Songs: Ohia - Magnolia Electric Company...any good? [EDIT: RIP Jason Molina -- March 2013]

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I have 2 other albums but have yet to hear the last one
Is this one worth getting??

I also heard they are changing the name op the band to Magnolia Electic Co?

, Tuesday, 21 October 2003 15:00 (nineteen years ago) link

good, the opening track would be enough for me to buy it

D Aziz (esquire1983), Tuesday, 21 October 2003 15:49 (nineteen years ago) link

It's a good album, despite the occassionally awkward Neil Young worship. If you can find a copy, buy the first pressing -- it came with a bonus disc of acoustic/alternative versions of the songs, many of which are better, or so different than the originals that it is worth owning.
My fave Songs: Ohia disc is still the one with Tigress/Lioness on it.

Ben Boyer (Ben Boyer), Tuesday, 21 October 2003 18:20 (nineteen years ago) link

You need to know how to listen to it, but once you do, it's absolutely wonderful. And Ben's suggestion is dead-on; I downloaded the "demo disc," since it didn't come with the reviewers' copy, and between the two albums, you have not only both glorious sides of songs:ohia (noisy-and-full, sad-and-spacious), but one of the finest packages of the year.

Sean M (Sean M), Tuesday, 21 October 2003 20:13 (nineteen years ago) link

didn't someone claim this was the greatest album in the history of the world like way back in jan.? i saw them live once when opening for arab strap, he's not very interesting. indie rockers need to get sensitive sometimes though, i suppose.

keith (keithmcl), Wednesday, 22 October 2003 01:31 (nineteen years ago) link

i guess i'm in the right thread to ask this...

i only own 'the lioness', which i think is brilliant. i want to get more s:o/molina stuff, but given his volume of releases and my lack of cash (can't find much via downloading and i'm happy to buy them), could someone please recommend where i should go next out of:

-Songs: Ohia
-Axxess & Ace
-Ghost Tropic
-Didn't It Rain
-The Magnolia Electric Co

alhtough from what i gather from ben, maybe i already own his 'swansong'... and i know there's a pile of other EPs, split singles, etc - if one of those is absolutley essential, let me know too (i fear the answers to this are going to hurt my paycheque)

Rob Bolton (Rob Bolton), Wednesday, 22 October 2003 06:50 (nineteen years ago) link

'Didn't It Rain' is fantastic, although incredibly mournful and downbeat. It's nothing like 'Magnolia...' at all, but it's defintely my favourite Songs:Ohia record. I'd have a punt on that one if you like the sad stuff.

Jason J, Thursday, 23 October 2003 19:55 (nineteen years ago) link

didn't it rain and ghost tropic are beautiful. axxess and aces sounded too much like palace worship to me. I'm unfamiliar with everything else aside from some eps and singles.

anthony kyle monday (akmonday), Thursday, 23 October 2003 20:13 (nineteen years ago) link

DIDN'T IT RAIN and GHOST TROPIC are my faves. MAGNOLIA strays into the very noisy, Crazy horse side of Molina that I am not as fond of, and he even has guest vocalists handle some of the songs. He mentioned when MAGNOLIA was released that he was quickly going to follow it up with a solo vinyl-only release, but I don't think it has happened yet. Sure, he similar to Will Oldham, but I think the strength of his songwriting raises him above being a mere imitator. But then again, I enjoy listening to the Rapture imitate the Gang of Four...

Dan Buskirk, Friday, 24 October 2003 02:59 (nineteen years ago) link

Magnolia's A-side is worth every penny...Didnt it Rain is probably my favorite though. But they are all good.

I got to see them again recently at VCU's annual free show for the students thing. Rock.

S:O fan, Friday, 24 October 2003 11:14 (nineteen years ago) link

Strike up another vote for Ghost Tropic and i'll add Mi Sei Apparso Come un Fantasma as well as the ONE TRACK ("Be Your Own Guide") he contributed to the split EP with My Morning Jacket.

christoff (christoff), Friday, 24 October 2003 12:22 (nineteen years ago) link

Woops, technically, the track on the MMJ "Split" is called Translation.

christoff (christoff), Friday, 24 October 2003 12:36 (nineteen years ago) link

five years pass...

the new magnolia electric co. album josephine will be released by secretly canadian on july 21st, 2009. you can nab a free mp3 of the title track over in the media section. to support the record they’ll head out july 10th on a month long tour crossing the u.s followed by a few weeks of full-band touring in europe. see tour dates for all the details.

so Josephine has leaked, love Songs: Ohia stuff so looking forward to this!

Bee OK, Tuesday, 16 June 2009 00:51 (thirteen years ago) link

one month passes...

At first listen the new one didn't do a lot for me. Subsequent listens have caused to start growing on me.

Jim, Sunday, 26 July 2009 02:42 (thirteen years ago) link

This is my #2 or #3 record so far this year, because I am boring.

Simon H., Sunday, 26 July 2009 08:00 (thirteen years ago) link

i thought of 2Pac's Changes in that first song.

pretty good album, anyway.

Ludo, Sunday, 26 July 2009 08:52 (thirteen years ago) link

i'm digging it as well but I, too, am boring.

OCONDOR (Pt.1), Sunday, 26 July 2009 17:32 (thirteen years ago) link

one year passes...

any news on Jason Molina? The last news was well over a year ago when he cancelled a tour due to ill health.

Since then, nothing. Hope he's doing ok..

Anyone know what's up with him? After years of prolific writing and releasing, there's been nothing for nearly 18 months.

Night Nurse with Wound (Jack Battery-Pack), Wednesday, 16 February 2011 20:34 (twelve years ago) link

two years pass...

Probably should have revived this joint thread instead -- per the last post: sadly, Jason Molina has passed on

Ned Raggett, Monday, 18 March 2013 15:36 (ten years ago) link

oh man

call all destroyer, Monday, 18 March 2013 15:42 (ten years ago) link

bummer, didn't really know the extent of his alcohol issues. RIP.

tylerw, Monday, 18 March 2013 15:43 (ten years ago) link

Yeah I heard he was ill but didn't know much about the details, RIP

chr1sb3singer, Monday, 18 March 2013 15:46 (ten years ago) link

omg :( so sad about this

obliquity of the ecliptic (rrrobyn), Monday, 18 March 2013 15:49 (ten years ago) link

yeah, really sad. became a big, big fan of his work in the mid to late 2000s and he felt like a huge part of my life at that time.

call all destroyer, Monday, 18 March 2013 15:50 (ten years ago) link

really super bummed about this. i was always hoping he'd come through his troubles in a better place and release lots more fantastic music. this is really sad.

i kant believe it's not buffon (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Monday, 18 March 2013 15:51 (ten years ago) link

no no no no no no
chunklet post has disappeared.
please let this not be true.

sean gramophone, Monday, 18 March 2013 15:52 (ten years ago) link

Henry had written that he died on Saturday from organ failure and that by the time the news reached him it had already been spreading slowly through their network of friends and associates. Pretty sure it's true, but he may be writing his eulogy a little differently.

Johnny Fever, Monday, 18 March 2013 15:54 (ten years ago) link

Ah hell.

your fretless ways (Eazy), Monday, 18 March 2013 15:57 (ten years ago) link

this is sad because he was talented and also sad because he was so human

and that sounds like a gong-concert (La Lechera), Monday, 18 March 2013 15:58 (ten years ago) link

Devastating. This guy wrote some of my favorite music

Heez, Monday, 18 March 2013 15:58 (ten years ago) link

Damnit. He came through Charlottesville a lot during some formative years for me, and he was always really gracious and genuine. Played some damn great shows too. RIP.

grandavis, Monday, 18 March 2013 16:04 (ten years ago) link

A lovely song:

grandavis, Monday, 18 March 2013 16:05 (ten years ago) link

sad. glad i got to see him play once.

bnw, Monday, 18 March 2013 16:05 (ten years ago) link

The detail about his not having health insurance and his family having to ask for donations towards medical bills really gets to me.

Deafening silence (DL), Monday, 18 March 2013 16:05 (ten years ago) link

this is just too much for me. i was just listening to the magnolia electric co. demos on a drive in the rain last night. devastating news :/

illegalblues, Monday, 18 March 2013 16:05 (ten years ago) link


Johnny Fever, Monday, 18 March 2013 16:08 (ten years ago) link

Knowing alcoholism was the cause is just so heavy.

Evan, Monday, 18 March 2013 16:10 (ten years ago) link

Just...fuck. RIP.

Simon H., Monday, 18 March 2013 16:10 (ten years ago) link

This, from a little over a year ago, is some sad reading:§ion=blogs

Johnny Fever, Monday, 18 March 2013 16:11 (ten years ago) link

Johnny Fever, Monday, 18 March 2013 16:11 (ten years ago) link

looks like he took the post down to add a live performance link

call all destroyer, Monday, 18 March 2013 16:15 (ten years ago) link

fuck, i knew when this thread had 23 new answers something bad had happened. Had no idea about his issues, seemed like a guy who could be prolific forever. RIP, will spin a couple of his records tonight

Ludo, Monday, 18 March 2013 16:17 (ten years ago) link

I know this is a somewhat petty request in light of the circumstances, but can the title of this thread be changed? Answer is and will always be yes.

grandavis, Monday, 18 March 2013 16:20 (ten years ago) link

Fuck. Thought about him just the other day, hoping it wouldn't end like this. RIP, good man. You fought.

Mule, Monday, 18 March 2013 16:22 (ten years ago) link

"No Limits on the Words" hitting so hard right now.

Mule, Monday, 18 March 2013 16:27 (ten years ago) link

Damn... This is so sad...

Le Bateau Ivre, Monday, 18 March 2013 16:33 (ten years ago) link

"We get no second chance in this life."

a monolithic testament to shiftlessness and lost productivity (dan m), Monday, 18 March 2013 16:34 (ten years ago) link

Jason Molina wrote some of my all time favorite songs, and "Goodnight Lover," which would be one of my favorite songs if I could listen to it without crying. So so sad. Such a terrible way to die.

carl agatha, Monday, 18 March 2013 16:43 (ten years ago) link

oh my god, this is terrible. I had no idea. does his family still need money?

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 18 March 2013 16:49 (ten years ago) link

heartbreaking. rest in peace jason

ums (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Monday, 18 March 2013 16:51 (ten years ago) link

I don't know how I only ever saw Magnolia Electric Co. one time. I must've seen the side dudes' bands (Coke Dares, etc.) dozens of times in Bloomington during the early '00s. But I don't remember Molina being much of a presence at all during his time there.

Portly Backgammon (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 1 October 2014 19:58 (eight years ago) link

i saw him... three times i think? once solo, opening for tindersticks, ca. 2000/2001.

I dunno. (amateurist), Wednesday, 1 October 2014 20:00 (eight years ago) link

thanks for posting that link to the Chicago Reader story.

Ludo, Wednesday, 1 October 2014 20:04 (eight years ago) link

I'm with La Lechera on this - tragic , desperate story.

Fucking alcohol. A marriage in the depths of hell.

Jessie Fer Ark (Mobbed Up Ping Pong Psychos), Wednesday, 1 October 2014 21:35 (eight years ago) link

Damn the no edit function.
JM really could express 'the darkness' through his music - as well as anyone

Jessie Fer Ark (Mobbed Up Ping Pong Psychos), Wednesday, 1 October 2014 21:38 (eight years ago) link

one month passes...


look at the dude in the background making the "slit my throat" gesture

I dunno. (amateurist), Monday, 1 December 2014 04:26 (eight years ago) link


marcos, Monday, 1 December 2014 14:58 (eight years ago) link

avon lake is super close to where i grew up

marcos, Monday, 1 December 2014 14:58 (eight years ago) link

90s high school kids in ohio breaking my old heart this morning
my hs bff had a sweater just like hers and she gave it to me a long time ago and i still wear it

La Lechera, Monday, 1 December 2014 15:00 (eight years ago) link

one month passes...

An unreleased track has been posted today, with notes from Alasdair Roberts, who participated.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 14 January 2015 17:55 (eight years ago) link

two years pass...

Not many people saw The Circle, it got awful reviews, but I loved the book so I checked it out. "Farewell Transmission" is featured for exactly three seconds when Emma Watson's luddite ex-boyfriend pulls up to meet her on the side of the highway. Best moment in the movie.

So I came back to this song, which I only discovered after Molina died four years ago. I'm obsessed with it all over again, especially after finding out that it was done live in one take, and the final "LISTEN!" was improvised. Like that interview says above, it really is absolutely stunning, the whole piece. Talk about a masterpiece.

flappy bird, Wednesday, 3 May 2017 17:13 (five years ago) link

a book about molina is coming soon

Erin Osmon presents a detailed, human account of the Rust Belt–born musician Jason Molina—a visionary, prolific, and at times cantankerous singer-songwriter with an autodidactic style that captivated his devoted fans. The songwriting giant behind the bands Songs: Ohia and Magnolia Electric Co. had a knack for spinning tales, from the many personal myths he cultivated throughout his life to the poems and ballads he penned and performed. As with too many great musicians, Molina’s complicated relationship with the truth, combined with a secretive relationship with the bottle, ultimately claimed his life.

Jason Molina: Riding with the Ghost details Molina’s personal trials and triumphs and reveals for the first time the true story of Molina’s last months and works, including an unpublished album unknown to many of his fans. Offering unfettered access to the mind and artistry of Molina through exclusive interviews with family, friends, and collaborators, the book also explores the Midwest music underground and the development of Bloomington, Indiana–based label Secretly Canadian.

As the first authorized and detailed account of this prolific songwriter and self-mythologizer, Jason Molina provides readers with unparalleled insight into Molina’s tormented life and the fascinating Midwest musical underground that birthed him. It’s a story for the ages that speaks volumes to the triumphs and trials of the artistic spirit while exploring the meaningful music that Molina’s creative genius left behind

here is an excerpt:

marcos, Wednesday, 3 May 2017 17:15 (five years ago) link

'farewell transmission' is definitely one of my favorite ever songs

jason waterfalls (gbx), Wednesday, 3 May 2017 23:07 (five years ago) link


Jason lived with me the year after the period discussed in that excerpt, though most of those guys had graduated by then (Tom and Jeff were two years ahead of me) and I was with him when the guys from Secretly Canadian came to visit. I didn't really know him during that year, I just heard people talking about "Sparky" and somehow got it in my head they were talking about this guy Ebin who had a sparkly shirt. Definitely brought some stuff back, he was certainly some kind of pathological liar. Would just tell these stories and you'd look at him thinking "that's probably not true" but it was a good story so you just went along with it.

dan selzer, Thursday, 4 May 2017 03:17 (five years ago) link

Echoing the Farewell Transmission love--a harrowing track that I wish were 30 minutes long

passionate plant-based athlete (voodoo chili), Thursday, 4 May 2017 04:05 (five years ago) link

the song + the performance is just a staggering achievement

call all destroyer, Thursday, 4 May 2017 04:10 (five years ago) link

and all the players are so good! god, to be in that room, watching, listening, participating, all while it builds... what do you say when that's done?

flappy bird, Thursday, 4 May 2017 04:56 (five years ago) link

I recently rediscovered my love for that song when I tried to play it and I could. I was surprised! It sounds like a song that has always existed and just happened to pop out when those people were planted in that room (even though I know that's not how it works).

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Thursday, 4 May 2017 12:53 (five years ago) link

i would love a neil young/crazy horse 25min cover of it

jason waterfalls (gbx), Thursday, 4 May 2017 12:59 (five years ago) link

great tune and that whole album has an amazing vibe

marcos, Thursday, 4 May 2017 13:36 (five years ago) link

A couple of my friends/neighbors were in that band, and it sounds like Erin (a former editor of mine) did a good job with this thing, looking forward to it.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 4 May 2017 13:51 (five years ago) link

If anyone wants to play an endless jam of this song I'm in!

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Thursday, 4 May 2017 14:00 (five years ago) link

The bonus track on the new Mark Eitzel album is dedicated to Jason Molina, and is absolutely gorgeous.

nikola, Thursday, 4 May 2017 14:26 (five years ago) link

New Arriver album, awesome metal band featuring three members of the Mag. Elec. Co. band:

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 10 May 2017 15:34 (five years ago) link

one month passes...

here comes midnight
with the dead moon in its jaws

Universal LULU Nation (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 5 July 2017 14:44 (five years ago) link

one year passes...

I only just realised that Steve Albini recorded The Magnolia Electric Co. after he got referenced in the title of 'Steve Albini's Blues' on Didn't It Rain.. wonder if that shout out tipped it

You (bleeping) need me. You can't Finn without me (fionnland), Thursday, 11 October 2018 22:20 (four years ago) link

Ha. I thought this post was to promote the new release

Duke, Thursday, 11 October 2018 22:44 (four years ago) link

The first — and likely the best — love songs album of the new millennium now expanded into a 2xLP compendium. Featuring:
• An entire album of never-before-heard recordings from The Lioness sessions
• 16-page booklet with photos and meditations by Jason’s family, collaborators
• Packaged in deluxe tip-on gatefold jackets
• Replications of ephemera from Jason’s life from the time of recording, including: a two-sided postcard, a check for “one million kisses,” a two of hearts playing card, a handwritten letter in an envelope, a guitar pick, and a photograph of Jason and his wife-to-be

1. 'Love & Work: The Lioness Sessions' on limited edition translucent purple vinyl
2. Limited edition 2-sided tote bag 

Duke, Thursday, 11 October 2018 22:44 (four years ago) link

The Lioness expanded reissue

Duke, Thursday, 11 October 2018 22:45 (four years ago) link

Excited for this, but not sure whether to jump on the pre-order from the US or hold off for UK - with shipping and likely taxes it’s going to end up around the £50 mark.

michaellambert, Friday, 12 October 2018 10:31 (four years ago) link

I may just get the digital version

Duke, Friday, 12 October 2018 15:46 (four years ago) link

one month passes...

Reading some great reviews of this. A pity it's not available on CD

Duke, Saturday, 24 November 2018 18:17 (four years ago) link

one year passes...

Seven years already. This was a tough loss.

If the blues are you hunter
Then you will come face to face
With that darkness and desolation
And the endless depression
But you are not helpless
And you are not helpless
Try to beat it

Mule, Sunday, 22 March 2020 18:38 (three years ago) link

I mourn the loss regularly.

brechtian social distancing (Simon H.), Monday, 23 March 2020 03:11 (three years ago) link

one month passes...

Posthumous album of solo songs recorded in 2008 due in August, Eight Gates. Sounds like mostly solo acoustic songs mixed with field recordings from his time in London. Torn between really wanting to hear anything new from Molina and wondering if he wanted this stuff released...

Eight Gates:

01 Whisper Away
02 Shadow Answers the Wall
03 The Mission’s End
04 Old Worry
05 She Says
06 Fire on the Rail
07 Be Told the Truth
08 Thistle Blue
09 The Crossroad + The Emptiness

soaring skrrrtpeggios (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Wednesday, 20 May 2020 14:06 (two years ago) link

The track thus far released is really doing it for me:

Soundslike, Wednesday, 20 May 2020 22:21 (two years ago) link

Torn between really wanting to hear anything new from Molina and wondering if he wanted this stuff released...

I'm very ambivalent about this as well but this track is really nice.

Dinsdale, Saturday, 23 May 2020 21:51 (two years ago) link

one month passes...

I'm on a Molina binge rn and was thinking about whether I should get this.

Duke, Friday, 3 July 2020 22:36 (two years ago) link

I'd say that if you've got any interest at all in JM then you should definitely get it.

neilasimpson, Saturday, 4 July 2020 14:38 (two years ago) link

"New Arriver album, awesome metal band featuring three members of the Mag. Elec. Co. band:

― Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 10 May 2017 16:34 (three years ago) bookmarkflaglink"

Josh (or anyone) - this record is amazing. How did you find out that some of the ME Co. folk were involved? I've done some cursory searching but can't find anything.

neilasimpson, Saturday, 4 July 2020 14:39 (two years ago) link

Better searching reveals " Rob and Dan Sullivan on bass and guitar/vocals paid their dues in the late Jason Molina’s indie/alt. country outfit Songs: Ohia, even playing on the now-classic Magnolia Electric Co., which also featured McAdam."

neilasimpson, Saturday, 4 July 2020 14:46 (two years ago) link

Rob and Dan Macadam both went to Oberlin with us. Dan runs the amazing Crosshair silkscreen company.

dan selzer, Saturday, 4 July 2020 16:47 (two years ago) link

Dan M. is an old friend and neighbor (two blocks away) married to another old friend of mine from college. Coincidentally, Rob and Dan Sullivan are old friends of *another* really old college friend of mine, who also knew them from Maine (!). Dan S. btw is an incredible woodworker: Adding to the mix, Jeff, who played drums in the The Magnolia Electric Co. band, is married to a *different* old friend of mine.

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 4 July 2020 16:55 (two years ago) link

This Arriver album is great, thanks

Dinsdale, Saturday, 4 July 2020 22:16 (two years ago) link

one month passes...

I am super curious to hear Eight Gates, but I can't bring myself to do it just yet. As I mentioned earlier, I really struggle with the thought of him not wanting this stuff out there in this form.

soaring skrrrtpeggios (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Friday, 14 August 2020 20:34 (two years ago) link

I bought Eight Gates, on my third trip to the record shop. I had to, somehow. But I've yet to play it...

Duke, Friday, 14 August 2020 21:29 (two years ago) link

four months pass...

Just discovered Eight Gates and was unnerved by that snippit at the start of "She Says" where they have Molina on tape saying "the perfect take is--just as long as the person singing is still alive..."

Indexed, Thursday, 17 December 2020 15:44 (two years ago) link

two years pass...

10 years gone.

Mule, Wednesday, 15 March 2023 23:09 (two weeks ago) link

actually can't believe i'd written the man off as a palace copycat years ago. i listened hard this year and he's a completely different kind of writer. knowing so many of the songs were knocked out with one take is just phenomenal. as my mate put it: "never has someone made so much meaning out of such a minimal vocabulary". reading his biography rn...

maelin, Sunday, 19 March 2023 12:47 (one week ago) link

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