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YouTube / We Have Signal

Farewell, Jason Molina

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YouTube / We Have Signal

On Saturday we lost a great musician you've probably never heard of. His name was Jason Molina, and he was an alcoholic. I listened to his music (particularly his work with Magnolia Electric Co.) for years, and always appreciated its mix of darkness and hope. It helped me through dark times, his aching voice seeming to suggest that despite darkness, things might turn out right -- not that they would, he was never that naive -- but that they might. Sadly, Molina died at age 39. Whether you know his music or not, I suggest you take a moment tonight to listen to one or more of his songs. Farewell, Jason. You will be missed.

"Hold on Magnolia"

From We Have Signal (the full show is below), with Magnolia Electric Co. Sample lyric:

Hold on, Magnolia, I hear that station bell ring
You might be holding the last light I see
Before the dark finally gets ahold of me

If you like that, this solo version from 2007 will break your heart.

"Just Be Simple"

A stirring solo performance by Molina circa 2007. Very different from the album full-band version, but equally powerful. Sample lyric:

You never hear me talk about one day getting out
Why put a new address on the same old loneliness?
Everybody knows where that is
We built that house of his
And when he's not home
Someone else you know always is

"Farewell Transmission"

This is the first Songs: Ohia tune I ever heard, and I literally turned the car around and went to the record store (remember record stores?) to buy the album. This live performance is from 2003, and the video isn't great, but the audio is okay. The song gets started around 40 seconds in.

"Lioness"

Solo performance from 2000 (the Songs: Ohia era).

"Leave the City"

Live in 2007 with Magnolia Electric Co.

Entire "We Have Signal" Show

Here's the full set from We Have Signal (which is a goldmine of great live shows).

We Have Signal: Magnolia Electric Co. from We Have Signal on Vimeo.

"The Road Becomes What You Leave"

A documentary following Magnolia Electric Co. on a Canadian tour.

The Road Becomes What You Leave from Todd Chandler on Vimeo.

More on Jason Molina

For more on Molina and his passing, visit the Magnola Electric Co. site. You can also stream pretty much everything he ever recorded for free, for a while. See also: remembrances from Chunklet, Pitchfork, The New Yorker, and NPR.

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Happy Birthday, Alex Trebek!
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Today, everyone's favorite game show host turns 76 years old. Let's celebrate!

ON SESAME STREET

In 2006, Trebek played “Special of the Day” with Telly.

ON CARD SHARKS

In 1980, the tables were turned, and Trebek found himself the contestant on this episode of Card Sharks. The “tell me about yourself” portion of the program doesn’t go so smoothly, but he’s pretty good at the game itself.

THROWING PEOPLE IN THE POOL

In this sketch for the 40th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, Trebek throws a waiter in a pool. The takeaway is clear: Don’t phrase things in the form of a question when you’re talking to the Jeopardy! host.

TREBEK ON NASA

And how the agency’s work with other companies helps all of us, not just astronauts.

HOSTING WHEEL OF FORTUNE

Happy April Fool's Day 1997! (Pat Sajak hosted Jeopardy that night.)

ALEX, AUTOTUNED

MC TREBEK IN THE HIZZOUSE

That was the actual name of the category.

AND JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT IT COULDN'T GET ANY WEIRDER...

Behold “Sexiest Potpourri Ever.”

LAST BUT NOT LEAST...

You didn’t think we’d leave without posting one of these, did you?

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Covers of "Me and Bobby McGee"
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On this day in 1970, Janis Joplin died of a heroin overdose at the age of 27. The singer-songwriter was known as "The Queen of Psychedelic Soul." Here, we remember Joplin with covers of her only number-one hit, "Me and Bobby McGee." Joplin's version of the song, originally written by Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster, topped the charts after her death, making the song the second posthumous number-one single in U.S. chart history.

Johnny Cash

Pink

Willie Nelson

Dolly Parton

James Last

Jerry Lee Lewis

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