Mac McCaughan has a lot of things on his plate, from his work with alterna-rock legends Superchunk to his management of Merge Records. Superchunk is currently on hiatus, though, and McCaughan's current project – Portastatic – is keeping the frontman more than busy.
Who says you can't release an average of one album per year and still have fantastic songs leftover for future records? Some artists would suffer from such hyper-productivity, but Portastatic's inspiration is far from running dry. Check out the energy they sink into these live renditions of Be Still Please 's material, including McCaughan's writhing guitar solos.
- Andrew Leahey
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."