Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Brad Kopplin
On a day, long, long ago, I knew nothing about La Blogotheque (or the forthcoming Take Away Shows, for they were just a glimmer in Chryde and Vincent Moon's eyes at the time) — until it happened. Somehow things aligned and the navigation pad of my laptop directed me to that site that we now all visit regularly. It's based out of Paris and it's come to be know as a thing that we've all now learned makes magical things appear amongst the thin air, in freight elevators, in front of churches and in doughnut shops and restaurants, amidst traffic and cars and pedestrians that don't give a damn. A couple of men, who go by the band name of Herman Dune were the first gents that I witnessed playing their songs extempore, in a Laundromat, before ambivalent old ladies and such washing their clothes. It's a good way to witness the songs of Herman Dune - as seen through a lens that's also spying into the clear doors of washing machines filling up with suds and water and swishing in business-like, stop-reverse motions.
It's a soothing and hypnotic state that those activities and watching them being active in them can put you in. It's a sedative, a warm glass of milk and a comfortable sweatshirt with raggedy fringes at the wrists. Maybe it's best even to think about that sweatshirt that's seen better days, that's been roughed up during a game of tackle football or two coming directly from the dryer and replacing the t-shirt or whatever's been riding around on your body previously in the day - up to that minute. All of the man-made warmth is replaced by warmer, machine-made warmth that quickly gets taken over - but for a time it loves you right back. It feels as comforting as a kind word or a hug from a friend you've missed for longer than you thought you did. It's the pressing against skin of other friendly skin.
David-Ivar, the lead singer of Herman Dune permits us into these personal trenches - where we're normally alone; the laundry, the dishes, the bedroom, or the fantasy - and makes it all feel as if there was no encroachment. He'd say, "Hullo friend. You caught me off guard, but sit a spell and enjoy a slice of homemade pie with me. It's still warm from the oven and you're welcome to as much as you'd like. There's even a bed for you to sleep on if you should get tired. Don't feel in any rush to leave. I'm perfectly content sitting here and talking with you all night about anything you'd like. I do have some things that are troubling me. Do you mind?" You'll fold yourself Indian-style, load yourself with good wine and that pie that was offered and listen as Ivar just unfolds himself into a half dozen pedals, springing into a multi-colored fountain.
There's witty dialogue, there's hearsay, there's putting words into mouths, there are hearts on all sleeves, there are gleeful rushes where everything feels possible, there's longing and there's mighty optimism in every second of these songs that are folky and triumphant in their simplest attributes. Herman Dune dares us to find reasons to just be glad for sunshine, for being able to swim out there in it without any cumbersome floating devices or life rafts, to just go man overboard and see where the current takes you.