In August 2009 I was having a bit of a weird time. I had broken up with my girlfriend back in April (halfway through a holiday travelling around Eastern Europe - you don't want to be depressed in Romania...) and had a strange few months with lots of amazing highs but incredible lows. I had walked out on my job which would have guaranteed remaining in the UK through a sponsored visa, thus left Hertfordshire and moved to London. I was living on people's couches, drinking a lot, partying hard, doing amazing things yet hating every moment of it.
Towards the end of that month I had come back from the Sarajevo Film Festival. It had been a fantastic week, but when touching down at Gatwick airport I felt at a crossroads. I had answered an email about potentially writing for online magazine Low Rise, and they liked my writing, yet they wanted me to offer up something current (other than an album review) before considering my application. I hadn't been to a live show in months (Dan Deacon and Future Islands in May at ULU) and hadn't really been interested either. A cursory look in Time Out, and I saw my opportunity. Magnolia Electric Co. were playing at Bush Hall. It was a miserable night weather wise - which being London and all shouldn't have been a surprise - but as soon as Jason Molina and his merry men hit the stage, it was like an epiphany, a dream come true.
Without going into details of that night, my review was in the magazine the following month and it was my first step in the right direction with a lot of things. Therefore the news that Molina succumbed to organ failure due to alcohol abuse this weekend at the age of 39, whilst not that much of a surprise (he has been fighting a losing battle for the past year), it is completely gut-wrenching. I wasn't prepared for the level of sadness that the news brought over me. The world has lost a true talent, a master of the written word, a troubadour of the ages. Not everyone I know who loves his music had the same connection as I did, but all were touched.
Jason, you will be sorely missed.