Thao with the Get Down Stay Down is full of contradictions. Their songs are lo-fi but polished, fresh as well as classic. This week, lead singer Thao Nguyen (pronounced Touw Nwen) is performing solo via the Hotel Cafe Tour, a roadshow of acts organized by the Los Angeles club. Hotel Cafe is a venue known for pairing established artists with emerging ones, and emphasizing quality music over trendy LA smarm (and this time, the tour features only female artists). Thao is an appropriate fit. Her second full-length, We Brave Bee Stings, is a solid collection of folk-pop songs that hosts a gamut of influences, from Cat Power to the Funk Brothers.
Sat., Nov. 15, 9:30 p.m., 2008