Monday, February 27, 2006

What Kurt Cobain couldn't do

Play it: Os Mutantes Tecnicolor

For one night only, the Brazilian band Os Mutantes will reunite to perform at Barbicon Art Gallery/Hall in London (May 22nd,) as part of Tropicalia: A Revolution in Brazilian Culture, a festival celebrating the Brazilian art movement Tropicalia, that arose in the late 1960s and encompassed theatre, poetry and music. Os Mutantes, along with Caetano Velaso, Gilberto Gil, Gal Costa and Tom Zé, were all heavies in the movement and will all be performing. The lineup for the show includes brothers Sergio and Arnaldo Baptista along with drummer Dinho, but no Rita Lee, unfortunately. Kurt Cobain tried to get them to reunite in '93 for Nirvana's South American tour, but was flatly turned down. A later compilation released by David Byrne's Luaka Bop (Everything is Possible, 1999) drummed up even more interest w/ them reuniting, and have since been name-dropped by Beck (see song "Tropicalia" on Mutations) Mac McCaughan (Superchunk, Merge Records, and Portastatic - see his cover of "Baby" on the De Mel, De Melao EP)

This past week saw the reissue of the Os Mutantes album Tecnicolor, which was originally released in 1970. It's a collection of their best work reworked in the English language, hoping to crack the American and European market. Some of the tracks lose a lot of their appeal w/o the beauty of the Portuguese language, but for the most part, they all still stand on their own. The hilarious "El Justicero" (sung in Spanish) and psych-Beatles songs "Tecnicolor" and "Virginia" would later appear on Jardim Eletrico (1971.) The Luaka Bop compilation is still the best place to start with their catalogue, but for long-time fans it's nice to finally have something else digitally available.

Pitchfork News reports Os Mutantes Reunites

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