Os Mutantes
Courtesy of Joey Massa

The Brazilian rock band Os Mutantes—the mutants in English—have been an influential group in the national and international psychedelic music scenes and Brazil’s political movements for more than 50 years. Formed during the tropicália movement in the late 1960s, Os Mutantes combined influences from England and the U.S. (think the Beatles and Jimi Hendrix) and merged them with musical styles such as bossa nova, tropicália, and samba. Today, they remain one of the most well-known rock bands in Brazil and have earned significant praise from English-speaking icons including Beck, Flea (of Red Hot Chili Peppers), and David Byrne. Even Kurt Cobain publicly requested a reunion tour from the trio in 1993. Of its three founders Sérgio Dias, Arnaldo Baptista, and Rita Lee, only Dias is still an active member. The band’s goals have also shifted: “Our whole thing was playing pranks and defying authority, but you had to be careful in those days because friends were disappearing or being forced into exile, and the cops would often come in and bust up our shows,” Lee said in a 2008 interview with the New York Times. “We had to be creative but evasive to avoid the repression.” The five-member group have toured extensively since 2008 when they released their first album in 35 years. Much has changed in the decades since their 1966 beginning, but their psychedelic sound remains iconic. Blending electronic with rock music, Os Mutantes’ aesthetic has influenced much of modern, popular music. The band, still led by Dias, come to the Black Cat on their current tour, and the show’s attendees, like so many others before them, should come ready to rock. Os Mutantes play at 8 p.m. on March 3 at Black Cat. blackcatdc.com. $27. —Camila Bailey