Tag: The Posies
I had the pleasure of interviewing Ken Stringfellow who an accomplished solo artist and a member of the Posies
Background can be found here:
Kendrickmusicfreak: When and why did you start playing?
Kendrickmusicfreak: Which instruments do you play?
Kendrickmusicfreak: What was the first tune(s) you learned?
Kendrickmusicfreak: Which famous musicians do you admire? Why?
Kendrickmusicfreak: Where have you performed? What are your favourite and least favourite venues? Best and worse experiences?
Kendrickmusicfreak: Do you find it easy to write lyrics and do you have a process or does it happen naturally?
Kendrickmusicfreak: What does an average day/week look like for you?
Ken Stringfellow: I was an independent artist first, of course; the Posies first album (Failure, 1988) was a self-released cassette at first. I’m pretty good at navigating ways to make a living, and I’m frugal. The major label promotion for the Posies albums was invaluable. I wish we could have sold more records for Geffen, we really did try. At the same time, we were pretty uncompromising about our music but still, we toured hard and did all the promo asked. We didn’t sell millions, but we sold …who knows, half a million, all told? The main difference is the insertion in to mainstream radio and media that really only the majors have access to. It’s pretty handy. But there’s still a life without it.
We have guest appearances from a number of great musicians, from the US, Australia…Matthew Caws from Nada Surf is the Narrator; Vicki Peterson from the Bangles sings a tune; French singer Keren Ann joins us for a song. It’s called The Record and you can preorder it on LP, CD or download here: http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/kenandholly/
In the meantime, The Posies are working on a new album for fall release. We had a rough week as our drummer of the last 15 years, one of our closest friends, died suddenly and unexpectedly, cause as yet unknown. Still, we plan to continue, finish the record. It took on an entirely new meaning, certainly.
Ken Stringfellow: I don’t know if anyone ‘owns’ an album anymore. In light of that, I will list some things that I’ve heard or worked on lately that I really enjoy
1) France can be kind of musically backwards, but one artist here is doing it right — Melody’s Echo Chamber. There’s vintage sheen to what she does, very organic, very spacious. She might be really famous internationally now, I wouldn’t know, but she’s not that well known here, so worth mentioning.
2) Andy Shauf — The Bearer of Bad News. This is one of those bedroom masterpieces. Andy is from Saskatchewan, and made this gorgeous record in the basement of his home. Playing everything — drums, horns, strings…it’s pretty formidable. He has a band live, really good.
3) Eva Auad — Rules of Romance This is an album I produced, I’m incredibly proud of it. Eva is a phenomenal singer, and composes wonderfully rich music…I think of the album as Astrud Gilberto meets Prince…and taken way, way out there. It’s a mix of piano and electro beats, but not run of the mill in any way what so ever. Totally original. It’s on iTunes, Spotify, etc. But of course, a CD can be had here: http://www.bastamusicstore.com/products/eva-auad-rules-of-romance-compact-disc
4) Sweet Gum Tree — The Snakes You Charm & The Wolves You Tame another quality French artist. The string arrangements on this album are out of control. Isobel Campbell sings on one of the songs. Very good songs and arrangements.
The Posies began in 1987 out Bellingham, Washington by primary songwriters Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow.
The Core members of The Posies, being Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow started writing songs in 1986 and Though the songs had been 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. Failure was released on vinyl near the end of 1988 on local indie label PopLlama with one song drop.
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. A change in the radio climate with the rise of Grunge meant that the power pop of The Posies wasn’t as successful at a major label as it should have been.
After being on Geffen, the band went back to indie label and continued to tour and release albums, both as The Posies and as solo artists.
The lastest Posies album was released in 2010, Blood/Candy and there are plans to record a new album at the end of the year.
Ken Stringfellow is an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, arranger, and producer. Best known for his work with The Posies, R.E.M., and the re-formed Big Star, Stringfellow’s discography includes more than 200 albums.
Aside from being in the Posies, Ken has also been involved with the following
Stringfellow and Auer were recruited to join Alex Chilton and Jody Stephens for a Big Star reunion; Stringfellow and Auer performed and recorded with Big Star until Alex Chilton’s death in 2010.
In 1997 Stringfellow began a long association with R.E.M.. He performed with the band on world tours in 1999, 2003, 2004, and 2005, and appears on several R.E.M. records, including the Man on the Moon soundtrack, Reveal, and Around the Sun.[
Although the Posies were Stringfellow’s main project during much of the 1980s and 1990s, he additionally performed and recorded with Sky Cries Mary, a band he founded with Auer in 1989, Lagwagon, Saltine, White Flag, and The Minus Five. Stringfellow also co-wrote and recorded several songs with Scott Miller’s band The Loud Family in the mid-1990s, appearing on their albums The Tape of Only Linda (1994) and Interbabe Concern (1996) as a guest guitarist and vocalist.
In 2003, Stringfellow and Auer released Private Sides, a six-song split EP on Arena Rock Recording Co./Rykodisc.
As a sideman, Stringfellow has worked with Brendan Benson, Cali, Snow Patrol and others. Beyond North America and Europe, Stringfellow has also collaborated with Senegal band Waflash
In 2007, he formed The Disciplines with members of the Norwegian pop band, Briskeby;The Disciplines released two records, Smoking Kills in 2009 and Virgins of Menace in 2011
Stringfellow has released four solo albums: This Sounds Like Goodbye (1997, on the Hidden Agenda label), Touched (2001, on Manifesto Records), Soft Commands (2004, on Yep Roc Records), and Danzig in the Moonlight (2012). Released on Lojinx (Europe), Spark & Shine (US) and Target Earth (Japan), Danzig in the Moonlight featured Charity Rose Thielen and Margaret Cho. In 2008, he also released an EP of cover songs, The Sellout Cover Sessions Vol. 1 He has toured extensively in support of each of the albums.
Since 2005, Stringfellow has been increasingly involved with production, and has composed film music and string arrangements. He has produced albums for Damien Jurado, The Long Winters, and Carice van Houten. Stringfellow has composed soundtracks for short films such as The Kitchen Party and Bunker.
( Excerpts from Wikipedia)