This week was the anniversary of Jason Molina’s tragic, untimely death. Molina wrote and performed many great songs. He recorded Magnolia Electric Company as a member of the band Songs: Ohia, and it is a fine album, sorrowful and melancholic. Molina had a lot of problems and great gifts. Do these things go together?
I heard Daniel Ralston memorialize Molina on the Low Times podcast, a great series when it was alive for a few years. He, Maggie Serota, and Tom Scharpling interviewed dozens of musicians as hosts of the podcast, and I always looked forward to learning about new bands. I could always rely on Low Times for great recommendations. I learned about Danielson, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Kevin Devine, and Matt Pond from Low Times. Daniel Ralston talked about Jason Molina and Magnolia Electric Company. I had never heard of them. Ralston’s recommendation was so earnest that I bought it immediately. Honestly, I did not like it at all at first. I shelved it.
I am not sure why, but after Miles died I gave it another shot, and it spoke to me. I’ve listened to it many times, and I have listened to “Farewell Transmission” on its own many more times. It is pretty easy to know why, if you know.