When Frankie Cosmos played the Blue Room at Sarah Lawrence College on Nov. 1, her shirt said “dog lover.” A love of canines is something that ties the band’s members together. Frankie, whose real name is Greta Kline, has a tattoo of her dog Joe Joe’s name. Her canine friend made it onto the closing track (“Sad 2”) and the cover art of her first studio album, Zentrophy, which came out in March 2014.
While Frankie Cosmos is Kline’s stagename, Frankie Cosmos as a band is comprised of four members including Kline. Brothers Aaron and David Maine, who perform as Ronald Paris and David Mystery in Frankie Cosmos respectively, and Gabby Smith, who is Gabby Teardorp in the band, each have their own dog stories too. The brothers have stick and pokes of their dog’s name – Duncan. Smith does not have a dog tattoo, but her old dog was, ironically, named Frankie.
Kline chose to use a moniker, Frankie Cosmos, partially due to her music’s confessional nature. “What I like is that it is that it’s really personal music,” explained Kline, “but it’s not ‘I’m Greta and this is how I feel’ necessarily. It’s scary for someone to be like ‘oh Greta, this is how you feel about your dog.”.
The added layer of dual identities also creates a repertoire for the listener. Since it is not clear who is confessing, Kline or Cosmos, the pressure is gone, “People can relate to it and project their own feelings onto it. I really value people telling me they relate to this song or that song. It’s always nice,” said Kline.
Zentrophy is seventeen minutes long and includes ten songs. Kline has a reputation for short and sweet. The Blue Room was no exception, and her set was both simplistic and concentrated. She played for about forty minutes total, but the room was full of energy. SLC band Chuchgoer, comprised of Nadine Pearson (‘16) and Lily Desmond (‘16), played as an opener. Frankie Cosmos was booked through the Sarah Lawrence Activities Council.
Kline, who goes everywhere with her hair in two braids, plays guitar with her eyes closed through the entire set. Her stage demeanor of shy yet insightful girl with a guitar was well received among students.
Hannah Rothpearl (‘17), said, “The first time I went to a Frankie Cosmos show in Brooklyn it was a euphoric experience. This one was no different, if not even better. I had an absolute blast. If I had to describe the show in one word that word would be blissful.”
“I thought it was one of the more welcoming events. Everyone wanted to eat my funyuns,” added Kurt Santana (‘16), while Erik Abrahams (‘15) said, “The black hole dancing group hug was very cosmic.”
Kline, who has “been in a rock band since sixth grade,” also performs as Frankie Cosmos in Porches, which Aaron Maine fronts as Ronald Paris. The two bands are mostly composed of the same members “Frankie Cosmos” is a nickname that Maine gave Kline; the two are currently dating. They play different music from one another but both of their worlds merge together sonically as their characters intertwine on various adventures together. Frankie Cosmos and Porches have just finished a joint headlined tour where they played in 28 different places all over the country .
Zentrophy, which Pitchfork gave an 8.0 rating, is named after a word Kline made up during the project’s creation. Said Kline, “Entropy is the world's slow descent into chaos, and ‘zentrophy’ is my approach to making music. It’s a slow descent into having a chill attitude.” Not only chill attitudes, but dog stories, added to a fun Blue Room event for SLC students Saturday night.
by Sarah McEachern '17
photos by Rachel Eager '17