February 29, 1996 |
Philadelphia's longest-running rock 'n' roll party is finally calling it quits. J.C. Dobbs, the South Street landmark where George Thorogood, Nirvana, Green Day, Smashing Pumpkins and Pearl Jam got their local start, will close in late April. The spot will be reborn under new management as the Pontiac Bar and Grill, where acoustic music will be the side dish, not the main event. Dobbs owner Kathy James said: "I don't think the '90s have been what the '80s were. There are neighborhoods like Manayunk and 2nd Street that are hotter.
March 14, 1991 |
Darden Smith's songs snap and crackle and pop. On Tuesday night, Smith flicked his wrist down hard on his acoustic guitar and did some quick picking; percussionist Paul Pearcy stood behind his downsized drum kit and shifted the tunes into higher gear. J.C. Dobbs was packed, and toes were tapping. Smith's small-town songs came off with plenty of pluck, and it was a good thing, because their sprightly delivery made it easy to look past the holes that sometimes show up in the Austin, Texas, native's writing, supposedly his strong suit.
November 20, 1986 |
Performing at J.C. Dobbs on Tuesday night, the Raunch Hands exhibited the irreverence that makes them great. Their well-executed interpretation of soul and rhythm and blues songs makes them unique among bands today. In the 1984 independent release that brought them to prominence in New York, the Raunch Hands acknowledged a debt to Bo Diddley and other early rock- and-rollers. Although other groups were lost mimicking the earlier sounds of the genre, the Hands seized the raucous spirit of the founders and injected it back into the music.
April 20, 1990 |
The Chills, the New Zealand group that played a focused, propulsive set at J.C. Dobbs Wednesday, are an uncommonly smart pop band. Leader Martin Phillipps has a huge vocabulary, but he doesn't sling words purposelessly and he rarely allows his taste for Romantic song-poetry to get in the way of his winding, infectious melodies. His bandmates - 17-year-old drummer James Stephenson, bald bassist Justin Harwood and keyboard player Andrew Todd - give Phillipps' morbid rants the sometimes ghostly, sometimes bristling treatments they need.
November 17, 1989 |
Twelve of the area's leading musical acts will perform Sunday during the sixth annual Children's Hospital benefit at J. C. Dobbs, 304 South St. The event is staged in memory of Donnie Tedesco, who operated Dobbs in partnership with Kathy James prior to his death on Nov. 19, 1984. Scheduled to perform, starting at 6 p.m., are Robert Hazard, Kenn Kweder, Blues Man Willie, Johnny O and the Classic Dogs of Love, the Dukes of Destiny, Jamison Smoothdog, Winkle and the Wanderers, Jack Quigley and His Only Friend, the Darrows, the Tom Gallagher Band, the Wild Brothers and VHF. Traditionally, there is a jam after the regular performances.
July 3, 1995 |
Current modern-rock staple Green Apple Quick Step is one of the more promising candidates in the less-than-promising genre known as "modern rock. " On Friday, the Seattle quintet, concentrating on material from their latest album, the mostly forgettable Related (Medicine), began a series of appearances in Philadelphia before a midsized, enthusiastic crowd at J.C. Dobbs. (The group will appear Friday at the Khyber Pass Pub.) The playing of guitarists Steve Ross and Dan Klempthorne and the unassuming vocals of bassist Mari Anne Braeden gave energy to the brief set at Dobbs.
December 15, 1994 |
Not since Nirvana and Pearl Jam played their first Philadelphia gigs has the local buzz for a rock act been as strong as it was for Jeff Buckley, who made his area debut at J.C. Dobbs on Tuesday. Amazingly, Buckley lives up to the hype. He's a rare alternative-rocker with an appreciation for pop history - both distant and recent. During his riveting, hour-long set at Dobbs (the same venue that brought Nirvana to town), the sound of the classics collided with the contemporary as echoes of Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin merged with those of the Smiths and the Cocteau Twins.
September 25, 1990 |
Yo La Tengo is more than a rock critic's favorite, it's a rock critic's band. Co-led by Ira Kaplan, a scribe for assorted downtown Manhattan weeklies until he and drummer Georgia Hubley decided to do it for themselves, the Hoboken, N.J.-based group has a deeper record collection to dig into than most. Or at least it sounds that way. Eleven of the 16 songs on the mostly acoustic quartet's latest album, Fakebook, are cleverly chosen covers. John Cale's "Andalucia. " Michael Hurley's "Griselda.
March 5, 1991 |
On the northwest coast of Scotland, there's a place where palm trees grow and tropical flowers bloom. The Gulf Stream brushes the Scottish coastline there and keeps it warm and humid, while bringing the rain that becomes cold and dank before it falls on industrial Glasgow. Sunday at J.C. Dobbs' late show, the Trash Can Sinatras brought along a bit of that balmier part of Scotland. With a sound that was sunny and bright - and by turns brisk and languid - their gentle pop was as unexpected as an orchid in flower at latitudes north of Moscow.
July 22, 1995 |
It's great to see another woman enter the punk/pop arena with a guitar in hand and something to get off her chest. It's equally heartening when that woman has the mature perspective of a 31-year-old. But concerts aren't built on good intentions. Jennifer Trynin and her band just didn't measure up at J.C. Dobbs on Thursday night. High expectations for the show were largely due to Trynin's debut, Cockamamie (Warner), on which the Bostonian spares us none of her hurt feelings and plays some rugged electric guitar.