Saturday, May 3, 2008

It's a Swell, Swell Season!

So last night my life pursuit of being present in moments of music greatness reached another pinnacle. Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, who make up The Swell Season were at the Depot. I took along Alisa and we got there early enough to be front and center, to see the holes in Glen's guitar and the humility in Marketa's very being. She was very shy and quiet, and Glen kept the audience entertained with amazing stories (Alisa, let's not think two much about those two tiny pinpoints of light! This man knows how to weave a tale!). He gave a metaphor for the success they have found since Sundance and the Oscars (for my blog on the Oscars, go here)...(and I am paraphrasing a bit here...)

"You have this ball that you are kicking, and you have painted a goal post on the cement wall of your backyard. Your goal is to just get the ball into the boundaries of the line. Then you kick the ball, and it gets kicked so hard it ends up flying over your neighbors yard, over the city, over the country and reaches farther than you ever thought possible. And four/fifths of yourself is awed, amazing, excited, and breathless by your luck in the journey of the ball, and one/fifth of you just wants your fucking ball back."

Gustav asked me recently what my idea of a Utopia would be. The best I can think would be moving back to Ireland (maybe County Galway this time over County Roscommon) and spending every Saturday in the pubs of Doolin and Galway.

He sang several songs, many from ONCE, many from The Frames, some new ones, each one with a story. During the evening some guy from the audience requested that he sing the "Brokenheartedhooverfixersuckerguy" song (if you've seen the movie, you know what I am talking about!) He laughed, shook his head and said, "You work so hard perfecting your craft and your lyrics and making sure everything is just right, and then you make up a random song on the back of a bus in ten minutes and that's the one everyone wants to hear! That guy who requested it is going to go home and when he gets asked how the concert was he'll say, "Most of it was pretty depressing, but he sang the hoover song, and that was awesome.""

The finale ended with Marketa and Glen doing the most amazing version of "Into the Mystic"..a song that, up until now, I would have thought only capable by Van Morrison on such a passionate level...but hey, I like to be proven wrong in times like these.

I didn't bring my video camera ( I can't think why now!) but I did have my mini cybershot and got some video with that...I put some up on Facebook

Alisa, you were the perfect concert guest. Stina, it was awesome to meet you and Dave finally!


Alisa said...

Thanks for inviting me! That was so fun, to experience this Grafton Street singer kind of art in a way that was new, in a venue that was new. Very real art.

Stina said...

What a wonderful surprise to meet you in person in this context! Looks like we have even more in common! I loved your post, especially the stories and metaphor that he talked about - I enjoyed his stories as much as the music! (And I agree, the two pinpoints of light story is something not to dwell on... but I'd love to talk to you guys about it sometime.)

Hey, It's Ansley said...

I love how dissimilar your two most recent concerts are. And yet I am jealous of both. I'm sure Swell Season was wonderful! I've heard Glen Hansard hits all the notes live and puts on a great show.

Dainon. said...

Twas such a great, great show. Thanks for being cognizant enough to get some o' those quotes committed to your blog, eh?

Gustav said...

Dear D'Arcy

That first picture is super cool.

Based on your definition of Utopia I have experienced Utopia.

I hitch hiked around Ireland when I was a young lad and drank ale with the locals.

My favourite place was the Aran islands. No cars, everyone waved at you to say hello, and the smell of the sea cleared my mind of all clutter.

It was magic and I'll never forget how everyone was absolutely silent and attentive to the music that was played in the small pubs in the country.

The sweet sounds of the fiddle were caressed by the Irish soul and the songs brought a tear or two to my eyes.

It was mesmerising, no it was Utopic.