“Farewell Transmission” the opening track to Jason Molina’s Magnolia Electric Co. is one of the greatest alt-country songs of all time. Covering it’s a futile task. My Morning Jacket don’t so much cover it here, as re-interpret it. Jim James captures the pain in Molina’s tender warble, while layering it on top of a rhythmic cacophony of pounding beats, tambourines and congos. It’s a fresh take on the original and certainly worth a listen, especially toward the end as vocal distortions take hold to otherworldly effect. “Mama, here comes Midnight with the dead moon in its jaws” is still one of the coolest lyrics I’ve ever heard.
Hot on the heels of last year’s Songs: Ohia Magnolia Electric Co. reissue is this double-disc collection of Jason Molina covers – Farewell Transmission: The Music Of Jason Molina. Molina died last year of liver failure and its inspiring to see his peers carry on his legacy. The album is out 4/22 on Rock The Cause, with a portion of the proceeds going to Molina’s family, as well as artists like him that deal with depression, addiction, disability, and other health issues.