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.
For more information about Michael’s language Euthinethany, click here.
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.
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!
For more information, visit the Events page…
Original article can be found here.
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.
By J. ADRIAN STANLEY THE GAZETTE
March 26, 2005 – 12:00AM
If local musician/singer/artist Michael Scott Parker hadn’t been born, novelist Tom Robbins certainly would have created her.
Looking as though she barely escaped the clutches of some artistic cult, the fresh-faced bohemian wears red lipstick and parades around in a state of whirlwind excitement over each of her creations: a canvas covered in leather with an antique door lock attached to it; a bit of acoustic melody with saxophone; a baby doll covered in an array of small, found objects posing to hold a cello bow.
Parker has the attention span of a cocker spaniel with ADD and the passion of Don Juan.
Robbins, known for his angst-ridden female protagonists, would love this stuff. There’s Parker’s eclectic Colorado Springs home — evidence that her frequent artistic hurricanes have been only slightly tempered by a need for domestic order. There’s her bewildering history — the globe-hopping daughter of a stunt woman, Parker grew up among directors, actors and artists. And there’s her most striking feature, her spontaneous and engaging nature — conveyed by the intensity she commits to each word that comes from her mouth.
At the moment, Parker is talking about her obsession with music therapy, for which she went to college, and which she once thought would become her life’s work.
“I said, ‘What I want to do is be a voice for God,’” she says, obviously quite affected by the memory of this past love. “I hope that my album is healing to people. I hope it’s something that they put on when they’re not feeling good or when they’re feeling happy. That’s my therapy.”
Since moving to Colorado Springs from South Carolina three months ago, Parker has been signed to the small, independent label Exit Records and has begun work on her third album. This one will be a bit more rocking than the usually acoustic-leaning, sweet voice Parker is accustomed to.
A willowy 24-year-old with engaging blue eyes, Parker is a flexible artist. She enjoys creating paintings and assemblages, as well as dance and, of course, music.
With three walls of windows, the back room is the brightest spot in the house. It is home to Parker’s instruments, her recording equipment and an assortment of posters — Prince, PJ Harvey, “Night of the Living Dead.”
Before producer Barry Wedgle discovered her performing at the V Bar on Kiowa Street, Parker did her own recording. Now, after nine years writing and performing music, Parker says she’s ready for the big time.
“I want to make money playing music,” she says. “I feel if I keep working as hard as I’m working, that’ll just happen.”
She’s working her tail off writing songs intended for TV shows and movies, and recording her new album — which means a lot of time in a Colorado Springs recording studio, with a very enthusiastic producer.
“I feel like we have to capture this thing,” Wedgle says. “She’s ready. She’s ripe for a project. Her songs, I think, are really good.”
They expect to finish the album by mid-June, and the project may be distributed nationally.
Charles Lawson, owner of the V Bar, said he was impressed by Parker’s music, and even more so by the fans. “The one night she did play was the only Wednesday night that we had to turn people away at the door because we were so crowded,” Lawson said.
With the popularity of indie rock, the time is right for Parker’s style, a sometimes calm, sometimes rowdy sound with poetic lyrics and exquisite, hollow-sounding vocals.
Parker has not deserted her penchant for the weird. Besides the often metaphoric lyrics, there is her distinctive sound. Parker plays cello, piano, guitar and saxophone. She’s considering using all these instruments on her third album, which features electric guitar and a backing band of mostly jazz musicians.
“I’ve had trouble in the past finding people to play my sound because it’s really, really different,” she says. “I kind of paved my own way.”
In her living room, Parker’s stereo is playing a bare-bones version of a song that will be on her new album. “I love the lyrics to this song!” she says. “It says, ‘Art’s not a splendor, I make it up all the time!’”
Incidentally, Parker’s sparsely furnished living room doubles as a dance studio. Parker attended dance school in Italy and still enjoys dance as means of exercise, relaxation and self-expression.
“I kind of decided I didn’t want to be a ballerina,” she says. “I wanted to be wild and play rock ’n’ roll!”
When she’s not rocking, Parker teaches Pilates to small groups of women twice a week. “With my Pilates classes, they have to be my guinea pigs with (my) music,” Parker says. “They’re real honest.”
Parker’s artwork is on display throughout her mazelike abode, creating visually-captivating passageways that act like a tour of her inventive mind. She enjoys painting and also likes constructing assemblages — three-dimensional modern art forms of screen, metal, homemade paper, leather, cloth, beads and found objects. The artwork covers her walls and occupies countertops in various states of completion.
Parker’s stunt-woman mother also was an artist — she painted in a Victorian style, concentrating on portraiture.
But it was her career on movie sets that had the most effect on Parker.
“I basically grew up on movie sets all over the world,” Parker says. “I didn’t have any normal school career.”
In fact, she never spent more than two years at a single school and was home-schooled for a long stretch in Italy.
That’s why Parker’s two dogs respond only when she coos at them in Italian.
And why Parker felt so free to follow her artistic whims.
“I was never told that being an artist or a musician wasn’t a serious job,” she says. “People (would) say, ‘What do you want to do?’ and I said, ‘I want to sing and dance.’”
And paint, construct, play instruments and teach Pilates.
Sure, she’d make a great Robbins character, but it would seem a shame to paint all this colorful energy in black and white.
CONTACT THE WRITER: 636-0276 or
Michael Scott Parker is arranging art shows and concerts for herself. Events are posted on her Web site, www.creaturerock.com, as scheduled.
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