Local Wire

Parenthetical Girls @ Trunk Space

Seeing Parenthetical Girls for the first time, via their Bergman-esque video for "A Song for Ellie Greenwich," induced the same chills I got when I saw Devo's TV debut on SNL — a smart, robotic band of art students is taking familiar pop music motifs, running them through a shredder, and reassembling what comes out the other side. It hardly matters that the aforementioned song doesn't even reference the beloved songwriter but quotes and mangles Bacharach and David's "(They Long to Be) Close to You" and mixes chamber pop with chop-shop percussion. Parenthetical Girls want you to know there's a link to the Brill Building in their experimental sound, even if it is twisted to the breaking point. On that same album (2008's exceptional Entanglements), they covered "The Windmills of Your Mind," and you could almost hear the mental machinations of "a circle in a spiral like a wheel within a wheel," as if the strings were connected to pulleys. Fans waiting for a full-length follow-up are being treated to a limited-edition EP called Privilege, with four different covers, each a portrait of one of the four members and hand-numbered with a drop of his/her blood. And still they had enough energy for a Parenthetical Girls Save Christmas EP!