I have been really struggling to write this post over the last few days. The passing of Jason Molina last week hit me a lot harder than I could have imagined. Listening to his music again reminds me how much I owe him for opening up my love of music and especially my love of a sad song.
I can remember the first time I ever heard Jason sing, and it was a moment that changed my life.
I was on my computer looking on Audiogalaxy for some Shellac B sides and spotted a song called “Steve Albini’s Blues” by a band called Songs:Ohia. Steve Albini played heavy noise punk with his band Shellac, which is a lot of what I listened to at the time, and was what I was expecting when I put this song on to play.
That was the moment that changed everything. Expecting punk music I got something almost opposite, but something that awoke part of me deep inside. Similar to a good Shellac song, but multiplied tenfold, was the amount of emotion that came through in the song, as if this man was baring his soul for all to see. Stunned by the song I listened to it over and over again as I waited for my dial up modem to bring me more of this mysterious, gut wrenching sound, hoping that it wasn’t just a one off.
It wasn’t, and the album I ended up with that night was “Didn’t It Rain”. This album will always be the most meaningful of his albums to me, as other people will hold his other albums most dear to them. I listened to this album over and over before actually going to the record store to try buy anything of his I could find, which was a big step for a broke university student, but searching as much as I could I couldn’t find anything in my town. How could the world not know about this?
As more songs where acquired, one way or another, my housemates and friends all fell in love with his music, especially when I got hold of “The Lioness” and “Electric Magnolia Co.” His music opened up a whole new appreciation for us of how beautiful a slow sad song could be, and how good that could make you feel. This is a statement that includes more people than just myself and in this case, possibly one of the only, I can speak with pure confidence of its truth.
Jason, you will be sorely missed. Not just by myself, but my whole community of friends that I am part of, and by many many groups of people and friends that I am not. May you rest in peace.
You can buy his music or donate money to help pay off his medical bills here : http://www.secretlycanadian.com/
One For The Road
“The real truth about it is: no one gets it right. The real truth about it is: we’re all supposed to try.” – RIP Jason Molina