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Pop: hot ticket


© St. Petersburg Times, published May 17, 2001

A quirky alternative

Enon is a supergroup, of sorts. That is, of course, if you're into alternative rock.

The Brooklyn, N.Y., band consists of former members of Brainiac, Skeleton Key and Blonde Redhead. Enon last year released Believo!, an absolutely stellar, if not schizo, debut.

Founder John Schmersal pays his rent by doing sound design for the Cartoon Network's new animated Banana Splits series. That seems apropos, considering Enon's quirky pastiche of wry, lively sounds. It's like Beck, Prince and Hanna-Barbera all rolled into one. Believo! is jam-packed with arty, New Wave-tinged pop, as well as a tongue-in-cheek torch song. Think: lots of wonky time signatures, electronic gurgling, Schmersal's occasional falsetto and other oddball shenanigans to prick up your nerves.

Headlining the bill tonight is D.C.'s mighty Dismemberment Plan, which has earned a loyal Tampa Bay area following. Plus, there's the oddly named Gena Rowlands Band, an act that plays slow, noirish tunes about Hollywood starlets and Janeane Garofalo.

Show time is 8 p.m. today at the State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $8. (727) 895-3045.

The original guitar god

Eric Clapton is one of rock's elder statesmen and probably its most resilient. "Slowhand" has, like his blues idols, lived a life marked by tragedy, but he forges on, delivering delightful records such as this year's buoyant Reptile, filled with life-affirming, passionate music.

At 56, Clapton still plays with fiery goodness when he's not watering hits down Unplugged-style. For fans who loved him back in the graffitied "Clapton is God" days and relish the 1970s blister of Layla, word is Clapton's doing that version and not the tepid newer one on his current tour.

Eric Clapton performs with opener Doyle Bramhill II and Smokestack, 8 p.m. Saturday at the Ice Palace, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $40.75-$69.50. (813) 301-2500. -- GINA VIVINETTO, Times pop music critic

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