Ventura can be just a bunch of songs, and I’m 100% cool with that; it’s by design. It can also have some themes and stories that connect the songs together. The strongest one might be the idea of moving, particularly moving from east to west (with a lot of time spent in the middle).
East-to-west can also stand in for other directions, like younger to older, and west connects to classic American themes of freedom and opportunity and their less-classic shadow sides of alienation and brutality. Not that the record leaves you in that place; rather, it starts to mix those things in as you move through it.