Gimme Noise streams the new BNLX EP, interviews Ed

Ed Ackerson of BNLX by Erik Hess.

City Pages Gimme Noise editor Reed Fischer did an extensive interview with Ed about the new BNLX EP (which is now streaming on Bandcamp-check it out!!!)…

Inside BNLX’s Ninth (!) EP, and Their Drone-Filled Future

Between a heavy workload manning the boards at Flowers Studio, Ed Ackerson steers the punk and alt-rock group BNLX. The band has just put up its ninth EP, Flextime, and is geared for a live collaboration with Transmission DJ Jake Rudh later this month.

Streaming below, Flextime features a 20-minute drone song, a PJ Harvey cover, and two BNLX originals. Gimme Noise caught up with Ackerson to check on the status of BNLX Fest III, and learn about his run-in with Harvey many years ago. Stay tuned for a cute dog pic too.

Gimme Noise: Nine EPs has to be some sort of record. Not that we’re complaining. Anyone you’re aware of who has done as many as you have?

Ed Ackerson: And of course BNLX has also put out two albums and some other stand-alone tracks. Lots of stuff for just four years. I don’t know if anyone else has put out as many EPs specifically, but I have definitely noticed that there are now a number of other local bands who have put out numerically sequential EP releases. So perhaps we have helped set a trend of uncreative record naming! We’re trying to rectify this with our latest EP, which has an actual title.

I’ve always loved the idea of EPs/shortform releases because they give you a snapshot of a band’s development in a particular time. The nature of a full-length record is to plan and execute things more deliberately, where an EP is often something that’s a bit more tossed off or less premeditated. With BNLX I’ve tried very hard to adopt a more informal, “anything goes” attitude than I did with my previous bands, and I think that’s why this stuff is so much fun.

Name the best EP by an artist other than BNLX.

I immediately think of the Glider and Tremolo EPs by My Bloody Valentine, Watery, Domestic by Pavement, Tally All the Things That You Broke by Parquet Courts, Everything Falls Apart by Hüsker Dü, and Onwards to the Wall by A Place to Bury Strangers as great examples of how a small number of songs can create an entire universe of sound and vibe.

The drone track on your EP is incredible. Why stop at 20 minutes? Take us inside the process.

Well, if you want more, we’ve definitely got more! The drone piece was cut live here at Flowers Studio. Everyone just set up at a station with a bunch of different noisemaking devices, and we let it evolve from there. The piece on the new EP is actually the first section from a larger 70-minute piece. We found that editing it down made it more impactful, and we wanted to make sure the piece was still interesting to our fans who might not generally gravitate towards that sort of music.

Is a drone-centric side project on the way? You could call it DNLX.

DNLX!!! You know, it’s possible. We’ve really been enjoying doing this sort of open-ended, improv, explicitly psychedelic music lately. We’ve found that as a group we’re actually really good at spontaneously generating sounds that are both musical and freaky. Our participation in Drone Not Drones last winter really kicked this process off for us. Our plan is to continue to record these improv pieces over the winter, with the ultimate goal of a potential standalone release. In the meanwhile, BNLX will continue to pursue its normal concise/punk rock direction. I see the two types of expression as complementary and oddly connected to each other creatively.

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Photo by Erik Hess
Jim McGuinn and Ashley Ackerson

What’s it been like letting the Current’s Jim McGuinn into the BNLX family? What sensibilities does he bring to the band?

I’ve known Jim since our earliest bands played together in college, so we go way back. Jim is another guy who has knowledge and understanding of a huge amount of music. We have a lots common ground to build on. I loved playing in both the two- and three-piece lineups of BNLX, but having Jim there on guitar now really helps us translate the mass of the recorded arrangements to the stage. Plus, he’s a really fun guy to hang out with and we’re all having a total blast playing together. His sensibilities and energy really add to what we’re trying to do.

The EP features a cover of PJ Harvey’s “This Is Love.” What’s your best PJ story?

I was bowled over by the first PJ Harvey album when it came out. I was listening to it continuously in the van while my band the 27 Various was out on tour. One afternoon we were bumming around in Cambridge, Massachusetts, before playing a show. I was walking near Harvard Square, turned a street corner, and standing in front of me were PJ Harvey and her band! Turns out they were in town playing their third-ever U.S. show. They were happy but somewhat unnerved that some American indie rocker recognized them on the street, and I was unnerved because it seemed like they’d materialized out of a dream!

They were playing at TT’s, and we were playing at the Middle East, so sadly I didn’t get to see them that time. I did see them a couple months later and then many times since. Polly Harvey is one of the greats, endlessly inspiring to us, and her drummer Rob Ellis is also a real force of nature.

Judging by the state of Cause I’m guessing no BNLX Fest this year? What’s the latest?

We actually had BNLXFest scheduled for Nov. 21-22, but there were problems with the venue. So we decided to do this Live Transmission event at the Varsity with Jake Rudh instead. We were disappointed to have to reschedule, and we had a fantastic lineup in the works, but it was unavoidable. Our plan now is to do BNLXFest III when our next full-length LP comes out, likely in early March. Live Transmission is gonna be a blast in November, and we’ll have an excuse to throw another fest in just a few months!

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Transmission Live seems like a smart idea. How did you get involved and which of his song selections will make you dance?

Jake and I have been friends for ages. I think he’s always wanted to do an event like this, and he and I have talked about doing it together since we have a lot of overlapping friends and interests. The combination of the holiday weekend, BNLX’s new release, and Jake’s schedule made this a perfect time to make it happen. You know me, I don’t dance unless I’m either wearing a guitar, very drunk, or both! But Jake is into an enormous range of music and really knows his stuff, so if anyone can get me out on the floor, it’s him!

Wiggy Ackerson has been a dark horse (dog?) in BNLX. Has your new dog Beep taken to the musical lifestyle as well? Do you have photographic evidence?

Wait until you see the new video for our single “Flextime”…that’s all I can say!

Transmission Live. With BNLX, Frankie Teardrop, the Ocean Blue, Two Harbors, the Rope, and Gloss. DJ Jake Rudh between bands. 18+, $8/$10, 7 p.m., Saturday, November 29 at Varsity Theater. Tickets.

 

BNLX in NYC at Pianos Thursday 11/21!

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BNLX returns to NYC Pianos on Thursday 11/21! We play at 10:00, followed by our friends Eastern Hollows and The Veda Rays. We’ll have vinyl and CD’s of our brand new Produit Collecté album, plus we saved a handful of the LAST REMAINING COPIES ANYWHERE of the EP #8 handmade CD’s! RSVP to the Facebook event for the show here!

BNLX Produit Collecté (Collected Product)! Order the new album today!

BNLX-Produit-Collecte-cover-800px-72dpiAvailable exclusively from BNLX-not on iTunes or other digital retailers yet! Order it from us now! 

Produit Collecté collects tracks from the handmade (and now out-of-print) series of BNLX quarterly EP’s. The physical LP and CD versions feature 14 highlight tracks. An accompanying download card (included with both the LP and CD) contains all 32 tracks from the BNLX EP #1-8 releases, newly remastered and more awesome than ever, over 103 minutes of “music”!!! That’s a lot of indie rock per dollar!

Track listing for the physical vinyl LP and CD:  1. Opposites Attract   2. Do Without   3. Blue and Gold   4. Frogger   5. LMAO (CMEO)   6. Where Is the Love   7. BNLX Today   8. See What I See   9. Over the Horizon   10. Vaporize   11. You Left Me Here   12. Dance Dance Dance (on the radio)   13. Back in Your Hole   14. Rise Above

Tracklisting for the Deluxe Digital Edition download available exclusively with both LP + CD physical releases: this WILL NOT be available via iTunes or digital retailers. Includes all 32 tracks from BNLX EP’s 1-8, over 100 minutes of “music” total. This Deluxe Edition also includes all four tracks from the forthcoming EP 8 release which won’t be officially released until 2014!

EP 1:
  1. Do Without   2. You Left Me Here   3. LMAO (CMEO)   4. Row and Row
EP 2:
  1. Where Is the Love   6. Got Need   7. Espionage   8. Frogger (Laissez les Bon Temps Rouler)
EP 3:
  1. Blue and Gold   10. Just Got Paid   11. When I Knock   12. BNLX Today
EP 4:
  1. When Doves Cry   14. Shut UP and Drive   15. Rise Above   16. Soul Desert
EP 5:
  1. Burn the Boats   18. Back in Your Hole   19. Garbage Strike   20. It Was a Good Day
EP 6:
  1. Vaporize   22. Over the Horizon   23. Dance Dance Dance (on the radio)   24. Living in Exile
EP 7:
  1. See What I See   26. Meet Me on the Barricades   27. Round the Dial   28. Video Games
EP 8 (NEW! exclusive to this release):
  1. Opposites Attract   30. Permageddon   31. Rapture Me Now   32. Mass Ejection

 

 

BNLX LP Vinyl + CD’s available now!!!


BNLX LP is out now on 12″ vinyl and CD!!! Pick it up at The Electric Fetus, Cheapo, Hymie’s, Eclipse, Treehouse, and other Twin Cities area indie record stores. Support local indie rock and local indie retail!

People outside of the Twin Cities can of course order product directly from us. We ship fast!


Select vinyl or CD…:



Pre-order BNLX LP 12″ vinyl for just $9.99!!! Limited time only!!!

Special Pre-order vinyl price: $9.99!!!

Pre-order the new BNLX LP on sumptuous audiophile vinyl for just $9.99!!! Includes download card!!! The vinyl sounds awesome and the packaging looks great. We love it and so will you! We’re offering it at this SUPER good price for just three days!!!

Domestic Priority mail orders received by 3:00 Central time on 11/8 should arrive on (or before!) the formal street date of 11/13!!! Select “priority” from the shipping methods menu on checkout. Offer ends 11/9!!!

Here’s a brand new preview track from the album, “1929”

BNLX EP #7 is out now! Limited edition CD and digital versions!

BNLX EP #7 is available now! The release contains four songs (plus a bonus track on the CD version!):

1. See What I See   2. Meet Me on the Barricades   3. Round the Dial   4. Video Games   5. See What I See (“clean” version; CD version only)

Handmade, limited-edition CD packages are available at the Susstones Shop and at forthcoming BNLX live shows. The EP is also available for download from iTunes, Amazon MP3, eMusic, and all of the other online music stores.

 

SOLD OUT! BNLX “instant” Replacements EP – last remaining copies!

We saved a VERY SMALL number of the Replacements covers EP so that our out-of-town and traveling friends would have a shot at getting a copy. At the time of this post there are about 10 left…$4 USD.

SORRY-THIS PRODUCT IS SOLD OUT AT THIS TIME. PLEASE EMAIL US DIRECTLY AT BNLX AT BNLX2DAY DOT COM IF YOU REQUIRE A COPY, WE MAY DO A SMALL ADDITIONAL ROUND IN DIFFERENT PACKAGING IF THERE IS SUFFICIENT DEMAND.

BNLX EP #6 out now!!! Midwest + East Coast tour dates this month

BNLX EP #6 is out now! Grab limited-edition CD’s at Susstones Shop+live shows, or download it from iTunes, Amazon or any other friendly digital music retailer.

BNLX  is playing a lightning-fast string of shows to celebrate the release of the new EP:

8/20 Chicago Ultra lounge
8/21 Indianapolis Melody Inn
8/22 Hoosick, NY (private event)
8/23 Boston TT the Bear’s Place
8/24 NYC The Rock Shop Brooklyn
8/25 NYC Pianos
8/27 Minneapolis First Avenue (with Peter Bjorn and John)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BNLX EP #5 is available now!

BUY BNLX EP #5 PHYSICAL PRODUCT AT THE SUSSTONES SHOP

BUY BNLX EP #5 DIGITAL PRODUCT AT ITUNES

PIRATE BNLX “MUSIC” ASSETS

Our research indicates that the goal of providing the best possible BNLX experience will be better achieved through an ongoing effort. Pursuant to this, we are pleased to announce the BNLX First One Year Plan (extension one).

The BNLX EP #5 “music” product will be the centerpiece for our Q1 2011 activities. Four “music” compositions expressing Nordic, Gallic, Tri State, and West Coast idioms are contained on this product. They are titled:

1. Burn the Boats
2. Back in Your Hole
3. Garbage Strike
4. It Was a Good Day

Tracks one through three are original BNLX compositions based on authentic pop cultural memes, whilst track four is an interpretation of a beloved Californian folk composition

Like all BNLX releases, BNLX EP #4 Physical Product Edition (CD+artwork) is handcrafted entirely by the organic and electronic elves at the BNLX Works. Each copy is unique and individually numbered. Each copy includes:

-a hand-stamped + painted, recycled cardboard folder (BNLX is not into wasteful plastic jewel case packaging)
-a CD containing the listed tracks
-additional “art” items, each package includes unique artifacts of BNLX creation

All of this is offered to you for the low price of $2.91 USD.

The production of EP #5 Physical Product Edition will be strictly limited to however many copies the elves assemble. They are already getting bored of making them. So now is the time to act if you wish to secure your copy.

 

The BNLX Convertible Tuque-wear it YOUR way!

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now only US$2.99!!!

Introducing the new convertible tuque! The BNLX tuque is now printed on both sides, allowing you to wear it New Brunswick style (long) or Newfoundland style (traditional). The BNLX tuque is already an icon of winter fashion this year-now it’s more versatile than ever. Wear it any way you like-it’s Your BNLX!