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The Pick: What's your song of the summer? Let's talk about it.

The Tennessean (Nashville) logo The Tennessean (Nashville) 7/14/2022 Matthew Leimkuehler, Nashville Tennessean

Some songs just sound like summer, right? Sure, some could define a "song of the summer" as the inescapable tune that dominates playlists and Billboard charts for a few months every year. But *any* song can be your song of the summer — the soundtrack to your road trips, lazy pool days or late-night shenanigans. New, old or in-between, it's a song that no matter when or where you hear it, you're hit with a blast of warm-aired, sun-soaked memories. 

Tennessean reporter Matt Leimkuehler here with a few picks from my summer playlist. Share yours with me @mattleimkuehler on Twitter or via email for a shout-out in an upcoming playlist. 

  • Something new (a tune that'll be cemented with this summer): Luke Combs and Miranda Lambert's "Outrunnin' Your Memory." A restless, windows-down road trip song that's perfect for the next time you skip town. 
  • Something trusted (a song from a summer not too long ago): Japandroids' "Younger Us." It's a blurry-eyed, sing-along song that hits the speakers after long nights that turn into early mornings. 
  • Something old (a song that'll always bring summer to mind, no matter the year):  Tom Petty's "Runnin' Down a Dream." Few artists sound like blazing summer days the way Tom Petty does. Enter nearly any of his time-tested hits here. 

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Vinyl City, U.S.A. 

With a new record pressing plant opening on the city's North side, Nashville soon may be known by a new name: Vinyl City, U.S.A. The town known for exporting expertly-crafted songs now stands at the center of North American record-making. Go inside the new plant — Nashville Record Pressing — with our subscriber-exclusive story. (Not a subscriber? Let's change that!)

See you at the show 

Arlo McKinley celebrates the release of his new LP "This Mess We're In" with a show tonight at Brooklyn Bowl Nashville. The album follows his 2020 Oh Boy Records debut "Die Midwestern" (still one of this newsletter scribe's favorites). Tennessean music reporter Dave Paulson chatted with McKinley about the new album here

  • Saturday: Full Moon Pickin' Party, a summer Nashville staple, returns to Percy Warner Park. 
  • Sunday: Soul singer PJ Morton brings his show to the Ryman for a one-night headlining appearance. 
Ali Alsaleh, actor, sits inside the theater at Belcourt Theatre in Nashville , Tenn., Thursday, June 30, 2022. Alsaleh and his family were political refugees who fled Iraq in 2000 and moved to Nashville. © Nicole Hester / The Tennessean Ali Alsaleh, actor, sits inside the theater at Belcourt Theatre in Nashville , Tenn., Thursday, June 30, 2022. Alsaleh and his family were political refugees who fled Iraq in 2000 and moved to Nashville.

OK, let's take a break from music talk 

Last week, I sat down at the Belcourt Theatre (a Nashville treasure forever and always) with Ali Alsaleh, a burgeoning actor from Nashville who landed a breakout role in "Ms. Marvel," the latest Disney+ addition to the ever-growing (and ever-popular) Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

  • What you should know about about Ali: He's taken an untraditional path to acting. After arriving in Nashville as a political refugee as a kid in 2000, Alsaleh overcame childhood bullying to become an architect. In college, he began screenwriting as a hobby and eventually found acting as an adult. 
  • And he's staying true to Nashville: When not playing a bruising baddie in "Ms. Marvel," he's producing and acting in projects developing by Typecast Pictures, a film company Alsaleh co-founded to create roles representative of his experience as an Iraqi-born, Nashville-raised actor. 

🏖️ Note: I'll be on vacation next week, spinning my summer playlist on a beach somewhere. Back at the end of July to riff on more music news. 

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: The Pick: What's your song of the summer? Let's talk about it.

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