Low Cut Connie

Low Cut Connie

Any regular / long-term reader of this blog will know that I’m a really big Ladyfingers (aka Adam Weiner) fan; I’ve written about a couple of Ladyfingers albums already and love them so much, I never feel like I’ve managed to do them justice. Adam’s a great talent, has a fantastic and utterly unique voice, and makes music I can honestly say I’ve never heard the likes of before.

Now he’s teamed up with a whole group of dudes (there’s not too much information available about them just yet) to create Low Cut Connie, a bona fide, gen-u-wine rock & roll band. Putting on their debut LP, Get Out The Lotion, you feel immediately transported to a dark, dingy, kind of seedy bar in some backwater town. They’re playing in the back and every once in a while, someone throws a beer bottle.

Actually, my brain makes an immediate connection between Low Cut Connie and the earliest Beatles – way back in Hamburg or the Cavern Club. Known for being quite wild before Brian Epstein made them all shiny and tidy, the Beatles during that time were pure rock & roll. Listening to Low Cut Connie feels very much the same, like there’s nothing but undiluted rock in their veins – except that Low Cut Connie doesn’t have to be censored the way that even the wild Beatles would’ve been. I mean, they’re adorable and all but, c’mon, we all know the young Beatles weren’t as innocent and sweet as they looked. Low Cut Connie is just that little bit filthy, in the best way possible – making Get Out The Lotion feel both modern and old at the same time.

Low Cut Connie is getting some seriously good press already – they’ve apparently received great reviews from Rolling Stone and Robert Christgau – and not for nothin’. I’ve been a Ladyfingers fan for many years now, and I really hope this will be the project that finally gets Adam Weiner and his pals the recognition they deserve. Go grab the album now (pay what you want) from their official site and check them out on tour at a town near you.

Must Hear: Ladyfingers, Open Your Robe

Ladyfingers, Open Your Robe

First things first, I owe Adam Weiner a bit of an apology. He was kind enough to let me hear his new Ladyfingers album hot off the presses (released in April) and, just like last time I wrote about his music, I was in the middle of transitioning from one place to another (geographically, not emotionally or anything) and, sadly, his album had to wait. A shame indeed, because Open Your Robe deserved to be shouted about right away. Hopefully this is better late than never.

Adam correctly pointed out that I missed a Ladyfingers album from last year (My Handbook, which I’ll have to get my grubby hands on asap), so I’m not sure if there was a progression from the sounds of My Prom to those on Open Your Robe, but there is definitely a difference. I’ll admit right now that I was, at first, a bit alarmed to find the growl of My Prom missing on this new album. That urgent rockabilly mayhem that almost sounded like it was tripping over itself – that’s what I liked most about Ladyfingers! But I kept listening and it turns out it’s not really gone – it’s just … less frantic. Urgency and guts still drive the music, but it’s like it’s taken a moment to slow down and take a deep breath.

Slower, yes, but are these love songs? No, I don’t think so, or at least not in the way we tend think of love songs. You’ll find no rhyming of love and dove ’round these parts. Relationship songs, perhaps – sweet in places, dark in others. They definitely feel more personal than anything else I’ve heard from Ladyfingers (again, admitting that I’ve missed a whole album in between). Maybe that’s why, even after my initial surprise, Open Your Robe may be a longer-lasting album than My Prom, if you know what I mean. I’ve listened to this album a lot and it only gets more interesting as I listen.

Check out one of my two favorites below (“Tell Me Again”) and hear the other (“I Just Wanna Be Your Baby”) and more at Ladyfingers’ myspace. Buy and download Open Your Robe from Ladyfingers’ official site on a pay-what-you-can scheme, or order a vinyl copy + download from the same location.

Ladyfingers – Tell Me Again

Backtrack: Ladyfingers

Ladyfingers

I’ll just be honest here. I was supposed to post about Ladyfingers a long time ago. Like maybe almost a year ago, possibly. I kept putting it off because, I guess, I wasn’t sure I could do him any justice. Also, (and some may say this is a little pathetic and that may be true) a part of me loves this music so much that I kind of didn’t want to share it. Not that I don’t love you all, gentle readers, but it was nice to keep it as my own little secret treasure for a while. (And I hope it’s understood that trying to keep music as my secret is probably the highest compliment I can give.)

But that’s all blown to crap, pretty much, because Ladyfingers will be playing at SXSW in exactly one week’s time. In the same line up as one Billy Bragg. Since everyone with any taste is going to be peeing their pants over this within a few weeks (or at least I hope so), the jig is pretty much up.

So let’s see – the best way I can describe Ladyfingers – basically Mr. Adam Weiner (songwriter and singer) with assorted others – is as absolute rockabilly mayhem. Seriously, it just blows you you away, knocks you across the room, makes your hair stand straight up. The first song I heard was “Cure For The Common Cold” (below) and it blasted through my speakers like a tiny tornado. I just sat there, a little stunned and absolutely sure I needed to hear it again, right away. But I ordered the album, My Prom, first.

As wonderful as every aspect of My Prom is, the thing that keeps me listening is Adam Weiner’s incredible, indescribable, vocals. His singing is clearly influenced by countless greats (Elvis and Buddy Holly among them) but is completely his own. He growls, hiccups, squeaks, croons, hollers – and sometimes all within a few seconds of each other – there’s no one else quite like this. You’ll definitely like Ladyfingers if you’re, like me, also a fan of Dan Sartain – but that’s the only artist I can think of who is even vaguely similar.

Clearly, you need to hear this for yourself. And if you’re at SXSW, you lucky bastards, check him out next Friday night (details on Ladyfingers’ Myspace) and then come back and tell me how awesome it was. But, pretty please, try not to rub it in too much.

   Ladyfingers – Cure For The Common Cold
   Ladyfingers – Ladyfingers