Tag Archives: Low Cut Connie

Sound ‘Round: Chuck Berry / Low Cut Connie

I like that old time rock n’ roll

Chuck Berry – Chuck (Dualtone)

Chuck Berry is a musical monolith who was denied a vast outpouring of grief upon his passing because — sorry, kids — Uncle Chuck was a salty old perv. As significant as his music remains, his troubled personal history makes him a hard figure to like, never mind admire. So three months after Berry’s death at the age of 90 and 38 years since his last studio release comes this posthumous effort that gives us nearly everything we could ask for from a Chuck Berry album in 2017. The guitars sizzle and burn with typical punch and fervor, and his slight Midwestern tenor largely remains spry and playful. The noticeable difference is the songwriting. Berry’s hits of yore were neatly packaged stories about teenagers driving Coup de Villes, but the best material here finds the brown eyed handsome man making amends to his long-slighted wife. Though her husband was a rampant philanderer and spent time behind bars for voyeurism, Thermetta Suggs stood by her deeply flawed man until he made her a widow. Her magnanimity is so gracious and compelling it spurred Berry to go out swooning over her like a schoolboy.  These songs don’t erase his transgressions, but at least they prove he died saying sorry. She already forgave him a long time ago. GRADE: A-

Key Tracks: “Wonderful Woman” / “She Still Loves You” / “You Go To My Head”

Low Cut Connie – Dirty Pictures (Part 1) (Contender)

They’ve rocked on bandstands in their native Philadelphia, P.A., been arrested deep in the heart of Texas and likely vomited into Frisco Bay. In just six years front man Adam Weiner (lol) has helped turn this group of bar crawlers into one of America’s most hell-raising live acts. They dig cheap thrills —drag shows to wet t-shirt contests — and extol the virtues of hedonism with the fury of Jerry Lee.  But even booze hounds are catching the blues these days, and Weiner’s got reasons aplenty to feel flaccid. First came the departure of co-founder and creative partner Dan Finnemore, a dapper Brit who moved back across the pond. Then came the devastating election and subsequent reign of the Buzzkill in Chief. “Everybody’s actin’ like an asshole,” goes the opening line on “Death and Destruction,” the rare party anthem that dares capture the zeitgeist. Weiner’s distaste for the alt-right is matched only by his deep affection for Prince’s corpse. Hence the sturdy rendition of “Controversy” and the penultimate song that once more pays homage to the Purple One. Last call will come for this band someday, but their belief in the power of the boogie, along with their self-effacing humor, makes them a must-see when they visit a town near you. GRADE: A-

Key Tracks: “Revolution Rock n Roll” / “Dirty Water” / “Forever”

Sound ‘Round: Jason Derulo / Low Cut Connie

Having fun with the lowest common denominators 

Jason Derulo – Everything is 4 (Warner Bros.)

Jason Derulo - Everything is 4He extends his reign as America’s No. 1 friend with benefits by employing the same charisma and charm found on previous quests for copulation and cuddles. Derulo remains the nicest guy on Top 40, and his bedroom jams are refreshing for their utilitarian nature. Be it a passionate tryst without the sheets, a quickie in the car or the promise to “kiss and make it better,” his one-track goal for pleasure is often concerned for both parties. Songs in the early going hit-it-and-quit-it until the bevy of guest spots turns his playful forays into exercises in the missionary position. But the only dud to be found is the duet with Juliana Michaels that’s so dull it makes me want to swallow a bottle of Viagra. A lot of dirty deeds are discussed, but don’t confuse Derulo’s pillow-talk obsession for a streak of hidden perversion. He’s still classy enough to bid good luck to his ex on the finale. GRADE: A-

Key Tracks: “Want to Want Me” / “X2CU” / “Love Me Down”

Low Cut Connie – Hi Honey (Contender)

Low Cut Connie - Hi HoneyThree albums in and these Philly lowlifes are still in love with the rock n’ roll dream: weekend benders, life on the road and any woman brave enough to indulge their man-child pursuits. They relish their time in society’s alleyways as much as they riff on Jerry Lee and the boogie-woogie rock of yesteryear. Whether cavorting with drag queens, passing out at the liquor store or selling their kidneys to pay bully debt collectors, they use hyperbole to exemplify the struggles of a band on the margins. When co-songwriters Adam Weiner and Dan Finnemore tire of placing themselves in outlandish scenarios, they concoct some for characters I assume are facsimiles of those met in dive bars and diners. The obsession with swill and thrills belies what they secretly covet on every track. As Weiner says to a woman on a Persian rug after sex, “You’re talking about money / You’re talking about success / I’m talking about happiness.” GRADE: A-

Key Tracks: ”Shake it Little Tina” / “Danny’s Out of Money” / “Me n’ Annie”