Thao Nguyen takes over ‘Song Exploder’ for 2019

(illustration: @lerms) On Twitter this week, longtime San Francisco songwriter Thao Nguyen announced that she will take over hosting duties from Hrishikesh Hirway for popular music podcast Song Exploder for the entirety of 2019. Since 2014, Song Exploder has dissected songs in 20-minute episodes, inviting artists to talk about the process of putting together their most famous — and under the radar — tracks. They've investigated everything from Outkast to Mitski to the Bob's Burgers theme. Thao's first episode airs January 9. Here's hoping she'll spotlight some Bay Area artists. Hear her original 2016 episode below.

By |December 6, 2018|Tags: |

Ben Gibbard announces SF show with Thao Nguyen

Contemporary prince of indie rock Ben Gibbard has announced a lone West Coast appearance this coming June 8 at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco. Nearly a month before he is scheduled to appear at festivals in Austria and Rhode Island, the date looks promising for a widespread tour or future date announcements across the country. Gibbard and his band Death Cab For Cutie released their eighth studio disc, Kintsugi in 2015 to widespread acclaim. Gibbard's last appearance in San Francisco came nearly six months ago in September 2016 when he was a surprise guest for Jenny Lewis' Rabbit Fur Coat 10th Anniversary tour closer. [...]

Review + Photos: Thao Nguyen plays solo career retrospective at the Chapel

Thao Nguyen (photo: Ian Young) Words by Mark Spero At The Chapel on Wednesday March 15, Thao Nguyen, of Thao & the Get Down Stay Down, told the crowd she had embarked on a solo tour, a “career retrospective” that “nobody had asked for,” but she wanted to play some songs “by [herself], about [herself].”  This was met with raucous applause from the sold out crowd.  Thao has called San Francisco home for the past eleven years, and leaving her band behind for this show made for an intimate yet truly rock and roll experience for the hometown crowd. The night [...]

By |March 17, 2017|Tags: , |

Giveaway: Thao Nguyen at The Chapel

Thao Nguyen, I often like to say, is the best reason to stay in San Francisco. Nguyen has been playing music in the city since 2009, and her onstage charisma, unstoppable shreds, and dedicated, compelling lyrics have made her a fundamental part of the Bay Area's music scene. A champion for independent artists and incarcerated women, Nguyen's voice in the SF arts scene is unique and needed. Nguyen's band, Thao and the Get Down Stay Down, released their last album, A Man Alive in 2016. The album is fantastic in its production, in its composition, and in its tight and personal lyrics. Meticulously [...]

’30 Days, 30 Songs’ features music from Bhi Bhiman, Thao Nguyen

Local literary lighthouse Dave Eggers has put together a brand new independent project to raise awareness and urge voters to avoid Donald Trump in November by fighting politics with music. Launched on October 10, 30 days ahead of the presidential election, Eggers and his team unveiled '30 Days 30 Songs,' a daily playlist that features a mix of older tunes along with brand-new songs inspired by the turbulent race. In the first week, Bay Area artists will be featured. San Francisco's Thao Nguyen will have a track featured as well as Peninsula resident Bhi Bhiman. Bhiman's track, "With Love, From Russia" [...]

By |October 12, 2016|Tags: , |

Premiere: Thao & The Get Down Stay Down return with new short on eve of Phono del Sol performance

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 [...]

Phono del Sol: A Very Brief, Very Fluffy Interview with Thao Nguyen

How do we love Thao Nguyen? Let us count the ways. From her stellar sense of folk-pop to her recent forays into social work, the fearless songwriter and NPR darling has earned her rightful place as the reigning queen of San Francisco's indie scene. A tireless touring act, she fills her summers with festivals—this year including the likes of Bonnaroo and Newport Folk—and we're so glad to be one of them. In anticipation of her headlining spot at this year's Phono del Sol, we caught up with her on a rare return home to San Francisco before heading back out [...]

Ticket Giveaway Wednesday: Thao Nguyen, The Family Crest, Royal Teeth

To enter any contest, email with the name of the band and date of the show you’re entering for in the subject line and your full name and email address in the body of the email. A winner will be selected at random and notified via email. Thursday, February 13 Royal Teeth, CHAPPO, Blondfire @ The Chapel 8pm, $15, all ages. Buy advance tickets here. Thursday, February 13 The Family Crest, Branches, Mr. Kind @ Great American Music Hall 8pm, $16, all ages. Buy advance tickets here. Thursday, February 13 Elle Belle, Sandy’s, and Rustangs @ Hemlock Tavern 8:30pm, [...]

Thao & The Get Down Stay Down – "Kindness be Conceived" (with Joanna Newsom)

San Francisco folk-rocker Thao Nguyen and her band The Get Down Stay Down have a sparkly new album by the name of We the Common, out February 5th. We've already heard some early tracks, "We the Common (for Valerie Bolden)" and "Holy Roller," but the latest to surface is a much-anticipated collaboration with freak-folk wunderkind Joanna Newsom (who also dwelled in the Bay Area for a time, little-known tidbit). The clip-clop acoustic tune, "Kindness be Conceived," is simplistic, lighthearted, and gorgeously harmonized (the combination of their voices is almost Feist-esque). The track seems to declare an equal mix of Nguyen and Newsom, with Thao's [...]

Split Screens – "Born"

Born by Split Screens Split Screens, the solo project of San Francisco session musician Jesse Cafiero, recently released a self-titled EP for streaming on his bandcamp page. This is the first solo release for Cafiero, who has played bass with the likes of Thao Nguyen, John Vanderslice, and Ezra Furman, in addition to playing lap steel and bass for DRMS. The first single off his EP, "Born" can be downloaded for free above, while the rest of the EP is available for streaming until physical copies are ready to be released later this year. Cafiero's lap steel is a highlight [...]

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