Choice concerts for July 27-Aug. 2

I’m going to start a new feature, mostly for the SoFla music fans, but also for those who are into good live music. I’m calling this Choice Concerts, where I pick the best show of the week — sometimes I’m going to be there, sometimes I can’t make it (hey, gotta pay the bills too). Anyway, here’s my choice this week:

Mark Knopfler, July 31, Fillmore Miami Beach

Those that know Mark Knopfler from his work in Dire Straits… well, you know that he is truly one of the legends of guitar. Some of his songs are true classics: “Sultans of Swing”, “Romeo and Juliet”, “Skateaway”, “Money for Nothing”, “So Far Away”, “Brothers In Arms”, “Walk of Life”.

While others were studying Jimi Hendrix’s pyrotechnics, Knopfler also included a more esoteric set of influences, such as Hank Marvin and Chet Atkins, and even reaching back to the guitar jazz of Django Reinhardt. Knopfler has always brought a sense of class to the rock guitar.

But he is so much more than that. He’s written film scores (Local Hero, The Princess Bride). He was a member of the more country-influenced Notting Hillbillies. He recorded a brilliant album with country legend Emmylou Harris, called All The Roadrunning.

And he’s continued his career long after quietly putting Dire Straits to rest in 1995. His fifth and most recent album, Kill To Get Crimson, shows a Celtic side to Knopfler’s music, and serves as a good quiet album.

Not that you should expect that at his show in Miami — expect hits, but also some interesting, more obscure choices. Don’t just take my word for it. Here’s a blog entry from someone who saw him on this tour at Philly’s Mann Arts Center.

Give a listen to: “Heart Full Of Holes”

Also coming this week: If you’re not quite into the heavy “Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival” featuring such metal thunder boys as Mastodon and Disturbed on Wed., July 30 at West Palm’s Cruzan, may I suggest the Flobots show down at Lauderdale’s Culture Room. “Handlebars” is only the beginning for this Denver rap/rock combo. Also, a rap fest like no other is coming to Miami’s Bicentennial Park on Sat., Aug. 2. Called “Rock the Bells”, this is only part of the lineup: A Tribe Called Quest, Mos Def, De La Soul, Raekwon, Redman, Method Man, The Pharcyde, Santogold, The Cool Kids, Ghostface… man, it doesn’t get better than that.

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