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Sound and Place: Low Cut Connie

Adam Weiner and Finnemore of Low Cut Connie with Ray's Happy Birthday Bar owner Lou Capozzoli | Photo by David Norbut | dnorphoto.com | courtesy of the artist
Adam Weiner and Dan Finnemore of Low Cut Connie with Ray’s Happy Birthday Bar owner Lou Capozzoli | Photo by David Norbut | davidnorbut.com | courtesy of the artist

Sound and Place is a recurring series where we take Philly musicians to their favorite places in town. For this installment, we sit down over pints and PBRs at Ray’s Happy Birthday Bar with Low Cut Connie.

“I like to play in environments where there’s some people in the room, first of all, who are not on our side that we can win over, and ideally there’d be some people in the room who we can uplift in some way.” Adam Weiner took a bite of his apple. “And in here you can find a lot of people on a downward spiral.”

The singer, pianist and frontman of Low Cut Connie sat in the back of Ray’s Happy Birthday Bar, a South Philly institution known for its personality, down-and-out charm and festive merrymaking. To his left was band mate, drummer and guitarist Dan Finnemore. To his right sat Lou Capozzoli, Ray’s owner and a longtime musician in his own right.

It was a rainy Wednesday night in early December, the bar relatively quiet at first, quickly filling with neighborhood regulars clouding the room with smoke, filtering back to greet Capozzoli, Weiner and Finnemore. The latter two had all but wrapped up a year of touring behind Low Cut Connie’s rambunctious, bombastic, yet refined and smart third album Hi Honey, out last April.

The trio sat at a table, the charming message “Music makes me smile,” painted on the wall behind them, huddled around a few sheets of paper, some of the typed text crossed out and amended in pen. Continue reading →

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: Bruce Warren’s Best of Philly Music 2015

Queen of Jeans
Queen of Jeans | photo by Kelly Kurteson

Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2015 incredible. Today, WXPN program director Bruce Warren shares five musicians she found on Spotify in 2015.

This past Thanksgiving The Key’s John Vettese wrote about the 15 Philly songs we’re thankful for. The songs were just a small snapshot of by Philly’s vibrant music scene, represented by the likes of Hop Along, Jazmine Sullivan, Kurt Vile, Agudos Clef, Hemming, Hezekiah Jones, Lithuania, Lushlife, Jill Scott, and others. What stood out to me in Vettese’s article then, and what’s stood out to all of us at The Key for the last several years is how wonderfully diverse, and prolific, the music scene in Philly continues to be. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Low Cut Connie at World Cafe Live at the Queen; Julia Rainer at The Fire; The Skatellites at World Cafe Live

Photo by Josh Weisgrau
Photo by Josh Weisgrau

Not many blue-collar artists made it onto the White House’s summer playlists curated by POTUS himself. In fact, only one DIY style artist, Low Cut Connie, made the cut of the two twenty-song playlists. The Philly rock band’s frontman Adam Weiner told Digital Music News that he wrote the song, “Boozophilia,” about “all these lunatics and weird-balls and gorgeous individuals who populate dank barrooms all over the USA.  People with big hearts and busted up dreams and dirty jokes and so much love.” Low Cut Connie released their third studio record, Hi Honey, in April of this year. You won’t want to miss their wild performance tonight at World Cafe Live at the Queen in Wilmington. Images and videos of the band’s performances show Weiner standing on his piano bench while he slams the keys and sings. Get tickets and more show information here. And watch Low Cut Connie’s video for “Boozophilia” below. Continue reading →

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Cheerleader and Low Cut Connie are repping Philly at 2015′s SXSW Music Festival

Photo via https://www.facebook.com/cheerleadersounds
Photo via https://www.facebook.com/cheerleadersounds

The first round of artist announcements for the annual SXSW music festival came out today and Philadelphia is officially on the bill; locally-based outfits Cheerleader and Low Cut Connie will be playing official showcases in Austin. If you’ve never been, the enormous event strives to give independent bands much-needed attention, with last year’s bringing out over 28,000 music industry professionals and supporting over 2,300 acts. For more information on this year’s SXSW music festival, you can visit their official site here. Check out music from Cheerleader and Low Cut Connie after the jump. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: M.I.A. at Tower Theater, Gliss at Kung Fu Necktie, Woods at Boot and Saddle, and more

Photo via facebook.com/miauk
Photo via facebook.com/miauk

Tonight, M.I.A. graces the Tower Theater stage and fans (old and new) should, as always, expect a little bit of everything from the singer-songwriter’s genre-bending music. On her latest album Matangi, it’s clear that her sound is still a hybrid of electronic, pop, hip-hop and world music. Best known for her 2007 platinum hit “Paper Planes”, M.I.A. isn’t a traditional singer or rapper; she’s crafted a style that’s somewhere in between and it’s infectious. Watch “Y.A.L.A.” below and get tickets here

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Low Cut Connie strut their stuff at Tellus 360

Low Cut Connie / Photos By Elizabeth Mazenko
Low Cut Connie / Photos By Elizabeth Mazenko

Last Thursday evening, Philly’s finest honky-tonk rock ‘n’ rollers Low Cut Connie strutted into Lancaster and ruffled up the evocative atmosphere of one-of-a-kind bar and carpentry Tellus 360. Still celebrating their Harry Nilsson tribute This Is A Town, and sharing the stage with York/Philly’s psychedelic instrumentalists Sprinter Cat, the evening was truly a performance of phenomenal keyed-up rockers just having fun.

Sprinter Cat / Photos by Elizabeth Mazenko
Sprinter Cat / Photos by Elizabeth Mazenko

Sprinter Cat took to the makeshift stage first, complete with a Hammond organ adorn in Christmas lights. “This song is about taking mushrooms for the first time and listening to Brittany Spears in a car,” zesty organist and band frontman Al Smith (better known for his percussion skills in The Cold Fronts) stated before plunging into a radical instrumental journey of guitar riffs, bongo beats, and resonating organ melodies. Getting good vibes and head nods from the modest crowd, Sprinter Cat played a fantastic set of a sound reminiscent to the Jerry Garcia Band and Grateful Dead.

Next up came over the top, party lovers Low Cut Connie. Keeping the posh ambiance for a “classier crowd” than he expected, modern day “piano man” Adam Weiner started off the set with “Shit, Shower and Shave” from 2011 debut album Get Out The Lotion. Making up for the lack of dancing by a laidback Lancaster crowd, the eccentric five piece band jumped about the stage while playing all-around favorites like “Boozophilia.” Not holding anything back at a place where everyone might not know his name, Weiner pulled out some impressive moves atop his piano bench; showing off his flexibility and a little skin. “I’m going to tell you some strange things men do” proclaimed Weiner, as he launched into a song about a Tina Turner drag queen, “Shake It Little Tina.” Maybe it was the high energy, well-humored raunchiness, or just the alcohol kicking in, the newfound Low Cut Connie fans in the room finally loosened up to a knee bouncing, chair dancing groove, cheering for more as the band announced their return May 1st.

 

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Red Baraat at Underground Arts, Arc Iris and Nicole Atkins at Johnny Brenda’s, Hezekiah at MilkBoy and more

Photos by Elizabeth Mazenko
Photos by Elizabeth Mazenko

The rigorous rhythms and party atmosphere of Red Baraat stole the show at last summer’s XPoNential Music Festival, and they’ll return to town tonight for their Festival of Colors show at Underground Arts. Part of the band’s mission is celebrating bhangra music and introducing it to new audiences, and the motivation behind the Festival comes from a similar place. With featured openers Mandeep Sethi and Falu, Red Baraat wants to shine a spotlight on less-heard / less-seen South Asian artists in general. Read more in Shaun Brady’s writeup on the Festival, and get tickets and information at the XPN Concert Calendar.

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PREMIERE: Low Cut Connie pays tribute to fellow party animal Harry Nilsson in its “Jump Into the Fire” video

Photo by Josh Weisgrau
Photo by Josh Weisgrau

Philly rockers Low Cut Connie show off their broad-ranging tastes on a new tribute to storied troubadour Harry Nilsson. Out this week via Royal Potato Family records, This is the Town: A Tribute to Nilsson (Volume 1) features 20 artists including Langhorne Slim, Tracy Bonham, Willy Mason and Low Cut Connie doing a rendition of “Jump Into The Fire” from Nilsson Schmilsson.

When what he likes about Nilsson, Adam Weiner told us “He wrote, sung, partied and lived with equal parts sweetness, paranoia and pure chutzpah. We wanted to capture that in order to remind people that the man could rock & roll pretty good.”

Weiner goes on to say that the song’s inclusion in a Martin Scorcese classic made it an easy choice when tribute producer Kenny Siegal asked the band to take part.

Goodfellas is my favorite movie and the iconic helicopter coke deal scene with ‘Jump Into the Fire’ is an all-timer,” Weiner says. This scene gets a nod midway through the cover’s new Josh Weisgrau-directed music video, which we’re premiering below. “Hopefully, Ray Liotta doesn’t sue us.”

The video also features plenty of local live footage shot by Weisgrau and Douglas Herman at locales like Johnny Brenda’s, World Cafe Live at the Queen and what appears to be a block party in Fishtown. “We love putting our Philly fans in our videos,” Weiner says. “They are the saltiest, weirdest, most unhinged individuals and we love them all!”

Check out the “Jump in the Fire” video below and order the Nilsson tribute here. Low Cut Connie leaves for its South By Southwest tour later this month, but returns to the area on March 27th for a headlining show at Tellus 360 in Lancaster.

(Hear More – Low Cut Connie preforms Free at Noon)

(Watch More – Low Cut Connie jams out at Ray’s Happy Birthday Bar)