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Soft Moon rising

The video for “Into the Depths” by the Soft Moon is filmed in grainy black-and-white, with claustrophobia-inducing camera work. It shows a woman who keeps looking over her shoulder in fear as she runs through a dark tunnel. Soon, these images are intercut with scenes of her nose bleeding, of hands grabbing her face, of extreme close-ups of her eyes, of her falling, of other images that are no less unsettling for being more abstract. I’ll leave it to other critics to discuss the misogynistic implications of all this. I’ll just say that the music may be even more disturbing than the video.

The Soft Moon began as a solo project by San Francisco’s Luis Vasquez, who recorded his 2010 debut at home by himself. He must have had a gloomy apartment. Inspired by krautrock and lesser-known post-punk acts such as Chrome and the Danse Society, the Soft Moon features huge drums pounding away relentlessly, an insistent bass guitar twisted by effects pedals into something alien, and squealing synthesizers that sound like robots screaming. Vocals appear only rarely, and when they do they’re usually in the form of wordless breaths or grunts. Are these sounds of pleasure or pain? Both? It’s just too creepy to think about.

Vasquez put together a band to tour behind his first record, and his solo work is now supplemented onstage by a bassist, a drummer, a synth player, and even a guy who just supplies the freaky visuals. While on tour, Vasquez began writing the material that would make up the recent full-length follow-up, Zeros, and the result was very much like the debut but even more intense and scary.

THE SOFT MOON: Soda Bar, Thursday, December 13, 8:30 p.m. 619-255-7224. $8 advance/$10 door.

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The video for “Into the Depths” by the Soft Moon is filmed in grainy black-and-white, with claustrophobia-inducing camera work. It shows a woman who keeps looking over her shoulder in fear as she runs through a dark tunnel. Soon, these images are intercut with scenes of her nose bleeding, of hands grabbing her face, of extreme close-ups of her eyes, of her falling, of other images that are no less unsettling for being more abstract. I’ll leave it to other critics to discuss the misogynistic implications of all this. I’ll just say that the music may be even more disturbing than the video.

The Soft Moon began as a solo project by San Francisco’s Luis Vasquez, who recorded his 2010 debut at home by himself. He must have had a gloomy apartment. Inspired by krautrock and lesser-known post-punk acts such as Chrome and the Danse Society, the Soft Moon features huge drums pounding away relentlessly, an insistent bass guitar twisted by effects pedals into something alien, and squealing synthesizers that sound like robots screaming. Vocals appear only rarely, and when they do they’re usually in the form of wordless breaths or grunts. Are these sounds of pleasure or pain? Both? It’s just too creepy to think about.

Vasquez put together a band to tour behind his first record, and his solo work is now supplemented onstage by a bassist, a drummer, a synth player, and even a guy who just supplies the freaky visuals. While on tour, Vasquez began writing the material that would make up the recent full-length follow-up, Zeros, and the result was very much like the debut but even more intense and scary.

THE SOFT MOON: Soda Bar, Thursday, December 13, 8:30 p.m. 619-255-7224. $8 advance/$10 door.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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