Polara’s Back

If you’re not familiar with Polara’s story it reads like the classic tale of an rock band, but with a twist. Release fantastic independent release, sign with a major label, have major label be bought out, and then return to your roots to sort it out and write the best record of your career.

Jetpack Blues released today on frontman/über-producer Ed Ackerson‘s own Susstones label is a triumphant return to the wall-of-guitars and perfectly crafted pop song formula Polara created on their 1995 self-titled debut.

The driving “Is This It?” is the exact opposite the Strokes’ song of the same name complete with studio glean, big-sounding guitars, and saccharine vocals by Ackerson and keyboardist/guitarist Jennifer Jurgens.

The weepy, acoustic “The Story So Far” is Jetpack Blues’ simplest and most beautiful song. When Ackerson sings “I’ll follow you ’til I’m witless and old/All I want is what you are” backed by just a guitar and sparse strings, the album reaches it’s peak.

Ackerson’s production skills, which he honed manning the board for the Jayhawks, Golden Smog, and the Mason Jennings Band amongst others, are his best yet on Blues. However, the record sounds less like a studio masterpiece than Polara’s debut, and more like a band locked in a groove, playing together in a room.

Polara will have a chance to try out their new material at their CD release party Friday May 10th at 7th Street Entry. Doors are at 8 pm, cover is $6 with Faux Jean and fellow Susstones labelmates Basement Apartment opening.

In other local music news … Crossfaded Thursdays, a weekly multi-media forum for instrumental music at the Dinkytowner Café, will celebrate its one-year anniversary with the release of the new compilation Crossfaded Vol.1 and a four-day CD release party May 16, 17, 18, and 19.

Crossfaded Vol.1 is an eclectic 18-track disc, featuring many of the regular Thursday night performers including Poor Line Condition who contribute live, minimalist jungle with “Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful,” and Lateduster with the ambient “(My Heart Is In My Throat) Monkey Mix.”

JG Everest, curator, member of Lateduster and the Dijonettes, and the brains behind Crossfaded Thursdays said that showing films as the musicians perform helps those who may not understand the music.

“The music is ethereal and flowing, and you’re hearing a new combination of melodies and rhythms,” he said. “A lot of people say, ‘I don’t understand, I don’t get it.’ I think the cinematic experience tells he story and adds an expressionistic element.”

All shows are 21+ except Sunday, May 19th which is all-ages. Doors at 9 pm, cover is $5 at each show.

For a full line-up for the CD release party visit the Crossfaded’s website at www.dinkytowner.com/crossfaded.htm or call (612) 362-0427.