A shiver in the dark
It's 1977, less than a year after The Sex Pistols released "Anarchy in the UK." In the low-rent subsection of Deptford, South London, schoolteacher Mark Knopfler (guitar/vocals); his younger brother, social worker David Knopfler (guitar); sociology student John Illsley (bass); and Rockfield Studio's house drummer Pick Withers start playing Marks' songs in clubs around town under the name Caf Racers. The band debuts at a punk festival, headlined by Squeeze, on a former landfill located behind Farrar House. A friend of Pick observes their sorry financial condition and says they should call themselves Dire Straits, which they do for their second gig - supporting Squeeze at the locally renowned Albany Theatre. And a legend is born.
Now a solo act, Mark Knopfler can surely be coaxed to perform some of his past Dire Straits hits, like maybe "Sultans of Swing" or "Money for Nothing." If not, I'm sure we'll all be very happy with whatever other songs Mr. Knopfler decides to perform this night.
Su July 17, 8 p.m. Orpheum Theatre, 910 Hennepin Ave. S. $60 to $110. 339-7007, www.hennepintheatredistrict.org.
All fogged up
Throughout his career as Fog, Andrew Broder has certainly run the gamut of experimentation in his music. The "wow" factor when listening to Broder is the realization that such complex, deeply layered music is made by just one person. As the single person in Fog, he's used samples of things being dropped and rolled, bad things happening to turntables and the records on them, things breaking, watery atmospherics, and even bird songs, most notably the prevalent owl samples on his previous release "Ether Teeth" (on the British label, Ninja Tune).
"I've always had a thing where I liked odd noises and things going wrong, and the sound of that," Broder said. "If something's in front of me, some kind of device or electronic thing, just anything you can make sound with, I'm always kind of curious to see what can be done with it, you know? I've always been that way. So far as a the electronic end of things, it's just another means of making sound. I try not to segregate it from other traditional instruments. To me, they're all just means of getting something across."
On his newest release, "10th Avenue Freakout" (Lex Records), there seems to be a real attempt to draw a line between the organic-sounding instrumentation on the album (pianos, guitar, etc.) and the harsher electronic buzzing and popping and chemical-sounding washes that fill the empty spaces. The result is a two-headed creature trying to overpower itself, caustic and beautiful and ultimately futile.
Tu July 12, 8 p.m. Acadia Caf, 1931 Nicollet Ave. $3. 874-8702, www.acadiacafe.com.
Holly Day can be reached at email@example.com.