Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Portastatic's Summer of the Shark to be released on vinyl November 4

On November 4, Portastatic’s The Summer of the Shark will be available for the first time on vinyl as part of the monthly series of reissues to mark the 25th anniversary of Merge Records.

Listen & share "Noisy Night" from The Summer of the Shark on SoundCloud
Beginning with this album, Portastatic evolved from a lo-fi side project to become the main focus of Superchunk's Mac McCaughan throughout that band's long hiatus in the early ’00s.
McCaughan wrote the songs on The Summer of the Shark in 2001 while Superchunk was on tour in support of Here’s to Shutting Up, which was released mere days after the September 11 attacks and would be the band’s last studio album for nine years. The resulting batch of songs was the last Portastatic album recorded almost entirely at home; it was also the most emotionally resonant, and musically compact collection to date.
Upon the album’s release, then Chicago Tribune reporter John Cook wrote of the album: “It is the most effective and moving musical answer yet to what has happened to us over the last two years. Faced with an enormous catastrophe, McCaughan elected to make a small record. There are no heroes rushing up stairwells and no dissections of good and evil—only scared, confused people and local heartbreaks.”
Recorded at McCaughan’s home studio in Chapel Hill, The Summer of the Shark included contributions from Janet Weiss (Wild Flag, Quasi, Sleater-Kinney), Tony Crow(Lambchop), Margaret White (Versus, Matt Pond PA), Matthew McCaughan (Bon Iver, Hiss Golden Messenger), Aaron Oliva, and John Plymale.

Mac McCaughan is performing solo in New York on October 23 at HiFi Bar, and McCaughan and Merge co-owner Laura Ballance are speaking about Merge in conversation Buzzfeed's Steve Kandell at the CMJ Festival on October 24.

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