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On her 2008 album We Brave Bee Stings and All, Northern Virginia native Thao Nguyen wails plaintively about the pains of growing up and figuring out life. Her style is reminiscent of Feist, Jenny Lewis, and many of the other female vocalists who made their mark at that time. Eight years later, Nguyen’s latest offering, A Man Alive, finds her playing with electronic effects and spoke-sung passages in a way that uniquely fits her eclectic swagger. Always interested in having a good time with her music, she’s poked fun at the whirrs and buzzes heard on A Man Alive in a Funny Or Die video with the album’s producer Merrill Garbus (aka tUnE-yArDs). As she explores the gloomier aspects of life, Nguyen brings a refreshing dose of realism to her music. “See my city in the city lights/ Scratch the belly of the underside,” she growls on “Fool Forever.” At her homecoming show at 9:30 Club, you’ll hear more animated thoughts on music and modern existence. Thao and the Get Down Stay Down performs with Saintseneca and Little Scream at 8 p.m. at 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $20. (202) 265-0930. 930.com.