I am ashamed to admit I have been sitting on this record for months, then when I finally decided to take a listen, my shame exploded on Sunset Boulevard, above the 405 near the Getty Center.
Os Mutantes is such a polarizing band: Most people I know that have heard them either fall madly in love or snicker at the oddity of crazy psychedelia sung/wailed in portugese. Admittedly, at first I liked them because they were odd and seemingly obscure. Nothing gives you more cred as a fledgling indie-rocker in Athens, GA than peppering your conversation with a declaration of the unhinged brilliance of Mutantes by Os Mutantes, even though you don’t understand a word and not completely sure that what you are hearing are "songs." I mean, My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless is one thing, but this is just…nuts. When the second track, "Nao Va Se Perder Por Ai (You’re Not Going to Lose Yourself Out There)" is announced by that crazy cackle/bird call noise from what I always assumed was Rita Lee, you just think this whole record is inpenetrable Brazilian abstraction…until that kick-ass fuzz bass brings the song into a psych-country stomp that I have tried to imitate more that once and failed each time. I once tried to drop Mutantes on my Alabamian 2nd cousin and his redneck buddy who were visiting the big city for the first time. I got them high and convinced them that Kid A is the greatest record ever made (it’s not), convinced them that Emitt Rhodes was robbed by Paul McCartney and Badfinger and will one day get his just recognition (he was and will, by God…). And now, having these bumpkins believing I was their own personal Lester Bangs, I dropped Mutantes on them with much pomp and ceremony. They laughed uncontrollably for at least 5 solid minutes…which is a long time to be laughing…even when you are stoned. Pearls to swine, indeed. That was quite a few years back and I think time has healed that wound. After my cousin learned that I could NOT get him a record deal for his band just because I lived on Hollywood blvd, that emails and phone calls stopped coming, much to the relief of my wife. Can’t blame the kids for having the dream.
So let’s fast forward to last week when I slipped Hoje é o Primero Dia do Resto de Sua Vida into the CD player on my way home from work. First of all look at the cover:
Kombucha Wonder Drink-hipness people!