Thao and the Get Down Stay Down @ The Fillmore

Listen to San Francisco band Thao (as in Thao Nguyen) and the Get Down Stay Down's new album, A Man Alive! and you might feel happy and upbeat. Unlike the band's preceding three albums, which were more rooted in folk, A Man Alive! is rife with funk, groovy piano lines, and slick guitar chords. But if you listen closely, you'll notice that there are undertones of sadness and loss in the lyrics. Like she's done in other albums, leadwoman Thao Nguyen turns the record into her confessional, speaking candidly and contemplatively about her father, who abandoned her family when she was a preteen. “This record, a lot of that is me releasing whatever I have to, grieving in whatever way, and having a lot of anger and then trying to sort of move forward, to forgive,” Nguyen told NPR. “He kinda just floated away, but you never knew when he would come back and you never knew when he would just leave.” The resulting album is rhythmically cathartic and one of the band's most compelling to date.

View Comments