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Thao & Mirah

by Thao & Mirah

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Thao and Mirah both often go by their first names only. That is mostly why they wanted to make a record together. Other reasons include: they are friends, they were finally in San Francisco at the same time, and both joyfully welcomed a short departure from their respective successful solo careers to collaborate on a project.

Mirah (K records) started making music in the late 90's in the Pacific Northwest, becoming a much beloved indie fixture there and well beyond. Her 5 celebrated solo records and multiple previous collaborations have brought her together with an eclectic assortment of dj's, baltic music enthusiasts, entomologists and multi-media artists.

Thao signed to Kill Rock Stars in 2006 and has since released two records with her band, The Get Down Stay Down, to wide critical and popular acclaim. She has fast established herself as a well-loved songwriter and performer in and out of the indie realm.

The two enlisted dear friend and colleague Merrill Garbus (Tune-Yards, 4AD) as co-producer, guest musician (and for one song, guest writer) and the aptly titled album Thao and Mirah was recorded over 2 freewheeling weeks for Kill Rock Stars this past summer.

Thao and Mirah each wrote a new batch of beautiful songs which were jointly performed and produced by the three with some help from fine Bay Area friends. The album is a collection of songs from two distinctly different, highly respected songwriters, threaded and woven together with the creative energy and freedom of collaboration. Such freedom allowed for varied and rewarding levels of innovation, and a determination to keep the music-making as in-house as possible: both Thao and Mirah assume many of the instrumentation duties: from drums and bottles to slide guitar and knee caps. All songs maintain the writers' shared gifts: profound emotional poignancy with lyrics and melodies to match and stay with you.

Both Thao and Mirah work closely with Air Traffic Control- an organization dedicated to helping musicians become better social activists. They will team up with ATC to focus the release and touring efforts of Thao and Mirah toward supporting causes and organizations they love.

Thao and Mirah are incredibly grateful for the opportunity to focus their album release and touring efforts toward social causes they hold very dear. The duo will work to support organizations which raise awareness and offer resources in response to physical, emotional and sexual abuse in the home. Thao and Mirah look forward to working with local domestic violence and childhood sexual abuse prevention organizations in each city they visit on tour. Such collaboration will include inviting local organizations to shows as an effort to raise community awareness and appreciation, and the application of nominal surcharges to ticket prices (don't worry, they recognize everyone is broke). Collected funds will then be donated to each respective community and organization. Thao and Mirah have been collaborating with Air Traffic Control (ATC), a resource for musicians working on activism and philanthropy, on these efforts. The artists recognize the difficulty and discomfort often surrounding these issues and thus feel even more compelled to encourage action and discourse. Thao and Mirah thank you in advance for your openness and support.
Co-produced by Thao, Mirah, and Merrill. Mixed by Tucker Martine.


released April 26, 2011


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Thao & Mirah San Francisco, California

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Track Name: Eleven
When love is love don't let it go away
My love is love it won't go away
Don't ever let anybody go
Why's it so hard to hold
How come I never know

I'm a traveling gentleman
I knew I would come back again
I swear our days are not lost on me

So sorry that I couldn't cut the past away
I was hopin' hopin' I could hold you all the same
But I was broken I was like a paper weight
Holding nothing down from getting blown away

When we go we're not gonna take it all away
We'll just have to learn to give it in a different kind of way

I know about the human heart
I have been watching yours
Forgive me for the mess I left
It rained and then it poured
Too sweet for my mouth
Too soft for my hands

So sorry that I couldn't cut the past away
I was broken open but I held you all the same
Caught up in the corner hear me calling out your name
Oh won't you help me keep it open help me want to stay
Track Name: Folks
Hold me I am weak
Dropped from the sky onto my knees
Raised by wolves of necessity
Come closer to me

Shout like I am near death
Reason like I have no sense
They fed me food and that is all
They fed me food and that is all

I use my body like a handshake
Count and see
All the friends I make

Please don't be
Upset with me
You know how you know
But you cannot believe
Track Name: Little Cup
And you said you knew
How you were gonna take it
That you'd take it all
That you knew my heart was not that small

And how could we ever manage
Carts and horses could never carry all

I want to give, not give enough
I want to give, not give you love

I chose the strangest little cup
To drink you from and stir you up
And you were beautiful it's true
All I ever wanted was to be
Good to you

And when you see me cry
You ask me but I think that
You already know why
I'm staring up at the sky

And you said you understood
But promises are not that good
In this improper marriage
Love and justice found miscarriage
At the only embassy
With an office for the damage

And when you see me cry
You ask me but I think that
You already know why
I'm staring up at the sky
Track Name: Rubies and Rocks
I had it all, yes I believed
Everything I was holding effortlessly

Was made out of rubies and rocks, rocks, rocks
Out of diamonds and stones, stones, stones
With pearls I painted
Myself a home, home, home

Remember when I said
Oh baby please take me, on down the road of love
And you never mind, where the chains come from

Never wanted to stop, stop, stop
Just wanted to roll, roll, roll
You kept it hot, hot, hot
You knew how to hold me, but that would not hold

Now, was it that you set me free, when you did that you did to me
You said you were my family, but what does that really mean

When you let me drop, drop, drop
You just went cold, cold, cold
All the rubies and rocks, rocks, rocks
I bought got sold, sold, sold

Now everybody on the left side, and everybody on the right
Clap your hands and sing it to me, we've got all night

When you find it you've got to hold
Gotta keep that love in your life
All the hearts are gold, gold, gold
When they're shined up just right
Track Name: Teeth
You have teeth I can't bear
I am out of here
I have teeth I must bare
I am out of here

What do you intend to do
To mark the end of this
When you hold
You are half letting go of it

This is the last time
I drag myself from your bed
I can't go
Please be kind
Let me loose, let me loose I said

Next time I swear:
More hope less fail

Oh, how I have tried

But I have teeth I must bare
Track Name: Spaced Out Orbit
Well I saw something that resembled that place
On the other side, where we were together
On the moon we walked and kicked up lots of dust
We made a space cloud of us
And of that stuff we were afraid of
We had a home there and in the gloe we'd stare at each other
At nothing other than each other
And I thought, nothing could ever touch us
Except the space dust all around us

But now there's something digging down, into the crust
Trying to find an ocean there, under the home we shared
They set their weight down
And like an earthquake we cracked
Was it the government who sent them?
Was it their scientific vision?
To destroy past recognition
They did approach without concern
And when they warned us of their plan we didn't listen
They would take our gentle light
Our moon and our whole life
Replace what we had grown with their ambition
And we would be sure to fail
If we began to form an opposition
Nobody's right they say
Nobody's wrong they say
We are generous and good
And we will have it our way, yes we will have it our way
They say now take all of your dust, your love and all your trust
We're sending you upon your final mission
And then I found myself in orbit
And the last thing I observed
The last words that I heard
Were don't forget to send in your transmissions.
We expect you to report on your condition'
Then I saw something that resembled that place
On the other side, where we were together

They will take our gentle light
Our moon and our whole life
Track Name: How Dare You
Oh oh how dare you

This is how I dare to

I'm coming over to remind you of me

No you can't lay there; that's where we used to sleep

I swear it happens better when it happens again

I told you from the start - I could only see the end

Sugar if you're sure you're going
We'll move a little slower then
If you want I could be decent
But you gotta let me know when

You can have this much. It is left from before.

I am sick with my effort. I am sick without yours.

To be fair, to be fair. I never said I'd try
But I'll be fair, I'll be fair in how I spend your time
I can't help it. I should spare you
But I can't help it. I wouldn't dare to
Track Name: Sugar And Plastic
Hello, today, are you still here in my home
My dear, we wake every day
But how can anybody stay when those lonesome tears
Don't even wash away in the morning
They don't even wash away in the morning

You see in the past there was a hopeful one
Who thought that love could last
But she got eaten by surprise in the pale moonrise
And all the nights gave up their night vision
That was the night she lost her night vision

And after you I ran so fast
And after you, I panted
But then I stumbled and I cracked it, sugar and plastic
There was just a shadow in the looking glass
Wanted to see more than a shadow in the looking glass
Track Name: Likeable Man
Put your hands down your pants
Before your daddies go
What was love
In times like those
That me me old
And kept me loose

Oh dears my dears we are reduced
The waist above
The waist below
Oh dears, my dears what have we to lose

Tell your mothers they betrayed you so
Oh dears, my dears what else to lose
Tell your mothers they betrayed you so
Track Name: Hallelujah
If you start to think that it's all over now
That the work you have done has been lost somehow
You wake up hungry in this world you've made
So much so how could you be turned away

Under thunder we drove through a black sky
Paved with the threat we might die, oh we were so afraid
You can throw your body up against the glass but you can't stop the rain
From pouring in once the cracks have been made

But there's still time to sing
Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah

Who could stay sleepin' when that garbage man came?
He stormed up the street 'cause we called out his name
With the sounds of us choking on the mess that's been made
Dig us out from this slumber

We've give salt, we've sweated off, done all this and more
So heed when hyou hear us knockin' on your door
We don't want to be the currency gets spent on war
And then come home wondering what was it all for

That's no way to sing
Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah

We been hard hard working
We've got a plan
Send home dollar bills

And fistfuls of honey
We've been working working for that money
Track Name: Squareneck
I can give you what you want
And none of all you don't
I can put the rest away
Jus ttell me where it goes

Don't you be afraid of me
I will not love you endlessly
Only until it buries me

Yes we can be careful
But first can we lay down
You can hold me still
You can move me round

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