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Thread: Magnolia Electric Co. - Sojourner Box Set

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    Dec 2007
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    Default Magnolia Electric Co. - Sojourner Box Set

    In '07 the Secretly Canadian label of Jason Molina, released this wooden box as a 5000 ltd. edition. It contains 4 CDs, 1 DVD of a short film on the road, some postcards and a sort of pewter medallion. Either a gift or a marketing gimmick, Sojourner is unlikely to change many minds about Jason Molina and his Magnolia Electric Co. project. And indeed, darkness, stars, roads, snakes, and devils all make their appearances. Hell, five of the songs have the word-moon- in their titles. Within each of the sessions there's however sonic diversity. Both the Sun Session EP and Nashville Moon are full-tilt Muscle Shoals sound, Shohola has the stripped-down, lo-fi feel of Molina's previous solo work, and The Black Ram is the most uniform set of the bunch.
    Yes, he comes back to the same themes and images, but so what? I can't think of many other musicians that have so powerfully and honestly confronted loneliness, depression, space, and love, and all while using a lexicon and mythology that, while rooted in traditional folk and country music, he has made his own. If it's familiar it's because it has to be familiar, it's familiar because the themes and emotions are familiar. I admire Will Oldham for his ability to confront mortality and sex, I listen to Smog because of Bill Callahan's grasp on fear, anger, lust, and isolation, Kurt Wagner mixes wry humor and heartbreak in a way that gets me every time. But not one of them can (or at least has) so often and so directly engaged these themes of dislocation and heartbreak the way Molina has, and certainly not in this language of folk music.
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    "What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal."

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