Music Video Monday – R.I.P. Jason Molina

A remembrance of the singer and songwriter

Music Video Monday is usually a single clip — something cool or funny or moving — but today, it’s a remembrance of Jason Molina who died on March 16 from “organ failure resulting from alcohol consumption.” He was 39.

The musical world first took notice of Molina when he began releasing albums in the late-90s under the moniker Songs: Ohia. The music was gorgeous, aching, raw, and tormented — all the more impressive when you learn that the songs were often recorded the moment they were done being improvised.

In a tribute posted on Electrical Audio, indie über-producer Steve Albini writes:

I loved hearing Jason Molina sing. He was a genius at turning a phrase and making it into something more than the words in it. Jason was almost supernaturally prolific, and several times I watched him write an album’s worth of songs in a weekend, recording them on the spot. Much of his recorded output with Magnolia Electric Co is the evidence of him and the band playing his songs for the very first time. It’s amazing, really, that it was any good at all, much less so touching and fully realized.

The Ohio native eventually began performing and recording under the name Magnolia Electric Co. (also the title of the last Songs: Ohia album). Between those two bands he released over a dozen albums, many of them on the Bloomington, Indiana record label Secretly Canadian. Apparently, Molina had also been struggling with alcoholism most of that time. In 2009, he stopped touring to deal with it. His last album, Autumn Bird Songs, came out in the autumn of 2012.

For a short time, nearly everything he recorded will be streamed on the Magnolia Electric Co. Bandcamp site.