Hit Pick

Mishka Shubaly is staggering home. The singer-songwriter wrote his first tunes while living in a Colorado basement, where his blissfully black sense of humor helped him handle a hard-knock life and the stigma of clothes that smelled like pickles. (He kept his duds in pickle jars from his job at a Sonic Drive-In.) He eventually left Denver (and his Vlasic aura) for the Big Apple, where he earned a small cult following and produced two highly entertaining recordings -- Thanks for Letting Me Crash and To Hell With You -- of hung-over, Beck-style rock. He also spent time playing Gotham clubs (solo and with grunge-pop act COME ON), headlining bills opened by the Strokes and doing an internship with rock writer Robert Christgau. The famed music critic deemed Shubaly's voice one of the worst he's ever heard -- a badge of honor Shubaly is quick to flash. Like Scotch, his vocals are an acquired taste worth the time. In a droll, semi-baritone that's equal parts Nick Cave, Johnny Cash and Iggy Pop, Shubaly takes the listener through ragged tales a Pavement fan can adore. And his brainy, smart-ass songs of disappointment and "heartbreak and liver failure" chronicle the loser life in fresh, often hilarious fashion. Shubaly's Denver dates -- the Bluebird Theater on Thursday, October 16, the Larimer Lounge on Sunday, October 19, and the Lion's Lair on Thursday, October 23 -- are especially crucial for him. This August, he sold his possessions and gave up his NYC apartment to spend a year on the road running down his unique musical dream. Make it out to a show, treat yourself to a rare night and make his return a good one. Offers of warm showers, canned goods and couches to crash on might be welcome, too. Hold the pickles.


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