First of all, check out Mac's new BLOG, which will likely will keep you up to date even more frequently than this here news page: www.portastatic.blogspot.com
New 7-song Portastatic digital EP of Merge covers is now available to the public! all proceeds going to SCORE! charities....details and EP for purchase HERE....
"Some Small History", A double-disc of rarities, collecting B-sides, compilation tracks, EPs, fanzine vinyl, and previously unreleased material recorded between 1990 and 2007 is set to drop on September 9. Listen and order here.
Also, afew new live dates have been scheduled, check the shows section.
Portastatic is playing twice at SXSW! Both solo, one Friday at the Other Music party at 3 PM, and then at the Merge show at 8 pm at the Parish. See you there!
Portastatic (in the guitar/violin duo format) will be joining fellow Merge recording artists Camera Obscura on a west coast swing in February, plus Portastatic's first-ever stop in the Twin Cities on the way out...
New Tour Dates posted in the shows section.
The new "Sour Shores" internet-only ep is out, with 2 versions of the title track from the forthcoming long player "Be Still Please" and 2 more tracks. Available from the usual online music stores and directly from Merge. More details here.
New Tour Dates posted in the shows section.
hey everyone -- happy spring and all that. i've been ensconced in the studio working on the next album, more details on that soon, but shortly you'll be able to get the 2nd Portastatic film score: Who Loves The Sun will be available on June 6th from your friends at Merge. The new CD is an instrumental score to the upcoming Canadian indie file...wait for it...you guessed it...Who Loves The Sun. The film was written and directed by Matt Bissonette (one of the directors of Looking for Leonard) and stars Molly Parker (Center Of the World, Deadwood, Six Feet Under, Wonderland), Lukas Haas (Witness, Mars Attacks, Last Days), and Adam Scott (Boy Meets World, The Matador, Monster In Law). The story revolves around two life long friends (Haas and Scott) who spend a summer competing for the attention of the woman they both love (Parker). As of yet, no release date has been set for the film, but we will definitely keep you posted as news becomes available, it's a really cool film.
as for the soundtrack, it involves lots of strings, oboes, acoustic guitars, and some good old rocking out as well just so you don't get completely disoriented...hope you dig it.
Finally, Portastatic has been invited to provide a live score to 1927 Tod Browning silent film The Unknown at the Seattle Film Festival. The Unknown features Lon Chaney aka The Man of a Thousand Faces and Joan Crawford in a horrific tale of a three-thumbed man (who also has no arms!) and a woman afraid of the embrace of men. Murder! Intrigue! Amputation! It's a pretty crazy film.
The Portastatic lineup will be the full band of that we had on tour last fall which was me, my brother Matthew, Jim, and Margaret White, augmented by Carrie Shull on oboe, Jeb Bishop on trombone, and Laura Thomas on violin.
Superchunk did a similar thing for Page of Madness at the SF Film Festival a few years ago and it was a great experience, i'm really looking forward to this one.
The performance will take place on Friday, June 16th at the historic Moore Theatre.
A limited number of tickets will be available to the general public beginning Sunday, May 14th. For more info, check out the Seattle Film Festival web site.
Portastatic will have a presence, albeit small, at South By Southwest this year: on Friday, March 17th at 1:30 pm, come to the 18th floor of the Capitol Place Hotel (500 N. IH-35) just one block from 6th street. Portastatic (i'll be solo for this) will be playing a few songs and talking with Mary Lucia from KCMP - "The Current" in Minneapolis. The session will be broadcast on KCMP and archived soon afterwards. then head over to the Merge/SubPop daytime party at Pok-E-Jo's that afternoon... meanwhile Superchunk plays Saturday night at Antone's at the Merge show! see you in Austin...
Portastatic will be hitting the road for a few days in early March, and we're quite excited as we'll be opening for WILCO... see the shows page for details!
we've posted some new tour photos from the 2nd half of the Bright Ideas 2005 rampage in the gallery...
Happy New Year everyone, let's hope for some good news in '06.
New Film Score Nearly Complete!
i've been writing and recording the score to a movie called Who Loves The Sun -- it's nearly done and an album with this music will be released under the Portastatic name sometime this Spring on Merge. the movie was directed by Matt Bissonette, half of the team that made Looking for Leonard a few years back, and stars Molly Parker (Deadwood), Lukas Haas (Last Days), and Adam Scott (The Aviator). the movie is a dramatic comedy and i suppose the music kind of is too! more strings, flute, piano and lots more oboe than on the Looking for Leonard Score, and recorded at Pox Studio in Durham (where we did the Autumn Was a Lark EP) i think it sounds a lot better in general than my first stab at a score. more news on that as i have it...
Derek Bailey RIP
one of the strangest, most confounding, most beautiful guitarists you'll ever hear died on Christmas. he created his own world, and pioneered improvised music, listen to his records and enjoy what he made.
Holiday Poster Auction: Make Your Walls, The World a Better Place
over at merge there's a poster auction going on -- signed posters by yr fave merge artists --and all proceeds go to benefit Oxfam and the North Carolina Food Bank. the next set of posters goes up on ebay in the next day or so, and will include a really cool Portastatic poster from the show we did in Kalamazoo this fall... check out all the info here.
and see the auctions here.
thanks for your help during this particularly crucial time of year for those in need!
SOLO SHOW THIS FRIDAY! a late addition to the portastatic calendar, i'll be playing this friday at the duke coffeehouse in durham, NC with The Mountain Goats! should be fun.
MORNING BECAME ECLECTIC yesterday on KCRW, our performance is archived up there already. Here.
THANKS to everyone who came to shows on this most massive of all portastatic tours (i know, it ain't sayin' much, but still!), a complete tour wrap-up and some pics will be along shortly.
PORTASTATIC on Morning Becomes Eclectic:
when we were in LA, the Portastatic band taped a live session on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic at the Village Studios. The session will air THIS Friday, October 28th.
get yr iPods warmed up because there's an exclusive Portastatic EP available from iTunes this Tuesday, Oct 18th! The I Wanna Know Girls EP features the album track plus three other songs: Trajectory, All I Need Is You (a Sandy Denny & the Strawbs cover), and the acoustic demo of I Wanna Know Girls.
also, as you may already know the portastatic concert series, Leg 3 - the Vanderslice years - commences today, Friday Oct 14! hope to see you out in NYC this weekend and beyond. here's some ancillary activities you should know about:
* we're planning in-store appearances! playing songs and stuff at Criminal Records in Atlanta around 7 pm next Thursday, the 20th and at Park Ave. CDs in Orlando on Sunday the 23rd, time TBA!
* we'll be playing live on the radio in Austin at KUT at 2 PM, Thurs Oct 27th
ok more news as we have it, see you out in clubland...
ROCKTOBER means we're not done with you yet: thanks to everyone who's nodded politely or danced wildly (not too many of the latter, but there are a few) at these Portastatic shows. with a few rather bleak exceptions (Cleveland and Eugene, you know who you are...) there've been folks out most nights ready to absorb the good, the bad and the ugly of a Portastatic show.
there are setlists up on the BBS for those who care, and continuing on through the dates coming up with John Vanderslice we'll continue our policy of trying to add a new song to our repetoire every night... Margaret, Jim, and Matthew are like 3 rock and roll sponges, sponges with steel traps for minds that is! while your mind is being blown with that image, consider a few highlights from the tour to date: ...a packed house at the Empty Bottle, where Jim tried to turn it into one ...giant jugs of beer and dancing fools at the Kraftbrauhaus in Old Kalamazoo...a midnight escape from a haunted cat-filled tenement in Montreal... covering the Tenement Halls van in "Clap Your Hands Say Yeah" stickers only to discover it was a rental! sorry guys!... blowing all those other Merge chumps off the stage at our CMJ showcase where i am pretty sure we ALMOST got signed! next year, next year ... Jim Wilbur refusing to sign the release form that would have allowed him to appear in the Girls Gone Wild Philly Style dvd they were shooting outside the Khyber...and this is all before things REALLY heated up on the West Coast: they were out of minivans, so we did the tour in a freaking GOLD EXCURSION suv, finally travelling in the style to which Margaret has become accustomed, but we ditched that p.o.s. when we found out it didn't have power locks... donuts that didn't quite live up to their elaborate names in portland (but didn't completely suck or anything -- they're donuts)... a gymnasium in Eugene without enough people to play 3 on 3, offset slightly by the best hotel of the tour (thanks, priceline) and the best-looking department store i've ever seen (see pic)... amazing food in Oakland pre-show at the Empty Bottle and a wild ride back to the city (thanks Paul)... bumping into Robbie Robertson and Bobby Gillespie in the same studio in LA, they weren't hanging out...yet! and of course seeing the control room where Steely Dan made all of Jim's favorite records except the one that came out in 2003. whew, makes you wonder what we could possibly have to look forward to on the next tour. Vanderslice claims to be in something called "rehearsals" and while i'm not familiar i think it means we'll look like we're still in shortpants up there and jV and crew will kick it out in a manner you need to see to believe, so we'll see you there... pls note Baton Rouge and Jackson, MS shows on the way back from TX have been added, AND a special thanks to everyone that lent us gear on the west coast -- Rosebuds, Radar Bros., everyone else, thanks!
After watching footage of the Gulf Coast devastation and abandonment and generally horrific news of the past week it's kinda hard to worry too much about the details of a rock and roll tour, and our thoughts are with the displaced people of that region, and our hopes obviously for a recovery that addresses some of the problems that made this tragedy so extreme...though some of those core issues of inequality are unfortunately rooted in the social & economic fabric of the country, and politicians are loathe to address them, ever.
On a more mundane note, Portastatic touring begins in earnest on Wednesday, we're looking forward to swinging through a town near you with the eminently rocking Tenement Halls in tow. I hope to be updating this page regularly, maybe even including such radical items as "photos" and "music" with the updates, but we'll see how crazy we get. First show is lovely Asheville, NC at the Grey Eagle which sounds like a cool place up there, and next up is Louisville, where i haven't been in years though i have semi-fond memories of the last show on Superchunk's first tour, which was at the Zodiac Club there. In addition to the show Thursday at Uncle Pleasant's, i'll be on the radio on WFPK there around 4 pm for an interview and maybe even a couple acoustic numbers.
Thanks to Dave, who designed the site & updates it until i know how... pls note record covers now accompany the discography! Let us know if we're missing anything...i'm sure we are.
WELCOME to the new Portastatic website (still under construction, so pls bear with) and what looks to be the most active couple months in Portastatic history: i just got back from NYC and an instore at the incomparable Other Music, followed by a hi-volume listening party at Hi-Fi, good times both, Bright Ideas hit the shelves of CD vendors everywhere today (and is also available iTunes, emusic, rhapsody...) and touring our nation (and a dip into Canada) is to begin soon.
Bright Ideas is streaming on the Merge Web Site... have a listen!
hopefully this much-neglected (and probably much-maligned as well, deservedly so!) website will become a font of information and who knows what else shortly...we'll do our best anyway. thanks to Dave for the sweet re-design.
see the complete list of dates to see when we're nearest your place of rocking, the band on this tour will be myself, Jim Wilbur on the bass, Matthew McCaughan on the drum kit, and Margaret White on violin and all those other things she plays. looking forward to seeing you soon...