Amoeblog

Glen Hansard of The Frames and The Swell Season Chats

Posted by Miss Ess, May 27, 2009 01:51pm | Post a Comment
Irishman Glen Hansard's band The Frames has been quietly (at least Stateside) putting out strong, earnest rock records since the early 90s. Everything changed in 2007, when an excellent, endearing low budget indie film called Once, starring Glen and Marketa Irglova and studded with songs written by the pair, exploded into the mainstream due to massive positive word of mouth buzz. Glen and Marketa were swept along all the way to the Oscars, where they performed one of the songs from the movie, "Falling Slowly." By the end of the night they had won the Academy Award for Best Original Song! Since then, Glen and Marketa have been touring relentlessly as The Swell Season and earning rave reviews across the globe for their performances. Their backing band is often The Frames! Glen was kind enough to chat with me about his inspirations, what he's recording now, Van Morrison, and, of course, the Oscar moment. Read on for the interview:

glen hansard once

Miss Ess: You were in the studio in Feb recording -- can you tell us a little more about what you were recording and how it's sounding? What's coming up next for you?


Glen: Yes -- we [Marketa and several Frames members] were in the studio in February and March and April and finally it's done. I'm in New York right now mastering the final sequence; I'm happy with it. I'll go back to Ireland for a few days after this, swell season at amoebathen [Marketa and I] go to Korea and Japan to follow up on a tour we did recently that went well, so they invited us back to do some follow up dates. After that I think I'll rent a place in New York for the summer before going back on tour proper in late August early September.

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Van Morrison to Perform Astral Weeks!

Posted by Miss Ess, October 2, 2008 04:40pm | Post a Comment
van morrison
I know I've mentioned it several times before but I just can't resist mentioning it again: Van Morrison's Astral Weeks.

I've just heard that he will be performing the album in full next month at the Hollywood Bowl! The dates are Nov 7 and 8. Wow, I am wishing I was an Angeleno right about now.

I'm interested to see what he does with the songs-- knowing Van's at times rather spotty live performances, and the expansive variation that he brings to his songs when he performs them, who knows? I bet he has not played a good portion of the songs off of Astral Weeks in a zillion years. Frankly, I am surprised he agreed to do this, but it's thrilling! He must be pleased that this album is finally getting its due and being praised by the masses, since it was fairly ignored back in 1968.

As a whole, Astral Weeks' improvisational nature makes it more akin to jazz than rock, really, and one thing I am sure of is that Van will bring his spontaneity and lack of restraint to his performances. If you want to read a bit more about the record, click here.

Apparently he is capturing it all on tape (or whatever more ephemeral substance they're using these days) for a DVD, so if you can't make it, rest assured you will be able to catch it at a later date in the comfort of your own home.

Here's a recent performance of "Madame George" -- sounds great to me!

Astral Weeks

Posted by Miss Ess, April 15, 2008 02:11pm | Post a Comment
For someone who works in a record store, it's been a surprisingly long time since I've sat and just listened to a record on my headphones.

van morrison astral weeks

Astral Weeks by Van Morrison is the kind of record that demands close attentiovan morrison liven like this.  The playing and imagery on the album capture the feeling of that pinnacle moment we've all experienced at times in life -- of love, of hope, of desire.  There's a tinge of loss to the record as well. 

The album sounds miraculous to me, and when the circumstances surrounding its recording are revealed, it becomes only more so. It was recorded over a mere 3 days in 1968, when Morrison was, incredibly, only 23 years old.   He used jazz musicians he had never met before to record, and a great deal of each song was improvised.  It's one of the only records I find almost impossible to sing along to-- the phrasing is incredible!  As for tvan morrisonhe musicianship on the album, the bassline in "The Way Young Lovers Do" alone is like nothing else on any rock record I've ever heard.  It's insane.  Each musician's work elevates the sound to a place of complexity and also cohesion.  Together they create a sense of otherworldliness, and that is what makes the album so special.

I can easily bring myself back to a very particular time in my life when I hear this record, and it's funny but even now, the more I listen to it, the more I hear, and the more I can sink my teeth into.  I guess what I am trying to say is that the album brings more pleasure with each listen, even over a period of many years!   When I hear the first few bars of the starting track, "Astral Weeks," I can't help but grin and sink down into the couch or wherever I happen to be sitting.  It's like revisiting an old friend.  The tracks gracefully amble along and I recapture things old and discover things new as I listen.  This record has the ability to gut you on first as well as each subsequent listening experience.

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Peepers

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, December 13, 2007 11:03pm | Post a Comment
Alice turned me on to this amazing collection of peeping tom themed covers...


Although he's not really hiding, the idea of looking out your window on a rainy night and seeing Glen Campbell looking at you like this is very scary...



a couple of attempts at paradise that kinda of give me the creeps...





I know your every movement say Joe Walsh...



and finally...



Now look, I'm no Raffi hater.  I know from experience that kids love his music and he's a really great guy- it's just that guy Ken back there peering at you from behind the bushes has to go...
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