Frankie Cosmos w/ Porches
Gabe’s (downstairs stage) — Thursday, Sept. 25 at 8 p.m.
Thursday night at Gabe’s is going to be a cool, lo-fi affair, with Frankie Cosmos and Porches hitting the downstairs stage for a free show. Their first show in Iowa, these New York home recording enthusiasts have been getting a ton of love from Pitchfork and other online critics recently, as well as a growing cult following. Last night’s performance in Chicago saw the band playing to a crowd that sang along and requested songs — a rarity for them, they say — so make sure you come out and show some enthusiasm.
Frankie Cosmos as an entity has been active since early 2012, when they released the excellently titled album Much Ado About Fucking on Bandcamp. Greta Kline, the project’s main creative force, however, has been releasing music on bandcamp since 2009 under the moniker of Ingrid Superstar. Subsequent releases have been frequent, with new albums popping up almost monthly. Indeed, Kline’s bandcamp page has a bloggish feeling to it, with the songs acting as diary entries as much as anything else.
If their use of bandcamp wasn’t evidence enough, it should be noted that the songs of Frankie Cosmos are extremely personal. The songs are deliberately lo-fi, simple tracks that often fall under the one-minute mark. The group’s first proper physical record, the excellent Zentropy, clocked in at 17 minutes, an epic relative to some of the other releases.
Despite its origins as a solo project, the current four-piece iteration of Frankie Cosmos has certainly fleshed out Kline’s songs while, at the same time, retaining her sense of intimacy. Bassist Gabrielle Smith says, “Greta’s songs are personal, for sure, but playing them so much, they become easy to identify with them myself.”
Drummer (and frontman for Porches) Aaron Maine says that the band has become a family, allowing them to understand the backgrounds to all the songs, to the point that the members regularly appear as characters within songs. Frankie Cosmos is, essentially, a family band — Maine and Kline have been romantic partners for years now, and siblings and other family members of Kline often appear on her recordings.
All in all, Frankie Cosmos is a band that plays intimate, personal songs that feel like they’ve been cut from paper. Even if you’re not familiar with their music, Thursday’s show will be a wonderful introduction. The show will be free, with music beginning at 8 p.m.