With a photo shoot and interview scheduled, the band - hunkered down with a pretour case of Hurricane Sandy cabin fever at Weiner's parents' place in Marlton - decided to invite some friends over for a noon rock-and-roll party.
Before lunchtime had passed, the band had floored the fortunate few with a nine-song set that sampled Call Me Sylvia and last year's Get Out the Lotion. The set included covers of Bruce Springsteen's "Johnny 99," Barrett Strong's "Money (That's What I Want)" and the Robin's "Riot in Cell Block #9," the last two with the 73-year-old Capozzoli happily honking away.
Weiner, a ham who's been known to pull out a chest hair as an offering to fans, had sweat soaking through his tuxedo shirt as he banged the keys with his boot Jerry Lee Lewis-style and dropped to the floor for push-ups as his bandmates wailed away.
"We are on hallowed ground," says Weiner, looking around the bar decorated with Dean Martin dolls and Sinatra photos, which is where the band shot its latest video, for the song "Boozaphilia."
The curly-haired songwriter is sharing his piano bench with the mustachioed Finnemore, who, like him, is 32 and animated by enthusiasm for early rock and R&B.
Coupling that with impressive songwriting and a joyous sleaziness, Low Cut Connie never runs the risk of coming off as mere revivalists.
What the band is passionate about is "the old stuff, the raw stuff, the honest stuff," says Finnemore, who cut his teeth with a series of British bands that regularly played the Birmingham rock-and-roll party known as Cold Rice before he saw Weiner perform in New York a half-dozen years ago.
"That's the taste that me and Adam share. Chess Records. Stax, that old raw sound. That's how we bonded, because he was doing the same things I was doing on another continent . . . .
"For me, rock-and-roll is visceral," he adds, pointing to his heart. "It's in there. If you think about it too much, it becomes tiresome and laborious. Playing this kind of music is the most fun you can have!"
Weiner, who put out three albums in the '00s as Ladyfingers, educated himself in rockabilly and boogie-woogie during a year at the University of Memphis. His resumé also includes teaching music at Appel Farm Music & Arts Center in Elmer, N.J., where he worked alongside Merrill Garbus of Tune-Yards. She sang with Low Cut Connie backing her at Weiner's wedding in July in Upstate New York. Weiner also spent several years in New York acting, tutoring, and playing karaoke bars and nursing homes.
"That's where I got my performance chops from," says the pianist, whose kinky character-driven tales are complemented by Finnemore's hooky, guitar-fired, rough-and-tumble tunes. One Weiner standout on Call Me Sylvia is "No More Wet T-Shirt Contests" a lounge lizard's lament worthy of Randy Newman.
"I was thinking about what it must be like to be a stripper, and feign baring your soul on repeat," Weiner says. "I played in a place called Pegasus in New York, which is a Gaysian drag karaoke bar. You're fighting for attention with a 4-foot-10 Chinese man dressed as Patti LaBelle doing 'Lady Marmalade.' That type of crowd will let you know if you're sucking . . . . I learned to do what you have to do to make it work for the crowd."
Weiner and Finnemore played together occasionally after they met. But it wasn't until they got stuck in an elevator in Birmingham with a duffel bag full of Jack Daniel's bottles that they decided to write and record together. In four sweltering days in August 2010, they went to Duncan's studio in Gainesville, Fla., and cut the 11 songs on Get Out the Lotion.
They sent the finished product out to the press. They called themselves Low Cut Connie, Weiner says, because the drawing of a waitress he did for the cover looked like someone named Connie and "like us and our band, she wasn't gorgeous, but she works hard, takes care of business, and on the weekends she puts on something low cut and goes bowling . . . our band is Connie on the weekend, wearing something low cut."
The reaction was immediate: Robert Christgau, the dean of rock critics, raved about it, as did Ken Tucker of NPR's Fresh Air.
"They ruined our lives," says Weiner, joking. He was tutoring and working as a piano tuner, and Finnemore was teaching film studies to high schoolers in England.
"I called up Dan and it was like, 'We need to give it a shot - like, a for-realzy shot.' " For most of last year, Finnemore would fly over to the United States for gigs on weekends. In June, he obtained a one-year work visa, giving the band time to record Call Me Sylvia and tour in earnest.
Weiner now lives in Harlem with his wife, Adriana, and, much of the time, Finnemore, who sleeps on the couch. The group rehearses at Vos' studio in Fishtown. Duncan, a new father who lives in Florida, will be replaced on the group's forthcoming national tour (which will include a trip to the South by Southwest Music Festival in March) by two new members.
"That's where we are now," says Finnemore.
"Which is broke," adds Weiner.
Broke but well-connected: The band recently guested on Dave Marsh's Sirius satellite radio show and played at Jack White's Third Man Records in Nashville. They're managed by a producer of Little Steven Van Zandt's Underground Garage channel.
"We have some famous fans," says Finnemore, smiling and sipping a post-show Kenzinger. "Now we need some money!"
For video of Low Cut Connie rehearsing at Ray's Happy Birthday Bar in South Philadelphia, go to www.philly.com/lcc
Contact Dan DeLuca at 215-854-5628, firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow on Twitter @delucadan. Read his blog, "In the Mix," at www.philly.com/inthemix.