Matt Costa at Detroit, 8/26

And now for the something-like-43rd time Matt Costa's been mentioned in the Weekly: What's there left to say?

On Sunday night, the Detroit Bar was packed.

And it wasn't really for their usual Karaoke Sundays, or even for any announced show at all.

The Huntington Beach resident with the curiously large following played a secret show partially in preparation for a few dates he'll be opening up for Modest Mouse in Portland and beyond. Costa and band (including new member Jacob Sahagen—of Madman Moon—on the keyboards) have been feverishly practicing a brand new set to showcase at these dates and beyond. The set list half consisted of re-worked and revamped (think the lap steel, mandolin and banjo) favorite tracks from his first full-length, Songs We Sing (2005), and half from the forthcoming Unfamiliar Faces.

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And the new stuff? It's different.

For the longtime fans: Don't worry. That same sincere Matt is there, with his bounty of fuzzy tunes that leaves you feeling all warm and gooey inside; the cheerful and the thoughtful, all over words and melodies that are as Donovan and the Band as they are uh, now.

For the newcomers: Just come and watch. You'll find what I saw on Sunday night—an engaged crowd, even the ones who were there just enjoying a drink on a Sunday night, cooing at his every note/word/forgotten note/forgotten word and a band that's as solid and clicky as it is credible.

Matt Costa plays San Diego Street Scene at the Coors Amphitheater 9/22. For more info see www.myspace.com/mattcostamusic or www.street-scene.com.


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