As part of a series called “Remembering Jason Molina,” I’m collecting stories about Jason and his impact on songwriters, musicians, and music writers. These are all individual tributes, on how Jason has affected their music, their perception of music, or just anecdotes on meeting him or seeing him live.
Today’s tribute comes from singer-songwriter Matt Bauer. I asked Matt to participate in this remembrance project because he contributed a stellar cover of “I Can Not Have Seen The Light” for the upcoming album Farewell Transmission: The Music of Jason Molina. I wish I could post the track, but I can’t. I guess you’ll just have to pre-order the album or wait for it’s release on April 22nd to hear it. But, in the meantime, you can read what he has to say about Jason.
There’s very little music I’ve been introduced to in my adult life that has moved me and even changed me the way that music could when I was growing up. Like, say, hearing Hüsker Dü’s Zen Arcade when I was 14 and just having my idea of music turned upside down in the best way possible. Or going to a fiddle festival in Virginia in my late teens feeling so moved I didn’t know what to do with myself. Like there was nothing else that mattered but finding out more about his kind of music.
When my friend Nathan from The Last of the Blacksmiths first introduced me to Songs: Ohia, it made me feel like I was a teenager again. In that way where a piece of music seems impossibly moving and important. In that way that music can sometimes make you feel like you’re not alone, like someone has put to words something you’d been waiting for someone to say your whole life. I know I sound over the top, but that’s the point. I was a grown man wildly moved and nearly evangelical in a way only a crazed teenager can be.
I didn’t know Jason. Can only speak to the music and what it meant to me. It’s been a huge comfort to me over the years. I think a lot of what gets me about it is in the title of one of my favorite albums of his, What Comes After the Blues. Good god he had a struggle, but he always seemed to be trying to find the light beyond it.
— Matt Bauer
Pre-Order Farewell Transmission: The Music of Jason Molina: Amazon; iTunes
Jason Molina: Website; Secretly Canadian; Graveface Records
Magnolia Electric Co.: Website; Secretly Canadian; Facebook
Matt Bauer: Website; Facebook; Twitter; YouTube