THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “This record is all kink and no shame,” says Adam Weiner, the mastermind behind South Philadelphia rock ‘n’ roll outfit Low Cut Connie. “With Low Cut Connie, I try to create a safe space for you to just absolutely get your freak on.”
And on the band’s latest album Art Dealers, that space sits right in the heart of the Big Apple. The album is a love letter to Lou Reed and Patti Smith’s New York, and the reckless abandon of “the art life” laid against a gritty, decaying American backdrop. Arriving at the intersection of sleazy and soulful, the eighth album from Weiner is a 13-song collection of risky, romantic, life-affirming anthems dedicated to a total liberation of body, spirit, gender and sexuality in the face of an increasingly tense political age.
With his incredibly loose and passionate band behind him, Weiner moves through explorations of gender-fluid writing, indictments of modern neo-fascism and anti-Semitism, and street sketches of those living on the edge. The record depicts a grimy modern urban landscape, a soulful but damaged place that Weiner and his band (including guitarist Will Donnelly, in his ninth year with Low Cut Connie) have gravitated towards throughout the band’s history. Weiner grew up amidst the lawns and strip malls of suburban New Jersey, and his teen dreams were lit up by the beacon of the Big City, where he could shed his skin like so many artists before.
“If you think about it, so many great artists who we associate with the city were actually bridge and tunnel people. Patti Smith, Lou Reed, Bruce Springsteen, Debbie Harry, Robert Mapplethorpe. People who came from the burbs had this vision of what they could achieve in the city, what attracted them to this art life, who they could turn into and what impressions they could make — if they could just get there.”
The first single Are You Gonna Run? was inspired by Ronnie Spector, Weiner says. “She had a sweet kinda sad voice, but she was tough as hell. A real rock ’n’ roller. I admire tough female artists like Tina Turner, Madonna, and Patti Smith. I feel like they all informed this tune in some way,” he explains.
Art Dealers follows the band’s acclaimed 2020 album Private Lives and 2021’s Tough Cookies: Best of the Quarantine Broadcasts, born out of their twice-weekly live-streaming rock and soul variety shows. While it took Weiner over three years to record Private Lives, Art Dealers was tracked in just over a week outside of Philadelphia. As with that previous album, Weiner produced Art Dealers, further establishing his own brand of raw, analog rock ‘n’ roll.
Along with the album, Weiner co-directed (with filmmaker Roy Power) an 80-minute film due later this year as a companion piece to Art Dealers. The film is a hybrid-genre documentary that combines a stellar run of 2022 N.Y.C. concerts at Sony Hall and the Blue Note, as well as 15 years of performance footage and musical / personal misadventures. “I just want to turn people on with what I do,” says Weiner of his assorted projects. “The world is a dirty and broken place… we might as well live it the f up while we’re here.”