Thao with the Get Down Stay Down

If Know Better Learn Faster—the new salvo from Thao Nguyen and the Get Down Stay Down—doesn't boast quite as rollicking barnburners as 2007's We Brave Bee Stings and All did, it's still a worthy showcase for the San Francisco-based songwriter's fine folk-rockin' gifts. See, Nuygen groks the cardinal rule of transmuting bad, mad, and saddened moods into swinging song: Leaven emotional pain with bright horn charts and arrangements that bounce like diamonds on glass, and enunciate your sentiments with enough pressure and variation that vocals are transformed into an unusual, bonus percussive element. No matter how disconsolate her plaints may scan on paper, one always comes away with the impression that Nguyen and her bandmates are having the time of their lives. All ages. (Photo by Tarina Westlund)
Tue., Oct. 27, 7 p.m., 2009

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