Thao Nguyen – Thao & The Get Down Stay Down – have just released a video for “Meticulous Bird” off 2016’s A Man Alive, and it is electrifying. The track is visceral – a body experience as much as something to listen to – and the video (created by Johnny Look) plays that element up perfectly with glitchy visuals and Nguyen dancing through the aisles of an empty grocery store. It feels angry, dark, powerful, emerging, busting out. The eyes of a dead fish twitch. There’s a powerful defiance in this video, premiered by NPR Music today.
(Might I thank whatever forces brought Nguyen and Merrill Garbus (the producer of the track/album) to collaborate? A match made in musical heaven.)
Nguyen’s statement only reinforces the clearly expressed sentiment of this video:
“The heart of this song is in the reclamation of the body. I wrote it for survivors of sexual violence in particular, and those who resist the abuse of power in general … Director Jonny Look gave me the opportunity to present the song in all its facets: the darkness, the dark humor, the unfettered anger and the complexities of moving on from violation and how the memory of trespass rises to the fore and then recedes into the every day.My ongoing hope for ‘Meticulous Bird’ is that a survivor of any kind would hear it and want to use it: to celebrate their sovereignty, to remind themselves of their power, to warn those who would exploit the vulnerabilities of others that such trespasses against the humanity of one or many will never go unanswered. My updated and amended hope for ‘Meticulous Bird’ is that it is just one contribution of an endless many in the efforts to resist and to notify whoever needs notifying: you have no idea how ferocious we can and will be.” ~ Thao Nguyen
There is an accompanying t-shirt, designed by Thao, available for just three days here. It says “Oh my Oh my God / You didn’t know we get ferocious” – the perfect protest shirt for the present climate. All proceeds will benefit Planned Parenthood. Thao will be at The Chapel on March 15th. Tickets here.