Nice cheekbones and a Ph.D – 2001

By Ken Stringfellow, Press release from Houston Party Records, 2001

“Everybody is a fucking liar.” Hey, that’s what we said. Two years after we said it we said we’d never play together again. Did you think that we considered ourselves exempt from our earlier statement? Hell no. So, lying, cheating, drinking, swearing and gambling bastards that we are, we have turned our breakup inside-out into not one but two of the most productive years of our career. Make that three-1999 saw the release of Alive Before the Iceberg, the Posies full band live document, on Houston Party; 2000 saw the release of Dream All Day: the Best of the Posies on Universal; In Case You Didn’t Feel Like Plugging In the Posies acoustic live document on Casa Recording Co.; and At Least At Last, the four-CD collection of unreleased/rare/live material on Not Lame — plus, a very successful acoustic Posies tour by Jon Auer & Ken Stringfellow that took them all over the US, plus 16 other countries, playing to packed/sold out houses night after night.

Who were we kidding? We cannot die. It is not in our hands. We have bungled every suicide attempt, guzzling bitter pills of defeat only to be slapped awake by the boisterous applause of the many fans and supporters of the Posies worldwide. Which leads us to proclaim with great confidence (in advance) 2001 as the third year in the trio of successful Posie-years, A.P.O.S.W.T. (After Posies, Or So We Thought). 2001 will see the release of an EP of new material, Nice Cheekbones and a Ph.D. on Houston Party. Four new songs and a cover of ‘Lady Friend’ by the Byrds. In detail, here’s a breakdown:

Track 1: ‘Matinee’. A jaunty exploration of the choice of living over that of dying. Closely related to the Posies own biography, indeed.

Track 2: ‘Chainsmoking in the USA’. A listing of everything that’s broken and not worth fixing in this modern life. But in the most positive way possible. Written by a Libra, so it’s bound to be a fair assessment. The title track.

Track 3: ‘With Those Eyes’. Physical beauty indicted as the get-out-of-jail-free card that it is. The author says he’ll fall for it anyway. At the same time, if you’re a real fox, it’s hard to get permission to join the Marines. So there’s a downside. There has to be a downside.

Track 4: ‘No Consolation’. Darker and more beautiful than the Taj Mahal with the lights off on a moonless night. First Posies song to feature banjo. Makes the Red House Painters sound like Wham.

Track 5: ‘Lady Friend’. Perhaps the greatest song David Crosby has ever written. A true gem, and somehow, it got him fired from the Byrds–? Under those circumstances, I’d start smoking crack too (note: this is not meant to be historically accurate-please don’t sue us, Byrds/D.C.!).

So there you have the lowdown on the recording-but it couldn’t really be relevant without a tour, right. Too bad that would never happen. Except in Spain. Yes, starting in February 2001 the Posies will revisit the land they love best, with electric guitars, walls of synths and drum machines, a full orchestra, and a sumo ring. Just like the good old days. Jon Auer, Ken Stringfellow, Joe Bass, and a drummer TBC (both original Posies drummers, Mike Musburger and Brian Young, have fathered offspring in the last few months, so it’s taking them extra time to get a permission slip from mom).

We look forward to making your acquaintance. God bless you all. Ozzy rules.

— Ken Stringfellow, on board Air France flt. 276, en route from Paris to Tokyo, Dec. 5, 2000.