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New Year, New Music

I can't remember the last time I sat down to write something about one of my music projects. I get the sense that there will continue to be lapses. But even if I don't ever write, post, or share as often as I set out to, I think it's ok. Because the alternative to date has been to post nothing. So, especially in what I can only assume will be another crazy year, I think the best that I can do—the best that anyone can do—is to put our best foot forward, be kind, and see what happens.

That being said, I can't wait to share my latest album. I don't think I've ever worked so hard, or been more proud of anything in my life.

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"Remains of the Day" + MINI Cooper

Recently, a song of mine, "Remains of the Day" from my album Year of the Swallowtail was featured in a regional ad for MINI Cooper. It's currently airing throughout the Northeast, but in case you haven't seen it (or if you live elsewhere), check it out below:

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One Song, One Day: In the Studio with Matthew Perryman Jones

For those of you who haven't heard of Matthew Perryman Jones, you’ve certainly heard his music somewhere - whether it was on television, in a film, or, like I initially heard him, touring with Ten Out of Tennessee, a collective of some of the best emerging songwriters from Nashville, TN.

It's long been a dream of mine to record in Nashville, so when I saw an opportunity to have Matthew produce a song from my upcoming album, there was no way I could pass it up. This weekend, I'll be heading down to Music City to record my first single with Matthew alongside a lineup of incredible local musicians.

Here's the catch: we only have one day to do it.

I'll be documenting as much as possible throughout the day, so make sure to "like" my Facebook page for updates, outtakes (well, and probably a few mistakes).

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"Around the Bend" featured on The Discovery Channel's Deadliest Catch

"Around the Bend," a song from my second EP (Stranger Land, 2007) will be featured on episode 7 of The Discovery Channel's Deadliest Catch, which airs on Tuesday May 24th at 9pm EST. For anyone who hasn't seen the show before, it chronicles the real-life stories of five king crabbing boats during the fall and winter fishing seasons on Alaska's Bering Straight. As a huge fan of the show myself, along with 10 million others (!) who tune in each week, I couldn't be more excited. Download the song for free here.



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Self-titled EP Now Available For FREE

Cambridge Based Indie Folk Band Makes Its Recorded Debut

Six piece indie-folk music project, Magnolia, will be releasing their self-titled EP for FREE through Folkus Records. Led by singer-songwriter Dan Kaplan and longtime friend and guitarist Judson Abts, Magnolia has gone through several incarnations—taking twists and turns along the way. Starting out as a traditional folk, alt-country infused Americana band, Magnolia has finally settled on a sound that is all their own - the spot on harmony between Kaplan and vocalist Eleanor Halgren floating alongside Abts' soaring electric guitar parts and drummer Ken MacLeod's rhythmic foundation. Dan has described it as "more like what I've always wanted a band to sound like - taking pieces of all of our influences and ideas, and stitching them together in our own way to make something new, but still sound familiar - something that you can't quite place...In any one song that we've written, I can hear so many different things going on."

Garnering comparisons to everyone from the anthematic rock of Coldplay to the indie pop of breakout bands like Phoenix, Magnolia indeed wears many hats. Kaplan has remarked, "I’ve always been drawn to the idea of not being constrained by any preconceived ideas of what music has to be. The goal has always been to figure out how to break the patterns that are so easy [for me] to fall into - to constantly challenge myself to write better melodies, better songs". And with an extensive back catalogue already, including over 250 songs and a plan to release a full length album later this year, it’s clear that they're just getting started.

The EP was recorded at Wonka Sound just outside of Boston, and includes a more traditional arrangement of instrumentation along with violin and some other surpises along the way including a glockenspiel, full-sized orchestral timpanis, and even a toy piano.

The project is an ever evolving one, and has played in several states throughout its existence - sometimes in an all acoustic form with backing vocals and violin, sometimes as a hard hitting band with drums, bass and piano. Whatever form they take on, Magnolia has been playing at venues throughout Boston, getting some steady press buzz and a growing local draw.

The EP will be self-released and available for free on the Magnolia website. Download it here.

1. I Wanna Know
2. Empty
3. It's Not Over (Til I Say It Is)

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Full length album coming soon

Tomorrow we'll be heading back into Wonka Sound in Lowell, MA to begin work on our full length album, a project that we've been planning for quite awhile now. We'll be recording songs that we've been playing out for the past few months or so, and a handful of brand new ones that we've been working on. I'm expecting it'll be finished sometime in the next few months, but then again, I think I always say that before starting a new project. So, we'll see what happens and just play it by ear. Either way, I'm SO excited to jump in ang get started. We'll be posting updates periodically, so stay tuned!

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UNregular Radio Broadcast Tuesday, January 4th

We just confirmed our first radio spot on UNregular radio, a local internet station broadcast out of downtown Boston. On Tuesday, January 4th around 1:00 pm, we'll be doing a live in-studio acoustic performance of 2 songs from our upcoming EP. Learn more about it here. In the meantime, though, I hope everyone has a great New Year and makes it to the other side in one piece! Unlike other New Year's celebrations, I'll be heading up to Portland, ME to hopefully wake up without a hangover.



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Happy Holidays!

Eleanor passed an mp3 along the other day of a duet she sang and recorded with 16 year old wonder child,  Piper Browne. Written by Jimmy Loundsberry and produced by Bradley Royds in Gloucester, MA, the song sounds more traditional than most traditional holiday music, but also more modern than most modern holiday music. Perhaps I'm just a sucker for 8 part harmonies and violin, but whatever - I'm Jewish and I still love listening to it. So, with the holiday season in full swing, I thought it'd be particularly appropriate to share with anyone who's interested. If you haven't heard it already on a few select Boston radio shows, feel free to download to it here.

Meanwhile, we're all taking a little break for the holidays to spend time with our families (or significant others' families), but we're looking forward to getting a good start out of the gate in the new year. Keep your eyes out for new videos, free downloads, and shows coming up soon. Hope you all have a great holiday season!

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First Show in 2011

We just booked our first show in 2011 - Saturday January 8th at McGann's Pub in Downtown Boston along with a few other bands from the area. We'll be playing songs from our upcoming EP and breaking out two new ones - Black Swan (coincidentally timed with the release of the feature length movie of same name) and one tentatively titled Givin' Up The Ghost that we've been working hard on these past few weeks. If you haven't seen us in awhile (well, to be fair, we've only played a handful of shows since the summer since we've been writing new songs and finishing up our EP), definitely make sure to catch this one. We're looking forward to seeing some familiar faces and sharing some crazy New Year's stories. Hope to see you there!

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Welcome to the new Magnolia Site

Although we've been meaning to piece this together for quite some time, our website is finally live and on the internets! More than likely, it'll change over time as these things often do, but we'll be doing our best to keep it updated with upcoming shows, new recordings, videos, free downloads and any special news to report. We're also hoping to use the site to jot down any old random thoughts in a more informal way and encourage anyone who's interested to participate. Send us emails, join us on facebook, or just say hi.  Looking forward to seeing what the rest of the year has in store and preparing for 2011.

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