Herman Düne live at Registratur, Munich, July 23, 2009

On July 23rd, 2009, Herman Düne played an excellent concert in Munich, which for me was the best concert I saw since Iron & Wine performed in the local church in Dachau and I witnessed the Magnetic Fields playing an unplugged concert. I first realized Herman Düne in John Peel’s BBC Radio 1 show several years ago, but never bothered to listen to their music in more detail. It was one year ago that I first did so and became really enthusiastic about them. The music of a band or performer only thrills me if it has a feature that makes it distinctive and unique, such as the dual melodic noise pop experimentalism of Yo La Tengo, the voice of Mark E. Smith for The Fall, the distinct combination of intellectuality, left-wing politics, rock, and groove that I hear and feel in Die Sterne, the combination of Lou Barlow’s melodic voice and trashy LoFi rock in Sebadoh, the orchastrality and dialectic of acceleration and deceleration present in Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Mogwai, the distinct beauty of sound of CatpowerBonnie Prince Billy, and Low . So there is something about Herman Düne that makes this band’s sound distinct and unique and that cannot be put into words. They sound for me like a combination of the best elements of antifolk bands like the Moldy Peaches, 60s girlie bands like the Shangri-Las or the Supremes, the Ennio Morricone Western flavour divulged by the sounds of bands like Calexico and the Friends of Dean Martinez, and a good dose of the Beatles and the Velvet Underground. Like Belle and Sebastian, Herman Düne create a 60s aura that sounds contemporary and never antiquated (as most 60s bands do today, with a few exceptions such as the Velvet Underground or Nick Drake). If you do not know Herman Düne, then I recommend that you listen to their albums “Next Year in Zion” and “Giant”.

Herman Düne: Video, “My Home is Nowhere Without You”

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