DFW Music News

The Secret Handshake Continues To Confuse, Buzz, Overhype the '90s

I'd be lying if I said I totally "got" The Secret Handshake, the widely regarded indie/dance emo-pop project of Dallas' own Luis Dubuc.

One the one hand, I don't really see what makes him so different from the throngs of other like-minded acts around town, or why he's gotten so much love from various outlets--like when the tastemakers at My Old Kentucky Blog hyped him big time about a year and a half ago, or, even today, when the New York Post's pop culture blog takes the time to hype his tour (and offer a free download of a remix to one of his tracks), even though he's going nowhere near NYC on it.

On the other hand, he does seem to be creating his music with a little bit of irony and a little tongue-in-cheek sensibility, like he knows there's far more to music than the Hot Topic scene. After all, there are elements of hip-hop, trance and house music piped into his otherwise dance-y mall-punk sound. And, he's either just a goofy kid or a genius (ill-advised Skee-Lo cover aside) who's way ahead of the game on the whole "The '90s are the new '80s" bit when he tells the NYPost says in his new press release that his music is "really influenced by Family Matters and Step By Step and the Ninja Turtles and Len and Spacehog and awesome '90s radio music."

At the very least, he does seem likeable--a little bit moreso than the others within the area mall punk scene because he does seem to have a sense of humor that isn't wholly manufactured. With the release of his new album, My Name Up In Lights, due out on April 21, maybe we'll all get a better sense of how to feel about Dubuc's music.

Or, if your sad ass doesn't have a Valentine's Day date for tomorrow night, you can see him perform tomorrow night at The Max, previewing some of these new tracks.

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Pete Freedman
Contact: Pete Freedman