Parslow Builds Musical Bridges from Nippertown to…

Kristen Parslow
Kristen Parslow

Can’t we all just get along?

Maybe with the help of low-key, DIY local music promoter Kristen Parslow we can. She’s put together a show on Saturday night that features Atlanta’s the Nerd Parade with a pair of fine local bands – Sea of Trees and Rain in Spain. The show gets underway at 8pm Saturday at Franklin’s Tower in Albany.

Parslow is big on local talent. “I was impressed with the Albany scene and all the support this town offers to the arts. So I felt obligated to step up,” she explains. “Bands are put off, intimidated or insecure about setting up gigs. We had an incredible opportunity to use this to our benefit with all proceeds going into the pockets of the people with the talent and skill. I have never asked for a dime.”

That said, she isn’t one of those let’s-keep-it-strictly-local types, a pervasive attitude that can often stunt the growth of a local scene. Instead, she matches local talent to regional bands. “We make connections,” she says simply. “One way or another – old friend, friend of a friend, doing a search on MySpace – I would contact the out-of-towners and ask them if they were interested in coming to this area. I’d set up and promote the show.

“Now we have a network. Now we can send our bands to them, and they’ll return the favor. I link the bands together, and watch the bonds form at the shows. This is why I do this.

Nerd Parade
Nerd Parade
“This specific mix was a bit of a challenge,” she admits. “Typically, I start with the out-of-towners and then build a show. This time, specifically, I’ve known a member of Atlanta’s Nerd Parade for many years. And I hope that Sea of Trees and the Rain in Spain would compliment their sound. And vice versa.”

Parslow isn’t working all by herself. Poster graphics for the show are once again skillfully provided by Emily Armstrong. And SoT are loaning their gear to the other bands to make for efficient between-band changeovers.

The Nerd Parade is a trio that is not without prog-rock leanings – a gene splice of Adrian Belew and Primus, but not exactly. It’s been said that Nerd Parade has a “sound that is hard to describe, but easy to listen to.” They’ll likely be showcasing some tracks from their upcoming third album, “Daylight Saving Time,” due out in three weeks. And, really, you’ve got to like a band that parodies King Crimson’s “Red” album cover for their promo photo.

Our own Sea of Trees has earned some nice accolades for their imaginative, moody music in 2009, including a nod as best new band from Metroland. SoT is currently working on a follow-up to last year’s well received debut full-length album, “Animal Sounds,” in the hopes of showing further growth in 2010.

Rain in Spain (photo by Andrew Franciosa)
Rain in Spain (photo by Andrew Franciosa)
Rounding out the bill is Rain in Spain, a self-described “nice band.” Nice, but certainly not uninteresting, they’re perhaps the most eclectic blend of multi-instrumentalists and lilting female vocals of the night. The Albany quintet makes fine, fine music, sometimes serene but spiked with occasional rambunctious moments. Another of RiS claims is “2/5 of us wish we were in Otis Redding’s backing band, 2/5 of us are moon people from under the sea and the other 1/5 is
super-cute.” You’ll have to decide for yourself just who’s who…

The talent is mighty, the location is Franklin Tower and, despite being one of those music-as-an-after-though venues, they do land their fair share of hip shows. Come early and get some food before the show as well – great entrees and burgers.

Story by Matt Mac Haffie

  1. Matt Mac Haffie says

    I spell my name Danger!

  2. Sara says

    I just caught this, right as you posted your comment. Greg’s not getting enough coffee.

  3. Matt Mac Haffie says

    Neither did Jimmy Smits on this mornings West Wing rerun – so he’s in good Company

  4. Greg says

    Oh hell, I’m getting plenty of coffee – just not enough sleep…
    Sorry, Matt.

  5. PJ says

    It is nice to see that someone is stepping up and showing some interest in our arts and talents. You go, Kristen, keep up the good work. I’m glad to see the mix and hope it continues. Great work!
    I don’t want to leave anyone out that may have come forward in getting this show going, Good Job! guys and gals.

  6. Matt Mac Haffie says

    I’d like to buy a vowel.

  7. LiLi says

    Greg says:
    May 14, 2010 at 3:49 pm
    Oh hell, I’m getting plenty of coffee – just not enough sleep…

    I think you need a vacation from the computer…

  8. Deirdre says

    Went to the show Saturday night – great performances by all. RiS started off with a nice blend of instrumentals – the flute complimented very nicely. The Nerd Parade was out of town talent – and that it is was indeed! Amazing bass player, and guitarist – awesome talent! Enjoyed the out-of-towners. SoT – as always brought the night to a good end. Great show – Great Job, Kristen!

  9. R.M. says

    We started Albany At Night almost [only] 3 months ago. To help artists, poets & musicians as well as nightclubs get the word out to the masses in a far better way by using social media tools like facebook as well twitter to help support & give poets, artists, musicians, groups & their collectives a place where they can get their events & shows out to the public and also where they can all work together and unite to create even more diverse multi media events in the area & beyond. After many years of doing events it became clear that with expensive ads & media that there was a more productive way, a grassroots DIY way to change things and turn it all around. Again, thanks for also believing in & being a part of that same revolution!

    R.M. Engelhardt
    Albany at Night

  10. Eugene Falco says

    This has got to be one of the most well written articles I have read, Good Job Mr. Mac Haffie!

Comments are closed.