Didn't It Rain is Jason Molina's first perfect record. Recorded live in a single room, with no overdubs and musicians creating their parts on the fly, the overall approach to the recording was nothing new for Molina. But something in the air and execution of Didn't It Rain clearly sets it apart from his existing body of work. His albums had always been full of space, but never had Molina sculpted the space as masterfully as he does on Didn't It Rain.
Album on both 2xLP and 2xCD, containing previously unreleased demos recorded for the Didn't It Rain sessions
GIANT 27" x 39" Songs: Ohia Didn't It Rain cinema style poster, suitable for framing. Rolled and shipped in a separate tube mailer
Digital download code for the album (as a .zip file containing 320kbps mp3s), redeemable two weeks before release date on October 28, 2014
Almost 20 years after Jason Molina’s voice first rang out from Ohio, in this brave new world of streaming, the discussion surrounding the resurgence of vinyl rarely includes the 7”. The original and re-imagined underground aural morsels once housed in the format are now buried in digital EPs and embeddable media. The tangible, wax-fabricated evidence of a self-producing culture of creativity has given way to this modern age. But it is our hope that Molina’s unabashed utterances and refusal of trend are honored across the 18 sides of this collection—a thoughtfully resurrected series of tokens to a great artist gone too soon, to hear and to hold, and to live on in those who were there and those who wish they would have been. Gathered within 'Journey On: Collected Singles' are the charming, haunting and — much like the totality of the Songs: Ohia catalogue — elegantly disparate moments lost in the void of limited pressings and merch tables at last-minute shows that Molina often booked mid-tour from payphones across the country. Throughout the band’s storied course Molina’s creative prolificacy often outran the pace and resources of pre-laptop production, which is why the 7” record became an integral component to the dynamism of Songs: Ohia.
We know “Freedom Pt. 2” and “Soul” as the Nor Cease Thou Never Now 7” on Palace Records that, in 1996, breathed life into Songs: Ohia as we know it. Those two tracks cleared the course for the impassioned, front-and-center quaver we’d invite into our headphones over — depending how you count them — seven proper studio LPs, three EPs, and numerous singles and tour-only releases during the life of Songs: Ohia. “Cabwaylingo,” the captivating acoustic opener of the 1997 self-titled “Black Album," memorable in its flourishes of brushed drums, meandering banjo and of course, that voice, is resurrected here as “Vanquisher,” a haunting 1998 reimagining in which Molina convinces us that there are “fewer greater former ghosts” over gentle electric guitar lines as clear as his hushed-yet-confident oration. The beloved “Lioness” reappears with the addition of Molina collaborator and comrade Jennie Benford of Jim & Jennie And The Pinetops, lending a powerfully somber layer to “the look of the lioness to her man across the Nile."
These are but a few of the gems mined from the caverns of the Songs: Ohia singles spanning the six years until Molina’s hushed formation of the Magnolia Electric Co. It’s here we relive his generous and honest performances, his humor and his heart. These aren’t the maudlin ramblings so often pegged in the press, but the triumphant tales spun from the mind of an ordinary Midwestern man as goofy as he was fervent, who was able to execute an extraordinary body of work in a short amount of time.
Custom 7" turntable adaptor with the iconic Songs: Ohia crossbow logo lazer-etched in wood. Previously included in the now out-of-print boxset 'Journey on: Collected Singles.' Available as a stand-alone item while supplies last.
The hallmark of Jason Molina's career, Magnolia Electric Co., is both a confluence of all he would create and a line in the sand to mark a shift in his songwriting approach. It was the last statement under his iconic Songs: Ohia moniker, and the moment before he began making new legends as Magnolia Electric Co. for the next 10 years. Now— here at the end of that decade — with Molina gone, his work gathers more weight and meaning. This expanded 10-year anniversary edition of Magnolia Electric Co. features one never-before-released track plus many rarities. The full-band studio outtake of fan favorite "Whip Poor Will" is a sweet and spare version that ended up being played far differently on Magnolia Electric Co.'s final album Josephine (2009). Also included is the studio version of "The Big Game Is Every Night." Previously only available on the Japanese version of the album, this opus serves as Molina's thesis statement, its poetry weaving through the 20th Century, through art and sporting culture — ultimately questioning what it means to be an American in the autumn of the American Era. The edition also gathers Molina's gutting demos for the record, including those two outtakes. Nearly each begins with audible sound of the RECORD button being pressed down on the tape player. They are so close and intimate, it's hard to look them right in the eyes. But you should.
Secretly Canadian is proud to announce the 15th Anniversary reissue of a Songs: Ohia classic, the Hecla & Griper EP, now appearing for the first time on vinyl with previously unreleased bonus material.
After spending the summer of 1997 on the road, Jason Molina and Co. headed into Bloomington, Ind. studio The Grotto with producer Dan Burton and layed down these eight songs. Odes to the love of loss and reggae friends. If you have ever found the other pillow empty in the morning, this is what you need to dry your tears. It also features a Conway Twitty cover.
This vinyl reissue contains two previously unreleased Songs: Ohia tracks ("Debts" and "Pilot & Friend") and alternative versions of two songs that would later appear on Songs: Ohia's Impala ("Hearts Newly Arrived (Hecla Session)" and "One of Those Uncertain Hands (Hecla Session).
You keep on your eyes on the horizon long enough, you're bound to hit the coast. Jason Molina and the men of Magnolia Electric Co. have explored all realms of classic rock - from the subtleties of folk to charging Crazy Horse meditations. Now, on Rider.Shadow.Wolf. the band brings a surf-rock dynamic to its signature punch. This is where the tired rider, just having battled the desert, meets the eternity of an ocean.
Also found here is a stripped-down, early take of "Josephine" from the band's recent longplayer of the same name. This particular recording of Josephine was laid down just after the song's inception, during the session that will later be released as a collaborative album from Molina and Will Johnson of Centro-matic. This version features Molina and Magnolia utility man Michale Kapinus on keys, and serves as a preview of what's to come in the arch of Molina's career.
Molina's concept album is an honest-to-God effort on the part of Magnolia Electric Co. to pay tribute to the life and spirit of fallen bassist Evan Farrell (R.I.P. December 2007), as the ideas for Josephine were being pieced together. Molina said each tune is a good faith attempt to make real Evan's hopes for the record. And in doing so, Evan's spirit becomes part of the concept. The loss of Josephine becomes the loss of Evan. Molina's familiar lyrical allegories are still in tact. But here, in what is no doubt the strongest set of songs Molina has written since the inception of Magnolia Electric Co., those classic themes take on new meanings. Molina has approached the universal loneliness before, but never in such a focused, directed manner as found on Josephine.
It's been six years since Jason Molina has bestowed a 7-inch on us and it was well worth the wait. The first three songs of It's Made Me Cry, the first 7-inch under the Magnolia Electric Co moniker, are comprised of compositions conceived, written, recorded and mixed by Jason and company over a series of five days in Bloomington, Indiana as they geared up for tour in October '08. The fourth track was recorded at the same studio about a year prior featuring the late great Evan Farrell, a Protection Spell for his new journey.
The voices and moods are diverse and an exciting glimpse of things to come from Magnolia Electric Co.
NOW AVAILABLE: Secretly Canadian is excited to release this long-unavailable, sought-after release.
The Ghost is a dark affair.
As a matter of content, its themes are bleak, on the verge of total blackness. Loneliness, alienation, desperation, and dark, anxious nights. As a matter of atmosphere, the album is even darker. Surface noise has never been so important to a record’s mood and tone. Yes, it sounds like it was recorded on a highway, but this is a dark fucking highway at a lonely, desperate hour and the only set of keys you have are those to the car that won’t take you any closer to home. It’s dead and you’re scared and totally alone. It’s just such an occasion that Jason Molina sings and plays of in a roundabout way on The Ghost. Recorded in one day direct to Jason’s boom box with the tiny little microphone, this brand new batch of songs was written in a very short period in the early months of 1999. For Jason, fidelity was never an issue, in fact it was a tool. The boom box’s inefficient battery-powered motor is just as integral to the recording as the vocal and guitar performance that occurred that February afternoon in Jason’s room on his day off of work. This recording may be noisy but it is not a demo. It was originally made available in limited quantities—to be sold on the Songs: Ohia tour of the East Coast with Drunkin the Spring of 1999 and the European tour in the early Summer 1999, however Secretly Canadian recently discovered enough parts of this release to resurrect it one more time.
Jason Molina is not one to settle. Throughout his musical career of 12 plus years under his given name, Songs: Ohia and Magnolia Electric Co., he has lived in 9 different locations and has had a dozen different backing bands on record in as many different recording environments.
Fading Trails represents 3 of these incarnations and 4 of these environments. Composed of recording sessions Molina and company did with Steve Albini at his Electric Audio Studio, David Lowery at his Sound of Music Studio, and at the famous Sun Studio in Memphis, Tennessee, Fading Trails also features songs from the home recorded Shohola sessions. The essence of these recordings were extracted to create one cohesive being and thus defining what Magnolia Electric Co. truly is. Something that is hard to define. One head, multiple bodies...the opposite of a hydra head.
I wanted badly to revisit the type of songs I did on my more experimental albums The Pyramid/The Ghost/Protection Spells. I put this project together in the last days before I began what was a long and harrowing move back to Chicago. I wrote these songs as well as the half dozen or so that did not make it over the course of 3 mornings in Bloomington, Indiana and recorded them one after the other in the order they were written.
"Working class rock" is a phrase used frequently to describe The Magnolia Electric Co. Categorically, the band has secured their place amongst like-minded icons such as Bob Seger, CCR, Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen, but it's not merely an aesthetic description. Magnolia back it up with their work ethic. This recording will be their third proper release in 2005 - after Trials And Errors (Jan. 18) and What Comes After The Blues (April 15). Amazingly, The Magnolia Electric Co. will have been on the road eight months by the year's end. This fact is most apparent to the band members themselves having been away from their homes and their loved ones for such extended periods of time. Hence the significance of the title track. When Jason Molina assumes the perspective of the one he left behind on "Hard To Love A Man and sings:
It was hard to love a man like you / Goodbye was half the words you knew / While you were waiting for me not to call / I sent my love
The loneliness and guilt of separation is painfully obvious. The wounded feminine voice of Jennie Benford, coupled with Jason Groth's sweeping guitar and Mike Kapinus' mournful organ dramatically reiterate this sentiment. Mark Rice and Pete Schreiner deliver their signature tight and tasteful rhythm and Nicole Evans adds a new and dynamic voice. While "Hard To Love A Man" and live set favorite, "Werewolves Of London" were recorded with Steve Albini at his Electrical Audio Studios, the rest of the tracks were recorded during a brief five day visit home in Indiana at Echo Park Studios with Paul Mahern whose engineering resume includes The Blake Babies, Lisa Germano and John Mellencamp.
As we watch Magnolia grow, Jason Molina doesn't have to coach us through another one, letting the inmates run the asylum. The Magnolia Electric Co. cast no doubt by putting their business in the street.
On the heels of Magnolia Electric Co's recent limited edition live release, the raw and incendiary Trials and Errors, comes what is perhaps Jason Molina's most fully realized studio project yet. Recorded live-in-the-studio by Steve Albini, What Comes After the Blues captures the simpatico chemistry of Molina's touring band, crackling with connective electricity that can only be generated by the mutual experience of the road. On the writing end of the equation, the song cycle of What Comes After the Blues is a conscious step forward for Molina in songwriting approach and intent. Most of the songs on it were written and arranged on the band's recent relentless touring of Europe and North America. The current incarnation of Magnolia Electric Co is the fullest and longest-running band the former Songs: Ohia frontman has formed so far. These musicians fashion kinetic and organic underpinnings for Molina's thematic quests, with arrangements that carry a primal feel for poetic American rock. In the tradition of Bob Seger, Tom Petty, John Fogerty, Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen and Ronnie VanZant, Molina is revered as being very personal songwriter who is unafraid to be vulnerable in song. And, like those artists, in Magnolia Electric Co, he has his Silver Bullet Band, Heartbreakers, CCR, Crazy Horse, E-Street Band and Skynard to balance the personal nature of the work with rock & roll of just such a collaborative and sublime nature that it defies being pigeon-holed as folk.
Recorded only a few months after they had formed, Trials & Errors captures Jason Molina's new band Magnolia Electric Co. on one magical night in Brussels in 2003. It is a scintillating audio document of one of America's most important contemporary liv e acts evolving into something really special and doing what it does best — whipping an audience into a frenzy. This set captures Molina & Co right after Molina had retired the Songs: Ohia machine in favor of this powerful new vision of his. Two years in the planning process, the new project took its name from the last Songs: Ohia full-length album. Composed of a nucleus of four members, this particular show captures the newly christened band on its first tour in its earliest state. Still a four-piece with Pete Schreiner providing the back beat drum pulse, Mike Kapinus on bass and melancholic trumpet, and the two Jason's dueling over guitar solo space: Molina's down-tuned guitar matching his now settled tenor voice, and Groth's Creedence-channeling rhythm guitar and solos filling out the upper register. The songs are as classic as Molina's fans have come to expect over the course of seven Songs: Ohia full-lengths (between ‘96 and ‘03). With his new band, however, fans can finally enjoy a stable & more-than-able rhythm section that just gets tougher and tougher with each performance. On Trials & Errors, the new Magnolia grinds through three old Molina favorites, three songs which will be released on the upcoming Magnolia Electric Co studio album (out Spring 2005) as well as four songs that will only exist on record in their live form as presented here. Fans may recognize that Trials & Errors comes peppered with an homage or two to Neil Young. One could, in fact, argue that the album is an existential response to Tonight's the Night. While from the songwriting perspective Molina is often pegged as the perennial downer, this is not, like Young’s, a record born out of a series of sudden tragedies, but rather out of a whole life of growing up & out in the Midwest, surrounded by a small town mentality in a wide open space. Join Magnolia Electric Co as they play their part in a long-standing tradition of touring musical artists (Lynard Skynard, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bob Seger) that capture the spirit of their own homes, traditions and principles and communicate those through the chooglin’ rock of ages on stage for rooms full of empassioned audiences 150+ nights a year. This is all about that wandering spirit, and the longing to wrangle it into place every now & again.
This is a record of lullabies for adults — an album to lull them to a place they remember only at the quietest of moments. The guitar is a slow dance where melody and rhythm take each other by the hand. Remember the first time you heard the Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter”? Pyramid Electric Co is “Gimme Shelter” slowed down to 16 RPM. Jason Molina captures the same epic struggle in tone & weight. Most of the album it's just Molina in a chair with a guitar, except on one tune he’s at the piano; he is Nina Simone and he is singing his guts out. Although the Songs: Ohia front-man is all alone on this album (the first under his birth name), this is not a sparse recording. He is surrounded on all sides by ghosts and an otherworldly sonic ambience. We have producer/engineer Mike Mogis (Songs: Ohia's Ghost Tropic, Bright Eyes, The Faint, Racebannon) to thank for that, for making this a well-populated album of one. Yes, this loner is singing in a room as though no one will ever hear him, as though he’s entombed for eternity. Or perhaps it’s just that he was trapped in the flatlands of Nebraska for one especially lonely Winter season. On Pyramid Electric Co, Molina’s low-pitched vocals resemble those of West African singer Ali Farka Toure. This whole record, in fact, seems to borrow quite a bit from African musical tradition. The guitar shuffles back and forth like a pulse. And this heart has melody as its guide. There's a timeless cadence to this song and you’re not quite sure how old you are anymore. It slips every now and again, like an old goat up the hillside, but it always catches itself.
Never has a Songs: Ohia album's process been so integral to its overall feel as is the case with DIDN'T IT RAIN, the band's sixth proper full-length. The album, like the working class South Philadelphia neighborhood in which it was birthed, has a real used goods kinda feel to it. Engineer Edan Cohen employed what some may consider "old-fashioned" recording techniques -- the entire album was recorded live with no overdubs, the full band playing in one room with the players always within arms' reach of one another; singers Jason Molina, Jennie Benford and Jim Krewson (the latter two of Jim & Jennie And The Pinetops) sharing microphones singing live together, sometimes sitting in chairs, sometimes standing. The result is a sound which resembles the warmth and personality of the classic Muscle Shoals Sound recordings of the early- to mid-70s: Willie Nelson's PHASES & STAGES, the Rolling Stones' "Wild Horses", and others by Aretha Franklin, Boz Scaggs, Bob Seger, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Wilson Pickett.
Inspired by the Mahalia Jackson song of the same name, the title track is a beautiful song about the shifting tides of life and the old cycle of "a lot of shit going down before shit clears up". It's a damn fine place to start an album that seems in no hurry whatsoever to make a universal statement, instead perfectly content to walk its own path toward resolution. And damn if Songs: Ohia principal songwriter Jason Molina hasn't gone and created a record that is even more intensely personal and healing than any of his previous works. Neil Young had his AFTER THE GOLDRUSH, this is Molina's DIDN'T IT RAIN. Indeed, this is the album with which Molina really leaves his mark as a serious songwriter and artist. On 1999's genre-bending Ghost Tropic full-length, Songs: Ohia made it clear that it could make a cohesive album that took its listener on a journey from front to back. Its dislocated feel set a haunting tone, and its largely instrumental and drone-like quality was the process of the Ohia eluding itself and its own tendencies, searching for the underside of its roots freshly yanked. With DIDN'T IT RAIN, Molina & Co. return to the beauty of the song form and offer up a startlingly soulful and introspective song cycle in which Molina -- accepting a comfortable degree of anonymity amongst the other players -- meditates on what it means to feel rooted again (in the city of Chicago, where he's called home for the past three years), sounding more sturdy at his core than ever.
The sound movement on GHOST TROPIC will seem sudden to some; without warning. To others, it'll seem a very logical step in a very foreign direction. On its fifth proper full-length, Songs: Ohia has stepped outside the box and has delivered its most subtle record of fantastic depth to date. Indeed this is the most cohesive and "album-like" Songs: Ohia has ever been. The eight songs on the record sprawl out into one another, telling one long sonic tale, allowing very little room for chapter breaks or piss stops. In this regard, Lou Reed's moody classic BERLIN comes to mind as a worthy fore-bearer. But it's the strange ethnic flavor in which GHOST TROPIC is steeped that makes it stand apart from its predecessors, albums which were all received as crossing guards for the Great American lost highway. Surely this album will leave those expecting such fare scratching their heads. Blending the electro-acoustic minimalism of the David Bowie and Brian Eno Trilogy with the percussive worldliness of Tom Waits' SWORDFISHTROMBONES, the group seems to hop the globe from a British Isles folk rock influence to an Ennio Morricone-like Spaghetti Western feel to the faintest echoes of the Chinese Classical ringing like a death murmur in the distance. And the songs, they build in a slow, unconscious manner, pulsing with an intensity, but never betraying their most simple core with too much instrumentation or calculated progression. Yea! GHOST TROPIC is the first album which reveals Songs: Ohia's own Tropicalia Blues in full bloom.
But what has brought Songs: Ohia to this critical juncture? Perhaps it is purely circumstance -- that four men were brought together to play as bedfellows for a week on the great plains of Nebraska. Acted out and recorded at the Dead Space Recording Studio in the state's capital of Lincoln, GHOST TROPIC was performed by principle Songs: Ohia songwriter, singer and guitarist Jason Molina; Appendix Out principle and Ohia alumnus (having played on THE LIONESS) Alasdair Roberts of Glasgow, Scotland; Lullaby For The Working Class drummer and new Ohia recruit Shane Aspegren; and engineer Mike Mogis of Lullaby For The Working Class and Bright Eyes.
Opening with an epic and ending with a little spartan ode, THE LIONESS is songwriter Jason Molina's fourth and most dynamic and empassioned full-length album to date. Recorded at Chem19 Studio in Glasgow, Scotland, with his Glaswegian friends Aidan Moffat and David Gow of Arab Strap, and Alasdair Roberts of Appendix Out, as well as with Songs: Ohia veterans Geof Comings and Jonathan Cargill, it is, on its exterior, a much darker affair than each of its predecessors. Perhaps it was the Scottish weather and company which gave it such a feel, for at the core of THE LIONESS, there is a warmth and tenderness unmatched by previous Songs: Ohia recordings. Indeed, this is a dark and sultry record, but not a melancholy one. While the last Songs: Ohia album AXXESS & ACE was an album which revealed many of the painful truths about love through its loss, this is an album about the beauty of love as seen from its rich foundational and experiential stages.
Songs: Ohia is Jason Molina. On Axxess & Ace he is assisted by Geof Comings (Party Girls), Michael Krassner (the Lofty Pillars, Boxhead Ensemble, Edith Frost Band), Joe Ferguson (Pinetop Seven), Dave Pavkovic (Boxhead Ensemble), Julie Liu (Rex) and Edith Frost. It was recorded by Krassner at his Truckstop Studios in Chicago. What resulted was the most full-sounding Songs: Ohia record to date. Liu's aching violin playing with Molina's desperate vocals transport the songs to great depths.
"There is no bullshit on this record. It's a love song record, so I wrote as directly to the point as I could. There is nothing snarling or cynical anywhere on the record. It is not invented stuff either. It's a desperate record, it's a jealous record, it's an imperfect record. It is also as incomplete as a man. This record wasn't made to rid me of any doubts or to heal me. The end result should show a man, anxious to learn, anxious to share, anxious to curtail all that is selfish. A note about the record as physical fact: it was done almost entirely live and first take. None of us were paid and the musicians all heard these songs for the first time on the day we made the record. Needless to say we could never have predicted the range and the urgency of this record's atmosphere. We are all very proud of this new Songs: Ohia record Axxess & Ace."
The fabled second Songs: Ohia full-length, originally released in 1998 on cd by Happy Go Lucky and lp by Secretly Canadian, will enjoy a re-release by Secretly Canadian this August. The new version of the cd will have expanded artwork and will be widely available around the globe. Still available on LP as well.
Lorain, Ohio; it's a tough place to grow up. You either escape or you don't. Given the industry that exists (or existed) there - the steel mill, Ford plant, and shipyard - the mix of people is like none other. One thing is for sure though, it's blue collar through and through. What's this have to do with a new release from Songs: Ohia? Well, Jason - main Songs man, like myself, grew up in this god-forsaken hole of a city and as much as you can leave the city, it never leaves you.IMPALA offers further testament to the songwriting talents of Jason Molina. The 13 tracks contained herein offer a glimpse into the soul of a man burdened with trying to exorcise the demons of life, loss, and subsistence. This isn't something one can fake. It comes from growing up with the knowledge that the factories your parents worked in are not an option for you and that your only real option is to try and get out (easier said than done).
Paired down to only Jason and Geof Comings for this release, the tracks on IMPALA are simultaneously the sparsest and most textured yet to be released by the band. Consider this to be the most honest and strongest release yet from Songs: Ohia. Our suggestion; Head to the local Knight's of Columbus, grab a seat at the bar, order a Genesee, and drink away your pay check to this one. That's what they're doing in Lorain.
On the eve of the release of the first release by the Jason Molina-fronted Magnolia Electric Co. (a double-live album which will be available in stores in January 2005), Secretly Canadian is proud to make three classic Songs: Ohia albums available to the public on vinyl for the first time in years. The self-titled debut full-length (1996, Secretly Canadian) is a classic, standing as a beacon shining through the storm for what we call today, in 2004, "new folkies". Out of print on vinyl since mid-1998 (originally released in two pressings of 500), it will come in a stunning triple-gatefold jacket which includes expanded artwork as well as the bonus song which is not on the CD version but was on the vinyl editions. Also being repressed are Songs: Ohia's third album Axxess & Ace (out of print since its release in March 1999) and fourth album The Lioness (2000, Secretly Canadian) — the latter being widely regarded as one of Molina's finest albums.
Size 6 months up to 12 months. Printed on 100% Cotton American Apparel one-piece.
Three pack of 1" square full color buttons featuring classic album covers.
Heather black T-shirts printed on unisex American Apparel tri-blend of 50% Polyester/25% Rayon/25% Cotton.
Heather gray T-shirts printed on unisex American Apparel tri-blend of 50% Polyester/25% Rayon/25% Cotton.
Heather blue Molina & Johnson printed on tri-blend American Apparel T-shirts.
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