the day we ghosted

Jason Molina in Fragments, Memories, Ghosts, Poems, Songs

It’s Easier Now” is from Jason Molina’s album Let Me Go, Let Me Go, Let Me Go though this version is taken from a performance on an Italian radio station.

We don’t have a name for the kind of sound that takes up space and does nothing more- a tone without a key, a breath flattened and frozen, friction without an object to release itself onto. Listen to the song above, a Jason Molina track recorded on an Italian radio station in 2007. The sound is everywhere in this song. I might not have a name from it. Jason Molina has at least as dozen. He would call it the dark or the blues  or he would call it ghosts, for a few. I think he got strength from putting those names onto that sound which seemed to stick to him more than most. I’ll get back to the ghosts, I promise.

***

IMG_20130318_103116

Hot Black Silk” is from the Songs: Ohia’s album Axxes and Ace.

Seventh Ave Wonderland” is from a long out of print Songs: Ohio seven inch.

One of the most touching collections of music I was ever given was given to me by Carissa Hamman of Cincinnati, Ohio in my freshman year of college. It was a CD-R, in a delicately folded and meticulously scotch-taped paper enveloped.  the cover was a pressed-pen drawing of a flower of a mostly blackened flower, a few bits of pink slighting out near the top. The track listing was written in the kind of script that looks like a series of precisely placed fallen eyelashes. Though, I will say, I read “Hot Black Silk”  as “Not Black Silk” until I had to look up the title, just now.  Before I even listen to the mix, a collection of Songs: Ohia and Magnolia Electric Company music, I could tell that this was the kind of music you put this much effort into presenting to someone. Sad songs flatlined into those two track-dividing seconds of silence only to be  brushed off and hung up as scarecrows with the start of the next, slightly-less-sad take. I was terribly sad when I thought I lost that CD in a move, and very relieved when I found it some months later.

***

Being in Love” is a live version of a Songs: Ohia song from The Lioness.

That wasn’t the only relationship that had some form of a start involving Songs: Ohia. The first time I drove my current girlfriend home, she got giddy when she found Songs: Ohia on my iPod, and then indignant, berating me for not having more Songs: Ohia albums (still don’t have The Lioness, probably to my own fault). We spent the entire car ride talking about Molina, his recent struggles, the different circumstances under which we’d seen him live, the connection, the deep, unyielding connection we had with certain songs of his. The funny thing about Molina’s songs and the music that accompanies him is that it isn’t meant for or built on such connections.  Songs often contain only enough space for Molina, an eerie light source, some of that ghost sound or blues sound.  With rare exceptions like “Being in Love” and “Captain Badass,” Molina songs exist without

***

 “Shenandoah” and “Hope Dies Last” are from the Magnolia Electric Company album Josephine.

Next, US-27, driving out of Cincinnati, the sky a cup of coffee
spilling perpetually. Then, road-side, We saw a stage.
A stiff-lapelled MC waved. We tucked, rolled into slush-felling dark.
He told clean jokes, then, with a gloved hand,
summoned a clean cut group of executioners. Someone clawed at the walls
You squeezed my coat sleeve as bullets took flight.

***

Image courtesy of Chunklet/Wez Frazier.

Image courtesy of Chunklet/Wez Frazier.

Long Dark Blues” is a demo of a song that appeared on the Songs: Ohia album The Magnolia Electric Company.

Farewell Transmission” is from the Songs: Ohia album The Magnolia Electric Company.

You can’t think of Jason Molina as a perfectionist, because it seems he didn’t think perfection was a reasonable goal. Songs titles like “Almost Was Good Enough” suggest as much. It’s why images (Ghosts, Highways, Bells, Moons, The Blues, Chicago) appear again and again- Molina wasn’t expecting things to work out perfect. He just wanted to say it the best way he could, and so he was willing to try, again and again, with the same words, the same themes. It’s the beautiful coda of Farewell Transmission- “Real truth about it is, no one gets it right.Real truth about it is, we’re all supposed to try.” In addition to stitching such ongoing themes themes throughout his songs, he perpetually reworked songs he had already recorded.  Like the best poets, but unlike most songwriters, you get the idea with Molina the song wasn’t finished just because it had been recorded.

***

The Night Shift Lullaby” is from the Magnolia Electric Company album What Comes After the Blues.

Almost Let You In” is from the Jason Molina and Will Johnson collaboration Molina and Johnson.

The voice your are now hearing is marrow.
living cement. Also, casing–the composure
that accompanies the ghost story it tells. The casing
is highways jointing out from teratomic lands like Iowa
and Indianapolis. Miles of exits with no services. The voice
you are not hearing prefers air travel,
not being a wet blanket, being heard.
The voice you are now hearing
is swaddled. Has been since birth
in soaked sheets
until it stopped shaking.

But that’s wrong. Jason Molina sucked at stage banter, came off cagey. I heard from friends around Bloomington that he was a closed book much more than he was open. At least in these songs, that wasn’t him. Listen to what he does with Scout Nibblet and Will Johnson here. He lets them in. All the way.

*** 

April 09 (Trip Home, Richmond, Ann Arbor) 217

Didn’t It Rain?” is from the Songs: Ohia album Didn’t It Rain?

34 Blues” is from the Jason Molina and Will Johnson collaboration Molina and Johnson.

3 comments

  1. Ton De Vos Haarstylist Nijmegen

    in plaats van wist dat ze nodig was, vraagt ​​ze zich af of
    misschien was ze helemaal niet nodig alle. Je moet tenen om hen heen, want een verkeerde beweging zal
    opstand ontketenen . Duizenden reizigers vragen zich af of ze voor een beetje goedkoper kon hebben gevlogen .u kunt proberen met behulp
    van een van de eenvoudige kunst programma’s op uw computer om uw eigen originele thema
    te ontwerpen. elke productie-merk, zoals Nokia, Samsung, LG, HTC,
    Blackberry, Sony Ericsson en dergelijke bieden klanten goedkope apparaten te maken van .

  2. Jacinto

    Hello There. I discovered your weblog the use of msn. Thhat
    is a rally smartly written article. I’ll be sure too bookmark it and return to read extra of your useful information. Thank you for the post.
    I’ll definitely comeback.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s