A Man Alive. The record is inspired by Nguyen’s ambivalent feelings for her father. Producer and Tune-Yards mastermind Merrill Garbus helps arrange and layer Nguyen’s eclectic blend of pop hooks, jagged guitar riffs, funky rhythms and spacey embellishments into a weirdly angular but emotionally moving whole. The album closes enigmatically with perhaps its strangest track of all, “Endless Love,” a dublike collage of Nguyen’s romantic declarations and airy sound effects.
The Skirball kicks off its annual, free Sunset Concerts series with San Francisco indie-pop adventurists Thao & the Get Down Stay Down. The Westside museum’s courtyard, nestled among the Santa Monica Mountains, should provide a fittingly dramatic setting for the arty pop creations of Thao Nguyen, whose fertile brain bursts with a flood of madcap ideas on her latest album,