Being in Love
Jason Molina was certainly my biggest influence when I started Tiger Saw in 1999. I remember reading a review of the first Songs: Ohia record in a magazine (was it Puncture?) while spending a winter in Lawrence, KS, and it sounded intriguing. I picked it up, then the next, and then all his dozens of releases. Every Songs: Ohia release both built upon and discarded the foundation that the previous had established. It was hard to believe that each record could be better than the last. But it was. I loved the duets with Edith Frost on ‘Axxess and Aces’. The collaboration with Arab Strap and Ali Roberts on ‘The Lioness’ was so surprising and rewarding. ‘Ghost Tropic’ was initially confusing, but now it’s one of my favorites. ‘Didn’t It Rain’ is so sweet. All leading up to the ‘Magnolia Electric Co.’ album, which, to me is a perfect album. The guest singers. The amazing band. Epic arrangements. Every song hits so perfectly. I proposed a book-length analysis of the album to 33 1/3 Press series of books about albums. I think they thought it wouldn't sell enough, so the book was never written.
Personally, I was lucky to have met Jason for the first time in 1998, when Songs: Ohia was touring on the 'Impala' record. I interviewed the band for my zine. I found them all to be a lot funnier in person than their cryptic, serious music would suggest. They loved heavy metal, and were silly, ordinary guys. They loved the road, and were actually relatable. I ended up interviewing Jason four times.
Jason and I kept in touch. When I started Tiger Saw, I sent him our demo. He sent me back a hand-written note full of encouragement. I would get several notes or postcards like this over the years. I’ve always treasured them. At one point, I bought a piece of artwork from him, and he sent me two.
Tiger Saw played a few shows with Songs: Ohia and Magnolia Electric Co. The bands were always great, and Jason was always so kind and supportive to us. I’ve met some great friends through these shows. The effects my relationship with Jason have had are unquantifiable.
In 2004, we almost had a studio collaboration, but it was called off at the 11th hour due to scheduling conflicts. I had always hoped that we might get the chance to do it another time.
Jason was one of the first musicians I looked up to who would treat me as a peer, a friend, and give me the encouragement to always “work hard”, as he would sign off on his letters. His career was the one I always strived for. In my life, I’ve seen a lot of musicians die too young. This is the first to really hit me deeply on a personal level. This can only add another level of sadness to an already blue body of work.
He had been struggling with his health for the last few years, and each new year without a new release always seems off. He was so prolific, and he and his music meant so much to me. I know so many people in our community will be devastated by this loss. I don’t know what else to say, other than thank you Jason for sharing your art with us all, and for the kindness you always showed me. Rest in peace.
-Dylan Metrano, March 18, 2013
Being in Love, from The Lioness
Performed and recorded by Tiger Saw
The ever-changing collective Tiger Saw was founded in Newburyport, Massachusetts in 1999 by Dylan Metrano. Over five albums, they’ve explored a beautiful, hushed, slowcore sound; indie pop sing-alongs; and “basement soul”, a DIY take on soul / rhythm & blues. Tiger Saw has toured extensively on three continents and is known for playing unorthodox venues from beach bonfires to treetop sing-alongs, as well as basements and barrooms from coast to coast.
(photo by Jonathan Donnell)