Carolyn Mark with the Priscillas at the Horseshoe, August 27. Tickets: $8. Attendance: 250. Rating NNNN Rating: NNNN
To me, Priscilla Beaulieu Presley will forever be the blond Jenna Wade on 80s soap Dallas - a much more important role, in my opinion, than the one she played as the wife of Elvis, which only lasted a year longer (1967-1973) than her soap stint (1983-1988). As Jenna, at least Presley had a presence of her own.
So it takes a few minutes to get the reference made by the black-wigged, retro-clad women on the Horseshoe stage Friday night who call themselves the Priscillas . At least I think I get it, but there's still this sneaking suspicion that maybe I'm missing something.
The shtick feels pretty dated, and I'm left wondering why so many all-girl rock bands have to rely on novelty. Still, the Priscillas play a fun set of rock 'n' roll that suits the dresses perfectly. When headliner Carolyn Mark , launching her third record, The Pros And Cons Of Collaboration, joins them onstage, the scene is set for good times ahead.
Mark (aka the other Corn Sister) is an adorable, quirky ball of energy with a powerful voice and a fabulous stage presence.
While Neko Case toodles around with her Boyfriends, Mark is backed by her New Best Friends (formerly known as the Roommates), an apropos name for the wildly talented band of boys with whom she has an awesome rapport (at least onstage; for all I know, they can't stand each other the rest of the time).
The Friends whip through a set of good-time Canadian country tunes as Mark wisecracks all the way through. She's funny and witty, a refreshingly prolific lyricist who avoids pretty much all the worst country clichés. When she sings about how she could never date a guy who drinks white wine, you totally think, "Yeah, me neither!"
Without an iota of posturing or irony, Carolyn Mark and her New Best Friends are a joy to watch and listen to.