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Journey On, Jason Molina


Jagjaguwar would not exist today if it weren’t for Jason Molina.

I met Jason Molina for the first time in 1997, when he performed as Songs: Ohia in Charlottesville, Virginia at the sushi-restaurant-venue named Tokyo Rose. I was the promoter and sound person for the show. Jason had just released his debut album, and due to his newfound renown, the one-year-old Bloomington, Indiana record label he was on, Secretly Canadian, was growing by leaps and bounds.

It goes without saying that Jason’s performance that evening was a special kind of evocative. His one-of-a-kind voice soared through whatever obstacles the rickshaw sound system of Tokyo Rose put in front of him, and that night Charlottesville learned that Jason was not only a poet but an evangelist. So many of us left the show with an immensely personal and abiding bond to his messianic song-craft. In the years to come, Jason’s extraordinary efficacy in making new fans and keeping them, combined with his uncanny work ethic, would carry the fledgling label Secretly Canadian a very long way.

That night I also met Chris Swanson for the very first time. I had spoken with the co-founder of Secretly Canadian on the phone numerous times, but I had never met him in person. Shortly thereafter I would ask him to become my partner in Jagjaguwar. Chris would say yes, but only if I was willing to move the label to Bloomington. So in 1999 I moved to the Midwest. Jason would become a friend and a neighbor. In that same year, Jason offered to Chris and I the recording entitled “Journey On” for release on Jagjaguwar. It was a house-warming gift, and it would become one side of a split 7-inch record. The other side was a recording called “Fat Bobby’s Black Thumb” by the Brooklyn band Oneida, who Jason knew from his days at Oberlin. And so Jason connected Jagjaguwar to Oneida, and Oneida would become a very important flagship artist for Jagjaguwar during our early, insecure period as a label, when we were first trying to reach out beyond our Virginia roots. If Jason was still here with us today, I could imagine him fondly recasting the split 7-inch as some defining “blood oath” between the Secretly Canadian and Jagjaguwar brotherhoods.

It’s one of the things I miss the most about Jason when I think of him now. He was a genius for the way he stated things so strongly and so convincingly, concerned only with communicating what he thought was the most beautiful, possible truth. He revised history to establish sacrosanct bonds, and he was always generous in his recollections. He was a masterful, charismatic storyteller. But his ecstatic truths were not fictions. He was right most of the time. Most of the time.

So I will say it again, but with even more conviction this time: Jagjaguwar would not exist today if it weren’t for Jason Molina.

Journey on, Jason Molina. You commanded respect not only for yourself but for all of us. You carried us on your back to ecstatic heights. The whole Jagjaguwar family shall miss you dearly.

– Darius Van Arman


WATCH // Oneida Share Live Video, Announce EU & UK Tour Dates

Oneida are celebrating their 15th year as a band (WOW!). How exactly are they celebrating? GOING ON TOUR in support of their latest album, A List Of The Burning Mountains! The band has shared a handful of European dates with us, plus a brand new live video – shot during their anniversary show at Secret Project Robot last December. Stream the video above and check out the tour dates below!

TOUR DATES:
03/15/13 London, UK – Corsica Studios
03/16/13 Oslo, NO – Bla
03/17/13 Copenhagen, DK – Jazzhouse
03/18/13 Berlin, DE – Comet Club
03/19/13 Prague, CZ – Chapeau Rouge
03/20/13 Munich, DE – Feierwerk
03/21/13 Milan, IT – Magnolia
03/22/13 Ravenna, IT – Bronson
03/23/13 Rome, IT – Circolo Degli Artisti
03/24/13 Cagliari, IT – Interno 24
06/14/13 Brooklyn, NY – Northside Festival

WATCH // Kids Millions Plays with Yo La Tengo on Jimmy Fallon

Did you watch Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on Tuesday? If you didn’t, you should have! Kid Millions (Oneida) joined Yo La Tengo to play “Ohm.” He was one of THREE drummers, the other two were YLT’s Georgia Hubley (of course) and Fred Armisen. Watch above.

And if that isn’t enough – Questlove, Kids Millions, Georgia Hubley and Fred Armisen had a drum-off/jam session following the performance. We’re not kidding. Enjoy the madness HERE.

LISTEN // Will Sheff & Oneida Featured in the Radio Drama ‘Wayne Coyne’s Human Head-Shaped Tumor’

Here’s your listening activity for the next hour. McSweeney’s presents Wayne Coyne’s Human Head-Shaped Tumor, a radio drama much like that of War of the Worlds. Premiering on KCRW last week, you’ll recognize many of the voices and music featured in the program; Will Sheff and Oneida both partook in the show centered around an imaginary tumor. Listen below!

RELEASE DAY // Oneida’s ‘A List Of The Burning Mountains’ Out Now, Watch Full-Album Films at Noisey

Dear friends, wait no more! Oneida’s A List Of The Burning Mountains is officially here. Recorded at Ocropolis, the new studio album features two long-form pieces, “A List of the Burning Mountains 1″ and “A List of the Burning Mountains 2.” VICE’s Noisey just premiered two films created as visual accompainment for the album; watch both above! Videos feature work by SR Palm, robotdeathcult, Matt Marlin, Brock Monroe, Mike Bonello, Barry London, Tony Balko, Andrew Deutsch & Maya Hayuk, and Christy Edwards.

A List Of The Burning Mountains is available at SC Distribution and iTunes!

Oneida celebrates their 15th anniversary with a show on December 1 at Secret Project Robot! Black Dice will also perform.

Taking Chances by Sharon Van Etten
Lines of Latitude by Small Black
North Hollywood Microwaves by Pink Mountaintops
Fire-scene by S. Carey
Crown the Pines by S. Carey
Forgiven/Forgotten by Angel Olsen
Everyone is Noah, Everyone is the Ark by Moonface
Byegone by Volcano Choir

North Hollywood Microwaves by Pink Mountaintops

Taking Chances by Sharon Van Etten

Real People by Small Black

Angel Olsen
Atlanta, GA - The Earl

S. Carey
Milwaukee, WI - Club Garibaldi  w/ White Hinterland

See all upcoming shows

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