Very Sad and Very Sweet

Monk Parker

Monk Parker
Monk Parker

Familiar things are sometimes best interpreted by strangers. International musician Monk Parker knows this better than anyone. Splitting his time between the states and the U.K., Parker’s music is influenced by his English mother — an avant-garde, minimalist sculptor — and his more traditional American father.

Parker comes to Eugene in support of his band’s latest release, How the Spark Loves the Tinder. The record features diverse instrumentation ranging from trombone to organ. “It’s all very, very slow,” Parker tells EW, describing his sound as “very sad and very sweet.”

Parker says that a lot of his material is based on ’50s chords, and more specifically “Everly Brothers chords, but we play at very high volumes with lots of feedback. It’s kind of like if the Velvet Underground were playing Everly Brothers songs.”

“My dad was like a back-to-the-land redneck,” Parker continues. “He was heavily influenced by country and Western and early soul music. There’s a lot of that downhome soulful stuff.”

Parker describes his mother’s tastes as upscale and urban, “jazz and classical and so on.” He also mentions the unique machismo of the English ska movement inspiring his work. “Rumbles and pit bulls,” Parker explains.

But ultimately, Parker’s work explores England’s longstanding love-hate relationship with all things Americana.

Parker stops in Eugene supporting minimalist, lo-fi indie-folk and criminally underrated songwriter Small Houses, aka Jeremy Quinton, who makes a second local appearance at Sam Bond’s Garage.

Small Houses and Monk Parker play 8:30 pm Sunday, Sept. 6, at Sam Bond’s; $6. 21-plus.

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