When LCD Soundsystem takes the stage, the group projects frenetic energy, using rock-band instrumentation to jolt crowds into pogo-jumps. That's no easy feat for what's basically a one-man electronic act in the studio, but James Murphy is no mortal musician, having penned droll dance singles as well as the booziest, bluesiest ode to the Big Apple in recent times ("New York, I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down"). LCD comes to town with Arcade Fire on Friday, Sept. 21, at the Shoreline Amphitheatre at 7 p.m. Admission is $25-59; call or visit www.livenation.com for more info. —Jennifer Maerz
Drop a needle on any of the many musical projects Neil Michael Hagerty has touched — from Royal Trucks and Pussy Galore to his current incarnation as Howling Hex — and you never know what will rise out of the speakers. The last Hex release, 2006's Nightclub Version of the Eternal, was a taxing listen, even for fans who appreciate Hagerty's endlessly experimental edge. That album had his noise-rock jams dancing on acid-soaked cliffs in perpetuity. He's scaled back measurably on his new Hex record, XI, focusing on a late '60s garage sound with a more succinct songwriting approach, albeit with a few too many meandering horn solos. The Howling Hex performs on Saturday, Sept. 22, at the Hemlock Tavern at 9:30 p.m. Admission is $10; call 923-0923 or visit www.hemlocktavern.com for more info. —Hannah Levin
What silly term can we use to tag this growing breed of shoegazer electronica? Sneakeronica? Not Quite New Age? Acts such as Ulrich Schnauss and Caribou melt distorted guitars onto downy beds of electronic blurts, making lush soundtracks for languid nights. Maps (aka James Chapman) is another purveyor of this featherweight formula, with vocals so delicate it doesn't matter much that the words themselves lack gravity. Live, one guesses Maps' multiple walls of sound push the brain into a sort of floatation device, given the right substances. Maps performs on Monday, Sept. 24, at Bottom of the Hill at 8 p.m. Admission is $10; call 626-4455 or visit www.bottomofthehill.com for more info. —J.M.
British music has made inroads over here in recent days, via beatwise motormouths and shambolic fuckups. Along comes Wimbledon young'un Jamie T, who's a little from column A, a little from column B. His reggae-fried bedroom indie and lager-rheic storytelling are winning him UK hype, with critics recalling Mike Skinner, Ian Dury, and Joe Strummer. Lily Allen guests on his album, Panic Prevention, and Bob Hoskins starred in his debut video. That's a lot for a kid to handle. Catch him before the tabloid flameout. Jamie T performs on Tuesday, Sept. 25, at Slim's at 9 p.m. Admission is $12; call 255-0333 or visit www.slims-sf.com for more info. —Geoff Cannon