XPNFest Preview: From the White House to Wiggins Park, Low Cut Connie unites the people

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Low Cut Connie
Low Cut Connie | photo by Kirby Sybert | courtesy of the artist | kirbysybert.com

Every American president since Herbert Hoover has gotten a Presidential Library named in his honor, located in a town in or near where each president has grown up. In each library, it’s common to find artifacts of the corresponding presidency, many of which offer a chilling look into the president’s personal life.

For instance, in George W. Bush’s library, you can find letters written to him by U2’s Bono praising him for his humanitarian work in Africa; at the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum, there are copies of President Clinton’s daily schedules from the White House’s Office of Scheduling and Advance; and at the Presidential Library for John F. Kennedy, you can see a picture of JFK with his future wife, Jackie Bouvier, playing tennis at Joseph Kennedy Sr.’s residence in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts.

President Obama’s presidential library won’t open for a few years after he leaves office, but one thing’s for certain: Inside, the library will contain a letter written to him by none other than Philadelphia’s own Adam Weiner of boozy rock and roll band Low Cut Connie. Talk about being the cool president*.

Weiner also got to meet him. Here’s the backstory: Last year, President Obama released his summer music playlist via Spotify, and it included a number of songs by XPN artists, including Low Cut Connie’s “Boozophilia,” the hit single from the band’s second album, Call Me Sylvia. In response, Weiner wrote President Obama a thank you letter for the shout out. Later on, a staffer for the president came to see Low Cut Connie perform live, met up with Weiner at the show and told him that he’d love for him to meet the Commander-in-Chief.

“The stars aligned when I was going to be in Washington, DC and the president was in town,” Weiner says. He’s holding a fork with a slab of cantaloupe attached. He waves it in a circular motion in front of his mouth as he talks with his hands. “And so they invited me and my wife to the White House. We got to eat lunch in the West Wing and then we got to meet the President…He was coming back from lunch and we got to talk to him for two minutes.” He finally takes a bite of the cantaloupe in a blase manner. His body language is all like yeah, so what? I met the president. NBD.

In a way, meeting the President – who represents every person of every ethnic, religious, and cultural background in the United States -is metaphorical for what Low Cut Connie stands for. Because if there’s anything the band represents, it’s bringing people together. At concerts, that is. With booze. Lots of booze. It’s impossible to understand the band if you haven’t heard them live; the energy captured at a Low Cut Connie live performance is like an internal combustion engine that runs exclusively on sweat, sex and a six-pack of Heineken.

Weiner’s trick to garnering those sick showmanship skills: playing the piano at gay bars. “You are there to engage people, entertain them, make them laugh, and make the tips go in the tip bucket,” says Weiner, who’s dark black bangs droop down to cover his forehead. “And you gotta look good, you gotta be funny, you gotta sing well, gotta look sharp, and you have to connect with people.”

It’s this type of energy the band will be bringing with them to the Camden Waterfront on Sunday, July 24th. As released to the public last week, it’ll unfortunately be without founding member Dan Finnemore, who has parted ways with the band. From Low Cut Connie’s announcement:

We wanted to let you know the news that our amazingly talented British brother Dan Finnemore is no longer in the band. Dan has been back living in the UK full time for a while and although we all tried to make the Trans-Atlantic thing work for a long time, as the band has gotten busier and busier it just was not sustainable…so Low Cut Connie made the decision a few months ago to move on without Dan. It was a terribly difficult decision but totally necessary for the survival and continued growth of the band. We all love Dan so much and treasure all the great and crazy times with him in the band. He is a complete and utter badass onstage and off.

But don’t let it get you down! As evidenced by the band’s NonComm performance, seeing the Connie train live is no less exciting — even without the funny British guy. Perhaps somebody should invite the president?

Low Cut Connie performs at XPNFest on Sunday, July 24th at 4:50 p.m. on the Marina Stage. Tickets and more information are available here.

*Perhaps we should give Dubya more credit. Bono’s pretty cool too, I suppose.

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