OS MUTANTES | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Nowadays, the tropicalia movement and its ripples of influence are thought up here to be as crucial a part of Brazilian music as the berimbau. But as their Luaka Bop bio reminds us, when Os Mutantes (together with Caetano Veloso and Brazil's current minister of culture, Gilberto Gil) went electric at a fairly trad pop-music event in the mid-60s, they were booed as sellouts to a North American imperialist aesthetic. Really, of course, the Mutantes never sounded like they'd been colonized by anyone (from this planet at least), but then, the eclectic, playful, and surreal have never sat well with functionalist nationalism of any stripe. No second coming could have been foreseen when the band broke up in the late 70s (Kurt Cobain reportedly tried and failed to get them together again in '93), but now, a year after their first-ever U.S. tour, they're back for another. Though some reports from last year's Pitchfork set focused on key pieces missing from the original sound--singer Rita Lee, for instance, plus most of Arnaldo Baptista's voice--tonight's show should still be a remarkable one to catch, and at a venue far cozier than Union Park. DJ Joe Bryl spins. a 9 PM, Metro, 3730 N. Clark, 773-549-0203 or 312-559-1212, $31, $26 in advance, 18+. --Monica Kendrick

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