Os Mutantes Return

Beck, Devendra Banhart, The Flaming Lips, Of Montreal and Kurt Cobain are just a few of the artists who’ve worshipped at the altar of Brazilian group Os Mutantes. At one point Cobain pleaded (unsuccessfully) with the band to reunite and tour with Nirvana. Now the legendary Tropicalia band is not only on tour, but they have a new album about to drop. Haih or Amortecedor, the group’s first album in 35 years, comes out on the ANTI- label Sept. 8.

An appearance at the Pitchfork Festival earlier this year proved to be an eye-opener for both Os Mutantes and their fans.

“There weren’t many Brazilians there, but the kids were singing our songs in Portuguese,” says bandleader Sergio Dias. “Playing with this band live is amazing! I cannot describe anything better other than maybe going into space. It keeps me young.”

Os Mutantes’ L.A. stop is at the Echoplex Aug. 28.

Orange Ripens Phoenix

L.A. punk rock band Orange is about to bear fruit in the form of a new album, but not so long ago the band was close to withering on the tree. A couple members of the band recently quit and frontman/bassist Joe Dexter says those departures almost caused the group’s demise.

“Not many people know this, but a year ago Orange was pretty much done,” says Dexter. “The whole thing just felt kind of over. But I couldn’t let that stop me.”

In the end Dexter and drummer Zak Glosserman invited guitarists Brendan Minded and Perry Ladish into the fold and headed into the studio to record Phoenix for the Hellcat label. Dexter says the new music is brighter and fresher than the Orange of old but that longtime fans will not be disappointed, adding that the band covered Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day” because they felt the song summed up the entire record.

Phoenix drops Sept. 15.

Everything Comes and Goes

It’s been six years since Michelle Branch released her platinum-selling Hotel Paper album, but it’s not like she hasn’t been busy. Over the past few years Branch has gotten married and birthed her first child while also recording with Jessica Harp as the Wreckers.

The Wreckers album went gold and spawned a No. 1 country hit, but Branch realized the collaboration couldn’t continue. It was that epiphany that caused her to write the title cut of Everything Comes and Goes during a sleepless night aboard the Wreckers’ tour bus.

Branch explains, “Sitting on the tour bus at five in the morning with the sun coming up and having written that song – that was the start of me saying, ‘That’s it, I’m making my own record next and that doesn’t have to be a sad thing.’ I’ve always been kind of a control freak so it was actually nice remembering I could write on my own.”

Everything Comes and Goes and its first single, “Sooner or Later,” are both available now.

Pandora Contest

“Music for the People” Internet radio stations creators, Pandora, have teamed with Volkswagen for a contest that has a trip to Pandora’s Oakland headquarters as its grand prize. Pandora has set up four special stations to promote the new CC, Jetta, Tiguan and Routan Volkswagens and you can find out about those and how to enter the contest by going to pandora.com/meetthevolkswagens.

The contest winner and a friend will spend a day analyzing newly added music with the Pandora musicologists sometime in September or October. The contest ends Aug. 20.