Happy Friday! We’re knee-deep in one of the busiest times of year for music, with festivals ranging from Rock the Garden to small neighborhood block parties keeping bands booked solid all summer long, and artists gearing up for a dense album-release cycle this fall. Right now the theme is new, new, new, and this week’s Friday Five includes some excellent new tracks from Craig Finn and Motion City Soundtrack, plus a brand-new video from Katy Vernon and a few other shiny little delights.
Fans of the Hold Steady and Lifter Puller know that one of Craig Finn’s defining characteristics is his gift of wordplay, so it’s great to see his words prominently featured in this creative lyrics video for his new Springsteen-channeling single, “Newmyer’s Roof.” A new solo album, Faith in the Future, is due out September 11.
This lovely new video from Katy Vernon, which I’m happy to premiere here, is a first for both the artist and her photographer. Longtime scene photographer Tony Nelson makes his first foray into video to accompany her song “Pearl,” which will appear on Vernon’s forthcoming album, Present. Katy will headline the stage at Water Power Park tomorrow night as part of the big Stone Arch Bridge Festival.
Motion City Soundtrack
Motion City Soundtrack dropped this new single to accompany their label’s Epitaph Summer Sampler. The band is in the midst of a packed summer tour and they’ll swing through their hometown on July 10 to play the Basilica Block Party.
One of my favorite acts to emerge out of the funk resurgence is Hustle Rose, who combine jazz, soul, and pop influences to create a dazzling, irresistible sound. They’ll be at the Stone Arch Bridge Festival on Saturday, hitting the stage just after recent After Hours guests Nooky Jones.
This is cool: Red House Records have created a behind-the-scenes documentary to tell the story of Charlie Parr’s new album, Stumpjumper. The film is narrated by Phil Cook (of Megafaun fame), who produced Stumpjumper.