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The Posies bring fresh perspective to Austin show after intense recording session in Spain

Brian T. Atkinson

The Posies' new ‘Blood/Candy' delivers pop-rock showy (‘Accidental Architecture') and sublime (‘Cleopatra Street'). The reunited Seattle-based quartet, who will spend Thanksgiving Day with family in Austin, supports the collection Friday at La Zona Rosa.

‘Our bass player's (Matt Harris') dad (lives) in Austin,' singer and guitarist Ken Stringfellow says. ‘A turducken is going to be on the sacrificial altar! I will be shaped like a Russian doll when we play (on Friday), and I'm sure to be happy as can be.'

The band's songwriters, Stringfellow and Jon Auer, checked in recently via e-mail.

American-Statesman: Explain your approach with ‘Accidental Architecture.'

Jon Auer: I tend to think of ‘Accidental Architecture' as almost ‘aural cinema,' if you will. You never quite know what to expect. There's very little time to get your bearing before you're whisked onward to the next destination.

What's the new album's common lyrical thread?

Ken Stringfellow: I think it's all over the map. There are fantasies, there are concrete ruminations on life, there are historical explorations, internal musings, (but) no common lyrical theme. I think that's one of our greatest strengths. We're never content with the ordinary and are always exploring.

The (10-day) recording session in Spain sounds intense.

Stringfellow: It was intense. We were very focused, but it was also generally really fun and not stressful. The magic of (Paco Loco studio) is that every day is productive, creative, adventurous. The days ended with a great meal and wine.

Auer:There's really something to be said for sequestering yourselves, just complete immersion. Plus, it just sounds cool to say you made your record in the south of Spain!

You two will play with Brendan Benson's band throughout this tour. Whose idea?

Stringfellow: We had traded around ideas about someone that we could tour with to make the shows more of an event. Meanwhile, we invited Brendan to join us for the final Big Star show, the Memphis show in May that was already booked when (Big Star singer) Alex (Chilton) passed away in March. The show became a kind of memorial. Brendan did a great job and we got on well, and things grew from there.

Auer: Having now learned 20 of Brendan's songs, I can tell you from the inside that they're even better than I already thought they were. Brendan, like the Posies, tends to go the extra mile when creating a song. There's always an extra chord or unique part of an arrangement thrown in to keep you guessing and interested.

What's the personal dynamic between you two like at this point?

Stringfellow: Hard-working, closely knit but with space, if that makes sense. We were really joined at the hip when this band started, but it's healthy that we have developed lives, families and careers apart. We appreciate each other more now.

Auer: When the Posies split in 1998, our relationship had deteriorated to the point of what I thought most certainly was no return. Now, with hindsight, I can see that the break we had from each other was completely necessary. Ken wrote a lyric in a song of ours called ‘The Certainty' that might sum it up as well: ‘Nothing can be perceived 'til you betray it.' I suppose we had to test the relationship to see it for what it really was.

The Posies and Brendan Benson with Aqueduct

When: 8 p.m. Friday

Where: La Zona Rosa, 612 W. Fourth St.

Cost: $18

Information: 888-512-7469, lazonarosa.frontgatetickets.com