Sunday, March 24, 2013

Song of the Week: Magnolia Electric Co. - Whip-poor-will

This week saw the passing of Jason Molina, one of the unsung heroes of the alternative country movement.

Jason was a incredibly prolific song writer, releasing music under the banner of Songs: Ohia and Magnolia Electric Company. Since his Songs: Ohia debut in 1996, he had released at least one album every year until 2008. After releasing Josephine in 2009, Jason fell away from the music scene to battle with alcoholism. And it was his addiction to alcohol that ended up doing him in, as he died from organ failure due to alcohol consumption.

One of the things that always drew me to alternative country was its prevalence of sorrowful songs, and Jason was a master of this. And unfortunately, this was undoubtedly a consequence of his personal struggles with depression and alcoholism.

It was hard to pick an individual song of Jason’s to highlight in this Song of the Week post. But in the end, I decided on a song from Joesphine. I can’t help but think that Jason was talking about himself when he sang the line: "So all of you folks in heaven not too busy ringing the bell, some of us down here ain't doing very well."

We will miss you Jason. Thanks for leaving us with so much wonderful music.

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