! = recommended
* = all-ages
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Playing a benefit for the Midwive's Alliance of North America on an unsuspecting Monday night, Glen Hansard (Frames, the Swell Season) and Sam Beam (Iron and Wine) blew the roof off of the sold-out Paramount Theater with a few hours of literal perfection. Opening up the night on more of a split bill than a warm-up, Glen took us on an hour-long trip through his diverse catalog: some choice Frames tunes (like "What Happens When the Heart Just Stops" and "Lay Me Down"), new-fan favorites from the Once soundtrack (opening the set with "When Your Mind's Made Up" and the jaw-dropping, haunted, screaming perfection of "Leave"), and a handful of new selections for a taste of the upcoming Swell Season album (most notably a lovely track called "Paper Cup"). Spending the bulk of the set wedged behind the speaker stacks stage left, I had a birds-eye view for everything Glen let loose -- from sheer blissed-out joy to the anguished cries at the ends of particularly staggering verses, and circling back again.
Austin City Limits Festival has confirmed this year's lineup which includes Bob Dylan, The White Stripes, Bjork, Arcade Fire, Wilco, Muse and My Morning Jacket. Pretty much all the staples of this summer’s festival scene.