10 p.m., Friday, April 6, at 1015 Folsom. $25; 1015.com
Dirtybird Records continually establishes its dominance of tech house and underground dance music thanks to honcho Claude VonStroke’s ear for finding producers who fit Dirtybird’s low-key yet party-appropriate style. Best known as one half of house duo Cut Snake, Paul Fisher made his banging solo debut on Dirtybird last summer with his kinetic tech house single “Ya Kidding,” which has the distinct hip-hop-tinged tech house sound that made Dirtybird (nearly) a household name. Although Fisher has established himself as a more-than-capable producer, the Australian musician was a professional surfer before hanging up the surfboard to further his music career. Along with fellow surfer and friend Leigh Sedley, the two formed Cut Snake in 2012, releasing a stream of deftly produced deep-house cuts along with a touring schedule that included stops at the biggest festivals in the world. Fisher’s solo output is in the same breath as Cut Snake’s sun-soaked rendition of house music, but takes things in a much more energetic and club-friendly direction.
The Soft Moon
8 p.m., Wednesday, April 11, at the Independent. $16; theindependentsf.com
Few groups earnestly capture the feeling of anxiety and dread as well as Oakland’s The Soft Moon. While the band’s lyrical content is often dark and heavy, its sound is also blisteringly energetic. Formed in 2009 by frontman and songwriter Luis Vasquez, The Soft Moon follows a path paved by earlier dark, minimalist groups like Suicide and Twilight Ritual, but incorporating elements of post-punk and noise rock as well. The group’s self-titled 2010 debut album shares many similarities with Joy Division’s desolate, brooding, guitar-driven sound — complete with reverb-drowned vocals. Yet the album sounds less like an imitation of bands from that era and more like a continuation, bringing their grim and intense energy into the 21st century, with crisper production. Criminal, The Soft Moon’s third studio album, was released last February and continues on the same dreary path as its first two releases, but Vasquez explores heavier, industrial-inspired sounds, similar to HEALTH’s 2015 album Death Magic. While reflecting on the more painful moments of his life, Vasquez beautifully transforms his inner anguish into ecstatic anthems worthy of multiple listens.
8 p.m., Saturday, April 7, at Slim’s. $20; slimspresents.com
Frequently used as a name for God in the Hebrew Bible, Elohim is a fitting moniker for the mysterious musician who crafts innovative electronic pop. Elohim’s life has been infatuated with music since she began playing piano at the age of five and learning to sing four years later. This early means composition came naturally to Elohim, something that can be heard on her self-titled 2016 debut EP, which contains hypnotically addicting tracks like “She Talks Too Much” and “Xanax.” Although Elohim prefers to remain out of the public eye, with clear pictures of her impossible to find, her lyrics share intimate struggles with anxiety, relationships, and materialism. After spending much of 2017 quietly recording around Los Angeles, she’s set to release her first studio album, which is also self-titled. From the singles released so far, Elohim’s idiosyncratic pop reveals its evolution through playful and lushly produced singles like “F*ck Your Money” and “Hallucinating,” a departure from the dark themes explored on her prior EP. A breath of fresh air in pop music, Elohim has created a striking, and potentially chart-topping, sound that is singular to her.