Photo by Sacha Lecca
Low Cut Connie
MOTR Pub, 1345 Main St, Cincinnati, OH
One sad night in New York City, Adam Weiner was playing “Stormy Weather” to twelve half-naked drunks at a drag karaoke bar called Pegasus. He had left New Jersey 10 years earlier with lofty hopes of artistic success in the Big Sexy Apple… and this salty dump is where he had landed and gotten stuck like a musical kidney stone. A small Asian man dressed as Diana Ross was finishing the last verse and segueing into “Sometimes When We Touch”, while Adam plunked the piano keys with bluesy relish.
Right at this moment, a thought occurred to Mr. Weiner. ”Why don’t I start the greatest rock n roll band this town has ever seen? Why don’t I titillate and massage the throbbing cultural masses in unknown ways? Why don’t I dream a new boogie for all of mankind?” Instantly, the room started to spin with sensual visions and Elvis ambitions. Barry Manillow whispered in his ear “DO IT!”. The patrons all shook their stuff and tipped Mr. Weiner generously. ”The slump was ending”, he felt.
The next morning, he called up his old buddy Dan “Swampmeat” Finnemore in Birmingham, England. A couple years before, Adam and Dan had shared a urine-soaked stage in a gnarly UK warehouse and gotten stuck in a freight elevator for 4 hours with nothing but guitars and a duffel bag of booze. They had emerged brothers from across the pond. When the phone rang, Dan was busy duct-taping his wounds after a night of heavy punkabilly brawling and low-brow impregnations. He had screamed his head off and been spat on by rabid drunks and footballers. Adam asked him if he wanted to turn their slumps around and light a mighty rock n roll flame. Dan picked up his sticks and said “Fuck it, let’s get weird. See you in 6 hours, fool.”
Sensing the creation of a profound cocktail of boogie and benevolent sleaze, Weiner and Finnemore scoured the crab-infested streets of old Philadelphia looking for a couple of salty vagabonds to complete the line-up. At the end of a sad alleyway, they found a couple of swarthy tramps watching the Golden Girls through the window of a retirement home. They resembled Trading Places-era Ackroyd. After a quick interview, the Hebrew and the Brit realized they could clean these boys up, make em look like half-decent musicians, and no one would ever know the difference. They agreed to work for beer and Slim Jims, and Low Cut Connie was born.
In the weeks and months that followed, the boys went into all the downtown clubs and all the phenomenal dumps across America…just to get the juices flowing, to make all the boys and girls dance again, fondle each other, and fall in love.
Har Mar Superstar
MOTR Pub, 1345 Main St, Cincinnati, OH
Bye Bye 17, the new album from acclaimed singer, songwriter and performer Har Mar Superstar (aka Sean Tillmann), is currently out on Cult Records. Already receiving widespread critical praise,BULLETT calls the album, “impossibly groovy and infectious,” while KCRW asserts, “I’d call the album a guilty pleasure but I don’t feel guilty at all. It’s just packed full of hooks.” Additionally, of the album’s first single, “Lady, You Shot Me,” Death + Taxes declares, “Har Mar Superstar returns with the song of his career,” while MTV Buzzworthy calls it a “Buzzworthy Obsession.”
Of asking him to join the label, Cult Records founder Julian Casablancas notes, “First time I saw Sean was at the Mercury Lounge years back, and I was blown away by his voice, his confidence and his showmanship. When he recently played me his new record, I felt it was something we could help make truly great. He’s the man with the golden voice, and we’re excited to try and turn people on to that fact… Like the dude himself, the record’s just tough, sad, hilarious and rad.”
Written in New York City, the 10-song album was recorded at co-producer Jim Eno‘s (Spoon) Austin studio with a full live band. Focusing this time more on his voice, Tillmann says, “I was listening to a lot of Otis Redding and Sam Cooke at the time, and I’ve always been obsessed with those guys… ‘Restless Leg,’ ‘We Don’t Sleep,’ ‘Prisoner’ and ‘Rhythm Bruises’ came out of people playing together. But the rest were just like me in a room, gettin’ weird, by myself.” See below for full track-listing.
Tillmann named his flamboyant alter-ego after the Har Mar mall in suburban St. Paul, MN where he spent his youth watching movies and writing songs about passers-by in the food court. Tillman explains, “Har Mar Superstar used to be a different person. It used to be my excuse to get away with the more fantastic things in life… It was easier to get onstage as this other guy and be outrageous and have it be glorified. I guess the confidence I got from being Har Mar Superstar translated into my real life, so now we’re one and the same.”