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Saturday, January 27, 2007
  The Western States Motel, good guy Carl, and sunshine pop
for this blogger to mention any band with some kind of positive relation to matt pond PA is to give it a very high ranking indeed. this is precisely what i'd like to do this morning for my newest listen-in-loop-six-hundred-times album (last was Softlightes, to this degree anyway):

ah. enter The Western States Motel. besides having just about the best moniker i've heard in a long time, Carl Jordan manages to finely weave a brand of sunshine pop that could literally define everything i love about the ability of music. it is acoustic, sometimes electric, always a little folk, little alternative country, and that mark of pop which makes it unbeatable. the hardworking California native spent his jobless days wandering and writing, and so made an album of movement and questions that is punctuated by moments of upbeat revelation. without noticing, the listener takes a ride, cruising through countryside, stopping in cities, staring into shop windows (wanting) and out over vast ocean (waiting). Carl strings along bits and pieces of his life, passing outdoor cafes, stealing sips of others' coffee, skipping, turning, picking up pennies and ticket stubs, holding out his hands to say, this music? this is all i have.

and so it is quietly, unassumingly emotional. it is like the very best of mmPA's delicate moments -- mellowed, expressive. i have always heard elements of fear and life in those songs, and that's what i find here; without commitments to label heads, deadlines, or even other band members, i get a raw portrait of a fine artist, full of the same fear and loneliness and yet self-made happiness, an individual highly responsible for their own pick-me-ups. and i am willing to step alongside the artist, read the same book, point to the same pictures and say, yes! this is your music, this is you. thank you.

::::please, have a listen, too:
The Western States Motel - Cheap Speakers
-- upbeat and encouraging. a personal hit.
TWSM - Row of Homes
-- no one can tell me this doesn't sound like mpPA. one of the best. and tell me, why do all songwriters talk about satellites?

Bonus because Toaster thinks you smell nice:
TWSM - If Your Life Is Just A Dream
-- the album opener. probably my very favorite (who's surprised?). it represents him and the entire album so perfectly, i had to share it with you.

his single, "Powerlines," is on the hype and on his myspace. please go tell him how much you love him, listen to other stuff, buy this album from the wonderful people at CDBaby or from the cold, hard, impersonal yet convenient iTunes. sigh.
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