This week a focus on new songs by (mostly) long-established artists.

“Galacticana” – Strand of Oaks
Oh hell yes, new music from Timothy Showalter! And it sounds great! And one critic has said the album this comes from is the finest of his career! It comes out October 1 for those of you who track such things.

“Living in the USA” – Son Volt
Jay Farrar says this song follows in the tradition of others like “Born in the USA” and “Rockin’ in the Free World,” asking questions about the failures of the American Experiment. Specifically, “How can so much wrong happen in this country that’s held up as an example of what’s righteous?”

“Feel Nothing” – Amen Dunes with Sleaford Mods
It’s been over three years since Damon McMahon offered us new music. This one is a doozy, keeping the core DNA of Amen Dunes’ sound while adding some exciting new layers to it.

“Seventeen Going Under” – Sam Fender
More sneak peeks at albums coming in October. Fender’s second album will be out the second week of October. Based on this track, he doesn’t seem to be messing with the good thing that was the sound of his first album.

“Nothing Else Matters” – Miley Cyrus, WATT, Elton John, Yo-Yo Ma, Robert Trujillo, and Chad Smith
For the 30th anniversary of their mainstream break-through, self-titled album, Metallica has asked a ton of outside folks to record cover versions of its tracks. There’s no track listing yet, but I believe there will be over 30 cover versions on the final product. I was never a big Metallica fan so I’m not super excited about either the remastered originals or the covers. But this one works just fine for me.

“6 Underground” – Sneaker Pimps
Sneaker Pimps just released some new tracks last week, their first in nearly 20 years. I sampled them and had no strong reaction. So why not throw back their most famous track, from the glory days of Trip Hop in 1996?

“Summer Nights” – Van Halen
I’m getting that urge to do my annual “Listen to Diver Down and 5150 in the same afternoon” thing.

The other night I was going to get L from basketball. While sitting at a red light, some young guys – I’d guess new high school grads or only a year or two into college – cruised by me in a very nice Mustang. They all had brand new hats on, that were perched high on their heads, which I assume is how kids are doing it these days. They looked like they were trying very hard to cultivate a Look. I chuckled as they passed. After I got L we drove back through the same area and saw these dudes walking around. She started cackling, “Those guys look so dumb!” I didn’t tell her that 30+ years ago my friends and I would have been rocking the late ’80s version of that same look, likely driving around in our buddy’s Camaro or whatever Chevy sportscar his dad brought home from the plant he ran.

The things young men will do on hot summer nights to try to draw attention…