning back. The 'Total Decay' EP and 'Zeros' emerged soon after, and now Vasquez returns with The Soft Moon's most introspective and focused album to date: 'Deeper.'

Following live line-up changes and a lull in the The Soft Moon's constant touring schedule, the year 2013 found Luis Vasquez lost in the void. Though he fatalistically stated that 2012's 'Zeros' would be the last album where he was the sole songwriter, Vasquez realized that The Soft Moon has always been one man's vision. Over time, it's been the one place where Vasquez can express himself, totally and singularly, on his own terms.

Thus, in July of 2013, Vasquez decamped from Oakland, CA to Venice, Italy, unsure of where The Soft Moon would land. While 'Zeros' was written and recorded between long days on the road, 'Deeper' was begat from an almost primal urge to recoil from the world and experience total solitude. During the writing process, Vasquez pushed himself to discover the reality and nightmare of living with yourself, in entirely foreign surroundings with nothing and no one to fall back on.

Stepping back and letting inspiration fall where it may, Vasquez only had one goal in mind for his third album: to pen his most emotional record yet. Between frequent visits to Berlin, Vasquez retreated to Venice's Hate Studios, located in the mountains near electronic guru and spiritual anchor Giorgio Moroder's hometown.

At Hate, he worked for almost a year with producer Maurizio Baggio to piece together 'Deeper,' only completing the album in August 2014. While maintaining the stark sonic formula so indicative of The Soft Moon's music -- that bass that reeks of chorus, those unrelenting, mechanized beats, that wailing synthesizer and those eerily, angular guitar lines that worm into your ears and never leave --

Baggio also worked to refine the album's gothic palette, leaving Vasquez to concentrate more intensely on songwriting and singing than ever before:

"I've never worked so closely with someone before. Working with Maurizio felt right and I completely opened up to him during the entire process. I finally felt the urge to express myself more verbally with this record and I was able to focus more on songwriting rather than just experimenting with soundscapes."

The voice of The Soft Moon has never been more clear and honest than it is on this record. With eerie, immersive tracks like the dogged "Far" and slow, beautifully melancholic "Wasting" (the first track written for 'Deeper'), the album is a penetrating portrait of Vasquez as he wrestles thoughts of suicide, vulnerability and what it means to heal. By facing the most hopeless parts of himself without illusion and putting his past demons to bed, the creation of 'Deeper' was an intense personal exploration of existence for Vasquez -- old wounds were forcibly opened, deep anger and paranoia were manipulated into song -- and he did not emerge unchanged. 'Deeper' may have delivered Vasquez back to the waking world, but it willingly drags us further into The Soft Moon's dark, euphonic universe once more.
The Gotobeds
The Gotobeds released their first LP on Gerard Cosloy's 12XU Records, and are
now the first Pittsburgh band to sign to Sub Pop. Who are they? Former members
of punkers Kim Phuc, for one thing. But instead, Gotobeds wanted to emulate the
Swell Maps and make a big bunch of classic songs with junk on top, and wound up with a mish-mash of DIY/punk/post-punk/indie sounds a la The Fall, early Pavement, Wire, Wipers, Mission of Burma, Sonic Youth, and more contemporary
bands such as Total Control, Tyvek and Protomartyr (with whom they've toured).
They approached their first LP in the fashion of The Replacements' Let It Be, what with the cheeky title (Poor People Are Revolting) and grab-bag of disparate rockist
strands. Important note: The Gotobeds is one word. It's someone's name (notably, a reference to the drummer of Wire). It's a punk family like The Ramones or The Osmonds. They're not going to bed anytime soon.
The Garment District
The Garment District is music by multi-instrumentalist Jennifer Baron, a founding member of Brooklyn's The Ladybug Transistor, a band which toured worldwide, released multiple albums on Merge Records, and played the first All Tomorrow's Parties Festival.

The Garment District's cassette Melody Elder, was released in 2001 on Night People Records. In 2014, they released the debut full-length album If You Take Your Magic Slow, also on Night People. Last year, they released their followup album Luminous Toxin on San Antonio-based Kendra Steiner Editions. Their latest three-song 7", released on La Station Radar, features a remix by British musician Sonic Boom (of Spacemen 3, E.A.R., and Spectrum).

The group has performed at VIA Fest opening for Julia Holter, the Andy Warhol Museum opening for Jenny Hval, at 6119 Penn opening for Cold Cave, and was selected by artist Doug Aitken to perform in his Station to Station film series. Their music features contributions by Jennifer's cousin Lucy Blehar, Jowe Head (of UK's Swell Maps and Television Personalities) and Kevin C. Smith. Jennifer is also the co-coordinator of Handmade Arcade, Pittsburgh's first and largest indie craft fair, and co-editor/photographer for the award-winning book, Pittsburgh Signs
Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania (Carnegie Mellon Press).
Silence are a peace/post-punk band from Pittsburgh, PA. The Deafening Sound of Absolutely Nothing is their much anticipated debut album on the legendary Profane Existence label, after having been active in the local scene for years.
It's anarcho postpunk in the vein of bands like The Mob, Zounds, Internal Autonomy, and Arctic Flowers. Look for big things from these folks.
Venue Information:
146 44th Street
Pittsburgh, PA, 15201