Some Small History. Portastatic
It’s hard enough to find an artist more prolific and diverse than Mac McCaughan: frontman of Superchunk, singer and guitarist in his solo projects (Portastatic and Mac McCaughan and The Non Believers), entrepreneur (founder of Merge Records), writer (of the book “Our Noise: The Story of Merge Records) among other activities. His voice and creativity still been young and fresh as always.
This project (living room project, has been called), born in 1990s under the name of Portastatic, cause the home recording devise’s name, TASCAM Portastudio.
Also, in Portastatic, sometimes there are collaboration of the Superchunk’s guitarist Jim Wilbur and McCaughan’s brother Matthew).
In this album, Some Small History, there are a recompilation of B-Sides, rarities, and other demos, along 18 years (44 tracks). Some of them are very interesting. Among the best songs are “Sandals with White Socks”, “Teenage Kicks”, “Too Trashed to Smoke”, “Trajectory”, “When Love Breaks Down” and the acoustic “La Pelicula”.
Some of this songs, with a little bit of more work can be great singles (they are pretty good as demos), but seems McCaughan are enough satisfied with this versions.
There are an acoustic cover of Bob Dylan’s “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue”, which is very interesting. Seems there are not a logic order on the songs, nor chronological neither according to one style. Also, there are covers of songs by Ryan Adams, Hot Chip, American Music Club, among others.
Unfortunately, McCaughan (with Portastatic or even with The Non Believers) have not announced any kind of concerts to support this album with this songs, nor there are live versions of them.
Some small history is not so small as the title suggest, not only in quality also in extension: there are a lot of good songs inside but also is a great compilation of ideas, demos, styles and talent of Mac McCaughan.
You can listen our favorites songs in this links:
Teenage Kicks: https://open.spotify.com/track/3V8zboZy3vpBTS00m6iuJw
Too Trashed to Smoke: https://open.spotify.com/track/2LItTm9qDKli5N4Cb6VLiI
It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue: https://open.spotify.com/track/2YPdTZQBfIUeKq9yr9esUw