Porches to Play Falstaff's

Posted by Jesse Shayne

Brooklyn-based freak-folk five-piece, Porches, will be hitting the stage at Falstaff's on Thursday, March 20. The event is sponsored by WSPN and Lively Lucy's. It kicks off at 8 p.m.

Porches released their debut LP, Slow Dance in the Cosmos, last September, which was well received by the music blog world. The self-proclaimed "bummer rock" group toured extensively after the album debuted, playing numerous shows throughout the US and Europe.

While the band owe much of their success to lead singer and songwriter, Aaron Maine, who has a voice and a presence well beyond his years, all five members certainly contribute to the group's unique sound. Bassist and backup singer, Greta Kline, who has a budding solo career of her own under the moniker Frankie Cosmos, delivers powerful vocal harmonies with Maine. The two have been dating since shortly after Porches formed in 2011, a fact often referenced in their songs with allusions to the counter-egos they have created for one another: Ronnie Mystery (Maine) and Frankie Cosmos (Kline).

Although Maine's lyrics are rather dreary, he delivers them with charming conviction. The band's texturally rich and at times surfy sound is conducive to Maine's lazy drawl, which is often used to reference outer space, depressing truisms and simple days that Maine and Kline have spent with one another. Maine favors minor chords and haunting fingerpicked progressions on some tracks, although others have simpler electric guitar melodies.

Slow Dance in the Cosmos proves to be a highly diverse album, with songs varying from the ethereal church organ-backed "Franklin the Flirt," to the upbeat "Skinny Trees," which features a heavily distorted lead guitar and a steadily danceable bass line. Despite each track's distinction, the songs come together to provide a cohesive feel throughout the 10-track record. There is a different keyboard tone in almost every song, but while some feature a drum machine and others a live drummer, one can hardly tell the difference.

While this is Porches's first release through a label, it is certainly far from being the only record Maine has put out in his 25 years. He has released three other albums with the group in its various forms, as well as a few releases under the name Aaron Maine and the Reilly Brothers.

Maine's prolific output is surely a testament to his musical abilities, which were honed at SUNY Purchase, a school known for its music scene. The majority of his other music is even slower and more melodic than Slow Dance in the Cosmos, but proves to be just as charmingly depressing. However, Porches is only playing songs from the new album on this tour. 

Don't let the slow songs dissuade you from attending the show; the band is known for its high energy live performances, departing so drastically from the recorded versions of their songs that they are almost unrecognizable.

Given the absence of a Big Show this semester, Porches's performance is definitely not one to miss. Skidmore's own punk group, Mugsy Boges, will open the show following the release of their second EP, Good Liver/Blur, last month. The event is free for Skidmore students and will feature $3 beers for those who have a campus event card. 

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