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Be Still Please

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iTunes Review

Essentially a Mac McCaughan solo vehicle, this is Portastatic’s second album of 2006 (the first being a film soundtrack) and his ninth Portastatic release overall. His 2005 release Bright Ideas was phenomenal, and Be Still Please shares some of the same qualities that made that one so memorable. The nine songs are split between catchy tunes that will immediately burrow into your memory (“I’m in Love (With Arthur Dove),” “You Blanks”) and emotionally affecting, complex, and lushly arranged ballads that feature gorgeous piano, strings, keyboards, and oboe passages (“Black Buttons,” “Sweetness and Light,” “Like a Pearl”). He uses a wide range of colorful guitar tones, and the inventive interplay between electric and acoustic guitars is especially impressive. And then there are his lyrics, which, even when obtuse, are always intriguing and often funny, with lots of sharp wordplay and witty observations. His voice (which he compares to both a “broken saw” and a “sickly shrew” on “Sweetness and Light”) sounds more intimate and assured this time around, which suits the introspective nature of the songs. Be Still Please is another impressive collection by a consistently strong, imaginative, and sadly overlooked songwriter.

Customer Reviews

this is me in shock...

as mac ushers me into middle age. it seems that every phase of my life has mac providing the soundtrack. and i am not aware of the transition until he puts out a new album. it is hard to have predicted the path from no pocky to here. but here we are. and i am mesmerized. this is mac matured into our generation's dylan. this is my spine tingling at every guitar note.

What a great album. It just flows.

This album is more reminiscent of Summer of The Shark then Bright Ideas or any Superchunk album. Mac, once again takes us from a dream-like state to crashing crescendo. All songs are medium to slow tempo & decorated beautifully with strings, keyboards, horns and Mac's original brand of ambient distortion. This is the man who Wished Warm Weather On Your Up-turned Face. Of course, the lyrics are fantastic. Highly recommended!


This album is absolutely amazing. The music is like an ocean of sound and I'm just riding the sonic waves. Beautiful.


Formed: 1992 in United States

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Mac McCaughan became an indie rock hero while fronting Superchunk and by founding and managing the successful Merge Records -- Portastatic was the outlet for his solo recordings and songs that didn't quite fit his day job band. The side project began in 1992 when Tom Scharpling of 18 Wheeler Records asked McCaughan to release some of his lo-fi four-track recordings; he obliged with the singles "Sandals with White Socks" and "Starter." Then in 1994 McCaughan released an entire Portastatic album, I...
Full Bio
Be Still Please, Portastatic
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Customer Ratings

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