photos by Jim Bennett
intro by Carrie Rubens with Christy Thacker
It’s hard to imagine what decade it is when psychedelic rock band Os Mutantes takes stage. With their melding of Elvis and Beatles-influenced rock, samba, folk and bossa nova, Os Mutantes creates an experimental sound that seems to transcend any decade.
Os Mutantes emerged from turbulent times in Brazilian history. Amid a military coup, Sergio Dias (guitar, bass), Arnaldo Dias Baptista (bass, keyboards), and Rita Lee (vocals, percussion effects) formed in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 1966, and were part of Tropicalia, a revolutionary artistic movement, which eventually led to their exile.
After more than 30 years of silence, Os Mutantes reunited and began touring once again in 2006, and have been hard at work ever since. September 8th will bring forth their new album from ANTI-, Haih or Amortecedor. Tracks such as “Teclar” have a rhythmically tight, bright sound. Their entire collection is being distributed by Seattle’s own Light in the Attic Records where fans can hear older tracks with fuzzy guitar riffs and nonchalant sexiness, such as “A Minha Menina” from their self-titled release.
But don’t wait for their album to come out to get your groove on, this is a band you MUST see live. They stole the show at the KEXP Music Lounge with their joyous attitudes and upbeat performance. From the warm-up to the encore, the crowd couldn’t stop clapping, dancing and screaming their heads off to the band’s soulful melodies.
In a leather jacket, gray sweatpants and white sneakers, Dias started off the set shaking his butt and cracking jokes at the audience. But soon, Lee took center stage moving her hips in an almost flamenco-like fashion before releasing her powerful, heart-sinking voice. Aside from two standing ovations and an encore, the pinnacle of the performance had to be “Bat Mucumba.” The entire audience chimed in to this song, creating an essence of spiritual unity with the band.
Overall, this passion-filled performance made me want to dance and cry at the same time. All I have to say is Bat Mucumba!
Still using homemade instruments, and experimental rhythms, Os Mutantes will be at Bumbershoot on Saturday, September 5 at the Fisher Green Stage.