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Matt Nathanson Turns "Mad Hope" Into Career Reality

Of the Oakland Press

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Watching the movie “300,” singersongwriter Matt Nathanson was struck by a particular line from one of King Leonidas’ speeches.

“He says something about ‘some mad hope’ as he’s leading his troops to death,” Nathanson, 35, recalls. “I said ... ‘If that’s not reflecting how I live my life ... I’ve got to take that line.’ ”

The Boston area native did — and made it the title for his sixth album. Acknowledging it’s conceptually “kind of about my relationship with my life,” Nathanson says he wanted to create an “arc” that traveled through the good and bad times as he strives “to actually be somebody who could be counted on as opposed to somebody who needs to be taken care of.”

And one of the songs, “Detroit Waves,” was inspired by a trip through Detroit Metropolitan Airport — and particularly the underground tunnel in the McNamara Terminal.

“I want to film a video in that airport,” Nathanson notes. “That tunnel ... made me feel all artsy and inspired, like ‘Ooh, I’m feeling in touch!’ When I was flying out, I looked out the window, watching Detroit below me and had this idea of ‘Detroit waves good night beneath me,’ and I just wrote the song from that situation.”

Matt Nathanson and Ingrid Michaelson perform at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday (Feb. 5) at St. Andrew’s Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit. The show is sold out. Call (313) 961-6358 or visit www.livenation.com. Nathanson also performs at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday (Feb. 6) at Borders, 612 East Liberty St., Ann Arbor. Call (734) 668-7652. Nathanson also opens for Lifehouse on March 21 at Clutch Cargos. 65 E. Huron St., Pontiac. Tickets are $22.50. Call (248) 333-2362 or visit www.clutchcargos.com.

Web Site: www.livenation.com

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