Friday, November 15, 2013

Show Preview: Os Mutantes w/ Capsula

I have seen amazing things in the Triangle. I've seen Beach House open for Vampire Weekend, Akron/Family bring their sense of weird to the Oak City, The Flaming Lips shoot lasers at the capital building; hell, man, I've seen our state's capital grind to a halt and erupt into a blocks wide and miles long music festival (on more than one occasion). That being said, I am always flabbergasted by the things that happen here. A close friend mentioned Os Mutantes were going to be at the Pour House and I thought that, for sure, he must have read something wrong. I had to check the Pour House's schedule AND the Stagger to be absolutely certain. Yes, Os Mutantes will actually be at the Pour House on November 22nd.

Os Mutantes, 2013.
Denise Truscello/NPR First Listen
Being active for 50 years, give or take a few hiatuses, Os Mutantes have had plenty of time to gather around themselves a pretty large following. Beck, Flea, and Of Montreal frontman Kevin Barnes all count Os Mutantes among their influences. The Talking Heads' David Byrne and his world music label Luaka Bop have made a career-cum-hobby of preserving and re-releasing their music.

Os Mutantes emerged at an interesting point in Brazilian history, to be certain. As the world became hip to Brazilian bossa novas and its antecedent sambas, Brazil became hip to the psychedelia and avant-gardism that was gaining popularity the world over. Thus, the tropicália movement was born, a fusion of the external influences and traditional Brazilian culture. Squarely in the middle of the movement, nearly from its onset, Os Mutantes stood head and shoulders above the rest.

Now, the sole consistent member of the band, Sérgio Dias, brings Os Mutantes to the Triangle after the April release of Fool Metal Jacket. Jacket is first Mutantes release since 2006's Haih Or Amortecedor, which signaled the end of a 35-year absence from the studio and the second album with the new lineup. NPR's Jasmine Garsd voiced her hesitance, "Like many fans, I braced myself for Mutantes 2.0, but was pleasantly surprised to see their madness has aged well. These are the weirdos who survived every Latin American apocalypse..."

Capsula in a press photo.
The Mutants (as we'd say in 'Merica) bring with them Capsula, also hailing from Brazil. To purport myself as a Capsula scholar and profess fanaticism would be disingenuous, to say the least. However, in doing research about them for this very article (yes, the one you're reading (wow such meta)), I have become intrigued by their music and excited to see them perform. Described as garage-glam, the band took their indie credibility and released a song-for-song cover of Bowie's seminal Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, aptly named Ziggy Stardust, in 2012. Crushing through classic tunes with steady beats, fuzzy guitar, and an attitude reminiscent of the Thin White Duke himself, the band proves their point fairly early on. They're good, they're really good, and certainly deserving of your attention.

Rolling Stone magazine's senior editor David Fricke chose to highlight Capsula's latest release Solar Secrets in his "Fricke's Picks" column. Calling it a "dynamic compression of the Who, the Cramps and Sonic Youth in a high tide of psychedelia" seems to cement them as an obvious choice to open for Os Mutantes, as they've done on many dates of their latest tour.

With tickets going for $20 pre-sale and $25 at the door, you'd be remiss, even with all of the other opportunities in the Triangle, to neglect attending this performance. How often does the good fortune of seeing a legendary Brazilian psychedelic band and their glam-rock progeny inside our very own beltline for a mere Andy Jackson turn its head? Exactly. I will see you there.

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