This week, our podcast features Thao with The Get Down Stay Down
, a trio led by San Francisco singer-songwriter Thao Nguyen. Nguyen and her band (comprised of Adam Thompson on bass, keys and guitar, and Willis Thompson on drums and percussion) first attracted widespread attention with last year’s We Brave Bee Stings and All
on Kill Rock Stars. The album introduced Nguyen as a commanding songwriter, skillfully crafting melodic folk-rock with clever, intimate lyrics. The group supported the record with relentless touring, which gathered them many new fans and heightened their chemistry as a performing unit.
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In October, Thao with The Get Down Stay Down released Know Better Learn Faster, which has rightly earned the band another round of praise. Working again with producer Tucker Martine (The Decemberists, Sufjan Stevens, Mudhoney), the new album seizes upon the trio’s live energy as they explore a number of musical styles. Like before, Nguyen’s vocal and lyrical charisma are a dominant force throughout, as Thao explores the end of a relationship with wit and thoughtfulness. It’s a very strong album that’s among the year’s best.
We sat down with Thao in our studio prior to her recent touring, to discuss her latest release, her band’s live chemistry, and the challenges of personal songwriting. We’ve also included four songs from Know Better Learn Faster in the episode.
Saturday, November 21st
with The Portland Cello Project and David Schultz
9pm, $17, 21+
– Visit the band on MySpace, their web site, Facebook, and Twitter.
– Purchase Know Better Learn Faster and We Brave Bee Stings and All from Kill Rock Stars and on iTunes.
– Check out videos of Thao and the band on YouTube and at Yours Truly.