News Flash: Morphine Drop Tour To Record

It's rare that fans would welcome the news of a canceled tour, but devotees of Morphine may be doing just that.

The Boston-based three-piece announced recently that they decided to put their current outing on ice to head back to the studio for more recording. "They like to do things in stages," said band spokeswoman Carey Svingen. "They've been working some new material out in [singer and bassist] Mark Sandman's studio, and they'll probably go into the Fort Apache studio in Cambridge, Mass. soon."

There is as yet no release date set for the noir-rock band's next album,

their second for the new DreamWorks label and sixth since forming in 1990.

This year has already been a productive one for the bass, drum and sax

combo: In March, they released a new full-length called Like Swimming, and just last month their former label, Rykodisc, issued B-Sides and Otherwise, a collection of out-of-print tracks, live radio sessions, soundtrack recordings and compilation songs.

"Right now they're just feeling really creative," Svingen said. Of the new material Morphine is recording, some has already been played live, while

other songs were just recently written. "Lilah" is one of the tracks expected to turn up on the next album.

"It wasn't like they quit a tour midstream," the publicist added. "They

decided not to go out while they were on tour in Japan and Australia during

the month of September." Svingen called the postponed outing a "residency

tour," which featured several multi-night stands in cities such as New

Orleans, Chicago, Minneapolis and San Francisco.

"Skid" Marks, box office manager for Chicago's 1,400 seat Vic Theater, said

tickets for Morphine's two-gig stint there were selling well. "It wasn't

sold out, but the tour was canceled only three days after they went on

sale," Marks said.

Although the current tour has been temporarily shelved, Morphine is still

slated to play several shows in November, including their first concert

south of the border, in Mexico City, as well as a hometown gig at Boston's

Roxy. -- Chris Nelson [Wed., Oct. 22, 1997, 3 p.m. PDT]