LOW CUT CONNIE PAYS TRIBUTE TO RUTH BADER GINSBURG AND THE HEARTBREAKERS’ WALTER LURE, AND CHATS WITH BEYONCE’S DAD, ON LATEST EPISODE OF TOUGH COOKIES!
Philadelphia’s Low Cut Connie – aka piano-pounding singer-songwriter Adam Weiner – has paid tribute to both Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the late Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers guitarist Walter Lure on the latest episode of his live-stream show Tough Cookies. He also chatted to Matthew Knowles, father of Beyonce (and Solange) and the man who helped make her a star in Destiny’s Child.
Low Cut Connie whose new album Private Lives – his first double LP – is out October 13, has been presenting Tough Cookies from his South Philly apartment on a regular basis since the live music shutdown began. Weiner, accompanied by the group’s guitarist Will Donnelly, has been known to “schvitz” so much during his Tough Cookies performances that he often ends up in his bathrobe or even just his underwear.
Previous guests have included iconic singers Darlene Love and Dion and the E-Street Band’s Nils Lofgren, and tributes have been paid to fallen artists including Little Richard and Bill Withers. Tribute was paid to both Walter Lure and Ruth Bader Ginsburg – and the “New York spirit that says ‘C’mon baby, we got this, we can do what we want… we’re kicking down some doors’” – with a rousing piano-driven version of the Heartbreakers’ New York punk anthem “Born to Lose”. You can watch the episode here.
Tough Cookies’ Saturday night Socials’ are broadcast live every week (and later available to stream on-demand) via lowcutconnie.com/toughcookies/
For more info on Low Cut Connie, the forthcoming album Private Lives and new single “Help Me”, read on…
THE ANTIPODES GETS ITS FIRST SNIFF OF AMERICA’S BEST-KEPT MUSICAL SECRET. LOVED BY BARACK OBAMA, BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN AND ELTON JOHN, LOW CUT CONNIE APPEAR WITH NEW SINGLES “PRIVATE LIVES” AND “HELP ME”. NEW DOUBLE ALBUM PRIVATE LIVES OUT OCTOBER 13
“There’s a band that I love at the moment so much called Low Cut Connie… and I’d like to dedicate this song to them right now, because I love them very much, and you should check them out. Buy their records, go see them.” – Elton John, 2018
“Everybody’s in this sweaty mass. Everybody’s dancing, everybody’s connecting. It’s just the joy and sensuality of the rhythm and the music. To me, that’s the essence of rock and roll.” – Ann Powers, NPR
“pathologically fun” – The New York Times
With 5 life-affirming albums released to date, endorsements from Barack Obama, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John and Nick Hornby, a regular stream of accolades in Rolling Stone including a spot on their Top 100 Albums of the Decade list and more, Philadelphia’s Low Cut Connie remain America’s best kept musical secret. That’s about to change; with their foot off the gas because of the touring shutdown, they’ve decided it’s time to see what the rest of the world might think of them, as they prepare for the October 13 release of their new album Private Lives.
Or should we say ‘he’? Low Cut Connie is the creation of singer-songwriter-pianist Adam Weiner. Fiercely independent and DIY, Weiner releases his music on his own label, Contender Records, produces his own records, directs his own videos, produces his own records and these days hosts the band’s own live-streamed web show Tough Cookies.
The proverbial hardest working man in show biz, Weiner started out playing the piano in New York City, in gay bars, karaoke bars and restaurants (even ballet classes!), often under the name Ladyfingers. He formed the band with two early collaborators in 2010.
Its name has nothing to do with tight, knitted tops worn by Australia’s sharpies in the ‘70s; it comes from a character that Weiner created after meeting a waitress in a diner in New Jersey. “Connie had a kind of a rough life. She had a lot of stress in her life, a lot of family issues,” Weiner told NPR. “This is sort of a fantasy of a diner waitress that, on the weekends, no matter what’s going on in her life, she just puts on her tight outfit and her dancing shoes, and she goes and has a good time and has a smile for everybody. That’s sort of a metaphor for our band.”
Low Cut Connie’s Adam Weiner is a man who NPR in the US has described as “masterfully fluent in the foundational languages of Western pop, living at the crossroads where the church house meets the roadhouse, or where the Dew Drop Inn meets CBGB”. (Note: the Dew Drop Inn was “New Orleans’ swankiest nightclub” in the ’40s and ’50s and their place where countless R&B greats, most famously Little Richard, all cut their teeth.) The figurative crossroads are common in descriptions of his music; the song “Boozophilia” – oddly enough Obama’s favourite – was described by Rolling Stone as “like Jerry Lee Lewis if he’d had his first religious experience at a Replacements show”.
Today, Low Cut Connie has released the new single “Help Me”, and us folks down under also get to catch up on the album’s previous single, the title track “Private Lives”. Both are accompanied by sensational videos; the “Help Me” video comes in both censored and uncensored versions. Adam Weiner self-directed the video and explains, “We had big plans for the video, an elaborate dance piece. But quarantine changed the deal. It became a no-frills, anti-production piece. Naked in every sense of the word. I brought all the psychic terrors of this time into the room and just tried to sweat it out.” The single appears on the forthcoming album Private Lives out October 13, 2020 via Contender Records.
Watch the uncensored version of “Help Me”via Vimeo:
The jittery “Help Me” is a plea for understanding at a time when compassion is running in short supply. Like much of the album, it’s an ode to the odd and the eccentric, to the alienated and the broken, and a daily search for liberation.
The swaggering title track – and one of the two singles – which NPR Music’s Ann Powers called “The freak anthem we need right now,” opens Private Lives with a look at the vitality and humanity of subcultures that come to life behind closed doors, while the searing earlier single “Look What They Did” grapples with the devastation left behind after the predatory corruption of Donald Trump and his associates ravaged Atlantic City.
“I see more clearly now than ever before what my calling is,” explains Weiner. “I’m here to write and sing for the underdogs, for the people who skirt the edges. Maybe they’ve been rejected by society, maybe they’ve isolated themselves on purpose. Maybe they stopped trying, or maybe they’re just bored with it all. Whatever the case, they’re my people.”
The album has so far been praised by Rolling Stone, NPR Music, WNYC’s All of It, Paste Magazine, Magnet Magazine, and many more including SPIN Magazine who included Low Cut Connie as #24 in their 50 Best Rock Bands Right Now saying Private Lives, “is charged up with thoughtful party anthems like ‘The Fucking You Get (For the Fucking You Got),’ and on track to be the roots-rock album of the year.”
Weiner continues his Low Cut Connie “Tough Cookies” live-stream shows every week on Saturdays at 6pm ET across the band’s social media profiles and Thursdays at 6pm ET on his Patreon page. The show features guests – icons Darlene Love and Dion and E-Street Band guitarist Nils Lofgren have appeared of late – as well as sadly regular tributes to newly-fallen idols like Little Richard, Sergio Leone and Bill Withers, and some killer off the wall song choices and performances.
Not one bound to any era or style, recent Low Cut Connie cover choices on the show have included Cardi B’s “Be Careful”, Lana Del Rey’s “Video Games”, Springsteen’s anti-police violence “American Skin (41 Shots)” and Prince’s Little Red Corvette”.
Ann Powers, in conversation with NPR’s All Things Considered said, “[Low Cut Connie’s] hitting new levels of superstardom with these shows… he makes it feel like you’re at Madison Square Garden, all the way up to having audience participation, getting people to sing along.”
Watch Low Cut Connie cover Cardi B’s “Be Careful” (in his bathrobe!) on Tough Cookies:
Watch Low Cut Connie perform “Little Red Corvette” on Tough Cookies:
Low Cut Connie’s performance for frontline workers at the Southern Ocean Medical Centre hospital in Manahawkin, NJ on May 13 was featured on VICE News. After viewing Weiner’s “Tough Cookies” livestream from their hospital, they invited him to perform one of the first safe, socially-distanced concerts in the country where they performed original material, covers requested by the staff and the hospital’s signature “Song of Hope,” “Here Comes The Sun.”
Private Lives Tracklist:
1) Private Lives
2) Help Me
3) Now You Know
4) Run To Me Darlin
5) Take a Little Ride Downtown
6) Wild Ride
7) If I Die
8) It Don’t Take A Genius
9) Look What They Did
10) Tea Time
11) The Fuckin You Get (for the Fuckin You Got)
12) Quiet Time
14) Nobody Else Will Believe You
15) What Has Happened To Me
16) Let It All Hang Out Tonite
17) Stay As Long as You Like
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