– 2002

By Barbara Mitchell, 2002

Hi, and welcome to the official Posies website. My name is Barbara (although I seem to answer to “Babs” an awful lot as well) and in addition to being the manager of all things Posies-related, I’ll also be your cruise director here at Posies HQ.

First off, sorry it’s taken so long to get this site up and running but things have been awfully busy for a band that broke up a couple of years ago… Thankfully, things don’t appear to be getting any less hectic. So without further adieu, here’s what’s been happening:

2000 – Officially the busiest release year ever for the Posies, even though the band was supposed to be defunct. Jon and Ken got roped into playing a couple of songs together in early January, which led to the recording of an acoustic Posies show that was ultimately released as “In Case You Didn’t Feel Like Plugging In.” Badman Recordings released “Alive Before the Iceberg” – a warts-n’-all live, full band recording of a ’98 Barcelona show – here in the States. Universal issued a Posies best-of. And Not Lame put out the limited edition box set, “At Least, At Last.” (Fear not – if you wanted it but didn’t get around to buying it before it sold out, it should be getting re-pressed shortly.)

In solo news, Jon released the “Perfect Size” EP in Spain and did a tour in support of it. He managed to extend his stay in Spain by producing the Gallygows fine album “Give It To Her” while he was there. Ken started recording with his band Saltine, played South By Southwest, scrapped the recording and went into the studio with R.E.M. He later finished recording the songs that would ultimately comprise his first real solo album, “Touched,” with Mitch Easter and without a band.

And then mayhem began – otherwise known as the Worldwide Acoustic Posies Tour ’00. Armed only with acoustic guitars and a whole bunch of tequila shots, Jon and Ken rocked (yes, ROCKED) the US, Canada, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Italy, Spain, England, Japan, New Zealand and Australia. Hilarity (and a lot of blackmail photos) ensued. In the middle of it all (in Barcelona – our favorite city – to be exact,) Jon and Ken found time to record the tracks that would surface as the “Nice Cheekbones and a Ph.D.” EP.

The year ended with not one but THREE acoustic Posies/Big Star shows, including Big Star’s first ever appearance in New Orleans. Not a bad town to spend New Year’s Eve in…

2001 – To be honest, we started the new year recuperating from New Year’s Eve – really a training course for February’s full band tour of Spain in support of Houston Party’s third year anniversary and the release of “Nice Cheekbones and a Ph.D.” (That tour also marked the debut of new drummer Darius Minwalla.) Thanks to the good folks at Poptones and Uncut magazine, that jaunt culminated in a way-oversold show at the legendary Dingwall’s in London. Jon and Ken also debuted solo material for UK audiences for the first time Upstairs at the Garage and we all found a new favorite beverage (the Pablo) at Radio 4.

Ah, but we neglected to mention the fact that Jon cured his New Year’s hangover by entering the Hall of Justice to record “6 1/2,” a nifty EP of cover songs ranging from Madonna to Ween to the Psychedelic Furs. While Ken dyed his hair bright orange and hit the promo trail with R.E.M., Jon was readying an attack on the West Coast with the Jon Auer Experience and Sushi Robo – but not before the Northwest endured three full band Posies rock shows.

Jon and Ken reunited in Bellingham (proving you really CAN go home again) for a packed acoustic set, then set to rehearsing with Darius and new bass player Matt Harris, on loan from San Francisco’s marvelous Oranger. (Check out both of Oranger’s brilliant psychedelic pop albums, “Doorway to Norway” and “The Quiet Vibration Land.”) More mayhem ensued, as the re-invigorated full band tore their way through a whirlwind tour of the US (and many bottles of Patron) before heading to the Benicassim Festival in Spain. We can’t say enough good things about the festival – or Spain, for that matter. Highlights included Goldfrapp, Tahiti 80, Death Cab For Cutie, the Flaming Lips and – of course – Big Star.

(Oh, I forgot to mention that we managed to squeeze in a last-minute Big Star show in Nashville in the middle of all that…)

After cheating death by spending five days in Spain, we sent Darius off to discover Europe, said goodbye to Matt and headed north for Big Star’s first appearance in Dublin and an incredible sold-out show in London. Afterwards, Jon and Ken did a brief acoustic Posies tour of Ireland, Scotland and England. Many thanks to Eugene Kelly for his hospitality – and sorry about the hangover(s). Glasgow is now our second favorite city.

The summer ended with full band appearances at the Reading and Leeds festivals and a homecoming show at the Showbox with the Old ‘97s and solo sets by Jon and Ken at Bumbershoot.

And now? Ken’s solo album, Touched, has just been released. Jon’s in the middle of planning the recording of his solo album. There’s talk of recording a full Posies album and touring the world next year.