The Southland

They didn't mean to be to this good

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As hipsters become fascinated by polo shirts and all things mainstream, pop music no longer has the negative connotations it once had.

Which means no one is afraid to admit they really like The Southland. In fact, people are admitting they love the band through sales of their first CD, "Influences of Geography" and thousands of visits to the group's MySpace.com site.

In the band's bio, members say they didn't intend to be a band or to write catchy songs or to be so good.

"We set out to just do a fun project," frontman Jed Whedon said. "It wasn't like we set out to conquer the world. We just started playing, and everything else happened organically. It makes it easier and fun, because it's so natural."

The Southland came through Steamboat Springs in March before its album came out and before it began a summer-long tour with O.A.R.

"Influence of Geography" refers first to its home base in Los Angeles and secondly to the change in the band's music since members started touring heavily.

"It's referencing how place affects your mind state," Whedon said. "Southern California is a sunny place to live, but it's also sort of the same every day.

"Then it's about how when you change your scenery, you change."

Part of being on the road as a band is writing songs about the road. Every touring band has one -- the inevitable broken-down van song or the roadside-diner song or the lonely traveling song.

The song "Counting Down" is about a truck driver.

"We spend a lot of time pinned between two semis," Whedon said. "In the song, he's barreling along, trying not to think about anything else."

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