Don’t Miss These Four Shows

Pixies, Luttrell, Weezer, and Louis The Child.

Alternative Rock

It’s hard to imagine what path rock would have taken in the 1990s and beyond without the lingering influence of The Pixies. Kurt Cobain once famously remarked that “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was just Nirvana’s attempt at ripping them off, and Thom Yorke has stated that Radiohead would not exist in a world without The Pixies. The band’s first two albums, Surfer Rosa and Doolittle, remain among the most acclaimed alternative-rock albums ever recorded, yet the lack of commercial success throughout the band’s history puts them in the ranks of bands like The Velvet Underground. Neither ever sold many albums in its heyday, but listeners who bought one likely found the inspiration to start their own musical projects. After a decade-plus absence — and the departure of two different bass players — The Pixies are seemingly back for good, touring behind 2016’s Head Carrier. On it, Black Francis screeches and howls absurd and often surreal lyrics, while Joey Santiago’s discordant guitar squeals and addicting punk rock riffs are sure to make even the bitterest fans crack a smile. Regardless of your opinion of their newer albums, the opportunity to scream along live to “Where is My Mind???” or “Debaser” is an experience that should never be taken for granted. Tim Casagrande

8 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 7, at the Fox Theater. $59.50;


After spending years producing as one half of successful dance-duo The M Machine, Steve Luttrell made his long-awaited jump to solo production in fall of 2016. Born and raised in San Francisco, Luttrell has always found inspiration for his music in diverse environments. Whereas The M Machine’s bangers are best-suited for packed, LED-embellished festival stages, Luttrell’s techno-heavy solo work explores a very different side of the dance music spectrum. After spending a semester in Berlin, that mecca of all things techno, Luttrell’s unique, melodic twist on techno comes from his particular knowledge of the context behind the genre, along with acquired experience in music production. Although techno tends to channel a dark energy in club-goers looking to exorcise their demons on the dancefloor, Luttrell opts for a more positive, jovial sound, while never losing intensity. This direction allows him to take listeners on an emotional journey during his live sets, producing an overwhelming sense of euphoria similar to electronic veterans like Underworld or Cirez D. After receiving considerable praise from dance-heavyweights like Annie Mac and Pete Tong, Luttrell is already one step ahead in becoming a major figure in the future of techno. Tim Casagrande

9:30 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 13-14, at Audio San Francisco. $25;

Alternative Rock

On its 11th studio album, Pacific Daydream, Weezer took inspiration from the most notable peaks of its discography and combined them with the commercial success from America’s favorite pastime: The Beach Boys (to whom Weezer dedicated a song). What better influence to new music than your own material that went platinum? The record very much feels like the missing piece to the puzzle that Weezer has been working on sonically for more than two decades. While die-hard fans await another Pinkerton, it’s safe to say Weezer will continue to experiment with sound more than the famous album covers. Pacific Daydream follows dark themes similar to those on 2016’s White Album and exhibits the same addictive nature found on 2001’s head-turning Green Album, but in a more put-on-your-dancing-shoes way. To argue that this isn’t Weezer’s sound is to raise the question of exactly what is. The answer is both. Weezer is the Weezer of the 1994 hit “Buddy Holly” and dorky crooner-like songs like 2017’s “QB Blitz.” More important still, both are freaking cool. Sarah Armendariz

6 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 9, Oracle Arena. $45-$120;

Louis The Child
Electronic Pop

Chicago duo Louis the Child have floated around the electronic scene for a few years now, laying down contagiously happy beats on tracks with house names such as Icona Pop and K.Flay. In 2015, Robby Hauldren and Freddy Kennett caught their first break as the opener on The Chainsmokers’ tour and went on to perform at mega-festivals like Electric Zoo and Governor’s Ball. Since then, the close friends have solidified their sound with a newly released six-track EP, Love Is Alive. Louis the Child’s first official album release has opened the floodgates for a chaotic and on-repeat-worthy discography that has gained them more than 13 million hits across streaming services. In a recent interview with Billboard Magazine, they talk about balance and the writing process, describing the creation of “Phone Died” as everyone “screaming along” to the hooks and the opener “Go” as the two “just messing around between studio sessions.” It’s an endless party. Sarah Armendariz

7 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 9, Fox Theater. $40-$75;

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