The good news is that the weather is warming up…a bit. Hard to believe that I was running sans jacket this past Tuesday, while Wednesday I was digging out my driveway from under 3ft. of snow. And, today – a mere two days later – I’m back running jacketless again. Tomorrow it’s going to rain. It’s like Mother Nature is having some sort of identity crisis. The bad news is that although it’s warmer out, the roadways are still a bit slushy all with the melting snow, so only a short and quick fartlek is in order instead. Better than nothing I suppose. This evening’s listening choice is the ‘B-Sides and Otherwise’ compilation by Morphine.
I was pretty late to the game in discovering this band as well, but better late than never. This album, released by Rykodisc in 1997, is primarily a collection of B-sides and previously unreleased songs available on obscure soundtracks. Originally formed by Mark Sandman, Dana Colley and Jerome Deupree in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1989, the band unfortunately disbanded shortly after this album in 1999 after five albums and extensive touring following the death of Sandman who collapsed on stage and died from a massive heart attack at the Giardini del Principe in Palestrina, Latium, Italy while performing with the band. Talk about suck.
Morphine successfully combines blues and jazz elements with more traditional rock arrangements, giving the band an unusual, hypnotic and often mesmerizing sound featuring a prominent 50’s Beat influence. The band themselves coined the term ‘Low Rock’ to describe their music, which involved “a minimalist, low-end sound that could have easily become a gimmick: a ‘power trio’ not built around the sound of an electric guitar.” Sound interesting? Believe me, it is.
Truth be told, as funky and groovy as it is, I wish I had discovered this band back in my old university stoner day rather than while trying to do 400m repeats at a sub 5k pace (8.25k in total).