Tag Archives: Legendary Dobbs

@ Legendary Dobbs 3/8/13

There was prog if you wanted it, along with old-fashioned hard rock and some contemporary styled music as well at The Legendary Dobbs on Friday.

NYC’s Changing Modes, winners of the 2012 M.E.A.N.Y Fest competition, played with 2 new members since I last saw them (video  at Millcreek Tavern, Philly, 2011). In the drummer’s seat is Timur Yusuf, and on guitar is Denise Mei Yan Hofmann. Tonight’s show appeared to focus on material from the last 2 albums, and a few from “Down and Out in Shangri-La” 3 albums back. As always, Wendy Griffiths commands, and the effort is flawless. The chemistry seems good between everybody, and every note rehearsed well. it’s the little things that make the difference: the triangle, theremin (yes!), a coy Wendy donning pink sunglasses briefly in one song. I recall a song toward the end that was very insistent, almost had a Pixies feel to it with a solid lead/bass guitar bed underneath. Chris Panico of Once They Were became an instant fan. Wendy obliged by handing him a tambourine to participate with offstage.



Next up for this unique-sounding band is a Japanese performance showcase in Brooklyn tonight, then an International Pop Overthrow showcase in Manhattan on 5/5.
 Wooden Hez are Dave Pittone on vox/guitar, Alan Lee on bass, Stu Needel on drums. Alan’s powerful bass leads the charge with this local hard rock band. Dave’s strong, gruff voice helps to shape the band’s own sound. The songs seem filled with sad characters. They are playing small to mid-level venues locally, and are about to invade the South in April.
What’s a Nord doing in a jam-oriented rock band? Ask the man who owns one, or just go listen to Big Wake, who welcome this keyboard as one of their own. This Jersey City band has already made neighboring cities NYC and New Brunswick familiar ground. Tonight they played maybe 7-8 songs. They average about 5.5 minutes per song on their s/t album. Being fans of 90’s alternative and 70’s classic rock, they bridge the best of these worlds with a professional delivery. Much dancing ensued through the set. I chatted with James Rosenthal, who’s nephew Gerry is the lead guitarist and vocalist ( James, himself, is in an local alt-country band called Clarksville)
Once They Were, led by vocalists Chris Panico and Kate Coyne were reviewed in a prior post. Tonight was much the same fare, somewhat tamer than the other acts. They covered Nena’s “99 Luftballoons” and included a segue into The Buggles “Video Killed The Radio Star” on their last song. The bartender played up the choice of song, claiming that barely anyone in the audience would remember MTV’s first ever video from 1982. I find it interesting they have a penchant for New Wave music despite not sounding quite into that genre.
 Spotted in the audience were 2 members of the band Zer0 (who were part of Changing Modes’ billing in 2011 in Philly) (URL, anyone?), other friends of Changing Modes, and also Ron Bauman of Connie’s Ric Rac and The Discount Heroes.
And, oh, aren’t we a pair? Wendy and I, post-gig.

@ The Legendary Dobbs, 1/25/13

I attend a rock showcase on Friday night among modest winter temperatures. With the lack of a fierce wind, and with the snowfall just ending in mid-afternoon, the roads were somewhat passable, and I found my commute relatively easy, trudging up South Street.
I was to interview electro-rock artists Alex Kelly, who was to play an unplugged set with Kelsey Warren (Pillow Theory). Neither artist showed up. I haven’t received definite word as to why just yet. I know they are based in NYC and I have to wonder whether or not the travel or weather advisory warnings were enough of a threat not to make the trek in. As I type this, I’m planning a Skype interview with Alex. She’s scheduled for gigs in New Hampshire tonight (1/26) and the Jersey shore (1/27)

It appears that all the Philly kids who grew up on grunge are now finding their voices and applying the same sounds and techniques.  Such is the case with The Good Excuses. They kicked off song #1 with an original that recalls Smashing Pumpkins. Then a 50s cover which I positively cannot recall at this moment. Every song contained some humorous banter from lead vox/guitarist Andrew. He produced some chime-like sounds from one of his pedals, another nod to 90’s guitar bands. Generally they keep to a pop structure and find space to jam a bit, get progressive with some solos, and show off some humor amidst the lyrics.

Once They Were are a 5-piece (electric guitar, bass, acoustic, backing vocalist, drummer) led by vocalist Chris Panico. Drummer Anders tells me that they each met while attending the city’s University For The Arts. Chris and Kate (vocals) come across fairly low-key, delivering in a sing-song style. My favorite song of their set is Broken Headphones, which could be attributed to squabbles or disagreements at about any age. Indeed they pretty accessible in their sound; it appeared that a lot of their fellow students were in attendance. They only truly rocked out on the final song, perhaps to placate those who were seeking to be sufficiently rocked.

The Parachuting Apostles were headliners bringing a good loud rock sound with elements of metal, punk, and classic rock. Domenic Malandro leads this band on vocals and assorted antics. He was present on guitar for a Stone Temple Pilots cover (more grunge!) and performed sax on an original. Very exciting band, whose members find easy to be nearly as animated as Domenic himself. They recorded their new 3-song EP at the legendary Studio 4 in Conshohocken. Will Yip, in the producers chair had worked on albums there by The Hooters, Schooly D., Ms. Lauryn Hill among the notable there.

More photos at my latest Facebook gallery

Radio Crystal Blue 12/2/12 news

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NEXT SHOW will be published on or about November 28 and will be available
for about 1 year. Remember, even if you miss hearing a show the week I
record, you can always find it within the FeedPlayer’s archive of older
shows. Owing to schedule demands, I usually publish on Wednesdays or as soon
as possible thereafter. You will hear music in several segments of top
indie/DIY/underground songwriters and bands.
RCB Novus Ordo will also air separately. On this show I spin one song from
8 songs in one sitting and give you background info of each artist.

Each week through my January shows I’m airing tracks from The 1861 Project, a series that touches upon the Civil War experience. We’re up to Volume 2: From The Famine To The Front. This collection of original music recalls those families with Scottish and Irish ties who fought in the war. From the liner notes “Every singer, player and writer on this album has a strong connection to Ireland, by ancestry, birth, or just by heart”. More about this fascinating series at www.the1861project.com

Down to 3 more shows, and 2 more of RCB Novus Ordo. There is still room to have holiday music by artists you know or work with to be aired on the final show of the year, set for the week of 12/16. Anything appropo for the time of the year (doesn’t have to be Christmas) will be considered.
TWITTER FIVE TO FOLLOW: @PettyVendetta @chasegassaway @JordanFWhite @derekrydall @DeJaVooDoo101
COVERAGE: 3-4 times a month I go out to Philly-area gigs to do photos, some
video, and a write-up on my website afterward. I do this for free, tho at
some point in the future I might want to barter this work or be simply paid.

NEXT shows I’m covering:
12/11 possibly seeing Yarn at Milkboy Philly www.yarnmusic.net

12/29 Ray G. Ward @ Milkboy Coffee in Ardmore
REVIEW of last night’s show at Legendary Dobbs: http://t.co/fSeJcfV6
REVIEW of the 11/23 GoGirlsMusic event at M Room:
VIDEO of Theopolis James: http://youtu.be/xJ40lgqcunw
VIDEO of Grown Up Avenger Stuff: http://youtu.be/_mkIrZtR5Tc
RCB REVIEW from this week’s shows:
RCB Novus Ordo: Brian Dolzani returns to my airwaves after a number of years with a tender ballad. The acclaimed Bern & The Brights are also heard on this program with polished acoustic pop. Edith Crash in this segment, checking in from France (tho I couldn’t possibly pronounce any titles). Freddy Hall, plus Flashbulb Fires are two acts I first met at The Grape Room earlier in the year.

RCB proper: Water and dreams, two subjects that come up in the first segment in most of the songs. Both Flo Anito, and Katie Collins & The Backroads Band perform in Washington DC’s Downtown Holiday Market during the holiday season. Segment 2: Good Co., with their unique brand of ‘electro swing’ can be heard here. Ki & The Arrowtooth Waltz is an older project Kevin McWha Steele. Segment 4 had a real reflective tone, with songs about the moon (Jean Mann, Mark Erelli), and the only way to close my final show for November, Craig Sonnenfeld’s “November’s Song”.


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Dan Herman
Radio Crystal Blue
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@ Legendary Dobbs 11/29/12

A modest audience was in place to see 5 solid rock acts at The Legendary Dobbs on Thursday. Upon invite from Ted Bunch of Theopolis James, I came early to see the opener and stick around for everyone else.
Kiernan McMullan, on tour out of Nashville, was that opener, playing with a fair amount of loops, a high emotive voice, and a beautiful cherry red guitar. His performance style was rather quiet and reflective. I recall one song referencing a man who never traveled outside his home state. His album Two Years, released earlier in the year, speaks to a concept regarding the very nature of life on the road, as if you were watching a documentary unfolding on disc (or download, if you prefer).

Theopolis James did the rock thing all over the stage, playing all the songs from their album “A Different Kind Of Evil” plus one new song. Just about everyone attending loved the grooves, and the vocals. Johnny Zero, a friend and bandmate of Ted’s in a side project of the latter, was in attendance, and, like myself, was around for just about the entire night. He was situated at front at times enjoying the action on stage.
DSCF2680 DSCF2648

4th Line Revolutionary played a somewhat shorter set than the others….or maybe they just played a lot of short, punky songs? They have just started performing this summer, very animated on stage, and some excellent modern rock. They are quite busy invading the Delaware Valley with a sound that may remind one of late 80’s-early 90’s punk-pop. Their logo evokes The Ramones’s classic coat-of-arms logo, tho with a turkey in focus. Hmmmm
Leiana fronts a 4-piece band on twin lead guitars, bass, drums. They all sport punk looks and serious hard rock chops from each member. This is a relatively new lineup for Leiana,who recently added Julia T on bass and Sean Bombz on guitar. I feel like I’ve seen them all on stage before in other bands around the city. The songs are edgy, a bit more so than I remember them from what I heard on their Reverbnation page. My favorite song of theirs, which I believe they did play, is “Love Don’t Matter”, which should be required listening for fans of Joan Jett.
Closing the event were indie-rock band Terrible Friends (South Jersey), with vocalist Vin Dammann wearing an Atlantic City cap for much of the show, and some sort of message on t-shirt. He gestures on stage with his strumming hand at times in each verse. I love the tone from lead guitarist Rich Ealer’s instrument; I’m told it’s a Schechter. At times their sound recalled more of those 90’s rock grooves, especially from shoegazers like Ride. Funny coincidence here: The band covered a Ryan Adams tune. Earlier in the night, there was another Ryan Adams cover, which I believe Kiernan did.

Someone else who played on South Street:

After the shows:

Lots more photos in the latest Facebook gallery