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Waior Gets Deported: A Musical Journey

It's been four weeks since the new year started and I've been in, yes, 5 countries. Accidentally. Here are the five albums that remind me of each country and the historical and musical retelling of how my Mexicanadian self ended up sitting on a couch in Toronto after being politely nudged out of England. Times are rough, my friends - music stays strong somehow.
1The Swell Season
Once: Music From The Motion Picture

MEXICO - The last time I'd gone out to our local restaurant for pizza with my
mates in Mexico was the one and only time I brought an acoustic guitar and a
set of harmonicas along for the ride. Only a few minutes after we confidently
put our orders in, one of the waiters came back to us with olive oil, balsamic
vinegar and a nervous request in broken English: "you can play song for us?" I
glanced over to the angel-voiced Mexican mistress who I usually sing with and
we reluctantly agreed. We, naturally, played 'Falling Slowly' from the Once
soundtrack for the cluster of waiters who were expectantly waiting for our
performance in front of the kitchen - the same song we played drunkenly at a
convenience store to swoon the cashiers into giving us free merchandise,
harmonies and all. They applauded us, we went back to our table and
ultimately, we got a pretty nice discount on our meal. An appropriately musical
close to my waning three years south of the US border.
2Damien Rice

ENGLAND - And then, abruptly, it was off to England. After altercations in Los
Angeles and in London, I made my way up to Newcastle to meet up with a
special friend of mine who - bless her heart - also had the voice of angel. Her
and her family doused me in English culture; I was smothered from the get-go
in cream tea, yorkshire puddings, custard, Ellie Goulding, fish & chips and most
importantly, Dr. Who. Although carrying my acoustic guitar on my back for a
night walk along the beach was a romantic enough excuse to make the music I
love, it was the music store I was taken to downtown that had my head
spinning. Mandolins, banjos, guitars; everything I wanted. And when her and I
found a 2200 Taylor and banged out renditions of Damien Rice's '9 Crimes' and
Snow Patrol's 'Set Fire to the Third Bar', even I was impressed. Maybe it was the
equipment, maybe it was the acoustics in the room, maybe it was the girl or
maybe it was jetlag. Whatever it was, it was awesome and if any of you were
there to hear it, we'd at least have gotten a 3.5/5.
3Ellie Goulding

SCOTLAND - While my tenure back in my ancestral homeland may have
reasserted the fact that I am legitimately the greatest grandson of the first king
of Scotland (Wikipedia wasn't lying!), it was the culture and architecture that
swooned me. It was really quite good timing for me to emerge from the train
station to the busy bustling of Edinburgh streets and a gentle street musician
playing traditional celtic tunes on a bagpipe - kilt, socks, sporran and all. While
Ellie Goulding herself really didn't have any appearance on the Scotland
cobblestone, I saw my fair-share of fudge shops, closes, trinket shops, cafes,
pubs and many a building older than Canada itself on the Royal Mile. The
decidedly celtic atmosphere was perhaps due to our kitchsy, touristy location in
the city but I'll be darned if there is a more pleasant sound than that of angry
6/8 strumming, frantic mandolins, busy fiddles and drunken singing seeping out
of the local pub walls. This blissful ignorance helped numb my by-then imminent
4The Decemberists
The King Is Dead

USA - I ended up in New York by accident. Turns out, to study in the UK (which
was my noble intention), you need more than a tourist visa - I really don't know
how I managed to be so daft but in the grander scheme of things, it's the very
reason why I was forcibly sent back to my home continent to get a real visa.
Perhaps the only comfort in the 12 hour return flights were the sounds of Colin
Meloy's latest record pouring out of my iPod headphones (recently dunked in
Pepsi for that "fizzy" sound - anybody who wants to donate me new ones is
welcome). And it was in a far-too-long layover in New York that I stepped out of
the airport for a few hours and smoked my stress out to the tune of 'Dear
Avery' and 'This is Why We Fight' whilst sat on top a mountainous heap of
luggage. I may have pulled the guitar out and learned a few of the songs on the
streetside even but my illness and stress-casing I'm sure made it more of an
objective 2/5 rating this time around.
5Iron & Wine
Kiss Each Other Clean

And here I am in Toronto, twiddling my thumbs patiently as I wait for my
departing flight back over the pond on Monday. While I'd lived in the city for a
few months in my childhood, being within view of the CN Tower - for the first
time in my life - didn't make me excited to be back in Canada but rather just
pissed off at emigration forms for making my life so difficult. But hey - I now
had 10 days to wait for my visa in which I had nothing to do but listen to Iron &
Wine and whatever else I could really sink my teeth into. It's this period of
patience that has lead to my recent influx of unproductive Sputniking and
contributing. It's this period that I'm using to beef up my music library with
your suggestions and the like before returning back to England so that I have
something to get lost in these next six months - so that when I come back from
the UK, I'll have new musical memories to write about. Maybe they'll be more
exciting. Maybe you'll see me camped out in Edinburgh with a bagpipe in the
future. Whatever I'm doing in 6 months, I sure as hell hope it's not in Toronto.
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