Saturday, March 29, 2008

Goin' Out West Where They Appreciate Me...

The bitch of it is this photo was taken in June, man...

As I've explained ad nauseum, being an immigrant in Japan is an exercise in Otherness. In a country so homogenous, there's no need to emphasize your foreign-ness; your very presence is enough. Living in Germany, on the other hand, that I'm not German is a constant source of surprise and (often) frustration to those I encounter. An English friend remarked, "To be fair, you do look kind of Kraut-like... and the moustache certainly doesn't help."

In fact, the moustache is one manifestation of an ongoing self-delineation. My unemployability does little to imbue a sense of stability. Moreover, the language barrier has created enough friction that aroused my ugliest knee-jerk rebelliousness. As a result, I've been revisiting my redneck roots. It began with re-watching Twin Peaks on loop over last summer. This extended into an odd preoccupation with old rockabilly and Rocky Mountain-region stoner rock records. Then came the moustache and, finally, obsessive consumption of North American Gothic cinema and sounds.

Mercifully, now I have a chance to flush this odd identity crisis out before I start carrying around a gun and drawling monosyllabically. I'm off to the chilly climes of my native Alberta, home of the new black gold rush. There are few better places than the vacuous Canadian prairies to clear one's head. Hopefully I'll come back revitalized, remembering why I'm grateful I ain't a grain farmer, and without this damned moustache.

Click on the mix title to download.

The Occidental Tourist

1. Tom Waits - "Goin' Out West" (00:00)
2. The Constantines - "Arizona" (03:18)
3. Gordon Downie - "Canada Geese" (07:31)
4. Meredith Monk and Robert Een - "Long Shadows I" (9:50)
5. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - "Night of the Lotus Eaters" (12:03)
6. Lungfish - "Constellations" (16:45)
7. Duane Eddy - "Rebel Walk" (18:21)
8. Tomahawk - "Narcosis" (20:32)
9. The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - "Rachel" (23:01)
10. The Kills - "Kissy Kissy" (25:25)
11. The Billy Nayer Show - "Shaving" (30:26)
12. The Tragically Hip - "Locked In the Trunk of a Car" (32:10)
13. The Fall - "Guide Me Soft" (36:40)
14. The Desert Sessions feat. PJ Harvey - "Crawl Home" (38:54)
15. The Jesus Lizard - "Then Comes Dudley" (41:51)
16. Earth - "Rise To Glory" (46:10)
17. Wall of VooDoo - "Call of the West" (51:52)

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