From the sylvan lands of William Penn, the home of our beloved Bus Depot, and the home to one of my favorite big cities, Pittsburgh, we have a short list of songs.
Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: This will not be the last time we have Will Smith on this list because: 1. Will Smith is cool; 2. Smith creates themes for places that just become synonymous with the location itself. Point in case: say the phrase, “In west Philadelphia…”
Step: I’m gonna go total hipster and include that band with the song about the Oxford comma. The song—hell, the entire album—is imbued with all the soggy melancholy and bitter winter sweetness of everyone’s favorite rust belt town.
Duquesne Whistle: Yes, Bob, we can hear that Duquesne whistle. It’s one of Dylan’s more sensual songs. And by sensual I mean, you can hear it, feel it, smell it. Everything feels like that train thundering through town with its whistle screeching, tearing us from present into past and then back into the immediate moment. A woman smiling through the fence feels like boxcars clipping by. Red lights blink and then they blow our blues away. Damn it, Bob, not only can I hear that whistle, I feel it.