Posted by: birdmaddgirl | 18 March 2013

“No one has to be that strong…

but if you’re stubborn like me, i know what you’re trying to be”

sometimes, something hits you at just the perfect moment. love, books, music. someone i love gave me this song that did that. it pounced on my chest and bowled me ass over teakettle. i downloaded every goddamn track i could find after that. i needed more of this. i needed all of this. this guy had albums with portuguese names. he had an album named after ships that explored the arctic. he had lots of brush on the percussion and a thrush voice and a justso jangle. there was something that this jason molina guy was doing that bit deep into my guts. i bought axxess and ace and the lioness and forgot to ever come up for air.

“i’m getting weaker i’m getting thin i hate how obvious i have been”

for a variety of reasons, i basically stopped listening to music for a little over two years.  i organize my memories around music. looking back, it was the biggest indication that i didn’t want to or felt i couldn’t participate in the world. numb, numbed, number. i never stopped listening to jason molina’s work, though. perhaps because it kept me connected to creating.

“put no limit on the words simply to live that was my plan”

for over a decade, i’ve listened to songs: ohia when i write. i digested an immense amount about writing from putting an album like ghost tropic on repeat. risk. honesty. tension. modulation. simplicity. there are tricks a poet can’t learn from a songwriter, but even that is in itself a gift, to figure out how to capture a little of that emotional truth with a different toolbox. i learned that i could play with a palette and stay true to my voice without being boring from jason molina. that my sparseness could be strength. that i could be inventive if i tried hard enough. i think i heard something that helped me feel brave enough to push myself. some echo. because he was doing it and making it beautiful.

“i’m still guided by the voices i memorized… the world is an unsteady world”

it’s sad to know that even if music is released posthumously, autumn bird songs was the last chance jason molina had to share what he did. what he made in the time he had and what he gave is tremendous.

“then it’s lights out after this kiss then time can’t torment us this will have to serve

thank you, jason molina, for making music. thank you and all your bandmates and your label and all the support staff and your friends and family that put this out into the world and brought it on the road. there was a magical while when i got to see magnolia electric co perform a whole mess of times in sweet small metro-boston venues. the middle east (where i got a sort-of too-big shirt that i love because it’s dark brown lettering on black fabric. so sneaky). tt the bear’s (where i got rather skeevily checked out, but the tradeoff was a short but nice little conversation). great scott’s (where i snagged the show poster from the bathroom, it’s been the only band poster on my wall for the last few years). if you haven’t heard any of jason molina’s music yet, go find it now. get hold of magnolia electric co and let it charm you. “farewell transmission” is about as perfect as a song gets.

“here it is wide and full like a pale ghost across the sky here it is crescent like a dagger from your heart into mine here it is just a spark to shine”


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