Creature Rock

Creature Rock

 Austin, Texas, USA
BandRockSinger/Songwriter

Uncut indie rock diamond, Michael (girl) emanates celestial star power with rhapsodies of all original creature rock. Award winning songwriter/performer. "Seemingly risen from the sea-Parker..a bona-fide muse set to plant the seed of self expression to all of Earth's creatures." West Coast Performer

Band Press

Impulse for Stardom – Colorado Springs Gazette

Impulse for Stardom
By J. ADRIAN STANLEY THE GAZETTE
March 26, 2005
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.

Springs Dream Drifts West – Colorado Springs Gazette

Springs dream drifts West
By BILL REED THE GAZETTE
May 4, 2007

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.

Album Review - Naked – West Coast Performer

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