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Tonight: a chance to gawk at Kevin Costner and his band

Kevin Costner is going the wrong way. As Will Smith, Dolly Parton, Ice Cube and Marky Mark Wahlberg can all attest, world-renowned musicians who morph into movie stars are stepping up in stature, generating more clout and creative freedom for themselves.

Cinematic icons who strap on a guitar, however — and we’re looking at all of you, Keanu Reeves, Billy Bob Thornton, Minnie Driver, Bruce Willis, and zero degrees of Kevin Bacon — are simply slumming to prove what regular guys and gals they are to the unwashed masses. They’re just havin’ fun, ya know, kicking around a coupla tunes.

Costner is the latest case in point. By most accounts, his heartland country rock band, Kevin Costner and Modern West, plays undistinguished, regular guy anthems in the mode of Petty and Mellencamp. The allmusic.com review of their record, “Untold Truths,” even ends with the phrase, “… there’s something to be said for Costner and Modern West accomplishing their goal of sounding as ordinary as possible.”

If you want to get an intimate glimpse of “Bull Durham’s” Crash Davis or the Oscar-winning director of “Dances With Wolves” in the guise of an ordinary heartland rocker belting out the lyrics to “5 Minutes From America,” or “Don’t Lock ’Em Away (Song For Molly),” or “Gotta Get Away (Song For Bud),” all of which he co-wrote himself, it will only cost you $25 tonight at the Cabooze in Minneapolis.

I’m guessing tickets will be going fast, however. It’s not often you can reach out and touch — or even merely gawk at, in the flesh — a real, live celebrity passing himself off as an ordinary guy.

Kevin Costner and Modern West, tonight (Jan. 27) at The Cabooze. Doors open at 7 p.m., music at 8:30. ($25)

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