The best thing about Brazilian music is that even the most mainstream of tunes is so much more sonically complex, lyrically intricate and generally experimental than American popular music could ever be. Even the seemingly droll intonations of Astrud Gilberto were part of a jazz/bossa nova revolution. And speaking of revolution, the Tropicalia movement in the late 1960s was a musical and artistic genre that broke new ground and riled up the Brazilian government to the point that several major artists were exiled, imprisoned, even tortured. Gilberto Gil was one of these artists--a man whose fusion of elements from traditional Brazilian tunes, African rhythms, and rock and roll influenced generations of artists from the Talking Heads to Nirvana. Unhappy with the political content in songs he wrote (as well as those he wrote with Caetano Veloso and those crazy bastards Os Mutantes), the military government in Brazil imprisoned Gil and eventually exiled him to London. By the time he returned to his home country, Tropicalia had become impossibly intertwined in the cultural identity of Brazil and in musical landscapes across the globe. Today, Gil continues to make music and even served as the Brazilian Minister of Culture for a term. The living legend will play Nokia Theatre, 1001 Performance Place in Grand Prairie, at 8 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $40. Visit ticketmaster.com.
Sun., March 28, 8 p.m., 2010