Obama Handpicked This DIY Artist For His Spotify Playlist

LCC-spotify-obama

The White House released a pair of Spotify playlists today curated by The President.  Alongside The Rolling Stones, The Temptations, Florence And The Machine and Justin Timberlake, sits a hard-working Philly based band doing it all themselves.

I first discovered Low Cut Connie at the Echo in East LA last year.  Playing to just over 100 people, they put on an incredible show, left a pint of blood on the stage and got me to buy all their merch.  I’ve been following them ever since.  You don’t go to a Low Cut Connie concert and forget the experience.  Because, it’s just that: an experience.  Front man, Adam Weiner, embodies Jerry Lee Lewis while he jumps, dances and pounds away at his upright piano (that LCC tour with).  And the rest of the group expel equal amounts of balls-to-the-wall energy.  Low Cut Connie just self-released their latest album Hi Honey (on their own label Contender Records).

+How Much You Should Be Charging For Merch (Low Cut Connie Show Review)

They’ve been chopping away at America’s club circuit for years getting little victories here and there.  In 2012, Rolling Stone magazine ranked “Boozophilia” in the top 50 songs of the year (at #31 between Bruce Springsteen and The Beach Boys). Off of the success of that record, Jack White invited the band to perform at the grand re-opening of Third Man Records. In June, NPR included Low Cut Connie in the 10 Songs Public Radio Can’t Stop Playing list. And last month Weiner was given an audition-free slot on The Voice (after casting saw LCC YouTube videos), which he turned down – smart choice.

+This Musician Got An Audition-Free Slot On The Voice. Why He Turned It Down

But, that pales in comparison to being publicly recognized by the leader of the free world.

The White House released the first two curated playlists by POTUS explaining:

“When asked to pick a few of his favorite songs for the summer, the President got serious. He grabbed a pen and paper and drafted up not one, but two separate summer playlists: One for the daytime, and one for the evening.” – Kori Schulman, The White House

President Barack Obama discusses his vacation playlist with Jason Goldman, Chief Digital Officer, in the Oval Office, Aug. 7, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama discusses his vacation playlist with Jason Goldman, Chief Digital Officer, in the Oval Office, Aug. 7, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

I spoke with Low Cut Connie frontman, Adam Weiner, earlier today to get his reaction and see if he had any idea how The President discovered these blue-collar musicians. Weiner mentioned that a friend of his knows someone on the Obama team and told him that one of the 1st daughters turned their father onto the group.

“At first I thought it was a joke… then I realized that Obama’s got great taste and that he’s always for the little guy.  In this case Low Cut Connie is the little guy… and I couldn’t be more honored, humbled, or confused.  Thank you Mr. President,” Adam Weiner, Low Cut Connie

It probably didn’t hurt that the chorus gives a shoutout to “the south side of Chicago.”

Wondering what “Boozophillia” means?  Yeah me too.  Weiner explains, “I invented the word Boozophilia to refer to [my] attraction to ‘low life,’ dive bar and blue-collar culture that I’ve been toiling in for many years – traveling and playing music and [providing] entertainment in the grimiest and saltiest bars in America.  I wrote the song 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.”

Here are the full POTUS Summertime playlists:

The President’s Daytime Playlist

Ain’t Too Proud to Beg – The Temptations

Live It Up – Isley Brothers

Memories Live – Talib Kweli & Hi Tek

Tombstone Blues – Bob Dylan

So Much Trouble in the World – Bob Marley

Paradise – Coldplay

Tengo Un Trato (Remix) – Mala Rodriguez

Wang Dang Doodle – Howlin Wolf

Another Star – Stevie Wonder

Hot Fun in the Summertime – Sly & the Family Stone

Boozophilia – Low Cut Connie

Wherever Is Your Heart – Brandi Carlile

Good Day – Nappy Roots

Green Light – John Legend

Gimme Shelter – Rolling Stones

Rock Steady – Aretha Franklin

Down Down the Deep River – Okkervil River

Pusher Love Girl – Justin Timberlake

Shake It Out – Florence + The Machine

La Salsa La Traigo Yo – Sonora Carruseles

 

The President’s Evening Playlist

My Favorite Things – John Coltrane

Superpower (feat. Frank Ocean) – Beyoncé

Moondance – Van Morrison

Is Your Love Big Enough? – Lianne La Havas

How Can You Mend a Broken Heart – Al Green

Red & White & Blue & Gold – Aoife O’Donovan

Nothing Even Matters – Lauryn Hill

The Best Is Yet to Come – Frank Sinatra

You Don’t Know Me – Ray Charles

I Found My Everything – Mary J Blige

Help Me – Joni Mitchell

I’ve Got Dreams to Remember – Otis Redding

Suzanne – Leonard Cohen

Feeling Good – Nina Simone

Stubborn Love – The Lumineers

Until – Cassandra Wilson

UMI Says – Mos Def

The Very Thought of You – Billie Holiday

Flamenco Sketches – Miles Davis

Woo – Erykah Badu

Ari Herstand is a Los Angeles based singer/songwriter and the creator of the music biz advice blog, Ari’s Take. Follow him on Twitter: @aristake

About The Author

Ari Herstand
Writer, Musician, Whiskey Drinker

Ari Herstand is the author of How To Make It in the New Music Business (Dec 2016 - Liveright / Norton). He has been a DIY musician for over 10 years, has performed over 600 shows around the world and released 4 studio albums and 2 live albums. He has had songs featured on multiple TV shows, commercials and films and has shared the stage with Ben Folds, Cake, Matt Nathanson, Joshua Radin, Eric Hutchinson, Milk Carton Kids and Ron Pope. He created the music business advice blog, Ari’s Take in the Spring of 2012 to help DIY musicians navigate the independent world of music. Herstand was born and raised in the Midwest and got his start in the Minneapolis music scene. He rose to prominence locally and consistently sold out the 800 capacity Varsity Theater. He became the go-to musician in the scene for music business advice before he moved to Los Angeles in the Summer of 2010. Currently residing in West Hollywood, Herstand still spends a good portion of his time on the road touring. When at home he splits his time writing music, writing articles, writing his book (out December 2016 with Norton Publishing), playing shows at the Hotel Cafe and acting in TV shows (see him in his co-star appearances on Mad Men, 2 Broke Girls, Aquarius, Transparent, The Fosters, and others)

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7 Responses

  1. Avatar
    Sherron Watkins

    Goldman Sachs funded Spotify and the Obama Administration are.. very close. It’s just a favor.

  2. Avatar
    T. Cooke

    Ari, going to probably make your show at the Hotel Cafe Aug. 20.

  3. Avatar
    DavidB

    Yeah, right, of course the President personally hand-picked the list. He didn’t just get a couple of interns to make up a list of suitably cool choices – you know, a bit of Miles Davis, a bit of Nina Simone – with a few more modern things (Florence, Justin Timberlake) thrown in to show he is down with the kids. (Nothing too risky, like Eminem, in case someone notices the sexist lyrics.) But I must admit it’s a pretty good list, whoever compiled it. ‘Wang Dang Doodle’ by Howlin Wolf is an example: it’s cool to choose Howlin Wolf, but even cooler to choose one of his less obvious tracks, thus suggesting that the Pres really knows his stuff.

    • Avatar
      Anonymous

      You know he has two young daughters, right? Not to mention he endless stream of people, entertainers included, he meets. There’s a million ways beyond interns he could have found out about some of the newer people.

  4. Avatar
    The Guy Who's Right

    So…. The President has mediocre to bad taste in music? I’m shocked