Some Small History

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Tim Sendra
Mac McCaughan is nothing if not prolific. As if cranking out the indie rock for Superchunk wasn't enough, in 1994 he started Portastatic as an outlet for his solo recordings and songs that wouldn't fit within the Superchunk esthetic. The two bands ran neck and neck for years in terms of both frequency of release and high standard of quality until Superchunk was semi-retired in the early 2000s. Portastatic never slowed, though, and now some might be bold enough to say the side project has surpassed the day job band. Doubters should check some of the recent Portastatic releases or maybe this collection of single tracks, demos, versions, and cover songs for some independent ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Tim Sendra
Mac McCaughan is nothing if not prolific. As if cranking out the indie rock for Superchunk wasn't enough, in 1994 he started Portastatic as an outlet for his solo recordings and songs that wouldn't fit within the Superchunk esthetic. The two bands ran neck and neck for years in terms of both frequency of release and high standard of quality until Superchunk was semi-retired in the early 2000s. Portastatic never slowed, though, and now some might be bold enough to say the side project has surpassed the day job band. Doubters should check some of the recent Portastatic releases or maybe this collection of single tracks, demos, versions, and cover songs for some independent verification. Some Small History is a career-spanning set that documents McCaughan's growth as a songwriter, his knack for knocking out a stunning cover version his take on Hot Chip's "And I Was a Boy from School" is worth the price of admission, and the acoustic treatment of the Undertones' "Teenage Kicks" somehow makes one of the most joyous songs ever written into a melancholy ballad and gives fans a chance to have all these rare and collectable songs in one handy package. The non-chronological track list may frustrate strict collector types, but the quality and rarity of the tracks here should take away any slight sting the sequencing may inspire. Full of emotional songs and the kind of inspired performances that made him an indie rock hero, Some Small History is a true treasure for fans of Mac McCaughan and Portastatic.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/9/2008
  • Label: Merge Records
  • UPC: 673855033327
  • Catalog Number: 50333
  • Sales rank: 13,248

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Starter (4:59)
  2. 2 Sandals with White Socks (3:06)
  3. 3 Oh Sweet Carolina (3:50)
  4. 4 Lousy Penpal (3:15)
  5. 5 A Cunning Latch (3:17)
  6. 6 Teenage Kicks (2:29)
  7. 7 Too Trashed to Smoke (2:07)
  8. 8 Skinny Glasses Girl (4:26)
  9. 9 Trajectory (2:59)
  10. 10 Power Supply (4:56)
  11. 11 Josephine (3:49)
  12. 12 Race You Home (3:55)
  13. 13 Make You Up (3:06)
  14. 14 Your Own Cloud (3:20)
  15. 15 When Love Breaks Down (4:04)
  16. 16 Portraits from Before the War (4:46)
  17. 17 Gray Robins (4:15)
  18. 18 Easily Aroused (2:33)
  19. 19 Guessing (2:28)
  20. 20 Little Fern (3:39)
  21. 21 All I Need Is You (2:56)
  22. 22 You Love to Fail (3:34)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Some Small History (4:19)
  2. 2 San Andreas Crouch (2:48)
  3. 3 Not the Same (2:17)
  4. 4 And I Was a Boy from School (5:19)
  5. 5 Spying on the Spys (3:53)
  6. 6 Too Close to the Screen (4:16)
  7. 7 Weighted Raft (1:41)
  8. 8 Dragging a Crow (3:22)
  9. 9 Soft Fruit (2:23)
  10. 10 I Wanna Know Girls (4:22)
  11. 11 Feel Better (2:16)
  12. 12 Useless Switch (4:16)
  13. 13 Had (3:59)
  14. 14 Secret Session (2:22)
  15. 15 Tugboat (4:28)
  16. 16 Codes, Runes, Dunes (4:58)
  17. 17 Candy Cigarettes (2:01)
  18. 18 Firefly (3:52)
  19. 19 La Pelicula (4:03)
  20. 20 Look, Honey, Peaches (2:53)
  21. 21 Replacement Parts (3:20)
  22. 22 It's All Over Now, Baby Blue (4:48)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Portastatic Primary Artist
Jason Borger Piano
Technical Credits
Dave Cousins Composer
Bob Dylan Composer
Mark Eitzel Composer
Dean Wareham Composer
Paddy McAloon Composer
Damon Krukowski Composer
Mac McCaughan Composer, Liner Notes
Stephin Merritt Composer
Naomi Yang Composer
Amy Sillman Cover Design
Maggie Fost Art Direction
Katy Clove Art Direction
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