Austin Powell – October 21, 2011
Michael Scott Parker
Creature Rock (Oh My! Music)
With the not-so-distant memory of 2008′s Naked in mind, Michael Scott Parker’s Creature Rock is just as evocative. Her contemporary touchstones are obvious – Tori Amos and PJ Harvey above all – but she’s got a healthy dose of the 1980s brashness that made Patti Smith such an arresting performer (“Breaking All the Rules”). What’s happening in Austin if it can produce a sharp indie rock disc but not support the performer live?
from the Austin Chronicle:
BY MARGARET MOSER
Forget the silliness that accompanies having to explain that Michael Scott Parker is female since her fourth album, Naked, is brilliant and all over the map. From the bare, Tom Waitsian title track and the PJ Harvey-ness of “Good With a Knife” to the opening “Let’s Make Crazy,” Naked runs in a number of directions, provocative and successful in every one.
Michael has been profiled in Temple, a concept magazine of Denver-based fine artist Matthew Paul Corley.
In a series of interviews he showcases artists he feels are truly living the creative lifestyle. You can buy it online, Get a hard copy, it’s easier to share.
To read Michael’s interview click here.
Michael Scott Parker – Naked
This is female rock at a high. Sultry, deep, fast and furious, Michael (yes she’s a girl) Scott Parker, really steams it up on her 2007 release, Naked. Right off the bat, Let’s Make Crazy, jumps in and let’s us know where we’re heading and we want more. Tiny Yellow Leaves diverts to a slower, mid-tempo almost jazzy sound because, “heartbeat’s slowing down now, look at all the tiny yellow leaves,” and is perhaps the only slow point in Parker’s exploration-al journey.
Oh My! Michael Scott Parker – Naked
Produced, mixed and engineered by Michael Scott Parker and John Standish at Pink Elephant Studios in San Francisco, CA and City Tracks Studios in Colorado Springs, CO | Additional production by Barry Wedgle | Mastered by John Standish
Michael Scott Parker must have toddled around the house sans clothes just a bit more often than the average child. Everything about her latest album, Naked, from soul-exposing lyrics to emotive melodies, reveals a free spirit unafraid to strip for artistic expression.
Recently relocated to liberal bastion San Francisco — but seemingly risen from the sea — Parker, AKA Oh My!, proves a new goddess is in town, poised to join the female singer/songwriter elite. Vocally, Parker evokes both Tori Amos’ sultry-smooth rasp and angelic moan, as on the stark chamber ballad “Toy Piano,” and Albini-era PJ Harvey on the title track and “Mi Ute,” where she wields not much more than an electric guitar and a spitting banshee shriek.
Lyrically, Parker comes off as a bona fide muse set to plant the seed of self-expression into all of Earth’s creatures. “Let’s make crazy / it’s time to play,” she beckons enticingly on the rollicking album opener, “Let’s Make Crazy,” luring listeners to join in the fun of breaking loose from life’s cages. Overt feminism permeates other tracks, most notably on the resolute acoustic star “Natural to Me” as Parker asserts, “I’m gonna be the woman to change everyone’s mind … I’m not sure if they’re ready for women like us.”
Parker’s renaissance tendencies — she wrote, performed, produced and designed much of Naked — mostly get the job done. But the handful of guest musicians dropping in with sax, violin or synth, among other instruments, occasionally fail to meld with the staple guitars, creating a disjointed effect. And with such fervent honesty and genre-hopping, from alt-country to folk pop to raw rock, Parker could have trouble tracking down her audience.
But listener beware: though no lions or tigers or bears pop up on Oh My!’s Naked, her charismatic wizardry can grow scary-infectious to even the most unsuspecting ears. (Self-released)
Michael Scott Parker is featured in the concluding Gazette article that was following her musical pursuits.
Original article can be found here.
Springs dream drifts West
By BILL REED THE GAZETTE
May 4, 2007 – 8:25AM
Michael Scott Parker is very, very serious about making it big in music. And so she left town.
The Gazette began following Parker’s career when she moved here two years ago, using her struggles to tell the stories of young musicians trying to make it.
She vowed to form an all-female band called Oh My!, head into the studio, tour the United Kingdom, and “change the face of independent music.”
She enriched the scene here, winning a Peak Area Performances and Artists Awards for best popular music solo/duo from the Pikes Peak Arts Council, exhibiting artwork in the “Victoria’s Secret Service” show at Goede Art Space, and seeing the Ormao Dance Company choreograph a dance to one of her tunes.
But, as it turned out, Colorado Springs wasn’t the ideal place to pursue her dream, and so she recently moved to San Francisco. This is the end of the story for one musician trying to make it Colorado Springs.
“This is just not where I need to be,” she said.
Don’t get the wrong idea. She loved it here. She wrote the best music of her life here.
She found great blues and jazz musicians to inspire her and great producers to help her record an album.
But one necessary resource was missing: rockers who were just as obsessive about the dream as she is, who were ready to leave behind day jobs to play music and were prepared to leave home for months at a time to hit the road.
“I just have not been able to find the musicians who make themselves available to tour as professionals,” Parker said.
“I kept reaching out and reaching out to the female rockers in the area.”
It makes sense, really.
Young rock ’n’ rollers who are dead set on living the dream usually head off to New York or L.A. or Austin or Seattle, to a place where the music scene is thumping and it’s easy to get musicians to line up for auditions.
A healthy scene requires a critical mass of musicians.
The music scene here is geared to blues, jazz and classic-rock cover bands, Parker said, but not original music.
“There’s not a lot of venues for that type of creativity,” she said.
“I’ve been told that in San Francisco they want the weirdest, strangest things in their venues. That’s why people like me move there.”
When Parker advertised for auditions in Colorado Springs for her all-female band, only a few musicians showed up.
She did find Karen Spritzer Flores, a keyboardist and violinist who meshed with her musically. And she found Emily Gould, a teenage drummer with loads of talent.
But Emily can’t play in bars and Flores is understandably tied to a steady income. (Parker’s husband works in the computer industry, giving her the luxury to pursue music full time.)
Parker was wired a bit differently than most of her neighbors.
It goes deeper than the bohemian/cosmopolitan look she sported while zipping around town on her pink scooter, wearing homemade clothes and quirky accessories.
Her mom is a Hollywood stunt woman and Parker grew up hopscotching across the world to movie sets.
Her voice is a cacophony of different accents, and she speaks several languages. She even dreamed up her own language, Euthinethany, and writes her journal in code incomprehensible to others.
Her mom taught her that creating art is a real job, not a hobby — “art and passion and doing what you’re made to do is all that matters.”
And so her perspective is different than most local musicians. They might love it, but it seems unrealistic to live it.
“Here, music is fun for people, but when it becomes work, people can’t see it as a profession,” Parker said.
“I don’t think people are willing to get out of their comfort zones to pursue a dream. Music takes tenacity, it doesn’t take security.”
Parker is undeniably talented. She plays guitar, cello, saxophone and piano, to go with her sensual vocals and a quixotic songwriting style that’s been compared to David Bowie and Ani DiFranco. She prefers weird time signatures to catchy hooks.
Not that she’s bragging or anything, but her bio reads: “Oh My! is frequently the response evoked when hearing the hauntingly mellifluous voice of the uncut indie rock diamond, Michael Scott Parker!”
Dreaming big requires ego.
In San Francisco, she’ll try to break into the indie-rock scene.
She’s going to try once again to assemble a band, although this time she doesn’t care about gender (“I want the best, and I don’t care if they’re hermaphrodite”).
She still plans to tour the U.K. this summer. She’ll try to catch on with a bigger label.
And, if she hits the big time someday, maybe she’ll come back to Colorado Springs to get away from the rock scene and record her introspective album.
Michael Scott Parker and Karen Spritzer Flores are profiled again by the Gazette, in their ongoing quest for female musicians in preparation for touring.
Oh My! is profiled in the Colorado Springs Gazette, in their continuing quest for musicians and stardom. Interesting news about a young session musician.
Original article can be found here.
15-year-old may join Oh My! as drummer
June 23, 2006 – 12:00AM
I’ve been writing periodically about local rocker Michael Scott Parker’s efforts to put together an all-female band.
In my May 19 Tune Town column, I told you about Parker’s partnership with Karen Flores, a local singer-songwriter-keyboardist-violinist. The duo is calling itself “Oh My!”
Parker still wants to add a drummer or bassist to the band before it embarks on a European tour in the summer of 2007.
“I’m trying to find women who want to go make history with me,” Parker tells me.
Well, you can’t ignore history. So I’ve decided to follow Parker in this pursuit, and I’ll report on it in a series of installments.
Here’s the third:
Michael Scott Parker is chipper — even more chipper than usual.
Her face aglow, her long skirt and tank top paired with bright red lipstick, she looks every bit the glamourous star she aspires to be. She glides around her home near Cheyenne Cañon, smiling and doling out cups of rose tea. For Parker, things are good. Scratch that. They’re wonderful.
“Things are really working out for me in a way I hadn’t expected,” she said.
She and Flores had their first performance together at the V Bar in downtown Colorado Springs on June 4. The two pulled it off beautifully. The night was sprinkled with little bits of drama — a duet between Parker and her visiting stuntwoman mother, a midshow phone call from the duo’s promoting manager in Scotland, and a contract for Flores, cementing her as a permanent member of Oh My!
“It was pretty cool,” Flores said of the show.
Parker feels like she and Flores are ready for the world, and that’s a good thing, especially because Parker recently confirmed dates for the group’s 2007 European tour. They’ll play shows overseas from May 20 through June 23.
In preparation, Parker and Flores are recording an album they hope to release in January. That means even more work for the duo — who already put in six- to eight-hour practices several times a week. Parker and Flores say they’re ready for it — even excited about it.
In more good news, Parker may have found a female drummer. Emily Gould, 15, isn’t old enough to join the band and play to bar crowds, but she may be talented enough to be a studio drummer for the group’s album.
Gould stopped by Parker’s house for an interview and audition June 9. Tall and a bit shy, with innocent blue eyes and a neat ponytail, Gould looks like an average teenager. But behind a drum set, Gould stands out from her peers. She’s been training on the drums since she was 9 and told Parker she aspires to be “the best female drummer ever.”
After all, she said, “There’s not that many of them.”
Gould, who is homeschooled, said she has plenty of time for the band. Her parents are supportive of her musical aspirations, and though she has trouble concentrating on schoolwork, she’s dedicated to the drums. She admitted that she may have to overcome a bad case of claustrophobia before she packs herself and a drumset into a tiny, windowless studio, but she seemed willing to challenge herself.
A grinning Parker and a beaming Flores were even more impressed when Gould began to play her drums.
Gould is creative and focused, and she picks up new songs quickly. The Oh My! women were especially impressed when Gould nailed the rhythm for the quirky “Good With A Knife” on her first try. Gould had never heard the song, yet she waded through its odd rhythms with veteran skill.
“She did take instructions very well, and when I told her to get creative, she did,” Parker said after the audition.
So, Oh My! may have found a drummer to add zest to its album, but Parker’s still on the lookout for a permanent rhythm section for the band. Check www.creaturerock.com under “Events” for more about the job, and e-mail Parker at email@example.com.
In a completely unexpected turn of events, Michael Scott Parker has been mentioned in the Colorado Springs Gazette‘s “Best Of The Springs”! Pulling down the award for Best Local Singer-Songwriter-Artist-Pilates-Instructor!!!
Thank you, Colorado Springs!
The Colorado Springs’ Gazette sat in on one of Oh My!‘s rehearsals, and spoke with Michael Scott Parker and Karen Spritzer Flores about the progress of Oh My!
Michael Scott Parker, eccentric singer-songwriter, has officially welcomed Karen Spritzer Flores into Oh My!, making the venture a duo.
April 14, 2006 – 12:00AM
In my last Tune Town column, I told you about local rocker Michael Scott Parker’s efforts to put together an all-female band.
Parker will call the band Oh My, and is planning a European tour for summer.
“I’m trying to find women who want to go make history with me,” she tells me.
Well, you can’t ignore history. So I’ve decided to follow Parker in this pursuit, and I’ll report on it in a series of installments. Here’s the first:
AUDITION NO. 1: Friday, March 31
Singer-keyboardist-violinist Karen Flores is about to arrive at Parker’s homey abode.
Parker has been anticipating this moment — her first audition — and aesthetically speaking, her presentation is nothing short of welcoming.
Two dogs — one huge and clumsy, one small, blind, and adorably manipulative — wander the kitchen, where a pot of rose tea is ready to boil.
In her bedroom, the blond artist-musician-Pilates-instructor sits on a cozy blanket-draped ottoman next to an open glass door that lets in fresh Cheyenne Canyon air. She has arranged a small table and a few chairs around the ottoman, and collectively calls the nook her “European cafe.” Today, the cafe will serve as a setting for her interview.
“This is a very serious project,” she tells me. Parker expresses the syllables sternly, as though trying to overcome her normally light-hearted demeanor.
Flores arrives. Slender and pretty with green eyes and long, dark ponytails, she carefully drags her equipment into Parker’s living room and takes a seat in the cafe. Parker works her ruby-red, Betty Boop lips into a smile and switches on her tape recorder.
The interview process for Parker’s soon-to-be band, Oh My, is a bit, well, involved. Parker swears she’s not a control freak; she just wants this to be phenomenal.
Parker crafted a series of tests: a professional interview (How are you at being in costume?), a personal interview (Do you take birth control?), two Polaroid photos and a musical audition.
Parker pulls out her list of carefully considered questions and begins quizzing.
How much time will Flores have to spend on the band?
Well, Flores works 40 hours a week as a waitress, but says, “If I have something to work for, I’m willing to kick my own ass.”
“What are your not-so-likable qualities?” she asks.
Definitely the stage fright, Flores says, but she’s working on it.
Does Flores have any computer skills?
Flores can use a computer, but she’s no Web designer.
Parker’s eyes flare mischievously. “How are you at having pyrotechnics strapped to your body in a Las Vegas-style costume,” she asks, raising a quizzical eyebrow.
Parker’s facade busts and she laughs at her own joke.
She knows she can be intense, but there are a lot of problems that can come up in a band, and she’s planning strategies to avoid most of them. For instance, members of an all-female band will end up having their periods at the same time, she says, and she doesn’t want a bunch of hormonal discontent spelling the end to her dream project.
Following the interviews, it’s clear from Parker’s glowing face that she’s pleased. She likes this one.
The two ladies head to the living room to play music.
Parker suggests they play one of her songs, “Let’s Make Crazy.”
It’s a bit choppy at first, but Flores is quick to pick up the rhythm and pace.
They’re an interesting pair. The sexually charged song brings out the ham in Parker, who struts around suggestively and howls seductively in the mic. Flores, obviously battling some nerves, lays low and concentrates on her playing.
“I missed your cue. Sorry,” Flores says sheepishly.
“No, I thought that was a very good first go,” Parker says, her voice patient and encouraging.
Flores struggles a bit on the keys, but she performs beautifully on violin for the slower piece, “Tiny Yellow Leaves,” and her playing on the gypsyfeeling “Renegade Cowboy Dreams,” sometimes edges on authoritative.
Parker wants to hear Flores’ original material, but rather than play it, Flores offers to grab a tape out of her car. There’s a very Tori Amos/ Fiona Apple feel to Flores’ work; it’s richly textured and patterned with Flores’ impassioned vocals. It’s very good.
Parker is ecstatic. “I love it!” she says, beaming. “This song we would definitely do.”
Parker is a mess of ideas now. She wants to work with Flores for a month and if everything goes well, Flores will be the first member of Oh My.
But for now, Parker is getting ready for a trip to Scotland on April 9, where she’ll be scouting venues for Oh My’s summer European tour.
With the history of modern music being written in her head, Parker bids Flores goodbye and scoots off.
The Colorado Springs’ Gazette is now following the searchfor new band members for Oh My!
Stay tuned as local musician builds her band
March 24, 2006 – 12:00AM
A great band is a miracle of chemistry — a perfect concoction of musical talent, taste and timing. Perhaps more importantly, a great band is the result of a lot of hard work and a hefty load of luck.
Don’t take our word for it. Local musician Michael Scott Parker has been trying to recruit a band for months. She’s determined to gather the perfect musicians for a permanent band before this summer, when she and her new group will tour Europe.
So far, she has a few maybes from friends and acquaintances, but advertising and asking around haven’t yielded much interest. Parker wants to assemble an all-female indie-rock band. She wants at least two musicians, a drummer and another artist who can add unique flair.
If you’re interested in joining Parker’s band, e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about Parker and hear samples of her music, check her Web site at www.creaturerock.com. The Gazette plans to track Parker’s progress to give readers a firsthand look at what it takes to assemble a band in our area.
Michael Scott Parker gets mentioned not once, but twice in November’s Scene in the Springs insert in the Springs Magazine! Once for the TESSA show at Cedar’s and once for winning the PAPAA award.
Amidst the swirl of the GAS show, Michael Scott Parker is profiled in the Cheyenne Edition.