Songs: Ohia & Magnolia Electric Co.: Jason Molina Tribute at The Hideout (Chicago, IL) – FLAC/MP3/Full Set Streaming

January 13, 2014

[Photos by acidjack]

An artist who is great does not go quietly. Long after he is gone, his echo will expand into new ears, carry forth his vision and provide inspiration and hope.

Jason Molina was special. I didn’t know him, but you’d have to be tone-deaf to the English language not to recognize the talent in every line he wrote. In the best tradition of song, his sung poetry managed to be both personal and universal. Molina’s words were often dark, but their beauty leavened their ache.

Molina made music under several names, but the two most permanent and best-known were Songs: Ohia, which lasted until a new roster became Magnolia Electric Co. in 2003. While none would dispute that Molina was the animating creative force behind both, he wasn’t alone. In tribute to Molina and his deep well of songs, the members of Magnolia Electric Co. performed a mini-tour this January that sent them to Durham and Asheville, NC, Indianapolis and, finally, Chicago. For the first three dates, Mike “Hiss Golden Messenger” Taylor handled the bulk of lead vocal duties. But this final show of the four-date tour, at The Hideout in Chicago, gave us something else entirely. What we got were more than two hours of Jason’s songs performed by two very serious rock and roll bands that were headless, in a sense, but heartless in none, joined by a cadre of special guests.

For the first set, the Songs: Ohia lineup shared vocal duties among themselves as well as country great Lawrence Peters for two numbers. On a searing rendition of “The Big Game Is Every Night”, Tim Midgett and Andy Cohen (formerly of Silkworm, now of Bottomless Pit) added guitars and vocals. Compared to the sprawling Magnolia Electric Co. set that was to come, the seven song Songs: Ohia set was brief, but it was no less memorable. People remember Molina’s words as nuanced and vulnerable, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t make music that was loud. What you realized as Songs: Ohia closed their set with “The Black Crow”, featuring guitar pyrotechnics that could shake a venue ten times the Hideout’s size, was that Molina’s brand of ragged modern blues could make an emotional impact at any volume.

Magnolia Electric Co. took the stage with the deep melancholy of “Whip-Poor-Will”, followed by Taylor handling vocals on the harder-rocking “Hammer Down”. From there, a host of guest vocalists and players cycled through, including Peters, Midyett and Cohen reprising their earlier roles, plus David Vandervelde and Joseph “Elephant Micah” O’Connell. It quickly became clear that the 80-minute format of the previous shows would be ignored as the band pulled out tune after tune, relying at some points on lyric sheets (“This song’s got a lot of fuckin’ words!” Peters said of “Shenandoah”) but never lacking the passion to honor the material. Perhaps the most Molina-esque vocal turn came from among one of his own bands, drummer Mark Rice, who gave a stunning take on “The Lioness”. That said, making a list of highlights would be impossible, as each new song offered a new take on yet another Molina classic.

The crowd’s largest response came to perhaps Molina’s best-known song (and inarguably one of his best), “Farewell Transmission”. In that song, Molina sings that the real truth about it is that no one gets it right, but we’re all supposed to try. Well, if Jason could have heard his former bandmates and friends on this night, I think he would agree that they got it right. And they proved another piece of truth from that great song, that he will be gone, but not forever. Because the real truth about it is, a great artist like Jason Molina doesn’t die, he just changes shape. In our hearts and minds, he is forever.

I recorded this set with the kind assistance (not to mention outstanding house mix) of The Hideout engineer Joey King, together with Schoeps MK4V microphones. While no recording can quite capture the emotion present in the room, this is certainly an outstanding representation of the sound. I hope you enjoy it. Also, the bulk of the Molina canon is in print or has been reissued in LP and other formats on Secretly Canadian (including the 10th anniversary reissue of the seminal Magnolia Electric Co. record). You owe it to yourself to buy them.

Thanks to Seth Dodson and Joey King of The Hideout, the members of Magnolia Electric Co. and Songs: Ohia, and Mike Taylor.  Please let me know if any of my information about personnel is incorrect or incomplete.

Stream Songs: Ohia playing “The Black Crow”

Stream Magnolia Electric Co. playing “Farewell Transmission”

Download the complete show (both sets): [MP3] | [FLAC]
If either link has stopped working, please use the links below.

Download individual set downloads from the Live Music Archive:
Songs: Ohia: [MP3] | [FLAC]
Magnolia Electric Co.: [MP3] | [FLAC]

Stream the complete Songs: Ohia set:

Stream the complete Magnolia Electric Co. set:


Songs: Ohia
The Hideout
Chicago, IL

Exclusive download hosted at
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Schoeps MK4V>KC5>CMC6 + Soundboard (engineer: Joey King)>>Roland R-26>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (align, mix down)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects)>Audacity 2.0.3 (fades, tracking, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time 46:27]
01 Are We Getting Any Closer
02 Constant Change
03 Almost Was Good Enough
04 Just Be Simple *
05 [banter]
06 The Old Black Hen *
07 [banter2]
08 The Big Game Is Every Night $
09 [banter3 – Tribute to Jason]
10 The Black Crow

* with Lawrence Peters on vocals
$ with Tim Midgett and Andy Cohen on vocals/guitar


Magnolia Electric Co.
The Hideout
Chicago, IL

Exclusive download hosted at
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Schoeps MK4V>KC5>CMC6 + Soundboard (engineer: Joey)>>Roland R-26>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (align, mix down)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects)>Audacity 2.0.3 (fades, tracking, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time 1:37:51]
01 Whip-Poor-Will
02 Hammer Down ^
03 The Dark Don’t Hide It *
04 Talk To Me Devil, Again *
05 [banter]
06 North Star
07 Bowery @
08 O! Grace
09 What Comes After the Blues ^
10 [banter2]
11 Lonesome Valley ^
12 Leave the City
13 Northstar Blues %
14 [banter3]
15 Shenandoah %
16 [banter4]
17 Memphis Moon !
18 [banter5]
19 The Lioness &
20 I’ve Been Riding With the Ghost ^
21 [banter6]
22 John Henry Split My Heart
23 Farewell Transmission %
24 [banter7]
25 Hold On Magnolia ^

*Tim Midgett and Andy Cohen of Bottomless Pit/Silkworm
! with David Vandervelde on vocals
& Mark Rice on vocals
% Lawrence Peters on vocals
^ Mike Taylor on vocals
@ Joe “Elephant Micah” O’Connell on vocals

If you enjoyed this recording, you ought to purchase the music by many of these fine musicians, including Songs: Ohia, Magnolia Electric Co., Hiss Golden Messenger, Lawrence Peters, Bottomless Pit, David Vandervelde, and Elephant Micah.


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10 Responses to Songs: Ohia & Magnolia Electric Co.: Jason Molina Tribute at The Hideout (Chicago, IL) – FLAC/MP3/Full Set Streaming

  1. Jason Ellis
    January 13, 2014 at 11:48 pm

    Wow. So cool that you captured one of these shows. Really looking forward to giving this a listen. Thank you very much.

  2. Nick
    January 14, 2014 at 9:17 am

    Jason’s music has always meant great deal to me. Helped get me through a very difficult 2013 as my mom fell ill. I want to thank you for the opening write-up you did in this posting and for sharing the recording. All done with the utmost consideration for the artist the fans – which is what we all appreciate about

  3. January 14, 2014 at 11:08 am

    Thanks Nick, we appreciate your kind words about the site.

  4. John
    January 14, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    Thanks for a great review. Attending this show was one of the most heart wrenching and uplifting things I’ve ever done. I simply love the music and it will live on with me as long as I am of this earth. Thanks as well for recording it and sharing it.

  5. Chris Marshall
    January 14, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    Beautiful review and thank you so much for these recordings. I wish I could have been there. God bless Magnolia.

  6. acidjack
    January 15, 2014 at 8:58 am

    Thanks to all for the kind words.

  7. FBugatti
    January 18, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    Awsome sets ! But in my download there was only the Magnolia Electric Co. one. (Downloaded the set in FLAC format)

  8. acidjack
    January 21, 2014 at 8:43 am

    The .ZIP file you downloaded contains both a folder for the MEC set and one for the Songs: Ohia set. A search of your hard drive should reveal all.

  9. LC
    January 25, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    Great write-up and recording. Am I missing the credits of members of MECO and Songs: Ohia?

  10. acidjack
    January 26, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    If you have the names of the particular members of those lineups who were there, please provide.

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