Phono del Sol Music Festival co-headliner Thao & The Get Down Stay Down is reviving the Shorts video series, returning with the project’s seventh installment and first in nine months, entitled “The Shepherd and The Guardian”. This latest video was directed by Lauren Tabak and was made especially for the San Francisco International Film Festival in April, which featured Thao and company at the Castro Theatre accompanied by “classic, strange and funny films from the silent era” as well as Shorts, a loosely fictionalized sketch series about frontwoman Thao Nguyen herself.
“The Shepherd and The Guardian” tells the amusing tale of Thao’s attempt to abandon her music career and chart a new path, which finds her exploring the visual arts (painting by numbers), writing, and acting before eventually settling into a niche in the film industry that’s not too far off from her current gig. The video features appearances by some San Francisco heavyweights, as well as a familiar, pre-teen face whom you may recognize from an earlier installment of Shorts.
“Through our collaboration I’ve had the opportunity to bask in the glow of some incredibly generous, hilarious and talented folks like Ira Glass, John Hodgman, The Lumineers, John Vanderslice, and of course, the lovely and not-at-all-like her onscreen persona, Ms. Thao Nguyen,” explains director Tabak. “For this most recent film, we were very lucky to wrangle cameos from illustrator Wendy McNaughton (whose comedic timing is as on-point as her micron 02), author Daniel Handler (he’s just okay, I prefer to take tea with his alter-ego Lemony Snicket), and of course, the 12-year-old-comedic-mastermind, Caelan Wallace.”
“I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that the black and white scene with local hero Dusty Stax is an homage to the Haus of Gaga, Depression-era newsreel stories, and the current San Francisco rental market,” Tabak says facetiously.
Watch the “The Shepherd and The Guardian” below, and get your tickets now to see Thao, Wye Oak, Nick Waterhouse, Blackbird Blackbird, and many more this Saturday, July 12 at Phono del Sol.