Saturday, November 18th, 2006

Black Buttons

While the last couple Portastatic records could easily have passed as Superchunk albums – certainly not a bad thing, not at all – but you can’t really say that about Be Still Please, Mac McCaughan’s newest solo jag and second this year (after the instrumental/orchestral Who Loves The Sun soundtrack released this past Summer).

While far more of a band affair than the early Portastatic records, it’s also relatively subdued and incorporates much of the lush orchestration that defined the Portastatic soundtrack work while retaining the ‘Chunk’s sublime pop-smithery. While it was initially a bit of a slow grower – where were my fuzzy guitar anthems? – I now think this may be the best and most definitive record in their discography (and critics agree). I also got a copy of a bonus disc of acoustic demos for the new record – Some Small Things You Can’t Defend – which certainly serves to reinforce the strength of the songs, even sans clarinet. If you’re a fan, you should make an effort to track this one down.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Pittsburgh Live talk to Mac about his bands and label while New York Press caught a word with him at a one-off Superchunk gig for the 10th anniversary of The Daily Show. Portastatic is currently on the road and Mac is diligently blogging the tour.

MP3: Portastatic – “Sour Shores”
Video: Portastatic – “Song For A Clock” (MOV)
Stream: Portastatic / Be Still Please
MySpace: Portastatic

What’s wrong with this picture? Or actually, what’s right?

Thanks to everyone who entered the Fuzzy Warbles contest and believe me, if I could give all of you a copy of the box set I surely would – your responses were beyond fantastic. But like the Highlander, there can only be one so the set goes to Nathan, selected randomly from the lot, and the rest of you… well, you’ll just have to be beheaded. I’m sorry but that’s how it has to be. But first, you can read this interview with Andy Partridge at Bullz-Eye.

In keeping with tradition, The Sadies will be ringing in the new year at the Horseshoe this December 31, tickets $17.50 and on sale now. The like the ‘Shoe so much, they wrote a song for it and made a video as well (from their Tales Of The Rat Fink soundtrack). Check it out:

Video: The Sadies – “The Horseshoe” (YouTube)

Pitchfork reveals that former Velocity Girl (and way up the list of my all-time rock star crushes) Sarah Shannon will finally be releasing her second solo record on February 20. City Morning Song continues in the jazzy, adult pop vein of her self-titled debut – a style her voice is well suited for but probably still a bit of a disappointment for those of us who refuse to let go of the past and crave more fuzz-pop. You may recall the sort-of official word on the status of V-Girl came on this very site, so that track they recorded for Excellent Online some three years ago will probably be it for the foreseeable future. So enjoy that and a cut from Sarah’s new record, courtesy of the ‘Fork.

MP3: Sarah Shannon – “City Morning Girl”
MP3: Velocity Girl – “That’s Alright With Me”

The Guardian talks to Spiritualized’s Jason Pierce about his life and recent near death(s). Look for a new album early next year. Via The Rock Snob.

By : Frank Yang at 9:19 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. Thierry says:

    Did you steal that Highlander reference from Colbert? He made the exact same quip on Wednesday or Thursday’s show!

  2. Frank says:

    seriously? no, I don’t get the Comedy Channel and don’t watch Colbert.

  3. Rich says:

    The acoustic version of Getting Saved is the best song on either new Portastatic release (both of which are GREAT)… don’t miss it. The song is like Bob Dylan crossed with Alice Munro — now, there’s a Canadian reference for you ; >

    Keep up the good work.

  4. tyler says:

    you should check out the bbc’s next big thing competition,

  5. suckingalemon says:

    i know you announced this a small while ago but i just saw this now, when it says howe gelb and the sno angel project does that mean with the gospel choir? i just wanted to make sure before i got tickets.



  6. Frank says:

    yup, the press release says it’s with the full 17-piece choir. So this should be pretty damned amazing.

    Can I saw "damned" in the context of a choir?

  7. Will at says:

    Dang, I wish I’d entered the Fuzzy Warbles contest. I got to interview Andy, and they still didn’t hook me up with a box set! :-)