Kubat says ta-ta; Finale slams Bush

So long, farewell …

It’s true, the lissome, smooth-skinned folk popper Audra Kubat is off to New York City for greener pastures, at least for now. And we know you’ll miss her. Shit, we’ll miss her too. And who wouldn’t? Her perky presence at select local rock shows (or wherever NYC’s mighty Everyothers happened to be playing in town) was always sunshine and flowers, as were her performances. Meanwhile, the glitter-tinged frontman/booker/bartender/intransigent scenester Stirling will continue managing Kubat’s musical affairs. Kubat will reach out to dry your tears at her own sendoff bash (dubbed the “Bittersweet Goodbye”) on Sunday, Oct. 10, at Union Street (4145 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-831-3965) at 8 p.m. Look for Sight Eddie Baranek to join her on a song as well a surprise guest or two. DJs Freddie Fortune and Dave Shettler will be on hand spinning wax. Also, Kubat has completed work on Fell in Love with the Music, her second album for Times Beach, which will be out in March.

Kid with the replaceable head

The spindly, floppy-fringed Kenny Tudrick has given up his bread-and-butter stickman gig in the Detroit Cobras to dedicate his attention full-time to Bulldog, the winsome country-tinged quintet that he fronts. To coincide, Bulldog’s self-released EP, recorded ably by John Smerek at the White Room, will soon be out. And judging from the band’s last show at Small’s, one rife with intimacy and song, subtlety and confidence, there’s simply no reason why this band won’t be riding shotgun on the Americana train straight into the dusky twilight.

And speaking of the Cobras, their new full-length, Baby, comes out in Europe on Rough Trade on Nov. 1. The band has yet to ink a stateside record deal, so no word on a U.S. release date. Also, no word on who will fill Tudrick’s spot on the drum stool.

Bigger and Bigger

The Paybacks’ fetid-van-traveling, floor-crashing, chump-change-paying-gig days are beginning to, um, pay back. Yeah, the band is crashing headlong into a much-deserved national media love fest to match their street level word-of-mouth buzz. It all kick-started with a show-stealing performance at Little Steven’s Underground Garage Fest in August and recent blowjobian nods in Spin and Rolling Stone. In fact, look for the band in a Spin “Bands to Watch” profile soon. The Paybacks are playing Saturday, Oct. 9, at the Blind Pig (208 S. First St., Ann Arbor; 734-996-8555) and five days later at the CMJ fest in New York City.

Athletically Speaking

The good folks of the Athletic Mic League are back at it again. No, they’re not building another Jungle Gym Jungle, but they are bringing North Cackalacka’s finest, Little Brother and the Justus League, out to Detroit for a smorgasbord of hip hop at Alvin’s (5756 Cass Ave., Detroit; 313-831-4577). The gig, which takes place Oct. 16, will feature Detroit’s favorite comeback kids, 5ELA, FunkTell castaways Now On and mixmasters DJ Graffiti — fresh off a show at London’s The Underground — and St. Andrew’s mainstay DJ Houseshoes on the one’s and two’s. A special treat for die-hard music fans will be the appearance of Foreign Exchange, the duo of Little Brother’s Phonte and Dutch beat-maker Nickolay, who have recently released the LP Connected on London’s BBE label. In a story most heads have heard by now, Phonte and Nickolay met on the okayplayer.com message board and developed a working relationship that led to recording an entire album over instant messenger. Nickolay laid all the beats and sent them electronically to Phonte, who recorded all of his vocals and sent them right back. Without ever having met, the two inked a record deal, made an album that is honestly rather dynamic, and the rest is technological history. Hopefully, AOL hasn’t found out about this yet and asked for a cut of the green.

Slam This

Kudos to Detroit’s own burgeoning rhymesayer Finale for placing second in the national Slam Bush competition held on the eve of the presidential debates in Miami. After having won the Detroit competition, the proactive Bush haters flew Finale out to Miami along with a host of other emcees from swing states to compete in the national competition. The event, set up by hip-hop legend Davey D, pits witty emcees and poets specifically from swing states against a person on stage wearing a large George W. Bush mask. Cats had to come with their A-game and cut Bush down to size using the most creative quips and rhymes to impress the panel of judges, which included Chuck D, Wordsworth, Medusa and Supernatural, to name a few. Though Finale placed second, he still brings home a sizable cash prize and had the opportunity to open up for The Roots. The idea for Slam Bush grew out of an essay by Davey D in the new book How to Get Stupid White Men Out of Office where he proposed hip-hop battles against Bush in major swing state cities. Obviously the idea has taken root and Bush should be back hanging in the Lone Star state by January.

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