Caetano & Gil: Rolling Stone interview

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Thursday April 21, 2016

From Rolling Stone
By: Andy Beta

Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil: Tropicália Icons Talk U.S. Tour

Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil are titans of Tropicália, a strain of Sixties Brazilian pop (or música popular brasileira) that drew on João Gilberto’s sublime bossa nova, the Beatles’ kaleidoscopic pop and Jimi Hendrix’s soaring psychedelia, swirling it all together into a heady new sound. Tropicália has gone on to influence new generations of musicians, including Beck, David Byrne, Dirty Projectors and Devendra Banhart. Yet Veloso and Gil have few parallels in western pop, in that their visionary music not only broke pop parameters, but also social, cultural and political barriers — causing them to run afoul of Brazil’s military dictatorship in the late Sixties. In February of 1969, they were arrested by the regime and exiled to England, only allowed to return home in 1972.

Since then, they have been Brazil’s musical ambassadors to the rest of the world, with Gil even accepting a role in then-President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s cabinet as Minister of Culture. The two continue to record exquisite, playful, even noisy music belying their septuagenarian status. This week sees the release of Dois Amigos, a warm and casual two-album live set featuring the lifelong friends performing as a duo. They make their way to the United States this month for a series of concerts, including two this weekend in Miami, capped by a two-night stand in Brooklyn. Rolling Stone reached out to the two icons to ask about the lasting legacy of bossa nova, new artists they like and the politically tumultuous moment in their home countries.

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