I'm doing most of my online babbling on either Facebook or Twitter these days. For a more day-to-day account of my existence, I encourage you to "friend"/"follow" me there. I'll probably "friend" you back; I'm "friendly" like that.
Lately I've had a great interest in the activities of the noise/art/pop project BNLX. If you like what I do, you may very well like BNLX.
Susstones and Flowers Studio also have active Facebook presences. Both label and studio are busy doing tons of stuff. There's a lot of change in the music industry. My response is to generate more and better art than ever, as creator and collaborator.
This isn't to say that I've abandoned this blog permanently; it's just a lot easier to update Facebook and Twitter from the iPhone, etc. I see the purpose of this personal blog as a place for me to write about personal projects and opinions in a long-form way. It's been a long time since I've posted anything on this blog, but I intend to return to it sooner than later. In the meanwhile, look for more frequent, spasmodic communication from me via ye olde Social Media outlets.
I keep forgetting to post about my new single that Susstones/3-Sided Singles has released. Called ackerson2.1, it includes "Go Ahead and Cry" plus "Forcefield" from the new solo album, plus an electric version of "Flashes of Light". The 3Side is a free download, and includes full artwork and notes from me about the songs.
Anthony Newes reviewed my latest record in Rift Magazine, take a look! Thanks to Anthony and Rift for the props.
This a massive, sprawling wonderland of an album, 2 discs full of smart, high-energy, freaky pop music. There is a definite "journey" to the album, and strangely some of the very best tunes turn up well into the second disc. This is an Album with a capital "A". I think of TSOOL as kindred brothers from Sweden, what they do is so much like what I aim for with Polara and my solo stuff. Please check their new album out…and don't be frightened by the (remarkably disconcerting!) cover.
And for a very interesting, unusual glimpse of some of the new material, check out this acoustic show they did in Oslo on Dec. 29! It's pretty cool how a band that rocks as hard as TSOOL can translate so well without a fuzz pedal in sight.
My longtime friends Janey and Marc have released their debut EP. I produced it with Marc, and played a bunch of instruments along with other guests (Gary Louris, Tim O'Reagan, Peter Anderson, Kraig Johnson, Tim Oesau). I think we made a pretty atmospheric, timeless-sounding record. More details about the release at Susstones, buy it now exclusively at the Susstones Shop.
The man rocked.
Barack Obama won a huge victory for all of us, what an amazing day! Watching his speech from Grant Park was a pretty emotional event. The historical importance of his election is humbling and empowering at the same time. The future is unknown but seems a good bit brighter today. With Obama’s leadership the country and culture will finally move forward again after years of cynical, greedy, myopic government.
Unfortunately, election night in Minnesota also reminded us that there’s still a long way to go. I’m dismayed that voters in the 6th district re-elected Bachmann in the face of her repulsive campaign behavior and Palinesque message. The 3rd district race was disappointing too. And of course the big question mark of the US Senate race remains. Man, it would be awesome to see Franken win! Coleman’s fake “victory” speech today was a perfect example of why the man needs to go away. Obama’s victory is an example of pure, aspirational politics at work. Coleman’s shameless tactical maneuvering is an example of the careerist muck that clogs the gears of progress.
I’ve contributed an exclusive new song to Barack Rock!, a collaborative project between musicians and graphic artists meant to inspire participation and contributions to the Obama Campaign. The song, “See Through”, is accompanied by super cool artwork from Brooklyn-based Garrett Morin. Both the song and art are available on the site for download. The Barack Rock! project has been posting a new song/image every day, and there will be new art all the way up to Nov. 4. Special thanks to NY artist and friend Emily C.M. Anderson for introducing me to the Barack Rock! project.
This year’s election is the most important any of us are likely to ever participate in, an amazingly clear choice between the forces of creation and reaction. Obama is a truly remarkable, inspiring man with an eye on a positive future and the smarts to help America get there. I support him 100%. I am also looking forward to helping Al Franken replace Norm Coleman in the US Senate. And, though I personally live in the 5th District (well represented by Keith Ellison), I’m voting with my dollar to support the campaign of El Tinklenberg against the crazed Michele Bachmann in the 6th.
The fifth Polara album is out at last! Jennifer, Peter and I have been working on it as time allows, and the result is probably my favorite Polara record to date. It’s simultaneously one of the poppiest and most experimental records we’ve ever made. I’m damned proud of the way it turned out. It’s a very human record. Since this is my blog I’ll take the opportunity to say how much I love the people in this band and how cool it is that we’ve continued to refine/redefine this weird psych-pop dream we’ve had across five albums and the times in between them. I also really appreciate the support of all of the friends, fans and fellow travelers of the band over the years. I hope you’ll listen to the new record and enjoy the latest transmissions from where we’re at now.
For more info, please check out…
We’ve finally finished the fifth Polara album, and it’s coming out for real! The album’s called Beekeeping. We’ve been working on it on and off for the last couple of years, with several major interruptions from Life (thankfully mostly for the good) and Art (in the form of my solo record and production endeavors). But album is done, and we’re proud of it.
My pal Gary Louris has released a great new album called Vagabonds. He's going on tour all through Tarnation starting this month, and I personally can't wait to hear the new songs live. If you haven't heard any of the music yet, go to Gary's official site. In the "Music Video" section of the site there are live versions of a couple songs from the new album as played by Gary and our friend Jim Boquist (and mixed by me). Good stuff!
I decided to put up a new song in conjunction with this Sussedtacular gig next week. The song is called "Beside Herself". It's an outtake from the solo record. I don't know why I didn't put it on the actual record, at the time it seemed like it had too much electric guitar. Listening to it now I must remark on how damned high it all sounds. I forgot about the diminished 5th in the 6 minor chord in the verses…dissonant as the song's subject. Anyways, hope you enjoy it.
The full lineup of the show is:
Me plus the group (Peter Anderson, Marc Perlman, Tim Oesau, Eric Lovold)
Janey and Marc
Phear and the Bullet (hot duo action featuring Phil Solem of the Rembrandts and Ryan Smith of the Melismatics)
Joe Werner (Strange Lights/First Communion Afterparty guitarist in rare acoustic performance)
I'm playing a show at the Bryant-Lake Bowl theater on Tuesday Feb. 26th as part of the 4th anniversary celebration for the Susstones-sponsored DJ event Sussed. I'll be playing a full set with the same band as on the record release show at the Varsity in November, and I'm really excited about getting back on the stage again!
Also on the show are Janey and Marc and a couple of other groups yet to be announced. There's no cover charge, and the show starts at 10 pm. More details soon.