GLEN HANSARD and Marketa Irglova are the Swell Season, and also the stars of the sleeper hit, Once, a touchingly unsentimental love story with music at its heart. The song "Falling Slowly" won an Oscar this year for best original song, deservedly beating out the formulaic (if sometimes winning) schlock from Disney's Enchanted. The actual performance of the song in the film is a revelation about the spine-tingling magic that can happen when two talented musicians sit down and play together for the first time. Hansard, formerly of the Frames, is a histrionic, folk-singing troubadour, well-complemented by Irglova's subtle piano and sweet singing voice.
Wednesday April 23
Stanford Memorial Auditorium
551 Serra St
Evelyn Glennie and Fred Frith
EVELYN GLENNIE, a deaf, soloist, classical percussionist, teams up with multi-instrumentalist Fred Frith. Glennie carries more than 60 instruments to any given show and can often be seen onstage barefoot to better feel the music. This Scottish lass was recently awarded Dame Commander from the British Empire and has at least 15 honorary doctorates. Fred Firth is a composer, improviser and multi-instrumentalist who has been around for over 30 years and is a professor of composition at Mills College in Oakland. They are performing as part of the Stanford Lively Arts series.
Wednesday April 23
44 S. Almaden Ave
HAILING FROM Copenhagen, Nekromantix are one of the most crazed and menacing psychobilly acts to tear up a stage on their continent or ours. While the psychobilly thing can often come off as too affected and over the top—a cheap mélange of Social Distortion riffs and Misfits-esque menace—there's no doubt that Nekromantix mean it completely. Led by fearsome frontman Kim Nekroman, the band shreds through amphetamine-fueled blasts of portentous rockabilly. If too many of their contemporaries are execrable shtick-rock acts, then Nekromantix can be said to be the polar opposite, mastering their doom-laden assault of overdriven guitars, pomade and gothic menace. Lower Class Brats and Bamoula also perform.