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Spoon 

Thursday, June 24; the Duck Room

Spoon is the pride of the Austin, Texas, music community -- and rightly so. Few American bands mix classic-pop songcraft and sonic invention so effortlessly, and Spoon's mastermind, Britt Daniel, refuses to stay in one place from record to record. Kill the Moonlight was a standout from 2002, and the mix of proto-techno keyboard sounds, white-boy beatboxing and Joe Jackson-like piano rockers kept the needle jumping throughout the album's 35 minutes.

While on this summer's mini-tour, Spoon will be road-testing new material from the tentatively titled The Beast and Dragon Are Adored, to be released later this year. Because Spoon is loath to repeat itself, we are left to conjecture what the band will sound like this time around. Using this sure-to-be-mocked album title as a catalyst, let's do some free association and take a guess or two: Britt Daniel dons some chain mail and writes a ten-song cycle about his own personal Middle Earth. Or, in keeping with Daniel's distrust of the music industry, Spoon performs a Book of Revelations-like concept piece, where the allegorical "beast" is a major-label conglomerate out to swallow up independent artists. Or better yet, Spoon plays the entire concert to monk-style cassocks, interrupting guitar-shredding epics only to revere the inflatable dragon just behind the drum riser.

You're right: Those are awesome ideas for concerts, but we're betting that Spoon has something better cooked up for their show at the Duck Room. There will be more than dragons and beasts to adore: You'll have a shot to get intimate with some real pop talent.

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