I knew it was going to happen. It never fails. First it's the big toe dipped in the water with the "acoustic" shows, then it's only a matter of time before the ol' cannonball, the full-on reunion, takes place. Yes, after several acoustic appearances, the Posies are desperately trying to find a drummer so they can reform in the electric sense. So far the reunion shows are scheduled to happen in Spain; the Spaniards are notorious pop fans and Jon and Ken are currently enmeshed in a European tour, so what the hell, right? (Can a Seattle reunion be far behind? I doubt it.) Olive branches extended to at least two former Posies pounders were quite pointedly not grasped, and new babies and bands are only part of the motivation for not rejoining. One former bandmate, the industrious Joe Bass, isn't going to let the past get in the way of an all-expenses-paid--albeit working vacation, however. He signed up in a heartbeat. I guess the standard punch line about the bass player crossing the road because he was following the drummer isn't always the case.

Speaking of Ken Stringfellow, Harvey Danger frontman Sean Nelson did a smashing job of filling in for the Posies singer during last week's well-attended Minus 5 show at the Crocodile. Given that Stringfellow has a flawless pop vox, his are a daunting pair of musical shoes to fill, but Nelson's own voice was dead-on that night; sparklingly strong and playful. It was refreshing to see his youthful vitality incorporated into the ranks of Minus 5's, er, sage lineup (Bill Rieflin, Peter Buck, and others stood up with Scott McCaughey). Also on the bill that night was John Wesley Harding, who debuted his new backup band the Radical Gentlemen. Ever the showboater, Wes led his guys through a roaring (and of course, funny, as he's a gifted conversationalist) set, and the plugged-in music (as well as the Crocodile's fine sound system) made it all shiny and new. Meanwhile over at Graceland, there was much chattering and gawking as actress Clea DuVall (The Faculty; Girl, Interrupted) was spotted checking out the super-packed Blonde Redhead show.

Well now, it's not often that I get to crow "I told you so" twice in one column, but I've just been informed by Carissa's Wierd drummer Ben that the band is leaving behind its new home, boring ol' Portland, and returning to our lovely, equally-boring-but-ever-more-stylish-about-it city. Eagle eyes have noted that CW members have been spotted with growing regularity in their old Seattle haunts, so it's no real surprise that they've decided to tuck tail and head back for good. The band has recently added a new instrument to the lineup, a gloriously wistful accordion, which should turn their already cry-worthy songs into downright sobfests. I'm all for it--the accordion, the sobbing, the cojones to admit to making a huge blunder when it came to the decision to split town. Carissa's Wierd's ETA is December 31, when they'll be ringing in the New Year with 764-HERO and Aveo. Welcome home--and hey, you always knew we'd take you back.