Thao Nguyen of the band Thao and the Get Down Stay Down has some daddy issues. Her song Astonished Man off the recently released A Man Alive album was inspired by Marilynne Robinson’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel Gilead. The song is about forgiveness, forgiving her father for being a tumultuous yet charismatic presence in her childhood and eventually abandoning her family. She sings, “you don’t look for me but I will look for you.” The astonished man is astonished by the love and forgiveness he is offered despite his bad actions.
Some friends and I went to see Thao and the Get Down Stay Down on Saturday night at The Fillmore in San Francisco and it was a great show (thanks H). A Man Alive is a tumultuous yet charismatic album. It’s noisy. She’s hollering and stomping like St.Vincent. If you like to dance you should listen. Also listen to her Song Exploder podcast.