Museum of Tomorrow

Zeerust #1

Tomorrows World by The Speed of Sound on the album Museum of Tomorrow

“We were offered Star Trek

But they fed us Soylent Green

And the 21st Century is not what it seems

Where are those shining city domes

and the monorails

Look out of your window

you can see the future has failed”

Zeerust #2

In The Year 2525 by Zager & Evans on the album In the Year 2525 (Exordium & Terminus)

“In the year 2525, if man is still alive

If woman can survive, they may find

In the year 3535

Ain’t gonna need to tell the truth, tell no lie

Everything you think, do and say

Is in the pill you took today.”

Zeerust #3

(It’s the Eighties, So Where’s Our) Rocket Packs by Daniel Amos from the album Vox Humana 

“(It’s the eighties, so where’s our rocket packs?)

I thought by now we’d live in space

And eat a pill instead of dinner

(It’s the eighties, so where’s our rocket packs?)

I thought by now we’d build a dome”

I quite imagine you, the reader, wondering what in hell a zeerust is or looking it up on the internet of things. There are plenty of hits that lead to a town in South Africa. That is not where I want to start. I want to start with one of my favourite authors, Douglas Adams, a British humorist and Science Fiction writer, and his collaboration with the BBC comedy producer John Lloyd.

From their book The Meaning of Liff, I lifted their definition of the word zeerust: “The particular kind of datedness which afflicts things that were originally designed to look futuristic.”

Let’s unravel this further with an introduction to who The Speed Of Sound isThey are a four-piece band hailing from Manchester, UK. A city described as having a proud history combined with a progressive vision. Manchester is a 40-minute train ride east of another town famous for its four-piece bands, Liverpool.

The Speed Of Sound’s line-up has changed over the years; on this incarnation, it consists of the father and son duo John Armstrong on guitars and vocals and Henry Armstrong on keyboards. Bolstering that combo is Ann-Marie Crowley on vocals and guitar, Kevin Roache on bass guitar and John Broadhurst on percussions.

I took the definition of zeerust from the book, The Meaning of Liff, combined it with Manchesters’ proud heritage, their progressive vision, and I added the band known as The Speed Of Sound. Then I shook it vigorously. What came out was an album called The Museum of Tomorrow. A record that held my attention like a magnet to a fridge door.

The Speed Of Sound channels the spirit of the CBGB club scene in its heyday. There are some textures of the New Wave movement in both the UK and North America. Pieces of punk are stuck on with safety pins. There are some tips of the hat to straight-up pop music anywhere from the ’60s to the ’80s. Lyrically The Speed Of Sound captures the idealization of zeerust, as illustrated in the opening credits.

By the time we arrive at track 8, The Speed Of Sound has morphed that zeerust into an Impossible Past. We wore mended clothes instead of buying new ones at the slightest whim or a loose thread. We kept calm and carried on with faded memories of things that never happened things. We yearn for a world of cabbages and kings. The golden time was never as sunny as our memories of it. And then the song ends on a dark note with bombs and demons, dark but also realistic. We can not return to a past that we remember as a summer that never ended. It did end, the same as the winter that never ended. It ended. I quite imagine we all have some form of longing to return to a past that our memories cling to as being better than they were. 

There is an adage that says, “we can never go home.”

I tried to go home several years back. It was a high school reunion. Please don’t ask what anniversary it was. It would date me. I didn’t know the people who had gathered there. They were all older than I remembered, except for me somehow. I had aged more gracefully. Right, I wish. Some had never left the town they had gone to school in. They had a very narrow view of the world that can come from living in an echo chamber. Some had gone considerably downhill over the years. Not that I was a shining example to all, I had my own “half forgotten lurking things.”

Holy cow, I have written 788 words on only a tiny portion of the album. The Museum Of Tomorrow deserves better than this, but I’m not writing a thesis, so this blog will have to do.

Let me conclude this wordy tome by saying this. Go and listen to this on your medium of choice. The Museum Of Tomorrow is available in downloads, streaming, vinyl, CD and Deluxe LP via California’s Big Stir Records. Here’s to hoping that we can add live shows to that list.

Album order 



‘Tomorrow’s World’



Album teaser 

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‘Ladies’ Night’ and ‘Caryatid’

I will be posting just a short note today for the Singapore-France duo Cravism x Maya Diegel. They have released their ‘Caryatid’ and ‘Ladies’ Night’ singles via Komplex Recordings with a video that features both songs.

The two singles are in a stunning video mix blending created by Arthur Etienne and Thibaut Vega. Several weeks ago, the duo released the first single, ‘It’s Okay,’ with soulful and jazzy textures laid over lush, mellow jazz hip hop beats, transporting the listener into a chilled relaxing realm.

Out in full on October 22, the ‘Caryatid EP‘ project entails a staggered release of a track every three weeks with accompanying films, in addition to a series of online live performances of these compositions.

Enjoy, I will be back with another installment in three weeks.

‘Ladies Night / Caryatid’ 


‘It’s Okay’ official video   

‘It’s Okay’ live in studio   


Apple Music  

Half In, Half Out

I am stuck in a rut. Being stuck in a rut is not where I want to be. It is not where I want to be. It is, however, where I find myself, and I need to address that.

Where is the rut, you may ask? The rut in question emerged from the nether regions of Glasgow. I have never been to Glasgow, so it may sound like a stretch to blame Glasgow for my predicament. I do not hold a grudge against the city of Glasgow. I am sure it is as good of a place as anywhere. The fact remains that the rut started there and is now accosting me.

The rut in question has travelled across the Atlantic Ocean and then across 3/4’s of North America. It is an impressive rut by any standard.

So here I sit with this groove from Glasgow tormenting me. It has been growing in my office for three days now. And I don’t know what to do with it. I suppose I could start by telling you the driving force behind this unusual predicament that I find myself in.

It all started with half a dozen Glaswegians getting together making some music and got a groove going on. The groove in question is the fifth full-length album from The Kundalini Genie.

You too? Yeah, I had to go and look up what the hell a Kundalini is. Apparently it is some spiritual force in Hindu, Yogic and Buddhist teachings. There is more than one way to practice the Kundalini spirituality, but I wager that listening to good music is one path.

Today we will focus on the Genie method of Kundalini. The Kundalini Genie involves singer-songwriter Robbie Wilson, on sitar, guitar, and vocals.

We also have Jason Houston on guitar and more vocals.

 Melissa Rennie plays guitar, keys and adds her vocals.

Lloyd Ledingham contributes bass and vocals.

Louis Martin plays guitar and, yes, more vocals.

My goodness, they are competing against the Mormon Tabernacle Choir with everybody singing. Everyone except the drummer, Grant Robertson. I bet he sings, but they don’t mic it. Maybe he is more of the shower stall singer variety. Nothing wrong with that. Heck, I even sound better singing in the shower, and I can’t carry a song in a bucket.

Now that everyone is accounted for let’s talk about the music that dug a trench from Glasgow to my office in Canada’s hinterlands. Scottish psychedelic rock’n’roll outfit The Kundalini Genie has announced they will release their fifth studio album ‘Half In, Half Out’ by the end of 2021, following up their ’11:11′ album via Space Ranch Records (Europe) and Little Cloud Records (USA) in 2020. Ahead of this, they present the title track ‘Half In, Half Out,’ a robust offering to whet our appetites for the long-player.

“This song is about assholes, really. People who aren’t nice. People who think they’re better than you, or too cool for you, or higher and mightier than you, it’s also about when those people inevitably fall short of their own high opinion of themselves and make themselves look a fool, in a nutshell,” says Robbie Wilson.

What can I say? That is straight from the horse’s mouth. A song about assholes. That got real super fast, I can’t wait to know what the remainder of the album sounds like with the opener blasting out of the studio with a song about buttholes.

It doesn’t matter much what the song is about, the simple fact remains that I can’t stop listening to this offering from Glasgow, The Kundalini Genii and the single Half In, Half Out.

What makes this so attractive to me? It could be intelligent lyrics, good writing scores big marks with me. It is beyond doubt within the music. They channel so many bands and music styles that I could keep writing all day about The Kundalini Genie’s sound. The psychedelic rock, smooth retro pop, amazing vocals, they check all the boxes, all of them. But I can not put The Kundalini Genie in a box. They need to be set free, and that is what happened. Someone in Glasgow, it is highly probable that all of the members of The Kundalini Genie were involved, and they started digging a groove of their own. Geography could not contain that groove, and it found its way to my listening post, and here I am, in a rut.

I sincerely hope the same thing happens to you when you hear what this band has going on. It is magical. Now quit reading and listen to The Kundalini Genie and the single Half In, Half Out. While you are doing that I am going to start plotting how I can get across the pond and hear this band live.

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It is early September, and the crisp winds and cooler temperatures tell us that autumn isn’t far away. It arrives on September 22nd this year. Growing up, this meant that we were going back to school after the Freedom of the summer holidays.

September also meant the arrival of the Christmas wish books from Sears and Eaton’s. We were not rich, but through the magic of wishing, we experienced the freedom of making any object in the catalogue come to life and be our plaything for as long as we could keep the catalogue away from our siblings.

Dublin-based Kilkenny-born indie-pop artist Cat Dowling will release an album this fall via FIFA Records. While we wait for the album, we have the freedom to explore Cat Dowling’s new single, Freedom and let our imaginations take us to beautiful places where we can run and laugh and dance and be free.

Dowling also presents the video for  ‘Freedom,’ created by Alba Lahoz. When Covid restrictions were momentarily lifted in Ireland, Cat’s three free-spirited tearaway children do their thing, showing that Freedom is a space inside us that can never be tamed.

“Sometimes we think big. Sometimes we think small. Sometimes we think with all we have got. When we have limited access to other humans, the humans closest to us are the most important humans of all,” says Cat Dowling.

“This video was filmed on a bitingly cold December afternoon when the light was sparse, winds howled, and the skies randomly opened. We managed to find the sun, fell in love with the wind and forgot about the camera. It was mainly filmed on Donabate beach and Dollymount Strand in Dublin. Freedom is best explained and expressed in childhood when there are no limitations, everything is possible, and we are free to be truly ourselves”.

Freedom’s out now, available everywhere digitally, including Spotify, Apple Music and Bandcamp. Fans can expect Cat Dowling‘s next long-player to be released in November of this year.

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Ireland press & radio – Pete Murphy

Thawing Permafrost

The loss of permafrost will have drastic long-term effects on our planet.

The addition of Permafrost is having a dramatic impact on my Apple Music Library. I have put the single, Restore Us, from the band Permafrost, on an endless loop as I write. The single Restore Us is from the soon-to-be-announced album Fear of Music, which is the title of one of my all-time favourite albums. It is, of course, the Talking Heads that I allude to, and Permafrost have cited the Talking Heads as an influencer for their music.

Permafrost is making a comeback after a hiatus. Formed in Norway in 1982, they were active during the first post-punk wave and finally, we can all join them in this exciting new wave. The band has also grown to include British keyboardist Daryl Bamonte, who took the video footage for their new single ‘Restore Us’ while on the road with Depeche Mode for their Music For The Masses tour.

The single, Restore Us was released on September 3 and is available everywhere online via the Fear of Music label with distribution by Secretly Noord. We can also find the single on Spotify, Apple Music and Bandcamp. It can be pre-saved on Spotify: 

The video is available right now:

I await the album, Fear of Music, and re-listen to the single over and over and over as I wait.

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Harry Stafford and Marco Butcher have never actually met in the flesh. But they are punk soul brothers from the same muddy musical pond. Connecting with one another during a year of ‘lockdown hell,’ their exchange of ideas and talk of musical influences inadvertently led to their collaboration.

As innovative juices began to boil, the frantic exchange of digital files culminated in ‘Bone Architecture,’ a 12-track album that both had been itching to make. This superb collection includes reworked older material, brand-new compositions and even a dirty blues version of the Pink Floyd classic ‘Arnold Layne.’

‘Bone Architecture‘ is a raw and, at times, unforgiving forage into urban punk blues with fuzzed-up jazz and garage trash rock. Here, Harry and Marco’s styles have clashed magnificently into a powerful record that crosses many genres but with a dirty blues makeover.

“There’s something about collaborating that is pure magic to me, ’cause you’re not sharing ideas at the same time and you’re in the moment. There’s something about the not knowing what the other will bring. The surprise factor. The fact that music is very elastic and not always the way you listen to it in your mind but something else, something cooler, greater,” says Marco Butcher.

“I guess mutual respect has a lot to do it too, sharing the same type of ideas about music and life… For some time, Inca Babies ‘This Train’ was my bandstand music when I was crossing a very dark and dangerous lifestyle, when I decided NOT to die. This album was the one I listened to the most.”

Marco’s tracks were recorded at his Boombox Studio in Winston Salem, then shipped to Manchester, where Harry laid down vocals, piano and any instrumental tomfoolery he saw fit at Black Lagoon Records. The files also flew to London for trumpet player Kevin Davy to blend some jazz tones.

On September 3, ‘Bone Architecture‘ will be released on CD and available everywhere online, including Spotify and Apple Music. Both formats can be ordered via Bandcamp and the Louder than War shop.

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Ghosts of New York State

I drove through New York state and loved every kilometre of the journey. There were scenic and historical rest areas all along the highways and byways. However, we didn’t stop for a proper visit in New York, city or state. That leaves the door open for us to return and take in at least some of what we missed driving through New York.

We didn’t encounter any Ghosts of New York State. On the other hand, I enjoy listening to Ghosts of New York State, the new single released today by Will Graefe and Jeremy Gustin, who make beautiful music under the nom de plume Star Rover.

“The seed of ‘Ghosts of New York State‘ began with the fingerpicked riff, which alternates between 6/4 and 7/4 meters throughout. We wanted this song to communicate the numb and dislocated feeling of the words while maintaining a propulsive groove and nervous energy. The burst of colour in the middle represents a kind of blinding epiphany. This song is about family and the weight we carry, sometimes unknowingly and unconsciously. The end mantra is ” The ghost, the host. The ghost, my host,” says Will Graefe.

There is also an excellent video based on the song Ghosts of New York State:

I will give a broader account of Star Rover on October 15, when the LP will be released. As of August 31, ‘Ghosts of New York State‘ will be available across digital platforms, including Spotify and Apple Music. The ‘Star Rover‘ LP will be released on October 15 and pre-ordered via Bandcamp.

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Pink Turns Blue

“Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, A Sixpence in your Shoe”

The iconic post-punk band Pink Turns Blue has announced that their new album ‘Tainted’ will be released this autumn on a limited edition vinyl, CD or digitally via Orden Records.

Music doesn’t spring out of nothingness; there has to be something that came before this album, something older than this album. Don’t get me wrong; I am not accusing the band Pink Turns Blue of plagiarism. I am saying that this band’s fantastic music is influenced by what they have heard in the past. From the press kit, I read this line: Pink Turns Blue is Mic Jogwer (vocals, guitar), Reubi Walter (bass, keyboards) and Paul Richter (drums). Inspired by Clan of XymoxThe CureJoy DivisionThe Sound and The ChameleonsPink Turns Blue play alternative rock heavily influenced by 80s post-punk and new wave. They didn’t list The Call as one of their influences, but I can hear The Call in the vocals. They also listened to plenty of Hüsker Dü. The name of their band, Pink Turns Blue, comes from the song Pink Turns To Blue found on the Hüsker Dü album Zen Arcade. So, there we have the something old part of the wedding rhyme “Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, A Sixpence in your Shoe.”

The next part of this little ditty and probably the easiest is “something new.” Pink Turns Blue plays original music influenced by what has come before, but they did not allow themselves to get mired down with that new wave sound. 

They play new music, fresh music, a sound and feel that keep me coming back for more because it is just that good.

Something borrowed is redundant because this covers the same ground as something old. Pink Turns Blue has borrowed its sound from the past and sent it back with a slick new paint job.

Something blue.

“How to overcome the grief/pain of lost love, torn between hate, very bad feelings and, at the same time, not being able to let go at all. As there is no understanding why you fall in love with someone in the first place, there is also no reason/understanding why love does end, or your love of life starts to feel attracted to someone else. It all dissolves into nothingness,” says Mic Jogwer.

“Some melodies and moods just call for certain sad themes and touch old wounds that never seem to heal. Normally love stories don’t seem to have a connection to me and my life. But then, when I find a sad melody with some sad chords, it all gets stirred up and comes to life. Maybe love really never ends.”

A Sixpence in your Shoe. What the heck is going on with that zinger? From, I learned that the British coin, a sixpence, is a symbol of prosperity. And I do wish Pink Turns Blue prosperity. A rich sound deserves a rich payday. I wish them prosperity in more than a sixpence. I want to wish Pink Turns Blue the wealth that comes from working together on an album of fantastic music and lyrics that enrich the listeners’ lives.

“Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, A Sixpence in your Shoe”

I know that this is a little ditty from a wedding rhyme, and in a way, this is a wedding. It binds us, the listeners, to the band that created the music. To be wed is defined in the dictionary as combining two factors or qualities as one, especially desirable attributes such as: “in this album Pink Turns Blue have wed excellent music with a distinctive vocal style.”

And they lived happily ever after.

As of July 30, the single ‘You Still Mean Too Much To Me’ will be released online, including Apple Music and Spotify. The Pink Turns Blue LP ‘Tainted‘ will be released digitally and in two physical formats – a CD with a 16-page booklet and black vinyl, strictly limited to 500 copies, with an 8-page booklet. Both can be pre-ordered exclusively via the band’s website. 

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You Also Have Eyes

Imagine if you can, Prozak For Lovers without the Bossanova, straight-up lounge music. Now run that through an amplifier with distortion added, just a little bit. Add a voice straight out of Fifty Shades of Greyl. And then you turn the whole thing into a shoegazer/emo rendition.

That is sort of what I imagine I hear on the new album from The Mystery PlanYou Also Have Eyes, but it isn’t anything like that. This album is well-crafted music, the sonic equivalent of Glenlivet. Matured to enhance the taste but not mired down in the past. Well rounded, like an oak cask, the music holds the songs together but is an equally important part of the whole; they are better together.

I have been delaying the release of this blog for days and days because I just wanted to listen. I thought that if I started dissecting and analyzing the album, it would no longer be the fantastic package it is.

First off, I had to get past the opening track, Electric Love, which was no easy task. I got stuck in the groove of Electric Love, with its beautiful bass lines and that haunting, enchanting, electric voice shimmering and sparking that is featured in the track.

Once I got out of the first groove Electric Love, I discovered song after song that contained some of the most tasteful indie-pop I have heard recently. Six tracks later on the song Silver Lining, I found a new light on my radar, Big Supreme (a.k.a. Chris Jones), a rapper from Charlotte who has been on the scene since the 1990s. He got his start by winning rap battles on the local Hip-Hop station for months and months, holding the record for the longest run on that station. The Mystery Plan brought the track, Silver Lining, to life during the pandemic as an ode to looking at the bright side of things. The accompanying live lounge-style video was shot and cut by Jay Thomas in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Moving forward, I discovered track after track of delicious music, vocals, and lyrics. That trend maintained a steady course clean through to the closer,  Weird Things People Do, which I nominate for the song title of the year. It is also a well-chosen culmination of the album.

In conclusion, I will put this album on my list of highlights of 2021. High praise, but it is for an album that reached for and attained great heights. Tasteful without being pretentious. A big sound without being overbearing. Clever without being bombastic.

 In short, I adore You Also Have Eyes, the newest offering from The Mystery Plan.

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Take one part, Tom Morello and mix in one part Rockpile, then add a touch of U2 and The Clash. Mix thoroughly and heat with a bIG*fLAME. Viola, we have The Great Leap Forward, the tasty solo project of Alan Brown.

Revolt Against An Age of Plenty is packed to the brim with social commentary and the rage against a post-punk/new wave sensibility. This 13-track album opens with the song titled Music To Die To, a track that cries out to be listened to and really hear the lyrics, not just background music, while you do something else. Now, I want to make a playlist of songs that are Music To Die To

Then we have track two, Things That Make Me Happy, a track that jumps out in contrast to track three, Revolt Against An Age of Plenty. I will have to compile another playlist of Things That Make Me Happy. Listening to music is one of many things that make me Things That Make Me Happy, and Revolt Against An Age of Plenty is currently on that shelf.  Well played, Alan Brown, well crafted and aged perfectly.

I want to go through the album track by track, but that would be a lengthy tome and take away some of the pleasure of listening to it yourself and seeing where the album takes you.

It took me back to the peak of the new wave movement in the timeline of music. Heady times with so much good music, music that I still listen to, and Revolt Against An Age of Plenty sounds like it could be right up there. I have listened to this album another time, writing this blog post. Revolt Against An Age of Plenty is becoming a song that I can sing along to over and over and again. It hasn’t bored me or started to sound flat. That didn’t take long; now, the track Words on Fire is a new earworm.

That’s about all I will say about Revolt Against An Age of Plenty; other than telling you that this is a fantastic album, I think I would like a coloured slab of vinyl to hear it on the big stereo. As of July 16, Revolt Against An Age of Plenty will be available through A Turntable Friend Records and across streaming platforms like Spotify and online stores such as Apple Music. The entire album will be released in all formats on July 20 and can already be pre-ordered via Bandcamp.

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