Marc & the Casuals and Persephone's Bees Jam for the SF Food Bank at Hemlock Tavern

Categories: Last Night
Romana Machado
Mark Eitzel and Bart Davenport performing at the Hemlock Tavern last night
Marc & the Casuals
Persephone's Bees
December 29, 2010
@ Hemlock Tavern

More fun than: Same time next week, likely as not. 

Last Wednesday's fundraiser for the S.F. Food Bank at Thee Makeout Room being memorably cheery and psychedelically Dickensian, I put my hand up at once for the sequel. We arrived at this Polk Street grogshop at the appointed hour of eight-freaking-thirty and the door informed us the music would come at 9:30. He indicated the underpopulated bar and, if I were still a practicing alky, I would've heard Virgil Shaw w/ Peacock Gap and the Wagoneers, even with my face one ear up on the mahogany. 

As it happened, however, we were back at about 9:15, well into Persephone's Bees' dynamic and too-brief set. There were barely thirty people spread over the long crawlspace of the performance area, and singer Angelina Moysov's antic energy was clearly rubbing off. She looked bright and chipper, warning "I'm about to sing about sex!" before rolling out a tune titled (what else?) "Sex," which snaps, crackles, and crunks just like the stuff you've heard on MTV, with even a magpie's lift of Ravel's "Bolero" thrown in. "Independence Day" is also new and a power anthem Moysov threw down with warm precision, like she was playing mumblety peg with her heart.

Romana Machado
Persephone's Bees
It didn't take long for Marc & the Casuals to plug and lean into what as finicky a set of ears as mine recognized as bomb-ass revue-grade R&B, surpassing last week's kozmik bar-band act with an assortment of stone-cold brilliant reworkings of Larry Jones' "Funky Jaws" and Sly & the Family's "Sing a Simple Song." "Wichita Lineman" again caught me by surprise and the pass at Roxy Music's "Love is the Drug" allowed vocalist Bart Davenport a few antic gargles. Angelina came out to sing "Son of a Preacher Man," taking that Dusty Springfield standard straight to arctic Soulsville. Her vocals on "Dear Prudence" were shimmering and coolly effective. 

Romana Machado
Bart Davenport and Angelina Moysov
The official finale was a ferocious take on P-Funk's "Testify," but calls for one more fetched Mark Eitzel, who grinned monstrously and crooned his way through Bill Withers' "Lovely Day." A call for singer Jason Morgan went up, but he'd already gone home, so an end was declared from the stage at about a quarter 'til midnight. There was much disappointment of the kind you hear out of otherwise happy people. The lights went up and I saw many of the same people from last Wednesday, looking in much the same pie-eyed state. 

I wish we could do this every week.

Overheard: "Anyone who wants to sing along in A-flat minor, you just do that shit."

Random notebook dump: "You can't really do this kind of thing without sounding at times like Murph & the Magic Tones." 
Romana Machado
Bart Davenport

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