Today was the last day for the April showers that bring the May growths that are always talked about - flowers and stuff, I think they are. There was a banging storm in the afternoon yesterday and an incessant drizzle today that has kept any of the fallen moisture from drying off of anything. Everything looks and feels like it was just pulled from the wash. You run beneath trees and merely flick a leaf and a stiff, cold pouring topples down on you. But it's warm outside and so, we know it's coming. The wet earth is cooking those seeds and bulbs properly, though this spring is a mad one, for it's been this way for months already. There's no telling what this rain is actually going to do. The unnecessary showers - those that pop up on hot days and pop up often - are those that bring about a staying indoors that breeds the environment of a bunch of guys pulling out their guitars and writing things like the Posies write.
Up there in Wellington, Washington, where singers and songwriters Ken Stringfellow and Jon Auer formed the group way back in 1987, they're familiar with the warm showers that encroach, drive everyone indoors and then get them back out to finish a day after a little breather and a drying off. The harmonies that Auer and Stringfellow pile on are the equivalent of master's courses for how such a thing is supposed to be done. Along with Matt Harris and Darius Minwalla, on bass and drums, respectively, The Posies having been writing the kind of folky pop music that has waxed and waned in its mainstream popularity, but they were and still are the makers of it at it's best. It's writing that focuses on that intangible line between twilight and when a night gets truly dark, that time of night, deep into the bottle of dinner wine, where you get modestly alert again for a moment, if only to look up and wonder out-loud, "When did it get so dark?" You'd just chatted away the rest of the evening, happily, right on into the drowsy part of the night. They are songs that were born with their tattered edges and their denim jeans already glued to their legs, falling somewhere between Bread and Jackson Browne. The characters and the narrators of the songs remind you of old friends that you used to know, friends who you wonder about sometimes. Then they fade again. It's the same night, just a little later.