The Frames: Show Preview

In detailing the power of loquaciousness the Blarney Stone allegedly imparts, Irish humorist Francis Sylvester Mahony wrote of individuals being transformed into "noble spouters." Fellow countryman Glen Hansard (from the Oscar-winning folk duo the Swell Season and indie-rock outfit the Frames) spouts with a dexterity and zeal few contemporaries can match. One could draw parallels between the Dublin-born singer-songwriter (making his first appearance in the Bay Area since a man committed suicide during an August Swell Season gig at Saratoga's Mountain Winery) and the seanchai, nomadic Irish storytellers from centuries ago. On live disc Breadcrumb Trail, Hansard stresses the importance of writing missives, because letters are "licked and touched and real." But Hansard and the Frames know that forging deep emotional connections involves more than spoken words. Even as they veer toward excess (too anthemic, too melodramatic), their finest songs ("When Happens When the Heart Just Stops," "Your Face," "Lay Me Down") are soaring, tragic, and fragile. They embody noble spouting at its most neurotic.

 
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