Revolutions in Synth-Punk at Club Khameleon

Ryan deBiase

Parsley Flakes subversively challenge authority

Maria Jenkins, front, and Jeff Tucholski make up the synthesizer-driven punk duo, Parsley Flakes. The group performed at the ECC in September 2005. MEGHAN GAURILOFF | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: Carl Schierhorn

“If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be in your revolution,” said Maria Jenkins of Parsley Flakes. The quote referenced feminist activist Emma Goldman.

Parsley Flakes is a Kent-based masked duo. The group layers subversive lyrics over poppy, synthesizer-driven dance rhythms. At Parsley Flakes shows, the crowd dances while Jenkins and fellow Parsley Flake Jeff Tucholski sing of revolution.

The band’s show Saturday is a benefit for the Northeast Ohio women’s magazine Epitome.

“We have a strong feminist message and a strong anti-capitalist message,” Kent State graduate Jenkins said. “Our lyrics are simple, but we make those lyrics subversive with catchy tunes that you can dance to.”

The band is influenced as much by political movements as it is by music. The group draws heavily on the theories of feminism, anarchy and anti-globalization to make its statement.

Parsley Flakes dons bright red masks to emphasize the subversive nature of its live show.

“The masks have a lot to do with our politics,” Jenkins said. “In a lot of situations, it’s useful to have a mask to protect your identity.”

When the duo is on stage, they change identities to the pseudonyms “Papa Parsley” and “Foo Foo Flake.” The aliases and masks give the group a superhero quality.

“I’ve always loved Batman,” senior geography major Tucholski said. “I love the idea of the masked vigilante who comes in and smashes up the evil-doer.”

Both Jenkins and Tucholski have been members of the Kent activist community for the last four years.

Parsley Flakes’ lyrics are insurgent but not heavy-handed. The band does not thrust its ideologies upon the audience.

“We don’t want to be preachy,” Jenkins said. “We want people to have fun.”

Parsley Flakes

Playing with Troubadours of Devine Bliss, The Long Haul, Rememberings, Rachel Roberts

Where? Club Khameleon

When? 10 p.m. Saturday

How much? $5 suggested donation

Parsley Flakes encourages creativity and change. Jenkins and Tucholski thrive in the atmosphere of artistic expression. The band tries to break from the apathetic nature of pop music to create a unique experience.

“It’s always been about creativity from all these bands that don’t want to take a stand against anything,” Tucholski said. “We’re all about making new channels of expressions.”

Parsley Flakes has developed a fan base in the Kent area, mostly playing shows at the ECC. Last weekend, they embarked on a “mini-tour,” as Jenkins called it, to Chicago and Detroit.

“We played for a Chicago political group called Critical Mass,” Jenkins said. “It had a good political vibe and was in an art gallery – totally our scene.”

The freedom of artistic expression is what drives Parley Flakes’ lyrics. Musically, it is driven by synthesized keyboards and punk guitar.

“Parsley Flakes have always been about creativity as a force for freedom,” Tucholski said. “A free creative act can liberate you, and I think it has for us. A lot of people have really responded to that.”

Newcomers to Parsley Flakes’ live shows should expect a unique blend of political ideology and catchy tunes. Parsley Flakes hopes for its audience to have fun and come away with something more.

“We want people to remember not only our songs,” Jenkins said, “but the messages that are in them.”

Contact ALL correspondent Ryan deBiase at [email protected].