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Though Mac McCaughan has plenty to keep him busy -- playing in Superchunk, managing the successful Merge Records -- he also spends time recording as Portastatic. With a varying lineup, the side-project has recorded two albums and several singles since 1993, when Tom Sharpling 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 Hope Your Heart Is Not Brittle. The group followed with the Scrapbook EP and a second album, Slow Note from a Sinking Ship. Nature of a Sap appeared in 1997. 2000's EP De Mel, De Melao paid homage to classic Brazilian artists like Caetano Veloso and Arnaldo Baptista. In 2001, McCaughan returned with Looking for Leonard, the score to a film written and directed by Superchunk fans Matt Bissonette and Steven Clark. The full-length Summer of the Shark was released in 2003, but not before another limited edition single (2002's The Perfect Little Door). John Bush

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