Where should I start with the Frames?
July 15, 2008 4:30 AM   Subscribe

Where to start with The Frames?

Even though they've been recommended by countless Irish friends, after seeing the film Once, I want to get into The Frames. Where shall I begin? Live recordings? A particular album? (BTW, Once was great.)
posted by k8t to Media & Arts (13 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Good call! My favourites are Dance the Devil and For the Birds - both chock-full of delicacy and emotion, as well as melody, so I'd recommend you start with them. Earlier stuff, e.g. Fitzcarraldo, is patchy. Burn the Maps is growing on me and I don't have The Cost yet so can't comment on that.

However, their real power lies in the live experience, which is phenomenal, so after the two recommended albums above, I'd get Set List (their live album) then try your utmost to go see them in as small a venue as possible.
posted by thoughtless at 5:28 AM on July 15, 2008

My favorite album is Burn The Maps and For The Birds - both are just absolutely great, very soulful and sound a lot like Glen's voice in Once. The Frames are really, really, really great live. I agree with thoughtless and suggest Set List as the best representative of their live performances.
posted by banannafish at 5:35 AM on July 15, 2008

See. Them. Live.
posted by fonetik at 6:07 AM on July 15, 2008

You pretty much can't go wrong... Personally, I think For the Birds is just a remarkable recording. Steve Albini produced it, I believe, so it's just really... honest. Even though it's a studio recording, Albini does everything more or less live. It's just totally stripped down and beautiful. Also... to echo what the other folks are saying, Set List is actually, like, really good. It totally stands on its own, even if you haven't heard the studio versions of the other songs.
posted by ph00dz at 6:10 AM on July 15, 2008

Bobby Pulls a Wilson.
posted by staggernation at 7:07 AM on July 15, 2008

Burn the Maps is a killer album, start to finish. Got me into them, and I was just trying it on a whim (not by any recommendation).
posted by sprocket87 at 7:26 AM on July 15, 2008

My preference is For the Birds. I regularly sit in with my friends' garage (emphasis on garage) band, and we've done Lay Me Down several times at my request. Next time I go I'll see if they're game for trying Revelate, which is one of their older tunes (on the album Fitzcarraldo), which is a crazy awesome tune.

I "discovered" this band by seeing them open for Calexico a number of years ago. I was totally bowled over by the expressiveness and song writing of Hansard. Much as I love Calexico, the Frames really stole the show for me. Calexico had Hansard come on and play with them for a few songs of their set, which was also fantastic.

I've been trying to push this band on friends since then to little success. Then Once comes out and those same friends all get super excited about Hansard and this band The Frames. Go figure.
posted by mcstayinskool at 7:46 AM on July 15, 2008

Bobby Pulls a Wilson.

I read that as a reference to William Gibson's Count Zero...what does it have to do with this question?
posted by mcstayinskool at 7:48 AM on July 15, 2008

nthing Set List. Brilliant album with great songs, especially Lay Me Down, Revelate, Fitzcarraldo and Star Star.
posted by pised at 7:58 AM on July 15, 2008

the track "Finally" off of Burn the Maps, I could listen to for hours and hours.
posted by Amby72 at 9:01 AM on July 15, 2008

Check out their NPR Concert. It is absolutely fantastic and has songs from a variety of albums (plus some nice covers). Plus you can download it for free.
posted by mcroft at 5:04 PM on July 15, 2008

I agree with fonetik that live is where it's at when it comes to The Frames, so I'd say that Set List is a great starting point because it is a concert recording.

However, since the success of "Once" Glen Hansard has been touring with Marketa Irglova (also from the film) under the name The Swell Season. On the most recent leg of the tour, they had most members of The Frames out with them, so while they were certainly not full-blown Frames Experiences, they were as close as you can get these days. You can find soundboard recordings of many of these gigs at Played Last Night (the band distributed cards with the website info at their merch tables). These shows had a good mix of Frames/Once material, and since the movie was your gateway drug, you might try starting there. And btw, The Swell Season are returning to the States this Fall.
posted by shannonm at 7:31 AM on July 16, 2008

bobby pulls a wilson: not a gibson reference. well, not a direct one anyway. bpaw was popular dublin band in the late 90's that played with the frames a lot. not sure where you can get their recordings though.
posted by blapst at 2:04 PM on November 19, 2008

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