Peanut butter. Mac 'n' Cheese. James Taylor. Three names by which comfort goes, although Freud would no doubt raise a wormy finger from the grave to contest that breasts belong in there somewhere. Comfort goes a long way in this world where a man or woman can't keep a cell phone signal long enough to complete a half-coherent thought (which was hard enough to come up with-what with our heads tilt-a-wheeling from all the bioengineered café whatevers we're sucking down in cups that used to be called "buckets.")
Now we got the bastardized futuristic offspring of Alexander Graham Bell making things even harder. Nationwide network our ass.
Comfort is especially hard to come by in San Diego. Housing in "America's Finest City" is as affordable as the rocks J.Lo sports on her itchy wedding finger every time another flyboy millionaire gets sucked in by the pheremonal tractor beam emanating from her asscrack.
What makes comfort even more of a tease in this city is that we face the illusion of it on a daily basis. I'm talking about our biggest cultural asset-the weather-which we like to bring up whenever our homeowners-association cousin in Tucson asks, "Why the hell don't you live somewhere you can buy yourself a piece of land? You wanna leave your offspring nothing but an unused fondue set and a 6'4" thruster? Huh? Huh?!"
We just ask to compare tan lines.
After all, why do you think San Diego was the place Jack Johnson sold so many copies of Brushfire Fairytales? It wasn't because every CD came with a free gas card. It wasn't because Bubbletoes broke the code that Sonic Youth had been toiling away at all these years, that he finally located the cosmic membrane that separates pop music and true Art.
It was because he sounded like a big, creamy jar of Jiffy. He sounded like Mac 'n' Cheese with two packets of that powdery orange stuff. He sounded like a breast.
And in San Diego we appreciate such things. We treat our goddamn Mac "n Cheese with respect. And we like bands like Remedy Motel, five dudes who figure the wheel's just fine at this point in orbital history. Why reinvent it when you can just borrow the tires built by the Musical Michelin Men of the past-in this case, Don Henley and Gram Parsons?
Save the art rock for the English grads whose blood exits their bodies at the thought of smiling people singing along to their songs.
Make no mistake, though-we San Diegans don't accept low-class snugglejobs. We won't settle for the always-on-sale Albertsons brand of peanut butter where the chunks are more like decayed molars in a 19.6-ounce jar of pasty extract that looks a hell of a lot like diarrhea, and doesn't taste much different.
We like the gourmet crap-and we're willing to hunt for it.
Our comfort music's gotta sound original, no matter how much is borrowed from the past. It's gotta sound like real music played by real musicians whose other job isn't playing KC and the Sunshine Band cover tunes down at the nearest lonely-housewife pickup joint.
And by the sounds of their first two albums, Remedy Motel is the good sort of comfort-the sort you'd find at a farmer's market, or that the nice old lady with Alzheimer's bakes for you from scratch because she thinks you're her grandchild.
It ain't the sort that puts "comfort" on the label at the advice of the marketing department. Remedy Motel's the real deal-the rootsy, harmony-happy counterpart of tasty smear, tangy noodles and whatever the hell Freud was talking about.
Remedy Motel plays at Blind Melons, 8 p.m. on June 3. 858-483-7844.