Os Mutantes

When the counterculture was challenging the status quo in much of the world in the late 1960s, musicians and artists in Brazil were formulating Tropicália, a distinctive movement still exerting its influence today. Among the chief instigators were musicians Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil, who adopted poet Oswald de Andrade's concept of artistic cannibalism and tossed together a provocative blend of traditional Brazilian music, psychedelic and roots rock from around the world, samba, jazz, ambient sounds, electric and folk instruments, all slathered with often surrealistic and irreverent lyrics. And right in the thick of things were Os Mutantes, who sometimes backed Veloso and Gil while representing Tropicália's virulent rock 'n' roll wing. Os Mutantes' original trio issued a series of albums that would resonate for decades as they were repeatedly rediscovered by new generations of rockers. The band eventually morphed into a larger group, then folded in the mid-'70s only to be resurrected three decades later as a septet led by original Mutantes prankster Sérgio Dias. On last year's Haih . . . ou Amortecedor, the band proved nearly as iconoclastic as they were way back when, Dias often collaborating with fellow Tropicália icon Tom Zé on quirky songs about Bagdad, cockroaches, and Fidel Castro. Meanwhile the group maintains the mutant mix-and-match precepts of Tropicália with stylish assurance. Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, themselves strongly influenced by Tropicália ideals, will open, trading the eccentric band they opened for in September (Flaming Lips) for another, this time the original article. All ages.
Sat., Nov. 20, 9:30 p.m., 2010

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