An evening of Music and Film “Morphine” Journey of Dreams” Screening 8pm, Vapors of Morphine Live 9:45pm

Sat, October 15, 2016

7:00 pm

Union Pool

Brooklyn, NY

$12.00 – $20.00

Tickets Available at the Door

This event is 21 and over

Vapors of Morphine
The ’90s band Morphine pioneered a new type of music — “Low Rock” — featuring the unusual yet seductive lineup of baritone sax, 2-string slide bass and drums. Morphine burned bright and fast but was snuffed out before it’s time when leader Mark Sandman passed away in 1999. From its ashes have risen Vapors of Morphine.

Vapors of Morphine honors the progressive legacy of it’s predecessor. Original Morphine members Dana Colley (baritone sax) and Jerome Deupree (drums) are joined by transplanted New Orleans’ slide guitarist Jeremy Lyons. They create dreamy soundscapes, applying inventive arrangement to the unique instrumentation of electric baritone saxophone (evocative of Jimi Hendrix’ guitar), the Sandman-style 2string slide bass (sometimes electric bouzouki or guitar) and mad jazz-rock drums. Morphine songs are performed alongside psychedelic renditions of West African tunes, noise rock, originals and obscure covers. And it all fits together. Vapors of Morphine leave audiences from Boston to Brazil, New Orleans to the Netherlands wanting more.

The band was officially formed in 2009 to perform a tribute to Mark Sandman in Palestrina, Italy, where Morphine’s singer, composer and 2string bassist died of a heart attack on the very same stage ten years earlier. Since then the group has released one CD (under their original name “The Ever Expanding Elastic Waste Band”), and played selective shows at home and abroad. Highlights have included Mês Da Cultura Independente (São Paulo, Brazil, 2014), The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (USA, 2012); Virada Cultural Festival in Sao Paulo, Brazil (2012), New Orleans’ Voodoo Experience (USA, 2011); and Maquinaria Festival in Santiago, Chile (2011). VoM have appeared at Film Festivals in the US in Chicago, Kansas City, Boston, Salem, Austin,; in Tui, Spain and Amsterdam, Netherlands. All in tandem with screenings of two documentary films, Cure for Pain: the Mark Sandman Story and Morphine “Journey of Dreams” (to which they contributed music).

All three surviving members of Morphine — Dana, Jerome and succeeding drummer Billy Conway — met blues guitarist Jeremy Lyons in September 2005 after he was washed up on Massachusetts’ shore from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. A bond was quickly formed between the musicians, born of a mutual love of New Orleans, horror at the disastrous flood, and empathy based on their own, personal disaster of only six years before. A musical simpatico was clear from the start. After informal collaborations prompted Dana to invite Lyons to the gig in Italy, Lyons had a 2-string slide bass like Sandman’s built and began learning much of the Morphine cannon. Deupree is the primary occupant of the drum throne, but the group has played with either or both Morphine drummers, appearing occasionally as a quartet.

The Boston-born “Low Rock” band Morphine blazed like a comet across the international music scene in the 1990s, rising from local small clubs to indie and major label record deals, high and wide critical acclaim, and packed shows until its untimely end in 1999. The trio’s unique and mesmeric sound continues to resonate with its fans and music lovers as the group ascends to legendary if not iconic status. The documentary is the definitive, in-depth tale of this unique musical act’s compelling career and life together and their resonant musical creativity.
The film doesn’t just get behind the music but inside the band as its story is primarily told by the trio’s surviving members, saxophonist Dana Colley and drummers Billy Conway and Jerome Dupree plus the close-knit familial coterie that worked with them as well as Sandman’s girlfriend Sabine Hrechdakian. It’s punctuated by incisive commentary and observations from such friends and admirers of the group as Henry Rollins, Joe Strummer and Steve Berlin of Los Lobos. A wealth of live performance footage gathered from across Morphine’s career recalls and amplifies the band’s innovative yet at the same time classic, timeless and “beautifully bottom-heavy” sound, as Rolling Stone praised it.
Viewers ride and fly along with the hard- touring band’s road experiences, vibrantly brought to life as Colley reads from his tour diaries at key points in the film as well as through his accompanying Polaroid pictures and Super 8 films.
“Morphine: Journey of Dreams” is not just a tale of music business struggle, triumph and tragedy, but also a love story – among its members and team as well as Sandman and Hrechdakian – as well as an adventure, drama, travelogue, and something of a roller coaster ride. Plus, when all is told, an evocative and loving tribute to a rock band that was like no other.
Venue Information:
Union Pool
484 Union Ave
Brooklyn, NY, 11211
Reopening Spring 2021!
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