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Preview: Spoon

Noah Bonaparte Pais on the indie rock band's performance at the Civic Theatre



Longtime Spoon fans could be forgiven for wondering if the band's seventh LP, 2010's Transference (Merge), was a departure from which it wouldn't return. The album represented a culmination and a commencement for the Austin, Texas, quartet: It's both the band's most successful and inscrutable release, moving more than 50,000 units in its initial week with zero adherence to verse-chorus-bridge templates. Sounds flit in and out of the mix, colliding and bouncing off one another like agitated cells under a microscope; ephemeral demos interrupt blurred-line guitar and piano textures; songs stretch around corners and drop off cliffs. As new directions go, it isn't quite Radiohead's Kid A, but it's close. For a band at the top of the world, equally beloved by indie-rock snobs and corporate music supervisors, it was the most surprising move in a career full of unseen turns. Like James Murphy saying hello/goodbye over a sinewy beat and smeared keys, closer "Nobody Gets Me But You" was an affectionate, disaffected aloha. In the four years since, singer/songwriter Britt Daniel formed a new band, Divine Fits, with fellow hoarse-man Dan Boeckner (Wolf Parade, Handsome Furs), and drummer/producer Jim Eno founded Public Hi-Fi Records and helmed albums for Heartless Bastards, Alejandro Escovedo, Black Joe Lewis and others. Spoon was put in a drawer. That drawer cracked last year, with news of new recordings and song titles, and flew open in March, with a 30-second YouTube clip of music registering as electronic interference and a tweet that read, simply, "One week away from a finished album." No rush. Tickets $25.

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