Life has been good lately, (especially if you don’t pay attention to anything related to domestic or international politics). Just last night, Tim O. was talking about how he went to buy some cd’s at the record store — Alligator by The National and the new Rainer Maria album — and not only are they his new favorite spins, but the store gave him a mystery discount too. I feel the same way, in finding The National and Soltero within just the last few weeks. With Soltero, it’s like I’ve been listening to Tim Howard’s catchy, pretty, ultra-intelligent, Billy Bragg-Lou Barlow-inspired pop gems for my whole entire life. Start at the bottom, maybe with “Communist Love Song,” or in the middle with anything at all off of the Defrocked and Kicking the Habit album, or with the full-band, newest tracks at the top, it doesn’t matter. It’s all that good. And hey, Ya-Wen: Thank you, thank you, thank you for the suggestion!