Hello Transmission: The songs of Jason Molina find new life with A Memorial Electric Co.

 
 

It’s been four years since Jason Molina’s long dark blues came to a sudden and tragic end.

Known for making heartbreaking alt-country with Songs: Ohia and Magnolia Electric Co., Molina never achieved the commercial success he deserved during his lifetime, but often received accolades from critics, fellow musicians, and a devoted fan base. This summer, Molina’s former bandmates and others are paying tribute to the man and his musical legacy with Songs: Molina – A Memorial Electric Co., and it stops at The Rockwell in Somerville this Saturday (June 24).

The Songs: Molina project began after Molina’s death in March 2013 as full day celebrations held in Bloomington, Indiana, and Chicago, Illinois. Like the original project, Memorial Electric Co. is made up of the original members of Magnolia Electric Co.: Mike Brenner, Jason Evans Groth, Mikey Kapinus, Mark Rice, and Peter Schreiner, with Elephant Micah’s Joe O’Connell on vocals and guitar. Vocal duties will be shared by the band members and each stop on the tour will feature special guests.

“Playing, for us, is actually a really good way for us as close friends to deal with the grief of losing another really close friend,” Groth tells Scout Somerville. “It helps us get to know each other in a different way… Jason was an amazing family builder. It was amazing the people he brought together. He could be a difficult person to work with, but he was really good at surrounding himself with people who weren’t.”

The tour closely follows the May 2017 release of Jason Molina: Riding With The Ghost, Molina’s official biography written by Erin Osmon. Each stop on the tour will feature readings from Osmon and stories told by Molina’s bandmates. The night will serve not only to remember Molina, but also to honor his music.

Maybe if we all sing along loudly enough, Molina himself will be able to hear us through the static and distance.

SONGS: MOLINA — A MEMORIAL ELECTRIC CO. + THOUSAND ARROWS + ELEPHANT MARCH :: Saturday, June 24 at The Rockwell, 255 Elm St. in Somerville, MA :: 5 p.m., 21-plus, $15 in advance and $25 for VIP :: Advance tickets :: Facebook event page

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