After seven years and five critically received albums singer-guitarist-songwriter Ed Ackerson dissolved his band, the Minneapolis based retro-pop band, the 27 Various and hit the road playing guitar in his friend John Strohm’s band Antenna.

When Antenna called it quits in 1993 Ackerson started recording a solo album under the name Polara. While the 27 Various took it’s musical inspirations from 60’s pop,  Polara found it’s inspiration in 1970’s Krautrock. With John Strohm (Antenna/Velo-Deluxe) on guitar, Matt Wilson (drums), and vocalist Jennifer JeRae Jurgens plus   

an "electronics" player, a flautist and a few others, Ackerson lets keyboards, samplers, programming and "effect manipulation" spread the thick, disorienting jam without abandoning guitar or his primal commitment to the pop song.

The self titled Polara attracted the attention of major label Interscope who signed the group and released 1997’s C’est la Vie. While the band had added new drummer, Peter Anderson and bassist, Jason Orris, the band’s sound still remained  a mixture of

psychedelic distortion, wild sound for the hell of it, crossed with tuneful songwriting and innocently cryptic lyrics.

1998’s Formless/Functional begins from where C’est la Vie ended, “the frisky electro-dance instrumental bonus track that ends” that album. With Anderson still on drums and drawing upon Jurgens’ vocals and instrumental talents more fully  allowed Ackerson to create a record that is stylish and sophisticated. 

With  a batch of diverse well-crafted songs and it’s roaring guitars 2002’s Jetpack Blues is a

modern Anglo-American power-pop noisefest

and just may be the group’s best album.

The fact that he only released one new album; 2005’s the Green Shoes EP  between 2002’s Jetpack Blues and 2008’s Beekeeping doesn’t mean that Ed Ackerson wasn’t a busy guy. In that six year stretch he opened his own recording studio, Flower Studios, in Minneapolis and founded Susstones, a small record label that distributes material from independent Minnesota acts.

Sideways is an Ackerson instrumental side project.




Millipore Of Florida (7") (Generator) 1994
Monongahela (7") (Generator) 1995
Polara (CD) (Restless Records) 1995
Counting Down / State (7") (Generator) 1995
Pantomime (
CD, 12" Single) (Interscope Records) 1996
Avenue E / Clean (CD Single) 1996
Red Red Meat / Polara (7") (Generator) 1996
C’est La Vie (CD) (Interscope Records) 1997
Formless / Functional (CD) (Interscope Records) 1998
Jetpack Blues (CD, Digital) (Jackpine Social Club) 2002
Green Shoes + 4 EP (CD, Digital) (Susstones) 2005
Beekeeping (CD, Digital) (Susstones) 2008

Tracks Appear On:

"Allay" (4 Track) Fig. 428 Racket To Stardom (Cass) (Generator) 1994
"Source Of Light"
Alternative Distribution Alliance: USADA Choice Cuts (ADA) 1995
"Counting Down" Made in Minnesota, Volume One 1995
"Source Of Light" Turn It Up & Pass It On – Volume 5 (CD) (AIM Marketing) 1995
"Scorched Youth Policy"
Supercop – Music From And Inspired By The Dimension Motion Picture (Interscope Records) 1996
"Transformation" CMJ New Music June – Volume 46 (CD) (College Music Journal)     1997
Turn It Up & Pass It On – Volume 12 (CD) (AIM Marketing) 1997
"Just the Other Side of Nowhere"
Don’t Let the Bastards Get You Down: A Tribute to Kris Kristofferson (Jackpine Social Club) 2002                                                       "Almost Transparent" Twin Town Music Yearbook Vol 3: 1999-2000(CD) (City Pages/Digital Edison) 2000  
"Is This It?" Stuck On AM 4: Live Performances From Radio K (CD) (Noiseland Industries) 2003
"Jetpack Blues" City Pages, Picked 2 Click (CD) (Copycats Media) 2005
"I Can Believe" Interscope 98
"Is This It? (November Mix)" Where Will We Go? A Susstones Compilation 2002
"Source of Light"
Unconventional Hits Post Modern Syndrome (CD)

The 27 Various

Hi. (LP) (Susstones) 1987
Yes,Indeed (LP) (Susstones) 1989
Approximately (Cass, CD, LP) (Clean/Twin\Tone) 1990
Granny Smith/E Too D (7") (Susstones) 1990
Fine (CD) (Clean/Twin\Tone) 1992
Up (CD) (Clean/Twin\Tone) 1992

Tracks Appear On:

"Life Is White" Not The Singer But The Songs: An Alex Chilton Tribute (CD)     (Munster Records) 1991


Oblivion and Points Beyond (CD, MP3) (Susstones) 2002


Polara – S/T (1995)

Playing time: 56 minutes 46 seconds


1. Counting Down (4:15)
2. Allay (5:03)
3. Source of Light (2:53)
4. Squelch (3:59)
5. Listening Now (4:45)
6. Taupe (2:55)
7. Avenue E (4:07)
8. Anniversary 6 (4:23)
9. One Foot (2:34)
10. a+b=y (4:44)
11. State (3:07)
12. Letter Bomb (3:47)
13. [untitled] (10:14)

Polara (Part 1) Polara (Part 2)

C’est La Vie (1997)

Playing Time: 54 minutes 51 seconds

C'est La Vie

1.Transformation (3:22)
2. Sort It Out (3:54)
3. Light The Fuse And Run (3:47)
4. Quebecois (3:29)
5. So Sue Me (3:23)
6. Make It Easy (2:56)
7. Incoming (3:05)
8. Elasticity (4:26)
9. Idle Hands (3:27)
10. Other Side (3:54)
11. Pantomime (2:12)
12. Shanghai Bell (7:52)
13. C’est La Vie (9:04)

C’est La Vie (Part 1) (Part 2)



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