Pointless Website Blog
Because I missed it, all right?
Friday, March 03, 2006
Oh. Mah. Gah.
Os Mutantes Reunite for One Night Only
The Mutantes are reuniting, the Mutantes are reuniting! The Mutantes were one of the most engaging, fun to listen to bands of the late '60s Tropicalism movement in Brazil. As the wee, teenaged proteges of Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil (and their backing band, occasionally), the Mutantes played experimental, psychedelic, poppy rock 'n roll that kept some semblance of the bossa nova and samba maintained in the movement. Brothers Sergio and Arnaldo Baptista headed up the band with Arnaldo's then-girlfriend Rita Lee, and a third Baptista brother (whose name escapes me) built custom guitar effects pedals for the band. The end result was music that was Beatlesy and somewhat along the lines of Jefferson Airplane, yet unique, and dagnabbit, they're one of my favorite bands, having produced three fantastic albums, "Os Mutantes," "Mutantes," and the often-hilarious "A Divina Comedia ou: Ando Meio Desligado," which contains a Janis Joplinesque dirge about a broken refrigerator (...and heart?), a goofy take on an old song called "Chao de Estrelas," and, yes, a song whose title translates to "Hail Lucifer".

A few years later, however, Rita Lee had gone solo and left the band (and Arnaldo), and Arnaldo fell into a deep drug problem and himself went solo. His drug/solo combo can best be heard on his odd first solo album, "Loki?". Sergio continued with the Mutantes, who eventually went all prog-y - in my experience, a lot of the best-of collections of the Mutantes' material leaves out much of the post-Rita, post-Arnaldo work.

As the link above mentions, Kurt Cobain was a fan too, and unsuccessfully tried to reunite the band to play with Nirvana during their Brazilian tour. The main point of contention preventing the band from reuniting? Sergio and Arnaldo's decades-old argument over guitar brands. Arnaldo insists that Gibson makes the best guitars, and Sergio's staunchly pro-Fender, and neither would budge. I love it. But sans Rita, they're finally reuniting now, and thankfully, with their old drummer Dinho, whose funky, jazzy style I've been appreciating more and more lately.

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