Posies Press Round-Up

The Posies appeared on Seattle’s 107.7 The End last week – check out their session here, with performances of “The Glitter Prize” and “Licenses To Hide.”

The Line of Best Fit asks Ken & Jon the same questions in separate interviews, for an interesting take.

Extensive interview with UberRock.

Jon talked to MTV music book club Jerzy Kosinski’s “Being There”

Jon shares the inspiration for the title of BLOOD/CANDY with Stereo Subversion:

It’s actually kind of from a poem by this guy named Thax Douglas. He’s this kind of local poet in the Chicago area that would come to rock shows and he would write poems for the bands about the bands at their performances. One of the phrases he used to describe us was something about blood candy. I think he was talking about how there is this totally sweet, harmonious side to what we do, but also there’s a lot of passion. There’s also more of a darker undercurrent than just maybe what the melodic, harmonious side might imply.

Spinner covers what to expect on the upcoming tour, and the Philadelphia Examiner asks about influences behind the new album.

Spanish-language interview from the Heineken’s website.

Gail Worley reviews BLOOD/CANDY as her ‘Rad CD of the Week’, and UK Music Review gives it 9/10

Stereogum premieres the first single “The Glitter Prize,” and it’s also featured on Spin’s October playlist.

End Of Week Update: June 6th, 2009

  • New shows added this week:

    7/16 – Ken Stringfellow DJs Arola Nights @ Arola Restaurant @ Hotel Arts. Barcelona, SPAIN
    10/28 – Ken Stringfellow @ Club Castro, Skopje, MACEDONIA

  • Ken has joined Twitter – follow his updates @KenStringfellow.
  • Magnet asks artists to name their favorite American power pop songs, and Chris Walla (of Death Cab for Cutie) chose “Solar Sister.” Here’s what he had to say:

    It’s their finest moment, the perfect balance of bombastic, tricky cheapness and vocal creme fraische. I can’t understand half the words, but it doesn’t seem to matter that much. I learned more about singing harmonies with this record in my car than I did in three years of choir.

  • Also in Magnet: ‘Frosting On The Beater’ makes their list of Top 15 American Power-Pop Albums, and they’ve republished a 2002 article on the subject of power pop, with comments from Ken.
  • Press for next weekend’s shows in NY: The New Yorker & Ken is interviewed by the Brooklyn blog 24/Seven.
  • Not Lame and American Songwriter review ‘Smoking Kills’.
  • Lastly – Ken is playing with The Sad Knights in Lauzerte, France tonight, and the show will be streamed online at La Grosse Tambouille, 23h France time.

Posies Shine ‘Light’ On New Album

Featured on billboard.com

Seattle-based power pop veterans the Posies will break a seven-year new album drought with “Every Kind of Light,” due Tuesday (June 28) via Rykodisc. The 12-track record would appear to have been a long time in the making. But according to co-frontman Jon Auer, its actual recording was a lightning-quick process capping a half-decade of the band’s adventures in limbo.

“We’d actually officially broken up after ‘Success’ in 1998 and called it a day,” Auer tells Billboard.com. “We actually decided it was over before making that record. Then we toured it and said good night.”

Read the rest here.

Drowned In Sound reviews ‘Every Kind Of Light’

Every Kind Of Light
by The Posies on Rykodisc
Release date: 28th June 2005

Never ones to fit snugly beside their early ‘90s Seattle playmates, The Posies were instead the band that was most overtly committed to reproducing the sublime jangly guitar pop of Big Star. The songwriting partnership of Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow injected louder guitars and even more power-pop sensibilities into their music, but their infatuation eventually led to head ‘Star Alex Chilton recruiting them for his band’s ‘reunion’ tours.

‘Every Kind Of Light’ sees the duo back in the driving seat and picking up pretty much where 1998’s sultry ‘Success’ left off. That’s maybe slightly untrue: parts of ‘Every Kind…’ sound like a return to the meatier rock of their mid-‘90s work, it’s just that those songs don’t sound as convincing as the gooey AOR pop evident on ‘Love Comes’, for example. ‘Second Time Around’ has a sledgehammer guitar riff, but it’s not much of a song. Anyway the Posies were always better at being a pop band than a rock band, right?

But there’s that niggling term: AOR. Because, despite the one or two stabs at youthful exuberance evident here, this is an AOR album through and through. Even Teenage Fanclub, who have settled so deeply into their own wistful groove they may well be growing roots, come over like a carefree Gen X update of The Byrds. The Posies now spend their time obsessing over the stifling American condition; the evils of corporations, George WB, consumerism (remember they were burnt by giants DGC themselves), but as with Bruce Springsteen’s faux nationalistic tirades, it’s hard to hear past the glitz and gloss. It’s lucky at least that they’re good at it.


Shatner album released October 5th, plus another review

This time Shatner has teamed up with Ben Folds (Ben Folds Five) for what he states are “…thoughts and experiences of mine that very few people have heard before.” He adds, “I wanted to share them with my loved ones.”

Recorded in Folds’ Nashville studio, Has Been features eleven tracks with select songs featuring Folds (also on piano), Henry Rollins on “I Can’t Get Behind That,” Aimee Mann, Brad Paisley, and Lemon Jelly. The band includes guitarist Jon Auer (The Posies), bassist Sebastian Steinberg (Soul Coughing), and drummer Matt Chamberlain (Tori Amos, Fiona Apple).

Click here for a tracklisting and more info.

Another Soft Commands review – ‘Stringfellow Avoids Soft Rock Stigma’

Billboard reviews Soft Commands

Ken’s third LP implements the lush, gauzy hue its title suggests, seemingly embracing more of a kinship with the first Christopher Cross album and Don McLean’s “American Pie” than the Posies’ “Dear 23” on tracks like the piano-heavy “Known Diamond,” “Cyclone Graves” and the gorgeous intro “You Drew.” However, a closer listen to this album will also find Stringfellow exorcising his recent obsession with reggae on “You Become the Dawn” and its subsequent dub plate “Dawn of the Dub of the Dawn.”

Stringfellow is one of the most underrated songwriters of our generation, and while “Touched” may still remain his all-timer, “Soft Commands” could most definitely be considered his textbook.

(read more)

Stringfellow masks often bleak message

The Washington Times reviews Soft Commands.

by Scott Galupo

Mr. Stringfellow sings his heart out, giving the illusion of contentment. Really, he’s singing about merely the concept of love, the promise it holds of making one humble and “less than useless.”

Less than useless: It’s far from walking on air, but it’s credible. The satisfying thing about “Soft Commands” is that Mr. Stringfellow so easily juggles both the high and the low, the miserable and sublime of being useful – that is, in love.

(read more)

‘Still on the verge’

The Oregonian reviews Soft Commands.
For all his considerable gifts, Stringfellow’s big break has proved elusive.

“Soft Commands” sounds like the work of a man attempting to correct for this fundamental error in judgment. It’s Stringfellow’s first disc with properly large-sounding Singer-Songwriter Production, encompassing a dozen new songs written in locations around the world — New York, Stockholm, Paris (Stringfellow’s occasional home, after marrying French girlfriend Dominique Sassi) — and reflecting the restlessness that characterizes his tireless work ethic.


For all its sonic clarity, the boldness of the production doesn’t serve the songs well. For every “Cyclone Graves” (Stringfellow’s best song since the Posies’ 1993 “Frosting on the Beater” album), there’s also “Don’t Die,” a maudlin meditation on suicide set to a Squeeze-style backing track that fails to capture any of Stringfellow’s typical charm.


(read more)