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The Posies

the posies, the posies frosting on the beater
The Posies are an American power pop group The band was formed in 1987 in Bellingham, Washington by primary songwriters Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow They are best known for their radio hits "Golden Blunders" from Dear 23, as well as "Dream All Day", "Solar Sister" and "Flavor of the Month" from Frosting on the Beater

Contents

  • 1 History
    • 11 Early years 1986–88
    • 12 Major label years 1989–97
    • 13 Return to indie label, compilation albums and solo projects 1997–2001
    • 14 Comeback and Every Kind of Light 2001–09
    • 15 Blood/Candy and Solid States 2010–2015
    • 16 Solid States 2016–present
  • 2 Musical style and influences
  • 3 Members
  • 4 Discography
    • 41 Studio albums
    • 42 Compilation and live albums
    • 43 Singles and EPs
    • 44 Compilation and soundtrack contributions
    • 45 Singles chart positions
  • 5 References
  • 6 External links

Historyedit

Early years 1986–88edit

Core members Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow began writing songs together in late 1986 while Ken was in school at the University of Washington Auer later recalled in an interview that "we first met at a Dan Reed Network show; we were united in feeling we could do that stuff much better ourselves, the two of us" Their first public performance came as an acoustic duo that next summer while Ken was home in Bellingham During the last part of 1987 and the first two months of 1988, Ken drove home on weekends to join Jon as they recorded twelve songs in Jon's family's home studio Though intended as demos to attract other members and form a full band, the recordings turned out so well that they became the Posies' first self-released album, Failure Interest in the Posies rose out of the numerous home-copied cassettes that began to spread around Seattle and Bellingham

Mike Musburger and Arthur "Rick" Roberts joined soon after, allowing the band to play its first live shows in Seattle and Bellingham The four members moved into a house in the University District of Seattle, where they developed many of the songs that would appear on later albums Failure was released on vinyl near the end of 1988 on local indie label PopLlama with one song dropped

Major label years 1989–97edit

Several major labels noticed the band early on and in late 1989 they signed to new Geffen Records imprint DGC Records They chose John Leckie to produce their first album for the label and Dear 23 was released in August 1990 "Golden Blunders" reached No 17 on the US Modern Rock charts Ringo Starr covered the song for his 1992 album Time Takes Time

Upon returning from an extensive US tour, the Posies thought they were ready to record their third album They headed to Robert Lang Studio in Shoreline, Washington, in late 1991 and recorded many of the songs they had been working on over the past two years Among the recordings were three songs written and two of them sung by bassist Arthur Roberts Jon and Ken later decided that Roberts' songs didn't fit with the band and asked him to leave The entire recording session was later scrapped and is referred to by fans as "the Lost Sessions" Roberts went on to front the bands Peach on Caroline Records and Sushirobo on Pattern 25 Records

The remaining members spent the next few months developing new songs, then in early 1992 began recording their third album with Don Fleming After completing what they thought was their new album with the title Eclipse, Geffen sent them back to the studio in the latter part of the year to record a few "hits" Dave Fox joined to play bass for the last of the "Hit Sessions" and the name then changed to Frosting On The Beater and was released in April 1993 Leadoff track "Dream All Day" enjoyed some success on US MTV and alternative radio, becoming their biggest hit #4 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart, leading the band to an extensive tour of the US, Europe, and Japan Due in part to rumors of a break-up Dave left the band in 1994 to join the Seattle band Flop

During a later European tour, a fight between Ken and Mike prompted Mike to leave the band Mike then joined long-running Seattle punk band The Fastbacks, and was later a member of both Love Battery and Supersuckers

In late 1994, Brian Young took over on drums and Joe Howard AKA Joe Skyward, Joe Bass played bass Joe had earlier filled in on bass for a few shows after Roberts left in 1992 It wasn't long before the band again entered the studio to begin work on a fourth album Originally using the working title What Color Is A Red Light, the bulk of Amazing Disgrace was finished in the first few months of 1995 Once again, the label wanted more hit material so they sent the band back to the studio near the end of the year where they recorded "Ontario" Amazing Disgrace was eventually released in May 1996

Faced with a changing radio climate and fans who longed for the smoother sounds of Frosting On The Beater, the Posies found less success with Amazing Disgrace in the US than with their previous album The album fared better in Europe though, and led to it selling better worldwide than any of their previous efforts

After spending most of 1996 and the early part of 1997 on tour in the US and Europe, and making an appearance in association with their former record company Popllama to perform "Voyage of The Aquanauts" in the Ocean Exploration episode of Bill Nye the Science Guy, the band returned home and shifted focus to other projects outside the Posies Ken played a new batch of solo songs around the US and released his self-recorded first solo album, This Sounds Like Goodbye Jon joined Seattle band Lucky Me as lead guitarist, Brian began drumming with Fountains of Wayne, while Joe began work on an album under the name Skyward All of this solo work caused many to wonder if the Posies were finished as a band

The Posies also performed with Burt Bacharach on a recording of his song "What the World Needs Now Is Love," which was featured in the 1997 movie, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery

Return to indie label, compilation albums and solo projects 1997–2001edit

In late 1997, they came back together to play a small number of live shows, many accompanied by rumors of being the "final show" Instead, the band returned to the studio with the intent of writing their last chapter by rerecording a dozen unused older songs Success was released in February 1998, again on the local PopLlama label A tour followed, including a return to Europe It was on this tour that the live album Alive Before the Iceberg was recorded Upon returning, they played their real "final" shows in September, one in Seattle at the yearly Bumbershoot Festival and another in San Francisco

The Posies performing at the Apolo in Barcelona in October 2008

In 1999 the Posies played a low-profile benefit show in honor of their longtime roadie and friend Joe Norcio Jon and Ken spent the rest of the year focusing on their solo work Ken formed a band called Saltine with Blake Wescott, where Ken's quiet solo songs were transformed into loud and powerful rock The band recorded an album together late that year, but Ken later decided to break up the band and re-recorded the album with the help of studio musicians Touched was given the unfortunate release date of September 11, 2001 Meanwhile, Jon formed a band of his own, known as the Jon Auer Band or the Jon Auer Experience He released a pair of EPs and began work on a full-length album, which would be released in 2006 as Songs from the Year of Our Demise

Jon and Ken came back together in early 2000 for a one-off acoustic show in Seattle, which was recorded and released as In Case You Didn't Feel Like Plugging In The show went so well that they decided later that year to put together a large tour of the US, Europe, and Japan Upon returning from the tour, they filled 2001 with a mix of solo work and a handful of live Posies shows played in support of the Nice Cheekbones and a PhD EP, which was recorded the previous year

Also released in 2000 was a four-CD box set composed almost entirely of unreleased demos, outtakes, and live tracks from throughout the Posies' career Created mostly to satisfy fans, At Least, At Last showed many previously unseen facets of the band The same year, DGC Records release Dream All Day: The Best of the Posies, a compilation with songs from the band's major label years and some b-sides and covers

Comeback and Every Kind of Light 2001–09edit

After playing drums in Jon's band, Darius Minwalla took over on drums for the Posies in early 2001 That summer, Matt Harris of Oranger replaced Joe on bass The new rhythm section quickly learned the band's back catalog in time for a US tour that summer The band played together sporadically over the next two years Though comments in interviews suggested a desire to write new songs with the new lineup, new material didn't show up in live performances until 2004 They wrote and recorded a new batch of songs relatively quickly and Every Kind of Light was released in June 2005; its songs "Love Comes" and "I Guess You're Right" are included as sample music tracks in the release of Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system A tour of the US and Europe lasted through the end of the year A brief Japanese tour was scheduled for the summer of 2006 In 2008 Ken and Jon undertook a Posies 20th anniversary tour, playing several shows as a duo in the US and Europe

Ken remarried and now lives in France with his wife and child, though he travels often to play with the Posies, Big Star, REM, as well as playing in support of his solo albums He was, as of 2008, vocalist in the band The Disciplines, the rest of whose line-up are previous members of the Norwegian band Briskeby The Disciplines joined REM on their European tour in 2008 as a warm-up, and their song "Yours For Taking" was included on a CD with songs selected by REM for the March 2008 issue of Q magazine1

Blood/Candy and Solid States 2010–2015edit

The band released their seventh studio album Blood/Candy on September 28, 2010 The album was recorded and mixed in Spain and their hometown of Seattle, with stops in Ecuador, Canada, Paris and Los Angeles2 The album release was followed by an extensive European tour in late 2010

The reformed Big Star, which featured Auer and Stringfellow alongside musicians Jody Stephens and Alex Chilton, came to an end in March 2010 when Chilton died following a heart attack3 In late 2013, The Posies played several shows, performing Amazing Disgrace in its entirety with the line-up from that era In August 2014 the band reunited again, but with Darius Minwalla on drums and Joe Skyward on bass On May 21, 2015, Minwalla died suddenly in his home in Vancouver, BC

Solid States 2016–presentedit

The band's eighth album, Solid States, is due to be released on April 29, 2016 on British indie label Lojinx in Europe4 The first single, "Squirrel vs Snake," was released on March 3, 2016, and an extensive month-long European tour begin March 294 Frankie Siragusa, who contributed to the album, will be the touring drummer5

On March 26, 2016, Joe Skyward died from cancer

Musical style and influencesedit

The band has been compared to The Hollies due to their vocal harmonies and Big Star due to their songwriting Ken's solo albums have been the more experimental of the band's side projects, while Jon's solo releases reside more in the power pop traditioncitation needed Both Auer and Stringfellow have been very active in producing other artists in between Posies and solo projects

Membersedit

Current
  • Jon Auer – guitar, vocals
  • Ken Stringfellow – guitar, keyboards, vocals
  • Frankie Siragusa – drums touring member 2016–present
Past
  • Rick Roberts b Arthur Roberts – bass guitar, vocals 1988–91
  • Mike Musburger – drums 1988–94
  • Dave Fox – bass guitar 1992–94
  • Joe Skyward b Joe Howard – bass guitar 1994–99; 2013–14; died 2016
  • Brian Young – drums 1994–98
  • Darius "Take One" Minwalla – drums 2001–14; died 2015
  • Matt Harris – bass guitar 2001–10

Discographyedit

Studio albumsedit

  • Failure PopLlama Records, 1988
  • Dear 23 DGC Records, 1990
  • Frosting on the Beater DGC Records, 1993
  • Amazing Disgrace DGC Records, 1996
  • Success PopLlama Records, 1998
  • Every Kind of Light Rykodisc, 2005
  • Blood/Candy Rykodisc, 2010
  • Solid States Lojinx, 2016

Compilation and live albumsedit

  • Dream All Day: The Best of the Posies DGC Records, 2000
  • Alive Before the Iceberg Houston Party Records, 2000
  • In Case You Didn't Feel Like Plugging In Casa Recording Co, 2000
  • At Least, At Last Not Lame, 2000

Singles and EPsedit

  • "Golden Blunders" DGC Records, 1990
  • "Suddenly Mary" DGC Records, 1991
  • "Feel" / "I Am the Cosmos" PopLlama Records, 1992
  • "Going, Going Gone" DGC Records, 1993
  • "Dream All Day" DGC Records, 1993
  • "Solar Sister" DGC Records, 1993
  • "Flavor of the Month" DGC Records, 1993
  • "This is not The Posies" Elefant Records, 1993
  • "Definite Door" DGC Records, 1994
  • "Ontario" DGC Records, 1996
  • "Please Return It" DGC Records, 1996
  • "Everybody is a Fucking Liar" DGC Records, 1996
  • "Start a Life" PopLlama Records, 1998
  • "Nice Cheekbones and a PhD" Houston Party Records, 2001
  • "Conversations" Rykodisc, 2005
  • "Second Time Around" Rykodisc, 2005
  • "Squirrel vs Snake" Lojinx, 2016

Compilation and soundtrack contributionsedit

  • "Smash it Up" on Another Damned Seattle Compilation Dashboard Hula Girl Records, 1990
  • "Going Going Gone" on the Reality Bites Original Motion Picture Soundtrack 1993
  • "Open Every Window" on DGC Rarities, Vol 1 DGC Records, 1994
  • "Coming Right Along" on Basketball Diaries Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Island, 1995
  • "King Midas in Reverse" on Sing Hollies in Reverse Eggbert Records, 1995
  • "Throwaway Live" on Hype! The Motion Picture Soundtrack Sub Pop Records, 1996
  • "Richie Dagger's Crime" on A Small Circle of Friends: A Germs Tribute Album 1996
  • "Christmas" on Just Say Noël
  • "Limitless Expressions" on Home Alive - The Art of Self Defense Epic Records, 1996
  • "Tomorrow We Are Not Alone" on Together We Are Not Alone Japan Relief Compilation Thistime Records, 2011

Singles chart positionsedit

Year Title Chart positions Album
US Hot 100 US Modern Rock US Mainstream Rock UK6
1990 "Golden Blunders" - 17 - - Dear 23
1993 "Dream All Day" - 4 17 - Frosting On the Beater
1994 "Definite Door" - - - 67 Frosting On the Beater

Referencesedit

  1. ^ Asp, Marius January 22, 2008 "REM digger The Disciplines" NRK Lykverdet Norway 
  2. ^ Sachs, Tony July 12, 2010 "Power-Pop Legends The Posies To Release Blood/Candy, Their First New Album In Five Years" Huffington Post Retrieved 2015-06-26 
  3. ^ Hurley, Rachel September 21, 2011 "Big Star with John Davis – Live Tribute at The Levitt Shell Now Available Digitally!" The Vinyl District Archived from the original on 2016-03-18 
  4. ^ a b "The Posies announce 8th album Solid States" Lojinx March 3, 2016 Archived from the original on 2016-03-18 
  5. ^ "The Posies: Solid States" Lojinx March 18, 2016 Archived from the original on 2016-03-18 
  6. ^ Roberts, David 2006 British Hit Singles & Albums 19th ed London: Guinness World Records Limited p 432 ISBN 1-904994-10-5 

External linksedit

  • The Posies
  • Allmusic guide entry for The Posies
  • RollingStone Album Reviews
  • Voyage of the Aquanauts via YouTube
  • The Posies on MySpace

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