Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Frames personally invited to open for Bob Dylan

The Frames – Ireland’s enormously popular and charismatic rock quartet – have been personally invited to open for Bob Dylan this August during the American rock legend’s tour of Australia and New Zealand. The Frames – driven by the heartfelt songcraft of frontman Glen Hansard and the band’s ability to weave delicate folk melodies through blasts of big guitars and artful noise – continue to support their second Anti- album, the widely heralded The Cost, which was released this past February.

In addition to that honor, Hansard is also currently celebrating the success of Once, the Sundance-championed film in which he stars alongside Marketa Irglova, a young Czech musician he collaborates with. First picked by filmmaker and one-time Frames bassist John Carney to lend his songwriting skills to the project, the director later realized that Hansard would be a better fit than the more polished actors he was considering. Based on critics’ enthusiasm and the Sundance attendees that awarded it this year’s World Cinema Audience Award: Dramatic prize, Carney was 100% right. Fox Searchlight has since picked up the film and placed it into New York and Los Angeles theaters as of mid-May.

Called, “ a scrappy, heart-on-its-sleeve little movie” by The New York Times, the paper added [it] makes a persuasive case that the real future of [musicals] may lie not in splashy grandeur but in modesty and understatement. Filmed with more efficiency than elegance on the streets of Dublin, its low-key affect and decidedly human scale endow Once with an easy, lovable charm that a flashier production could never have achieved.”

Elsewhere, NPR touted Hansard and Irglova for bringing “an unforced intimacy to the film that is one of its strengths. To watch their characters interact is to eavesdrop on some of life’s smallest but most valuable moments. We invest in these people completely, and they do not let us down.”

As for The Cost, All Music Guide asserted, “This stuff is pure musical and lyrical inspiration,” while The Boston Globe professed, “The album is sophisticated and layered with deft orchestration. And yet, the band's songwriting and delivery display an earnestness and lack of pretension that's pure rock.”

The Frames released their debut album in 1992 and, for over nearly a decade bounced through various record deals and band line-ups. Their live album, Set List, and 2005’s Burn The Maps both entered the Irish music charts at Number 1. The latter reached #5 on The New York Times’ end of year, best-of list.

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