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Portastatic: Pop and Brazilian Folk, with Strings

As the driving force behind Portastatic, Mac McCaughan mixes everything from straightforward pop to lush string arrangements to masterful reproductions of Brazilian folk. Also known as lead singer of the influential indie-rock band Superchunk — as well as co-founder of Merge Records, home to The Magnetic Fields, The Arcade Fire and Robert Pollard, among others — McCaughan often uses Portastatic as a vehicle for his odd and almost invariably compelling flights of fancy.

Portastatic began in the early '90s, after radio host Tom Scharpling convinced McCaughan to release the singles he'd been making for his own enjoyment. McCaughan began with two or three of those singles before releasing a full-length album in 1994. Since then, he's released eight other full-length albums covering a wide variety of moods and styles. The latest, one of two released last year, is titled Be Still Please.

Copyright 2007 XPN

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David Dye is a longtime Philadelphia radio personality whose music enthusiasm has captivated listeners of World Cafe® since 1991. World Cafe is produced by WXPN, the public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania.