Os Mutantes, Deleon | Subterranean | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Os Mutantes, Deleon Recommended Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard

When: Sun., Sept. 27, 8:30 p.m. 2009

I’ll admit I was skeptical about Haih or Amortecedor (Anti-), the first Os Mutantes studio album since 1974. What I’d heard from the legendary Brazilian psych band since their reunion—a 2006 gig at Pitchfork and a live release on Luaka Bop recorded earlier that year at London’s Barbican Theatre—was a transparent attempt to exploit their fans’ nostalgia, as toothless and soulless as a Broadway staging of their classic songs. Since then keyboardist and founding member Arnaldo Baptista has quit, and so has singer Zelia Duncan, who stepped in when original vocalist Rita Lee declined to participate in the reunion; guitarist Sergio Dias is the last key member left. But the new record shocked me with how good it was—I even felt a little bad for having such low expectations in the first place. Dias revisits the manic style hopping that Os Mutantes perfected during the tropicalia era—fellow tropicalista Tom Ze cowrote half the tunes—and his nonchalant mix of psychedelia, folk, pop, and native styles is utterly convincing. The band plays with timeless verve, and with the exception of a couple bum songs, not even the most ambitious arrangements inhibit the music’s infectious sense of joy and adventure. Deleon opens. —Peter Margasak

Price: $25

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