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Music

The indie rock biblical mandate that revived Tropicália icons Os Mutantes

Os Mutantes’ tour on ‘Fool Metal Jack’ comes to the Social

Photo: Photo by Clarissa Lambert, License: N/A

Photo by Clarissa Lambert


The Brazilian government’s free speech-quashing law at the end of 1968 also tolled the bells for the Tropicálists. Dias claims the censorship of their “Dom Quixote” lyrics during a round of a TV contest came from the government. Worse, Veloso and Gil were arrested, leading to a two-and-a-half-year exile in England. The still-young Mutantes were watched and had concerts busted, eventually leading to a 1969 Paris residency. Movement over.

Fool Metal Jack’s lyrics are largely from Dias’ hand, still mixing social messages (the title track recalling Stanley Kubrick) with snapshots of an exuberant life. Like their 1970 Tecnicolor album, it’s in English, sidestepping the slightly mysterious, soft-consonant pronunciations of Portuguese.

Dias has lived in Las Vegas for years. Regarding the language choice, it’s more than residency. Dias lays down: “When you’re in Lawrence, Kan., singing six or seven brand-new songs, and people don’t understand anything about the lyrics … the universal language at the moment is English … [if] you want to communicate, you need to talk the language of the world.”

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