now playing: thao and the get down stay down
  • TUESDAY, JANUARY 12, 2010

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With our latest concert release, the first thing you're bound to notice is Thao Nguyen, a spirited musician sicking erratic, electric scratches into her surely beaten-all-to-hell hollow body guitar. It, along with her exotic coo coo cachoos into the microphone, are but one vital vessel the talented songwriter employs to carry her intense, personal narratives. The other is her body.

Performing at the First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia last November, Thao struts a pair of restless legs, sways her music-minded hips, and throws the rest of her body into a general mess of hair and limbs whenever the moment presents itself. Here, Thao's songs (pulled from Know Better Learn Faster, We Brave Bee Stings & All, and Like the Linen) inhabit her, own her, and with the enthusiastic assistance of her backing band The Get Down Stay Down, whisk her to another place all together when she performs. Those in attendance? They were piled into an old church basement in downtown Philadelphia. But Thao and the Get Down Stay Down...to be honest, I'm not quite sure where their muse escorted them.

All of which makes for an electrifying performance experience. Over the course of this concert, the band whisks their audience away on an unpredictable, careening, joy ride, chock full of impromptu jams sessions, alternate album takes, occasional theatrics, and a whole host of special guests. It's an almighty type of performance to be sure, but hey...that's probably why we journeyed to a church to film it. - David Pitz

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Thao and the Get Down Stay Down: Live at the First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia
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