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Swing It Lo, Lo, Lo

My wonderful ladyfriend brought a New York Times article to my attention today called “The Underbelly Project”. It’s about an exhibition of street art in a dark and abandoned New York subway station, far out of reach of public view. The artwork can’t be sold or bought; it’s art for art sake. Check out images from the exhibition here.

A combination of today being Halloween, yesterday’s Halloween Mixtape and “The Underbelly Project” article made me think of all the underground / outsider artists that slave over their creations, many times without monetary compensation and mainstream acceptance; often creating their art in complete solitude. As a result, the work can feel dark and lonely, it’s genius is only realized later, long after they’re gone.

Which brings us to todays post. Morphine’s “Empty Box” is a song we featured on our Halloween mix. I haven’t listened to Morphine in years but for some reason I pulled out their complete catalogue when working on the Halloween mix. Overall, their music is very minimal and dark; even moody. Morphine combined elements of blues, jazz, rock and beat poetry style lyrics to create a hard to categorize sound.

Frontman and bassist Mark Sandman (1952-1999) was a key part of their sound until his premature death from a heart attack. His baritone voice and unique slide bass lines created their signature low vibe. Think bitters and rye, shady, smoke filled bars where Jack Kerouac’s Dean Moriarty lived the epitome of Beat, think abandoned underground subway tracks, dimly lit desolate cobble stone streets and alleys . . . heartache and fog rolling off moon lit gravestones under a light New Orleans rain.

So to end this years Halloween theme, here is a mini Morphine mix. Respect to the underground. Respect Mark Sandman. R.I.P.

Swing It Lo, D-Hall

You Look Like Rain
The Night
Swing It Low
The Saddest Song
Take Me With You When You Go
Like Swimming
Empty Box
Miles Davis’ Funeral

[audio:http://thenewlofi.com/wp-content/audio/2010/10/Sounds_Of_Morphine.mp3|titles=The Sounds of Morphine and The Underbelly]

TNLF Mixtape The Sounds Of Morphine and The Underbelly