Geek Pop EP collected by THE British Library!

Geek Like Me in The British Librareeeee!

Something kinda funny happened a few weeks ago. The British Library contacted us to ask if we would send them a copy of our record. Yes, the one that we made with just a little bit (*cough* a lot) of help from some awesome artists, in March 2011. We couldn’t quite believe our emails. This surely, would be the ultimate endorsement of our geek recording – being collected by a LIBRARY. *Does a little dance* And not just any library… THE BRITISH LIBRARY! *Does chair spin until dizzy*

Of course, we didn’t waste a second. We packaged up a copy of Geek Like Me and sent it off to Andy Linehan, Curator of Popular Music at the BL (coolest job EVER), right away.

When we asked Andy why he wanted a copy, this is what he said:

“We’re always on the lookout for new music to add to our collections, particularly when released by smaller independent labels that might otherwise slip under the radar. Compilations such as Geek Like Me allow us to represent types of music or scenes that might not be widely-known or celebrated but form an important part of the national musical culture.”

Apparently the BL has been receiving all sorts of rare and random recordings of late. So… if you’ve made your own under-the-radar recording, why not ask Andy and co whether they’d like a copy? As far as we’re concerned it’s nothing less than an HONOUR to have our own British Library catalogue number! (Why, yes, we do!)

Can you tell we’re happy?

Aw, look at it in it's nice new home. It likes it there.

Geek Pop Sessions: The Nature of Things by Helen Arney

The Nature of Things by Helen Arney

THE SONG: The Nature of Things by Helen Arney

Hello! We’re back again with another live session from friend of the podcast, Helen Arney. Here’s one she wrote for the Bright Club Bristol event “The Nature of Things”.

And here’s another big ol’ plug for the Festival of the Spoken Nerd tour, featuring Helen, which starts tonight at the Concert Hall in Reading.

PRSClick here to choose from iTunes and other podcatchers. Subscription is free – it just means that whenever you open iTunes, it will automatically check for updates and download new podcasts. The online archive is here.

Intro/outro music: Intercontinental Music Lab. Image: Andy Clarke.

“Please hold. Oh and here’s some science while you wait.”

"Please hold. Oh, and here's some science while you wait."

Vote for our local science centre’s hold music!

When you ring your bank or internet provider or washing machine helpline you know you’re going to get stuck listening to some crappy hold music that’s going to make you want to chew your own arm off before anybody anwers.

But NOT when you ring Bristol’s local science centre! Not anymore. If you ring At-Bristol, you’re going to get something geeky, poppy and utterly delectable. And WE ALL get to decide what that is. Yes, the folks from At-Bristol have sought help from the foremost connoisseurs of science music *cough* (us) and we’re turning this into a democratic vote.

So. The brief was:

“a cute quirky song about science that is pretty accessible to non-scientists”

We’ve whittled it down to five for them. They’re all songs that have at some point featured on the Geek Pop podcast – so they’ve already undergone rigorous review, as listeners will know… Now here’s where you come in. Have a little look at the list of songs below, have a listen to the clips, or listen here to the full songs (Spotify). And then VOTE for the song you think At-Bristol should use as its hold music. Bear in mind the brief but also, consider what you would like to hear if you rang your local science centre. We’ll be taking your votes until next Wednesday at noon. THIS IS IMPORTANT DUDES! GO!

Oh and for tweeters the hashtag is #scienceholdmusic.



Image: wax115

Geek Pop: October 2012 (Dead Scientists)

Nikola Tesla

As it’s nearly Halloween, we’ve gone for the slightly morbid theme of Dead Scientists. And you’ve all done a grand job of bringing the best Dead Scientist songs to our attention. EXCELLENT WORK, TEAM GEEK! We’ve compiled an extended Spotify list including some of the suggestions we had to leave out.

So. Along the twisty twiney turns of this podcast we stumble across: a lady who wants to make love to Nikola Tesla (presumably whilst he was still alive), Einstein’s mum and dad, and a man driven to murder by linguistics. Plus, Geek Pop’s first ever stab at some sort of Poetry Corner, thanks to Lara Charles.

Some links for this month: Helen Arney off of Geek Pops past is on tour with Festival of the Spoken Nerd – tickets on sale now. If you want to read more about the whole Tesla / Edison pantomime go to this excellent Oatmeal cartoon thingy. And here’s the whole sad story of Feynman and his wife.

There are now well over 100 tracks on our all-time podcast list. It’s here or on Spotify.

Nikola Tesla – 8in8 (Amanda Palmer, Damian Kulash, Ben Folds & Neil Gaiman)

Hermann Loves Pauline – Super Furry Animals

A POETICAL INTERLUDE! Moments of Great Importance by Lara Charles

What Do I Care? – Johnny Cash

The Death of Ferdinand De Saussure – The Magnetic Fields

LIVE SESSION: Sailing Back to Spain – Intercontinental Music Lab (Cambridge, 2009)

PRSClick here to choose from iTunes and other podcatchers. Subscription is free – it just means that whenever you open iTunes, it will automatically check for updates and download new podcasts. The online archive is here.

Intro/outro music by Intercontinental Music Lab. Image: The rather dashing Nikola Tesla sits in his Colorado laboratory in around 1900, apparently oblivious to the CRAZY HUGE sparks flying from his “magnifying transmitter”. It turns out this photo is a double exposure, so Tesla wasn’t actually there at the same time as the sparks. In Tesla’s notes was written: “I did not like this idea but some people find such photographs interesting. Of course, the discharge was not playing when the experimenter was photographed, as might be imagined!”

Festival of the Spoken Nerd is ON TOUR!

Hello ladies and gents. What are you doing for the next couple of months? Tell you what… don’t do ANYTHING until you’ve booked to go and see Festival of the Spoken Nerd on tour. In fact, why not just take October and November off and go to all 21 shows? Huh? Well, okay, not the ones that are already sold out. And obviously not Swindon. (JOKING!)

FOTSN, as those in the know call it, is the comedy science show hosted by our friends Helen, Matt and Steve. You’ll probably know geek songstress Helen Arney from last year’s Geek Pop EP Geek Like Me and her many performances at Geek Pop festivals. And you may know Steve Mould  as the host of our Geek Pop launch event a couple of years back. He was the guy who decided to light a FIRE on stage in the world’s oldest surviving WOODEN music hall.  (“It’ll be fine – I’ve got a risk assessment!”) Matt Parker is the other one. He’s a massive maths nerd. And funny too.

Anyway, here’s some blurb:

“After a year of sell-out shows in London and science festivals, we’re coming to a venue near you to ask: When can you use a parabola to set stuff on fire? How does the angler fish make love? And how dangerous can things get with just numbers?”

“A riotously funny show about science… brimming with unashamed. ****” – Three Weeks

We’ll be heading over to the one in Bath on 21st November. There are still TICKETS everywhere except Coventry. So Coventry is WINNING – clear contender for nerd capital of the UK… Anyway, this will be ACE, so book soon.

P.S. To celebrate the start of their tour, we’ll be publishing a new Geek Pop session featuring a song we commissioned from Helen back in May. Listen out for that on our podcast feed.

Geek Pop: September 2012

Mars Curiosity Test Rover in California

We experience the best and worst of science songwriting, barely avoid comparing Usher to Stevie Wonder, learn why we should be more afraid of cows than spiders and find ourselves doing some live and unprogrammed sports commentary on the man practicing sprint starts behind Hayley’s house. Oh and there’s some real Mars-based science stuff.

Some links for this month: Ever fancied building your own Mars Rover out of LEGO? Now you can. Thanks to Ben from @NakedScientists for this Higgs boson vid, which he says “might help when people expect you to understand and explain all of science again”. Check out our last post for the latest geeky releases, including from The Standards.

For all this month’s songs on Spotify, go here or if you want a list of all the songs we’ve ever played on the podcast, try this one.

Mars vs Venus – Usher

Lightning Bolt – Jake Bugg

Muscle Dysmorphia – Gary War

DLZ – TV on the Radio

FULL PLAY: The LHC Song – Jamie Ough (see our #SSotF winners post)

PRSClick here to choose from iTunes and other podcatchers. Subscription is free – it just means that whenever you open iTunes, it will automatically check for updates and download new podcasts. The online archive is here.

Intro/outro music by Intercontinental Music Lab. Image: Earlier this year, the test rover “Scarecrow” helped scientists from the Mars Science Laboratory (Curiosity) team work on the rover’s driving capabilities by rolling around the California sand dunes near Death Valley. By NASA/JPL-Caltech. (For a LEGO version of this, see Mashable).


August’s geeky new releases!

Geek Pop has been on a leeeeetle holiday. So in lieu of a podcast this month (don’t worry, the September one’s already been recorded) we’re bigging up a couple of shiny new releases by some friends. Try:

A Slight Distraction by The StandardsA Slight Distraction by The Standards (album)

Released: 27th August on Schnapps House Records

Arrived at Geek Pop HQ looking tasty enough to eat, courtesy of vintage-style artwork by Ben Pinwill. Delivered earworm upon earworm of rocking tunage. With songs about Mice and Drowning, the links to science are tenuous to say the least, but when has that ever stopped us from sticking something on the GP playlist? Ace.

See also: Geek Pop Live Session November 2010, 11 Dimensions (free Geek Pop festival download)

Fishes/Wasps by Emperor Yes (single)

Released: 8th October on Tape Club Records

From the same indie label as Bronze Medallists, Emperor Yes brings together musicians from Three Trapped Tigers, Summer Camp and House of Strange. Bleepy bloopy noises, lyrics about the evils of Hymenoptera and did we mention it comes on a limited edition CASSETTE TAPE? These dudes are IT.

See also: Moon Song by House of Strange (Geek Pop Podcast – August 2011), official video for Wasps


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