Day 132: Just Be Simple

“Just Be Simple” is another Songs: Ohia track from the Magnolia Electric Company album. Jason Molina delivers the words with such melancholy, even in the sound of his guitar. It’s like a mantra: Just be simple again. Just be simple again. Just be simple again. Simple like when? Like when? Simple like a child? Simple like a young man? Like a boy? Boys worry too, and so do children. Simple like when everyone was alive? It wasn’t simple, but it was better.

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Day 131: Farewell Transmission

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.