Mac McCaughan / Portastatic

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Songwriters

Mac McCaughan

On May 5, Superchunk frontman Mac McCaughan will release Non-Believers, his first solo album under his own name.

McCaughan wanted to use the album to explore his attraction to that early-’80s era of music when punk evolved into something more introspective, focusing on themes of isolation and eventually turning into post-punk and new wave. As he puts it, he was thinking about a time when bands were “using keyboards and drum machines to relate through their music a disaffection or alienation” from society, school, whatever.

The record is about a fascination with art that could only be made by someone far from where you are, but who maybe shares the frustrations and awkwardness of youth. It’s about “the irony that comes with being 16 and having a car but not knowing where to go in it, or having a keyboard or a guitar and not knowing how to play it.” McCaughan’s songwriting isn’t limited to sheer nostalgia; it’s also about the more relatable theme of the point when people who grow up feeling isolated have to choose if and when they are going to join the mainstream, and about the emotional journey tied to weighing those options. “What appeals to me is songs that deal with the messiness and ambiguity that come with any transitional period,” says McCaughan.

Coming from the indie and punk rock worlds, McCaughan has always shied away from the perceived hubris of putting out a record under his own name. “There’s something about it that’s way too ‘look at me,’” he admits. However, given the fact that Non-Believers explores a very personal set of influences, putting out an album as simply Mac McCaughan for the first time just makes sense.

Releases

Mac McCaughan / Portastatic Sour Shores

Sour Shores
And I Was a Boy From School
Portraits From Before the War
Sour Shores (Acoustic Demo)

Mac McCaughan / Portastatic The Summer of the Shark (Reissue)

Oh Come Down (Full Band Version)
In the Lines
Windy Village
Through a Rainy Lens
Don't Disappear
Swimming Through Tires
Chesapeake
Noisy Night
Clay Cakes
Drill Me
Paratrooper
Hey Salty
Cakes Reprise

Mac McCaughan / Portastatic Some Small History

Starter
Sandals With White Socks
Oh My Sweet Carolina
Lousy Penpal
A Cunning Latch
Teenage Kicks
Too Trashed to Smoke
Skinny Glasses Girl
Trajectory
Power Supply
Josephine
Race You Home Mix
Make You Up
Your Own Cloud
When Love Breaks Down
Portraits From Before the War
Gray Robins
Easily Aroused
Guessing
Little Fern
All I Need is You
You Love to Fail
Some Small History
San Andreas Crouch
Not the Same
And I Was a Boy From School
Spying on the Spys
Too Close to the Screen
Weighted Raft
Dragging a Crow
Soft Fruit
I Wanna Know Girls
Feel Better
Useless Switch
Had
Secret Session
Tugboat
Codes, Runes, Dunes
Candy Cigarettes
Firefly
La Pelicula
Look, Honey, Peaches
Replacement Parts
It's All Over Now, Baby Blue

Mac McCaughan / Portastatic Who Loves the Sun

Will's Return
The Sunset Rock
Maggie at the Dock
Fighting Music
Seems Like a Long Time Ago
The Search for Daniel
Nice One
Lively Chase
Snake Music
Nice Strums
Do You Want to Know
Maggie and Mary
Stretch Waltz
Tremolo Chase
A Bit Pastoral
Just Like a Real Book
Is That Mars
Will's Return Complete
Fishing Music
One Nice Piano
Last Kiss Music
Older Summers

Mac McCaughan / Portastatic Bright Ideas

Bright Ideas
Through With People
White Wave
I Wanna Know Girls
Little Fern
Truckstop Cassettes
The Soft Rewind
Registered Ghost
Center of the World
Full of Stars

Mac McCaughan / Portastatic Autumn Was a Lark

Autumn Got Dark
Baby Blue
Growin' Up
In the Lines (Full Band Version)
One for the Road
NYC, Raining, 5AM
Clay Cakes (Acoustic)
A Cunning Latch (Acoustic)
Bobby Jean (Acoustic)
Don't Disappear (Acoustic)
You Know Where to Find Me (Acoustic)
Drill Me (Acoustic)
San Andreas (Acoustic)
Isn't That the Way (Acoustic)

Mac McCaughan / Portastatic The Perfect Little Door

Had (w/ Vandermark)
Hey Salty (w/ Vandermark)
Late Night Wait Around (w/ Vandermark)
Broken Arm (w/ Vandermark)
When You Crashed (w/ Vandermark)

Mac McCaughan / Portastatic Looking for Leonard

Looking For Leonard - Theme
Stumbling Music
Luka's Theme
'Do You Speak English?'
Stealing Romance
Johnny's Dead
Jo's Plan
Luka's Theme - Shaker Mix
Sweethearts Organ Mix
Funeral Music
Only Good People Wonder If They're Bad
The Chase
A Dead End
Sweethearts of the World

Mac McCaughan / Portastatic De Mel, De Melão

Baby
Lamento Sertanejo
I Fell in Love One Day
Nāo Identificado
Clareana

Mac McCaughan / Portastatic The Nature of Sap

You Know Where to Find Me
A Lovely Nile
Hurricane Warning (Ignored)
Reverse Lester
Flare
Jonathan's Organ
Before You Sailed Around the World
Ben's Revenge
Impolite Cheers
Spying on the Spys
Bjjt
Landed
If You Could Sing
The Nature of Sap
Untitled, No. 2

Mac McCaughan / Portastatic Slow Note from a Sinking Ship

When You Crashed
Skinny Glasses Girl
San Andreas
Taking You With Me
The Angels of Sleep
A Cunning Latch
Spooky
The Great Escape
Running Water
You Can't Win
Isn't That the Way
On Our Hands
Pastime
In the Manner of Anne Frank
Untitled

Mac McCaughan / Portastatic Scrapbook

St. Elmo's Fire
Why Pinch Yourself
A Bear That Chokes
My Favorite Sound
Scrapbook X's

Mac McCaughan / Portastatic I Hope Your Heart Is Not Brittle

Mute2
Polaroid
Gutter
Naked Pilseners
Tree Killer
Creeping Around
Weird Time
Silver Screw
Beer and Chocolate Bars
Had
Memphis
Receiver
Why Have You Come Back
The Main Thing
Untitled