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Spoon blends influences in original way

On a night when WFNX staged its ''Best Music Poll" concerts at Bank of America Pavilion and on Lansdowne Street, the Austin band Spoon still managed to sell out the Paradise Rock Club. Some of the staff at the club had never even heard of them, but Spoon made quick believers with a guitar-pop set with enough twists and turns to summon memories, at times, of Elvis Costello and the Pixies.

And even that is selling Spoon short.

The band functioned as a basic rock quartet with guitar, bass, keyboards, and drums, but brought an edge and originality that went beyond some of its influences. Singer-guitarist Britt Daniel, a bony character who looked like a latter-day Buddy Holly without the glasses, was a riveting presence with his expressive, hyper-brainy songs and distinct rhythm-guitar style. He also bent down in front of his speaker on the song ''Paper Tiger" to coax out some guitar feedback that had the full-house crowd at rapt attention.

Spoon's new album -- the impressive ''Gimme Fiction" -- is a more atmospheric affair that embellishes the sound with exotic touches from kalimba to xylophone and sleigh bells. It feels at times like a Cake album (a compliment) with some of its unusual textures. But in concert, Spoon rocked harder and without frills.

The band opened with two new songs, ''The Beast and Dragon, Adored" and ''The Two Sides of Monsieur Valentine," which lifted the crowd immediately despite their cryptic titles. Another new one, ''Sister Jack," sounded like a distant relative of The Who's ''Happy Jack" and proved that Spoon has a sense of humor lurking beneath the brainpower.

Daniel didn't say much between songs, but didn't have to. The music said enough, from the intimate ''I Summon You" to the adrenaline rush of new single ''I Turn My Camera On." Drummer Jim Eno was also a solid presence, as was bassist Josh Zarbo and double-threat Eric Harvey, who sometimes switched from keyboards to guitar to lend more body to Daniel's electric attack. This is a band that is still growing, but has all the ingredients of major success.

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