The Swell Season live at Rumsey Playfield, Central Park, New York – September 17, 2008


Glen Hansard (of The Frames and The Commitments – read The Dork Report review) and Markéta Irglová recorded an album together called The Swell Season, and now tour under the name. They fell in love while filming the excellent Once (read The Dork Report review), and are now a couple.

Interestingly, they got their Oscar-winning song “Falling Slowly” out of the way right away, perhaps to avoid having the audience call it out as a request over and over throughout the evening. Personally, I felt Hansard goofed off a bit too much, even during serious songs like a new one I believe was called “Broke Down.”

swell_season.jpgGlen Hansard live in Central Park

Official band site:

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The Commitments

The Commitments movie poster


The Commitments remains a Dork Report favorite, even some 17 years after first seeing it in the theater. I’ve owned the soundtrack since then, but for whatever reason, had not revisited one of my favorite films. But having recently seen and loved Once, costarring Commitments alum Glen Hansard, I was inspired to check it out one more time and see if I still loved it after all these years. If The Commitments (the band) are the World’s Hardest Working Band, then The Commitments (the movie) may be the World’s Most Unashamedly Crowd-Pleasing Movie. There’s not a single scene that doesn’t charm, amuse, or get me rocking to the sweet sounds of soul music.

The CommitmentsRemember kids, heroin(e) kills

Where are they now? Original members Dick Massey and Kenneth McCluskey still tour as The Commitments. Director Alan Parker (look for VHS copies of one of his previous films Birdy in one scene) built on his success with musicals Fame, Pink Floyd’s The Wall, and The Commitments by directing the mammoth production Evita. Andrew Strong (Deco Cuffe), a wee 16 at the time, still has his golden voice and is now a solo artist. Maria Doyle Kennedy (Natalie) is now a star of the television series The Tudors. And Glen Hansard just won some kind of award or another…

Two bits of fun trivia gleaned from the IMDB entry: the actual kid from U2’s Boy and War album covers cameos in the film, and the script racks up a spectacular 145 f-bombs.

The CommitmentsThe World’s Best Dressed Band

Official movie site:

Buy the soundtrack or DVD from Amazon and kick back a few pennies to The Dork Report.


Once movie poster


Now this is a love story (of sorts) I can get behind, unlike the recent Dork Report screenings of Eagle vs. Shark or Year of the Dog. The unnamed “Guy” (Glen Hansard, already a rock star in The Frames and a movie star from The Commitments) is a street busker, playing popular songs for pennies during the day, and saving his own passionate compositions for the empty streets at night. “Girl” (Markéta Irglová) is an immigrant from the Czech Republic, looking at an unhappy future as a single mother, in servile jobs, with no outlet for her own musical talent. Each has become stuck, but their meeting jostles each other into motion.

What a fucking great movie. That’s it; that’s my entire “review.” See it, and get the soundtrack.

Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova in OnceHey, it’s that guy from The Commitments!

Official movie site:

Buy the soundtrack or DVD from Amazon and kick back a few pennies to me.