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Thao Nguyen's Latest Album Finds the Dance/Chill Equilibrium

A Man Alive balances introspection with "rabid, animal energy."  


Musician Thao Nguyen wanted to make something different—something bass-driven and personal. So she marched her electric guitar into San Francisco’s analog studio, Tiny Telephone, tapped Tune-Yards’ Merrill Garbus as producer, and shredded over programmed beats and nasty bass lines. The result: Thao & the Get Down Stay Down’s fourth record, A Man Alive, set for release on March 4.

Thematically, the album is deeply personal and gutsy (Nguyen navigates her childhood drama). But a downer album this is not—its darker territory is juxtaposed with a vibrant and danceable sound (there are still plenty of sing-along choruses and hand clapping). Nguyen’s aim, she says, was “to make a record that was very introspective but fun to perform—not just fun, but I wanted a kind of crazy, rabid, animal energy.” Get your piece of the frenzy when Thao & the Get Down Stay Down take the stage at the Fillmore on April 30.


Originally published in the March issue of San Francisco

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