Austin Chronicle – Creature Sessions

Texas Platters

girlie action

BY MARGARET MOSER

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?



Austin Chronicle – Naked

from the Austin Chronicle:
Texas Platters
Girlie Action
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.



Women’s Rising – Naked

from www.womensrising.com:


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.



West Coast Performer Review – Naked

from West Coast Performer Magazine:

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)

www.creaturerock.com

-Julia Cooper



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.



Teen drummer off album for now, rocker Parker says

Michael Scott Parker and Karen Spritzer Flores are profiled again by the Gazette, in their ongoing quest for female musicians in preparation for touring.



15-year-old may join Oh My! as drummer

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
Adrian Stanley
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 michael@creaturerock.com.



Best of the Springs

2006-05-19
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!



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