by Chris Estey
Parenthetical Girls are set to play Sunday, September 6th, at 3:30 PM in the EMP Sky Church.
At this point, it looks like this will still happen — although sublimely talented PG Rachael Jensen just lost her mother in a car accident after a family reunion in Idaho. That the band is still considering performing is more evidence that they are one of the hardest working DIY bands around. No matter what their decision, they are worth noting for being in the Bumbershoot line-up. If they fail to show, or if Everett-raised founder Zac Pennington chooses to perform stripped down with just a couple of the other musicians, there will still be nothing but adoration and support from their Seattle hardcore fans that fly their flag high.
I am one of those fans, to an almost embarrassing degree. Parenthetical Girls’ Entanglements album was my favorite album of the past year and I still play it regularly. When the band plays live they use a sparkling minimalism (spritely little bits of percussion, stray keyboard ambience, a drum beat or two, some scratch guitar) that seems as if they’re creating pure magic out of almost nothing, elements of style out of resonant substance. The 2008 album had full blown epics based on peak sensual experiences and lost faith, worship of soul songwriters and elegant novelists. It is only mockable in that it is so honest, challenging, and attempts so much with known forms.
For my money, Pennington is currently the best lyricist in pop music, and his collaborators create the sort of music that creates a bad reputation for its courage yet a place in history for its refinement.
Love and healing thoughts to Ms. Jensen and here’s a salute to the band no matter what. I have to admit, I am truly hoping to see PG at Bumbershoot, if they can make it.