Herman Dune's video for "I Wish That I Could See You Soon," which is possibly the cutest music video ever made

Who: Herman Dune and


Last Night: Herman Dune and Jolie Holland at Triple Door

Herman Dune's video for "I Wish That I Could See You Soon," which is possibly the cutest music video ever made

Who: Herman Dune and Jolie Holland

Where: Triple Door

When: 7:30 p.m. last night

Last night's show was my first experience at the Triple Door, and I have to say: I was not adequately prepared for how (as Neman put it) posh the place was. But all the stuff I heard about the place was absolutely true: the sound is excellent, it's classy, and for the right kind of music, it's really nice to sit down and really be able to listen. Plus, Scott hooked us up with really fabulous seats at a booth right up front, so if you're reading this, Scott, thank you!

As I wrote in my story, Herman Dune played their set without horns or any accompaniment; it was as I saw them in France years ago, but instead of a smoky basement, we were in a super nice venue, with great sound, and they've definitely upgraded from the thrashed guitar and set of beat-up bongos I recall them playing. The band mostly played new songs from the new record (including "Try To Think About Me" and the title track from Next Year In Zion) but they also brought out a couple older ones, including "Not On Top." But one of the best surprises of the evening was when Kimya Dawson came onstage and sang two songs with Herman Dune: "I Wish That I Could See You Soon" and a nice one I didn't recognize. And though I'd wondered how many people in the crowd would be there for Herman Dune, rather than Jolie Holland, I was surprised (ok, not THAT surprised) to see that the crowd was at least evenly split-- and cheered louder-- for Herman Dune than Jolie Holland.

Which brings me to the headliner, whose stage banter I enjoyed, and who is obviously a talented vocalist, but who seems to choose stylistic flair over clarity. She's got a sultry, haunting, bluesy voice, and she does a lot of the tipsy swaying from note to note that Cat Power's mastered. But I personally felt that in Holland's case, it was a little overdone, mainly because even though the sounds she made were pretty, I could not understand a single, solitary word of nearly half her songs. Though it did get better as the set wore on. And to be fair, Holland was sick, and to cope, was taking spoonfuls of honey and washing it down with tea between every song, but she didn't sound scratchy. To me, her voice sounded fine. It's just that she does not enunciate, and my subjective opinion of her voice is sort of middlin'. Some people, my stepdad included, can't stand Neil Young or Bob Dylan because of their voices (I know: horrors!). But I found myself having similar feelings about some of Holland's stuff because of the enunciation problem. Her band, on the other hand, was consistently fantastic-- particularly her guitarist, whose solos were complex, but perfectly, artfully executed.

And let me get this straight-- just because I'm not a huge fan of Jolie Holland's vocals doesn't mean I don't admire the woman, who was obviously ill, and whose mic shocked her somehow (I didn't entirely believe this until I saw her jump back like someone had touched her with one of those joke handshake buzzers), and still did a respectable set and an encore of one and a half songs.

comments powered by Disqus