Local Legends: The NoVa Native Who Rules The Indie Rock Scene
There’s no mistaking a Thao Nguyen track: The singer-songwriter has a sound like none other, a laid-back rasp floating above instrumentation that's equally off-kilter. Raised in Falls Church, Nguyen first picked up a guitar at age 12, and made a splash with a 2008 single. Since then, she’s worked with artists like Andrew Bird, Mirah, and Laura Veirs, and toured extensively before finally settling in San Francisco. Now, Nguyen and her band, The Get Down Stay Down, are back on the road to promote their acclaimed album, We the Common, including a stop at the Black Cat on Wednesday.
Aside from her musical career, Nguyen has lots of other things going on: She’s an activist, volunteering for causes such as the California Coalition for Women Prisoners and advocating for the incarcerated. She also writes essays for
Magnet, and recently brushed up on her acting skills for a series of satirical video shorts called “Behind The Making Of The Making Of How It Was Made." We caught up with her to talk about this week's rollicking live show, what D.C means to her now, and how advocacy informs her work.
Photo: Courtesy of Thao Nguyen/Nick Walker