The Posies' first major-label release, Dear 23, came out in September of my senior year of high school. My friend Gino and I skipped class that morning and drove down to Cellophane Square to buy the CD; they hadn't put it on the shelves yet, and when we asked the guy behind the counter he gave us this look like, "Oh god. It has started already."
The Posies weren't just a band that had made it big, they were a band from Bellingham that had made it big, and they weren't just a band from Bellingham that made it big, our friend Nathan's older brother was the lead guitarist and singer, and Nathan had been keeping us appraised the whole year before about how they'd been courted by major labels and put up in plush hotel rooms. The Posies were It. They were The Next Big Thing.
There's a whole grand epic narrative that goes in between that day and this one but I'll just skip said narrative crap and say that 20 years later the Posies are still out there rocking, and their lasting contribution to pop music might just turn out to be that while they themselves were never The Next Big Thing, they inspired a crap load of other bands that sound like them. Here are 47 of them, including Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow covering their own songs (not to mention a great cover of "Paint Me" by The Calculus Affair).