All photos by David Greenwald
Musicians who rely on charm and wit tend to play better live. Such was the case with Herman Dune, who brought the mid-size crowd to the brink of both laughter and tears at the Troubadour on Monday as they opened for roots-rockin’ Jolie Holland. Like Jens Lekman, Herman Dune’s songs excel in hiding longing and heartbreak behind a smile. The French duo’s songs tapped into the repetitive power of the blues and early folk, often ignoring the verse-chorus-bridge signposts of pop in favor of story-songs that, in Dylanesque confidence, were over when they were good and ready. But they also drew deeply on the Jewish tradition, full of the minor seventh chords and bittersweet melodies that permeate a generation of Eastern European hand-me-downs. The Tribe hasn’t had fresh rock heroes in years, so to Herman Dune I can only say, L’chaim. More photos and MP3s after the jump.