MAGIC NUMBERS, FLYING DRUMS: THESE NEW PURITANS
Southend-on-Sea, UK's These New Puritans purvey an austere, twinkling breed of synthetic/organic art-pop — one that evokes both Wire and the Klaxons. Who suspected the murky mystical inclinations embedded in the band's debut, Beat Pyramid (Domino)? "Pyramids are about secrets and chambers," vocalist Jack Barnett, 20, offers from his band's tour stop in Chicago. "Some of the songs have to do with magic." He claims 16th-century occultist-mathematician John Dee plays into his searching New Puritans as much as the Wu-Tang Clan, which Barnett praises for the "eerie, tiny little sounds in the background" of their productions.
Now the combo is attempting to write music that marries "the round canons of Steve Reich" with the beats of dancehall — provided Barnett manages to dodge the projectiles heaved by his drummer twin, George. When making music with your twin, Jack says, "you're honest to the point of getting completely out of hand. As in drums being thrown at me. On a regular basis."
Thurs/19, 8 p.m., $12–$13. Popscene, 333 Ritch, SF. www.popscene-sf.com
100 YEARS AT THE HOTEL UTAH
The 1908 edifice where Robin Williams, Cake, Counting Crows, and countless others broke out brings back witnesses and whoops it up. With Penelope Houston, Paula Frazer, Jesse DeNatale, Colossal Yes, Greg Ashley, Blag Dahlia, and others. Thurs/19; reception 7 p.m., ceremony 7:30 p.m., music 9 p.m.; $8 show. Hotel Utah, 500 Fourth St., SF. (415) 546-6300
The bookish Long Island chanteuse flirts with song stylings slouching betwixt Feist and Keren Ann. Thurs/19, 9 p.m., $12. Café Du Nord, 2170 Market, SF. (415) 861-5016
He's never going to dance again through this sort of arena show, the UK pop star hinted recently. Thurs/19, 8 p.m., $56–<\d>$176. HP Pavilion, 525 W. Santa Clara, San Jose. (415) 421-TIXS
DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE
Narrow Stairs finds the Seattle cabbies stretching into darker realms. With Rogue Wave. Sat/21, 8 p.m., $39.50. Greek Theatre, UC Berkeley, Berk. www.apeconcerts.com