So Much For Playing SXSW: The Secret Handshake Is No More.

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Earlier this week, we passed along the word that, along with a few other local outfits, The Secret Handshake had been picked as one of the acts to make SXSW's early-announced performers list. And, while that much remains true, Luis Dubuc, the man behind the Secret Handshake moniker says that neither he nor his band will be attending its showcase.

Or any other Secret Handshake shows in the future, turns out.

"I'm still going to be writing pop songs," Dubuc says, "but the name The Secret Handshake is definitely done."

But the pop songs will have to wait. And SXSW will have to do without Dubuc, who, rather than give the name one last go in Austin, Dubuc will actually be out on tour this March with another outfit -- his new metal project called Of Legends.

"I'll be on tour with Of Legends, and opening for Norma Jean," Dubuc says of the not-yet-formally-announced month-long tour, which kicks off in late February."The tour's gonna be really cool."

Excited as he may be about his upcoming forays into metal with Of Legends, though, the announcement of the end of The Secret Handshake comes with a bittersweet taste for Dubuc, who, earlier this year, took a risk by taking that act in a new, more-Motown-infused direction than the Auto-Tuned nature of his previous electro-pop. That new direction resulted a charming collection of retro pop numbers called Night & Day, which found Dubuc clearly stepping into a mature realm, both as a performer and as a songwriter.

"It's too bad," Dubuc says. "I was really proud of that album. There are some great songs on there. But people didn't give it a chance because it was under The Secret Handshake name."

Our sentiments exactly.

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