In 1993, Tom Scharpling – proprietor of the fanzine 18 Wheeler - persuaded Mac McCaughan to release some lo-fi home recordings. McCaughan obliged with two singles, followed by the full-length I Hope Your Heart Is Not Brittle in 1994. This set the pattern for a string of solo albums that McCaughan would release under the Portastatic name.
With a rotating lineup of musicians, Portastatic has released over ten records since the band’s inception. Some have been straight-up pop releases, while other albums have taken a different approach. 2000’s De Mel, De Melao EP pays homage to classic Brazilian artists, and Looking for Leonard was released as the score to a film created by two Superchunk fans. Portastatic's latest release, Be Still Please, follows at the heels of 2005’s Bright Ideas. Tom Scharpling – the man who originally set Portastatic’s wheels in motion – describes Be Still Please as "some of the best straight-out pop Mac has ever whipped up."