Saturday, September 13, 2008


And I bet you all thought I had abandoned this blog. Nope. I wish I could say that I had spent the majority of the past six weeks relaxing on vacation somewhere, but in fact things have been incredibly busy, and one of the first things to go was posting here. But I've been working on several posts, so hopefully this will be the first in a rapid succession of new music posted for your delectation.

I suppose I shouldn't be posting this one at all, really--as I was ripping these singles I did some scouting and learned that just this past Tuesday Merge released a compilation of Portastatic's singles and compilation tracks, which includes all the songs featured here. I prefer not to post records that are still readily available, but I'm making an exception on this one, since these are so good. Please take this post as a teaser and go right out and buy the double-CD release of
Some Small History here.

Portastatic is the solo project of Mac MacCaughan, of Superchunk, who also founded and still co-runs the magnificent Merge Records. The three records I am posting here exhibit the range of styles typical of Portastatic in the mid-1990s: low-fi home recordings, many acoustic (but not all) with some interesting effects thrown in for good measure. I'll admit I am particularly partial to this selection because of the two Magnetic Fields covers included - both from the Distant Plastic Trees album which I think was not yet generally available at the time of these releases. I'll have more from the wonderful world of Stephen Merritt later, but for now enjoy this foray into MacCaughan country.

Portastatic, Naked Pilseners 7", 1994
Matador Records no. 76
A: Naked Pilseners (5:22)
B1: Feel Better (2:23)
B2: Josephine (3:54)

Portastatic, Spying on the Spys 7", 1996
Merge Records no. 117
A: Spying on the Spys (3:59)
B: Do You Want to Buy a Bridge? (3:25)

After Hours Issue #3, 1997?
A1: You Love to Fail (3:34)

This last one is from a Japanese split single with pratically no informaion on its label. The other bands on the single are The Ladybug Transistor and Land of the Loops--the Ladybug Transistor song is from their first album Beverley Atonale, which came out in 1997, so I assume that's around the time this was released. Maybe there's more info inside the aforementioned Portastatic compilation...

Get all three singles here. More to come very soon.


Andrea Kulpas said...

I've been searching all over the world for these singles, thank you very much!

Jackson said...

The 'You Love To Fail' 7" is still available at , for 1280 yen + tax and shipping - probably a little more than 20 bucks.

Thanks for uploading! I love Portastic.

Jackson said...

Also, I'm sorry to bother you so much, but whenever you have the time, do you mind uploading the other two songs on After Hours? Thanks so much, and I infinitely appreciate your sublime blog/j