Jesse Jarnow

“bat macumba” – os mutantes

“Bat Macumba” – Os Mutantes (download here)
from Os Mutantes (1968) (buy)

(file expires on July 31st.)

Since Os Mutantes rickety, joyous reunion show at Webster Hall on Friday, Gilberto Gil’s “Bat Macumba” — played by the Mutantes to open their encore — has been lodged in my head; the soundtrack to a very nice weekend, indeed. I’m surprised no hippie band has yet attempted to cover this. It’s perfect: an infectious groove, a playful musical structure (a syllable gets dropped from the chanted title phrase each time around, changing the meaning slightly), and equally playful lyrics that (on account of the dropped syllables) reference, among other things: Batman, Afro-Brazilian religion, and — according to a friend who speaks Portuguese — a command to smoke dope. My kinda tune. It’s been stuck in loop in my brain all weekend, despite seeing a bunch of other performances. When I arrived home at 5 in the morning last eve to a roommate-less loft, I put on “Bat Macumba” and danced.