Last November, the band came to town to play a show and, upon entering the city's limits, were treated to a memorable sight. The pair in question was hanging off the back of a pickup truck—I'm just going to go ahead and assume it was a Ford F-150 -- and the image of the swinging Bumper Nuts™ quickly burned itself into the unsuspecting band's retinas. San Diego may be known worldwide for its beaches and burritos, but it is our balls that Thao with the Get Down Stay Down will forever remember us for.
Luckily, the group didn't hold it against us and are returning to town to play at the Belly Up on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 7.
Led by Thao Nguyen, the Portland, Ore.-based trio combine catchy melodies, infectious hand claps and tongue-in-cheek lyrics to create some of the most unabashedly fun music around. Their 2009 record, Know Better Learn Faster, was one of the year's best, a firecracker of an album with a plethora of high points and no low ones.
Thao With the Get Down Stay Down could play with a Tuvan throat-singing Jonas Brothers cover band and they would still be worth your while, but the opening acts at the Belly Up show are terrific in their own right. The Thermals, fellow Portlanders and Kill Rock Stars labelmates, will be on hand to lend the evening some pop punk attitude, and representing San Diego will be local favorites Boomsnake, still flying high after the release of their EP Re/visions earlier this month.
Sports aficionados will, of course, recognize Feb. 7 as the same day as a certain big football game, the name of which escapes me. Those of you who don't care about such things will do well to head to the Belly Up for what promises to be an explosive show. Fortunately for Thao With the Get Down Stay Down, the owner of that pickup truck will probably be too busy watching the game.
Chris Maroulakos is a writer and editor for the San Diego music blog Owl and Bear.