Meet Me Where We Survive


Hard to believe Jason Molina’s gone two years. No artist matters more to me. Here’s an essay I wrote the week he died.

A lot of people ask me where to start with Molina. Can’t really go wrong, but I usually point folks to the North Star Blues Session, a live set from a radio show in Belgium. It’s Molina at his rawest and most haunting.

Andrew Bryant, who put out one of my favorite records of the year, This is the Life, wrote a tribute to Molina over at Common Folk Music. Damn beautiful piece of writing.

And I just read about this book over on the Magnolia Electric Co. site and ordered it right away: Meet Me Where We Survive: Jason Molina Interviews, 1998-2002. Always good to have Molina’s words. Can’t wait for this to come in the mail. (There’s also info on a new tribute record called Through the Static and Distance.)

Last thing: Another favorite record of the year is Jake Xerxes Fussell’s s/t debut from Paradise of Bachelors. Here’s a profile I wrote of Jake over at No Depression: “The Dave Van Ronk of SEC Country.”

Hammer down, pals.


All You Folks in Heaven Not Too Busy Ringing the Bell

An incredible oral history of Jason Molina’s masterpiece, The Magnolia Electric Co. My favorite record ever. If you haven’t heard it, please go buy it right now. Here’s my Rumpus essay on the album from right after Molina passed away.

Other big Molina news: Didn’t It Rain is being reissued later this year. I was twenty-three, living in Austin, when I found it at 33 Degrees. It was my first Molina, and it changed things for me. I’d never heard an album that sounded so much like the way I felt. Can’t wait for this. 

Other stuff:

If you’re into e-books and against Amazon, you can now get Gravesend and other Broken River titles here.

My So-Called Life first aired twenty years ago this week. I was fifteen, a week away from being sixteen. I watched that first episode and never missed one the whole run. Taped them on VHS without commercials. I had Claire Danes’s picture up in my locker all junior year. One time my friend told me he was taking me to a party in the city and that she’d be there. I was heartbroken when it turned out to be bullshit. I still cry when I hear that goddamn Buffalo Tom song. I still have Sonnet 130 memorized. This is a good essay revisiting the show.

The entirety of the The Basement Tapes is being released soon.

Scorsese. The Ramones. Yes.

David Lynch does the Ice Bucket thing. Genius.

Here’s an essay I published in Trop back in February about Yusuf Hawkins, who was killed 25 years ago this past Saturday. All this time and the same shit keeps happening over and over in one form or another.