Payin’ it back, blowin’ it out 

It’s been a noisy whisper on blogs and barstools recently that, after two albums and myriad tours, John Szymanski and Mike Latulippe parted ways with the Paybacks. On one hand their departure is odd, considering the downright, if not deserved, blowjobian spikes the band has received in national press of late (Spin, Rolling Stone, Creem, etc.), but to Szymanski and Latulippe, who have a Hentchmen album to support (Form Follows Function), it makes sense. Szymanski says the split was amicable and that he and Latulippe just couldn’t commit “fulltime to the Paybacks.”

“It was tough for all of us, because we’re such close friends and we’ve done so much together,” says Paybacks singer-guitarist Wendy Case. “But we knew it had to happen eventually.”

The Hentchmen are UK-bound in March for a 10-day tour, followed by a monthlong stateside spin with the Black Keys.

Taking over Szymanski’s Payback bass duties is the genetically sound Jackson Smith (ex-Back In Spades), and Bill Hafer — also of Detroit’s wondrously art-damaged Human Eye — is filling Latulippe’s vacant drumstool. Muggs frontman Danny Methric stays as lead guitarist.

Case says the good news is that the band “wound up with the best possible guys for the job” and that it “sounds fucking awesome.” The new Paybacks lineup will debut (with new songs) Wednesday, March 9, at the Lager House with bong-and-riff enthusiasts Bad Wizard. Then they’ll head out on a two-week Southern run with Nashville Pussy, which will lead them to Texas in mid-March for SXSW. “We’re really geeked,” Case says. “It’s a whole new animal.”

In other split news, Terror at the Opera have reportedly disbanded.

Blow it out yer ass

OK, to catch any or all of the 220-odd bands playing this year’s ever-glorious Blowout 2005 (Wednesday, March 2, through Saturday, March 5) you’ll need a wristband. A wristband gets you into each of the 20 Hamtramck venues each night plus the Wednesday launch party at the Majestic. And for a limited time the wristbands are available for only a 10 bucks. That’s right, $10. But if you wait until the event, the bands will run you $20, so don’t delay. Here’s where to go for pre-sale wristbands: Pure Detroit-Downtown (500 Griswold St., Suite 250, Detroit; 313-963-1440; Pure Detroit-New Center (3011 W.Grand Blvd., Suite 101, Detroit; 313-873-PURE); Pure Detroit Design Lab (156 W. Congress St., Detroit; 313-961-8320); Pure Detroit GM Collection (In the Wintergarden at the Renaissance Center, Detroit; 313-259-5100); Incognito (323 S. Main St., Royal Oak; 248-548-2980); Magic Bus (24334 Michigan Ave., Dearborn; 313-565-7941). More info and complete lineup at

Question of the day: So when’s the fundraiser for the recently incinerated Corktown Tavern?

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