Springs Dream Drifts West

springs-dream-drifts-west

Michael Scott Parker is featured in the concluding Gazette article that was following her musical pursuits.

Original article can be found here.

Michael Scott Parker of Oh My! in Colorado SpringsSprings 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.

For more information about Michael’s language Euthinethany, click here.


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