I've been listening to a lot of Neko Case lately. Normally I'm not a huge fan of country music, but Neko really captures a particular slice of the American West that I find particularly haunting. It's that image of eerie desolation; a blowing tumbleweed, a lonely train whistle in the distance, an old mining town and dark, rolling clouds on the horizon. There's something very special about the American West that I've really come to appreciate in recent years; it was something I always took for granted growing up in the heart of the Gold Rush country in California.
As an avid traveler and a devotee of so many other cultures, it's easy to sometimes overlook the unique culture that exists right here. It's also easy to dismiss American culture in general, given our unpopularity in the rest of the world. During the Bush years I would never introduce myself as an American when I traveled; I always said, "I'm from San Francisco." But being American isn't a shameful thing, and despite our relative newness on the world stage, we still have a fascinating and storied history that is worth exploring.
If you get a chance to see Neko Case live, don't miss it. Her live performance is wonderful, and she's quite a character to boot; she looks like a sweet, fragile little thing behind her big acoustic guitar, but the girl swears like a trucker and is funny as hell. She's my kind of country music, and my kind of American.
Today's outfit (sorry, I really should've worn cowboy boots to accompany this post, shouldn't I?):
Shirt: J. Crew, thrifted