Best Place to Feel the Railroad Rumble

Lucky Street Studios

STAFF PICK: Sometimes it's the sounds that beckon you to live somewhere. Those freights are alluring, especially their mournful wail on the Friends of Dean Martinez debut CD. "Westbound #11" is a simple soundtrack of trains singing, tucked between "Armory Park" and "Swamp Cooler"--appropriate song titles for such a twang of once-local guitars and accordion and dust. This minute of recorded trains rumbling through the stereo is nothing compared to the real thing. The safety clang squeezes through liminal space. Unrelenting, a snake of metal and horn cuts a swath through these dusty neighborhoods: Barrio Anita, Dunbar-Spring, El Presidio. Sit as close as you can to the iron horse. Perch on the edge of a former loading dock. Reach for that corrugated metal skin. Now feel the roar in your chest. Jump the rails inside your head. Enjoy the rumble of boxcars as they sear past, reflecting a map of elsewhere.
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