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Origin Chapel Hill, North Carolina, US
Genres Rock and roll, indie rock, Brazilian, film scores
Years active 1992–present
Labels 18 Wheeler, Matador, Hello, Esther, Merge
Associated acts Superchunk
Website www.portastatic.com Portastatic myspace
Members Mac McCaughan

Portastatic is an American indie rock band founded in the early 1990s by Mac McCaughan. Portastatic began as a solo project for McCaughan, lead singer and guitarist of the indie rock band Superchunk. Since then it has evolved into a full-fledged band, which sometimes includes Superchunk guitarist Jim Wilbur and McCaughan's brother Matthew.

Tom Scharpling of 18 Wheeler fanzine (and later a popular DJ on WFMU) was so impressed by McCaughan's solo material that he cajoled him into releasing it under the fanzine's own imprint; so came 1993's "Starter" 7". Since then, under the Portastatic moniker, McCaughan has recorded several records drawing on a number of genres, including traditional indie rock, lo-fi, soundtrack and Brazilian music.

The name "Portastatic" is derived from the TASCAM Portastudio home recording device.[1] Due to the quality of the recordings, Mac McCaughan added "static" to "porta" to form "Portastatic."


Official Albums[edit]

1994 - I Hope Your Heart Is Not Brittle (CD/LP) [Merge]
1995 - Slow Note From a Sinking Ship (CD/LP) [Merge]
1997 - The Nature of Sap (CD/LP) [Merge]
2003 - Summer of the Shark (CD) [Merge]
2005 - Bright Ideas (CD) [Merge]
2006 - Be Still Please (CD) [Merge]

Compilation Albums[edit]

2008 - Some Small History (CD) [Merge]

Demo Albums[edit]

2005 - Ideas for Bright Ideas (CD) [The Portastatic Label]
2006 - Some Small Things You Can't Defend (CD) [The Portastatic Label]


2001 - Looking For Leonard (CD) [Merge]
2006 - Who Loves the Sun (CD) [Merge]

Singles and EP'S[edit]

1993 - Starter (7") [18 Wheeler]
1994 - Naked Pilseners (7"/CD EP) [Matador]
1994 - Hello CD of the Month (CD EP) [Hello]
1994 - San Andreas Couch (7") [Ester]
1995 - Scrapbook X's (7") [18 Wheeler]
1995 - Scrapbook EP (Double 7"/CD EP) [Merge]
1996 - Spying On The Spys (7") [Merge]
1997 - Trash Heap - Split 7" w/ Ida (Split 7") [Trash Heap]
1997 - Portastatic/The Landing Split 7" (Split 7") [Sarang Bang]: "Secret Session"/"And Forward Again"
1997 - Portastatic/The Ladybug Transistor/Land of the Loops Split 7" (Split 7") [After Hours]: "You Love To Fail"
2000 - De Mel, De Melão (CD EP) [Merge]
2001 - The Perfect Little Door (Featuring Ken Vandermark)(CD EP) [Merge]
2003 - Autumn Was a Lark (CD EP) [Merge]
2005 - Looking For A Power Supply (CD EP) [Houston Party]
2005 - I Wanna Know Girls (Digital EP) [iTunes/Merge]
2006 - Sour Shores (Digital EP) [Merge]
2009 - Make It Sound In Tune (Digital EP) [Merge]

Compilation Appearances[edit]

1994 - Ow!, Quit It! Volume 2 (7") [Volvolo]
1994 - A Day in the Park (CD/LP) [The Now Sound]
1994 - Rows of Teeth (CD) [Merge]
1995 - Speed Kills No. 7 (10") [Speed Kills]
1996 - Extra Walt! (Double 7") [Walt]
1998 - Blatant Doom Trip (CD) [Simple Solution]
1998 - The Garden Place: Songs by Our Friends (CD) [Yep Rock]
1998 - Chunklet No. 14 (CD) [Chunklet]
1999 - Oh, Merge (CD) [Merge]
2000 - Come on Beautiful - The Songs of American Music Club (CD) [Big Night]
2001 - Snowstorm - A Tribute To Galaxie 500 (CD) [Elefant]
2002 - Survive and Advance Vol. 1 (CD) [Merge]
2002 - Survive and Advance Vol. 2 (CD) [Merge]
2003 - Survive and Advance Vol. 3 (CD) [Merge]
2003 - Compulation Vol. 1: Songs From North Carolina (CD) [Pox World Empire]
2004 - Old Enough 2 Know Better - 15 Years of Merge Records (CD) [Merge]
2006 - Songs for Sixty Five Roses (CD) [Songs for Sixty Five Roses]
2008 - Love Goes On - a Tribute to Grant McLennan (CD) [Rare Victory]
2009 - TOM: A Best Show on WFMU Tribute to RAM (CD) [WFMU]
2009 - Stroke: Songs for Chris Knox (CD) [Merge]