On this week’s episode of Southern Fried Asian, Keith talks to Thao Nguyen, the frontwoman of the critically acclaimed indie band Thao & The Get Down Stay Down.

Thao and Keith talk about growing up in Virginia and whether Northern Virginia even counts as the South (3:30). Then she discusses her early country and folk music influence and why there aren’t many Asian Americans in those genres (7:00). Thao remembers her other early influences, which trace back to Lillith Fair and  — no shame — Sarah MacLachlan (11:00), what it was like being the only Asian American girl in Virginia’s indie folk/country scene (14:00), and what happens when your college town is also Colonial Williamsburg (17:00). Finally, Thao reveals how she turned an emotional trip to Vietnam with her mother into an equally emotional movie about the experience (23:00) and why steamed rockfish reminds her of home (37:00).

Nobody Dies makes it world premiere on Thursday, September 7 at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco. Tickets for the screening and a music performance by Thao are available here.

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Our official theme music is the song “Top Down” by  ChopsTimothy Flu, and Mic Barz. This episode also features the song “Nobody Dies” from the album A Man Alive by Thao & The Get Down Stay Down.

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