Song of the Day #3,524: ‘Falling Slowly’ – Glen Hansard & Markéta Irglová

My next two featured Academy Award-winning songs are integral not just to the films’ atmosphere but to their plots.

Writer-director John Carney’s 2007 film Once follows two aspiring musicians in Dublin who bond over their creative passion but are destined to not end up together. It is a tender, bittersweet film that strings together a handful of wonderful musical set pieces.

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Song of the Day #2,621: ‘Gold (Acoustic)’ – The Swell Season

onceI haven’t given much thought to the film Once in the eight years since its release. While I certainly appreciated it at the time, it never grabbed me the way my favorite films do.

That’s a bit surprising, because the movie should be right up my alley. It has the low-budget, real-life romantic vibe of Richard Linklater’s Before series and it features a number of beautifully staged musical moments (Marketa Irglova’s late-night battery run, for example).

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Song of the Day #116: ‘When Your Mind’s Made Up’ – Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova

irglovahansInspired by last week’s Tift Merritt Song of the Day, which featured her playing a live set at a record shop, I’ve decided to dedicate an extended theme week to such live performances.

Today through Sunday, each of my selections will be a live performance in front of a small record store audience. The great thing about the next batch of songs is that each of these artists is unpopular enough to warrant such a small venue but each has a rabid enough fan base that you can be sure every single person in these shops knows what a special experience they’re having.

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Song of the Day #36: ‘If You Want Me’ – Marketa Irglova

OK, so I’m breaking the rules again with this pick, or bending them anyway.

Marketa Irglova is listening to a recording in this clip from Once, but it’s a recording of her own music and she does sing along to the tape, so I think it counts.

I had plenty of Once scenes to choose from — the whole movie is made up of scenes that fit my criteria for this week’s theme — but I really had no other choice. For me, this is far and away the best scene in the movie.

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