Magen White
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Magen White

Band Pop Acoustic


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"Sept. 14, 2006"

On Her Own
Local acoustic pop artist gets ready to hit the road—again
By Marisa Demarco

Magen White stole her sister's guitar. Well, not "stole" exactly. Her sis played it for a couple months, then kind of forgot about it and left the guitar to languish in their house. Five years ago, Magen picked it up and started fiddling. She cut her teeth on bands like Dashboard Confessional and The Get Up Kids.

After making a go in two bands and an acoustic duo (Look Mom No Hands, a collaboration with her cousin), White is on her own, writing, playing without distortion, learning to be witty in front of crowds by herself. She's heading out on the road in November all alone for a tour of smaller college towns.

So what you’re doing now is folk rock? What would you call it?

I call it folk just to be easy, but I would mostly call it acoustic pop rock because it still has the pop aspects. I don't really play folk rhythms or sing about folky things.

You've already been on tour in the Southwest ...

Two, actually. The reason [my cousin] Barry and I started Look Mom No Hands was solely for the purpose of going on tour. We really wanted to travel with music, but we knew we couldn't do it with our full band. We didn't have the money for the trailer or van or whatever. I was like, "Well, I have all these acoustic songs. We could just brush those up and go to Phoenix and Los Angeles." And Barry's like, "OK."

How did you do your tour booking?

We pretty much did it last-minute. We were in Phoenix and we needed a show in Los Angeles, so we called. I've found that it's easy to book things way in advance, like six months in advance, or it's easy to book them two days before. But anytime in between, it's screwed.

Why do you think that is?

I guess it's this sense of emergency. I'm saying, "Well, we're going to be there tomorrow night. Can we please play?" And they say, "I guess we can put you as an opener." That's usually what I do—open for people. People think, "Oh, solo acoustic act. That's an easy opener."

Are you going to try to make a run at this music thing, or is it just for fun?

No, it's fun, but it's what I want to do with my career. I just graduated from UNM in May, and I'm not looking to get a job in my field at all.

What kind of degree did you get?

I got a journalism and mass communication degree for broadcasting. I minored in media arts. I'm just working to make money and pay the bills, but every free moment that I get, I spend writing, preparing to record or recording. I really want to do it for my career as an independent artist or on a label. There's plenty of opportunity as an independent artist to make a living at it. I won't rule that out.

What do you do?

My mom owns a pet cremation business.

Do you cremate pets?

I just do the things she asks me to do.

Does that include cremating pets?

(Laughs) Yes.

How does your family feel about you wanting to be a musician professionally?

They're all for it. They're totally supportive. They're not necessarily at every show, because I wouldn't expect them to be. My mom's researching things for me and telling me what to do. It's helpful, and I appreciate it. They just really want me to do it. If I say I want to do it, they want me to pursue it with all my might. - The Alibi

"Georgia Moncrief"

"Magen White’s latest release, Look Mom, No Hands, is a CD packed with thought provoking lyrics that leaves the listener wanting more. The music conveys a distinctive sound that is refreshing and unique. White has a created a style that is all her own and I love it!" - GoGirls Elite


The Asteroid Years, indie release 2005
1. What Do We Know
2. Let In The Cold
3. Corrales
4. Early Summer
5. Grass-stained
6. Theme Song

Look Mom No Hands, indie Release May 2006

1. Degree
2. I don't see this ending
3. What do we know
4. Last Call
5. D-Formation
6. Grass-stained
7. Sometimes I
8. Early Summer
9. Things are different now
10. Let in the cold
11. One night
12. Corrales
13. My Rock

The Drive Away [EP] - March 2007

1. Being Alone is Underrated
2. Drive Away Before I'm Knee Deep
3. Albuquerque Made Me Do It
4. Different Life
5. Whatever
6. The Single Worst Moment
7. Jane's Memories (bonus track)

My Life 'til Now - June 2008

1. Horrendous Lines and Rollercoaster Rides
2. I'm Okay
3. Early Summer
4. So Lost
5. Being Alone is Underrated
6. Stop Torturing Me
7. Back Then
8. If I was a Lesbian...
9. California Skies
10. Shed Your Skin
11. I'll Love You



Magen White graduated from college with a journalism degree and did not become a journalist. Instead, she started working for her mother’s animal cremation company and playing music on the side. The job doesn’t sound glamorous, but it allowed her to take three weeks off in November 2006, so she could go on her first solo tour. She toured through cities all the way to Portland, OR, to Hollywood, and back home to Albuquerque. In March 2007, she released The Drive Away EP. It’s a raw, acoustic recording of six songs she was itching to get of her chest.

That summer, she decided to record a full-length album completely different than Drive Away. Knowing nothing about audio engineering, or having any money to go into a fancy studio, her plan was a little halted. In July 2007, she left work early and played a show at her favorite local coffee shop, The Blue Dragon, when a producer walked into her life.

John Hansen and Magen started recording My Life ‘til Now in August with big plans, and they exceeded their expectations. Fans should expect something much bigger from this album. With fully orchestrated string sections, two mandolin solos, and a touch of organ, this album has it all, (except for whistling and kazoo..they had to be cut).