Tag Archives: Magnolia Electric Co

New Goshen Electric Co video: Ring The Bell

Video: Goshen Electric Co. – “Ring The Bell”

Single out now on Secretly Canadian.

Here’s the b-side of the single that Strand of Oak’s Tim Showalter recorded with the members of Magnolia Electric Co (Mike Benner, Jason Evans Groth, Mikey Kapinus, Mark Rice, Peter Schreiner).

Help does not just walk up to you, I could have told you that
I’m not an idiot

Jason Molina’s lyrics have a way of just punching you in the gut. It was bad enough when he was alive, but since we know how the story ends they’re even more heartbreaking.

I am thankful I had the chance to see Magnolia in concert a couple of times back in the day. The first show I saw was at the Abbey Pub in 2006 and I clearly remember thinking that this guy was feeling things too deeply for his own good. Molina was good-natured and charming but as soon as he started singing you could feel his pain. His guitar playing was equally expressive.

Showalter’s tribute is a worthy celebration of Molina’s craft. It doesn’t make the loss hurt any less, but it helps us remember how lucky we were to have him in our world, however briefly.

Magnolia Electric Co.: amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Continue reading New Goshen Electric Co video: Ring The Bell

New Goshen Electric Co video: The Gray Tower

Video: Goshen Electric Co. – “The Gray Tower”

Single b/w “Ring the Bell” due November 2 on Secretly Canadian.

Goshen Electric Co. is what happens when Strand of Oak’s Tim Showalter spends a half a day in the studio with the members of Magnolia Electric Co (Mike Benner, Jason Evans Groth, Mikey Kapinus, Mark Rice, Peter Schreiner).

The digital single will include an extended, nine-minute version of “Ring the Bell” from Songs: Ohia’s Didn’t It Rain (2002) and Magnolia Electric Co.’s Trials & Errors (2005).

It’s been more than five years since Jason Molina died and it hasn’t started hurting any less. Showalter feels the loss as deeply as anybody. “There was such an intimate relationship with his music -– it felt a lot deeper than just liking a song,” he’s said. “You live in these songs.”

Showalter and the band toured Europe, calling themselves “Songs: Molina – A Memorial Electric Co.” This seems like an appropriate tribute to a singer and songwriter who is terribly missed.

Magnolia Electric Co.: amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Continue reading New Goshen Electric Co video: The Gray Tower

New Magnolia Electric Co. – Josephine

MP3: Magnolia Electric Co. – “Josephine” from Josephine, due July 21 on Secretly Canadian.

“I’ve turned your life so upside-down / I don’t know how you stayed or why.” So begins the title track from Jason Molina‘s latest album. Doesn’t sound like he’s breaking much new ground here, but why should he? It’s a great sound, sad and reflective, but there’s an underlying glimmer of hope tucked away behind those overdriven guitar amps that are buried in the mix under the piano. “I lived so long with the shadows, lord, I became one of them / Oh what a fool I’ve been.”

If you haven’t yet given this band a chance, they share a bunch of MP3s, which you can find (along with summer tour dates) after the jump… I highly recommend “Leave the City,” which will break your heart. But of all my great reasons for leaving, now I can’t think of any…

Magnolia Electric Co.: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki, web.

Continue reading New Magnolia Electric Co. – Josephine

Magnolia Electric Co. – What Comes After the Blues

Magnolia Electric Co.What Comes After the Blues (Secretly Canadian)

Yeah, yeah, yeah… I know. He sounds like Neil Young. And what’s with all the hub-bub about the name changes? What’s the difference between Songs:Ohia, Pyramid Electric Co. and Magnolia Electric Co.? Why didn’t he just use his own name anyway? Who is this Jason Molina trying to fool?

Honestly, I could care less about all the tertiary items that surround this band. At the core, it’s the music that matters. And what we’ve got on our hands here is a damn fine album, with quality songs, earnestly performed by a great band. At times What Comes After the Blues seems a little self conscious, as if Molina and friends carry the weight of their fans’ expectations with them into the studio.

And while it might be easy to dismiss them as derivative of their influences and of themselves, what’s the point in that? There are elements within this album that signal Molina’s growth both artistically and personally – his comfort with relinquishing the control of a solo artist by stepping away from faux band moniker he hid behind for so long and fully embracing this group, tackling issues of loss and resolution, exposing himself to his demons: “No one should forgive me / I knew what I stood to lose / Am I better off now just forgetting / how I came to earn the North Star blues?”

What Comes After the Blues is a truly sad and beautiful album that serves as a downbeat musical wake for Molina’s past personas. It takes you to some uncomfortable places, but always reassures you’re never alone and that things will work out if you just give it a chance.

You can download “The Dark Don’t Hide It” and “Leave the City” courtesy of Secretly Canadian.

Songs: Ohia – Magnolia Electric Co

Songs: OhiaMagnolia Electric Co (Secretly Canadian)

Songs: Ohia has made a career out of channeling everything that was great about Neil Young into their music. Singer/songwriter Jason Molina crafts dark lyrics about regret, despair, and the struggles faced by small town Americans. This is the music you put on during long road trips through Indiana and Ohio. Rolling down the 80/90 Turnpike the songs on Magnolia Electric Co will cause you to stare with a little more sentiment at the pastures and farm homes. It is a story of losing love in an empty town, and realizing it can get even lonelier. The lifestyle once viewed as sad and distant from the perspective of an apartment soaking up the Chicago skyline suddenly becomes beautiful and genuine.

Magnolia Electric Co starts off with a rocker that ranks with the best anything Songs: Ohia have done to date. “Farewell Transmission” has Molina singing about the limitations and frustrations of small town America. When he gives you the lyrics “Now they’ll be working in the cold gray rock, in the hot mill steam… in the concrete/ In the sirens and the silences now all the great set up hearts – all at once start to beat” images of factory workers kissing their wives and newborns goodbye as they rise before dawn, creating a brotherhood that only they can understand comes to mind. Molina refuses to let up with “I’ve been riding with the Ghost.” Pouring his heart out to a lost love he confesses he’s running out of energy and ideas of how to change. He tells her he knows how to change, but can’t do it.

“Just Be Simple” slows down the pacing but becomes more introspective about lost love. Admitting “Everything you hated me for…Honey there was so much more/I just didn’t get busted.” Growing angry at his inadequacy he refuses to face his demons, and instead blames his plot in life. A lonely guitar chord at the end of the song represents a pair of slouched shoulders and an empty dinner table. He moves on in “Almost Was Good Enough” to a weak attempt at convincing himself it wasn’t meant to be, and segues into what could be considered the only flaw in the album

On the next two tracks Molina gives up the singing duties. “Old Black Hen” showcases Lawrence Peters and a deep country twang that becomes an acquired taste. On this track Molina sits down and delivers some of the most heart wrenching piano playing you’ll ever hear. Scout Niblett sings the only track that sounds out of place on this album. “Peoria Lunch Box Blues” succeeds in that the music is some of the darkest on Magnolia Electric Company, but the high pitched Niblett is so contradictory in delivery from that of Molina and Peters that the gray skies mood breaks and you become more annoyed than reflective.

All is forgiven with “John Henry Split My Heart.” The song starts off with a thundering guitar, slows for a moment to just a piano, and then becomes a whirlwind of screeching guitar and hard hitting piano and drumming. The 8-minute album closer “Hold On Magnolia” represents Songs: Ohia at their best. A clinic on proclaiming fault and exorcising demons it delivers the telling line of “You might be holding the last light I see/Before the dark gets a hold of me.”

Small town America is captured on Magnolia Electric Co. It can’t be labeled as rock, country, or blues. Just beautiful. “The real truth about it is no one gets it right.” If Molina ever does get it right, watch for traffic jams on the Turnpike.

Download “Farewell Transmission” via Secretly Canadian. There are tons of other Songs: Ohia mp3s available via Epitonic.