While Margot’s shimmering red hair, Christmas morning catch-lit eyes, and glowing gilded-guitar-pick jewelry could easily qualify her as a living, sparkling holiday symbol, Margot’s fans have always had much of substance from her to celebrate this time of year, with a timeline beginning seemingly impossibly long ago for an artist who is barely beyond her teens. It's something of a paradox for the music of someone this young to have played such a storied role in DC holiday tradition, but her rich, multi-octave, classically-trained voice and expressive delivery have made her an early and sought-after natural at performing holiday music. She demonstrated her rapidly developing skill set, feeding the demand for classic Christmas songs, all the while finding it increasingly difficult to hide a decided preference for the unconventional. Things were about to get really interesting!
The more modern period of Margot’s holiday presence began almost exactly two years ago when this already awesome artist coaxed a loop pedal from Santa early enough to be able to add Imogen Heap’s far from conventional holiday tune “Just for Now” to the acoustic set she was rehearsing to play on the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage. When the time came, MacDonald dramatically cleared the stage of band members to debut the new addition. Still deeply enamored of Margot’s vocals, and guitar and piano accompaniment, fans were mesmerized by the performance, intrigued by the possibilities of the new device, and quickly falling in love all over again. It was a moment that did not go unnoticed by those who watch for important happenings on the DC music landscape. On December 18, 2009, Washington Post writer Moira E. McLaughlin was moved to mark the event with this review: Teen singer-songwriter Margot MacDonald is seasoned beyond her years.
Last Christmas, Margot joined Modern Times friends at DC’s Rock & Roll Hotel for their firstMargot MacDonald: Using Electronics for the Forces of Good, was the definitive introduction to Margot’s music for countless new fans as well as bringing many long-time fans up to speed with Margot’s new-found creativity, the more general application of the new tool to her newly penned original music, and the point of no return for its integration into her core musical style. Not long after, Margot was crowned by the Washington Area Music Association (WAMA) as their Artist of the Year.
The current holiday season began just as Margot’s campaign to fan-fund a new album via IndieGoGo, a website dedicated to facilitating donations to causes like Margot's, was winding down, adding the prospect of a new Margot record to the anticipation of the new year. Support for the campaign and excitement about the new album inspired a virtual army of bloggers to take up Margot's cause and help spread the word. Leading the charge was once again My Music Thing who introduced Margot's campaign to the world in July with a blog entry of the same name Margot MacDonald & the Audio Conundrum. The next month, Margot music convert Break Off the Chains followed suit with a glowing report of their own. October, by far the most active month for Margot-excited bloggers, started with the Vinyl District's week-long series on Margot, her music and campaign. Margot MacDonald: The TVD Session ended with an original video of Margot's new "Speed of Sound" produced just for the series, but there was still more to come. The month of October finally drew to a close with not one but two blog entries on the last day of that month: Chestnut Orange's Say It Loud: Margot MacDonald and a reprise by MMT, Bust Out Your Inner Cee Lo As the Executive Producer of Margot's New CD. The final feature on the campaign, posted just last month, was our Margot MacDonald: RECYCLING SOUND in which we explained why it's vitally important for Margot to release a new album now. When the dust settled after an eleventh-hour frenzy of activity, MacDonald's IndieGoGo site was reporting over $15,000 in contributions toward the completion of her new album.
To add yet another chapter to her holiday tradition, December 22nd Margot will take a quick breather from studio work on the new record to headline her very own holiday show, this year at IOTA
The really cool thing about this latest holiday happening is that you can come and be part of it--
As we anticipate Margot's final show of the year and the prospect of another new year of the music that has come to mean so much, I'd like to add my own personal holiday greeting to you and
Made-by-Margot Christmas ornament photo by Alan Kayanan. Photo of Margot holding her microphone is a frame from Margot's Floor Sessions video of her loop pedal cover of Coldplay's "Viva La Vida" videographed by Alan Kayanan. Official show poster for Margot & Friends holiday party by Margot MacDonald.
Other photos in this feature by Den Hollinden.