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Summer of the Shark

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Audio CD, April 8, 2003
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The solo project of Mac McCaughan, known for his work in Superchunk and as co-owner of Merge Records. The latest in a long series of seminal recordings from one of indie rock's most distinguished and prolific songwriters, and the first proper Portastatic full-length since 1997's "The Nature of Sap". Far from lo-fi, it's a fully realized musical statement. Guests include Janet Weiss (Sleater-Kinney, Quasi), Tony Crow (Lambchop), Margaret White (Sparklehorse, North Elementary), Matthew McCaughan, Aaron Oliva, and John Plymale.

Superchunk's Mac McCaughan, cofounder of the American indie institution Merge Records, only releases solo albums when he comes up with a surplus of idiosyncratic songs that don't fit into his regular band's oeuvre. So following the diverse instrumental score for 2001's Looking for Leonard, McCaughan returns with Portastatic's fifth full-length release. The Summer of the Shark is not the tossed-off affair one might expect. It is McCaughan's closest concession to Superchunk's endearing college rock, echoed in its forlorn lyrics ("And here I am with no illusions of our love," he sings on "Paratrooper") and soaring choruses. Sleater-Kinney's Janet Weiss plays a lovely foil on the harrowing "Oh Come Down," while Lambchop's Tony Crow adds elegant piano touches to "Don't Disappear" and "Clay Cakes." --Aidin Vaziri

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
  1. Oh Come Down (full band version) 5:27$0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. In the Lines 3:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. Windy Village 2:59$0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. Through a Rainy Lens 3:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. Don't Disappear 4:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. Swimming Through Tires 4:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. Chesapeake 3:00$0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. Noisy Night 4:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. Clay Cakes 4:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
10. Drill Me 3:33$0.99  Buy MP3 
11. Paratrooper 4:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
12. Hey Salty 4:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
13. Cakes Reprise0:57$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 8, 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Merge Records
  • ASIN: B00008O34V
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #425,619 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Zachary E Topel on April 17, 2003
Format: Audio CD
This is the album where Portastatic officially became Mac McCaughan's "first" band and no longer a side-project, and it shows. Portastatic's first 3 CD releases were either very lowfi or experimental. And although I really liked all 3, it is nice to hear a Portastatic album that is "full-band". There are some definite stand-out tracks here (namely Oh Come Down, In the Lines, Chesapeake, Noisy Night). But seriously, is there ever a bad song on a McCaughan release? He's so consistent that he's actually been criticized for it. In my opinion, this is the best CD he has made this decade. So quit being cheap & pick this up.
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