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Archives for August 2010


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Jon Teamlaverne Jon Teamlaverne | 11:00 UK time, Tuesday, 31 August 2010


Sufjan Stevens! Today's MPFree comes from Sufjan Stevens! Any long term listener will know that Sufjan is a big favourite of TeamLaverne - so today is a bit like Christmas for us.


Last week was a bit like Christmas too, as Sufjan sneaked out a surprise EP called All Delighted People. But this MPFree comes with news of an album - The Age Of Adz - which is scheduled for release on 12th October. I Walked is the fourth track on the album, and we should all pray the rest of the tracks are as good.


Sufjan Stevens - I Walked



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Jon Teamlaverne Jon Teamlaverne | 11:45 UK time, Friday, 27 August 2010


This week's intrepid space explorer is author, comedian and broadcaster Robin Ince.


In his message he left good advice for anyone picking up the message if they wish to respond, some wise words from some wise people and a cracking tune from Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds.


Missed it? Listen again here:



Would you like to send a message and a song into space? Email Lauren the track which you believe is the best example of humanity, and what your message would be.



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Jon Teamlaverne Jon Teamlaverne | 11:00 UK time, Friday, 27 August 2010


Right, here's some more free stuff...


The MPFree EP has some big'uns on it this week, you should be pleased!


Your final track this week comes from Does It Offend You, Yeah? This is a track made available from the new album which isn't due until next February. Working title for the album is Don't Say We Didn't Warn You and it'll be the follow up to debut You Have No Idea What You're Getting Yourself Into. It's stompy Electro, and it's linked below with the other tracks.


Your artwork for this week comes from Gumball Factory on Twitter. Following our folk playlist, we asked for photos of your beards - real or false. Gumball Factory seems to have gone for an entire false lower face. Nice work:




Here are this week's tracks:

Simian Mobile Disco - Nerve Salad

James Yuill - First In Line (Lissvik remix)

Broken Social Scene - All To All (Skeet Skeet Mix)

The Vaccines - If You Wanna

Does It Offend You, Yeah? - We Are The Dead


Some of the above free downloads are only posted for a limited amount of time; therefore not all may be available.



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Jon Teamlaverne Jon Teamlaverne | 15:05 UK time, Thursday, 26 August 2010


Another week; another Memory Tapes - this one's a beauty too, and it comes from Sam Gore, who writes...


"Listening to the Memory Tape I remembered putting a compilation together for some friends. I have 3 really really close friends who i don't see often enough but there are songs that always remind me of them. We've known each other for about 20 years, meeting in the height of the rave scene! Although all of our musical tastes have been quite different at different stages of our lives from hip hop to The Smiths. What I love about my friends is that they are open to all musical genres and tastes, not music snobs at all, just love music.


"We've spent many evenings together, drinking, dancing around one anothers living rooms - taking it in turn of being in charge of what track to play next. Nothing unusal there really, we all do that don't we?


"As I said, we don't get together as much as we should do these days - grown up, responsibilities etc - yawn! But when we do it's always like the old days.


"Recently they came over to mine for a good old knees up. I made each one of them individual compliations that reminded me of them and I've attached the list that was one of them. Needless to say, I can listen to this from beginning to end with a smile on my face and many memories going through my mind - doing the butterfly dance to Creep being one of them!!!!!"


No artwork with this one, but the tracklisting reads...


Do You Know The Way To San Jose - Dionne Warwick

Wear It On Your Face - The Dells

I Am The Black Gold Of The Sun - Minnie Riperton

Rock With You - Michael Jackson

In A Broken Dream - Python Lee Jackson

Stay With Me Forever - Prolific ft. Simone

Creep - TLC

Take Me Now - Tammy Payne

Wings Of Speed - Paul Weller

For Once In My Life - Stevie Wonder

Up On The Hill - Fun Lovin' Criminals

Maybe I'm Amazed - The Faces

Feeling Oblivion - Turin Brakes

Mini - Corduroy

Feel The Sunshine - Alex Reece

Horizons - LTJ Bukem

I Believe In Miracles - The Jackson Sisters

If I Can't Have You - Yvonne Elliman


Inspired? Excellent, then email Lauren your Memory Tape.



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Jon Teamlaverne Jon Teamlaverne | 14:13 UK time, Thursday, 26 August 2010


August Bank Holiday


It's August Bank Holiday this weekend, so here's a couple of suggestions about what to get up to:


Notting Hill Carnival - if the Hugh Grant film poshness is Nottting Hill's Jekyll side then the Carnival is it's Hyde. If you haven't been before it's the sort of thing you should do at least once in your life. Expect huge crowds, loads of sound systems, and great Caribbean food.


Here's a couple of links to helpful guides about what's going on at this year's Carnival and what's worth checking out from Spoon Fed and Time Out.


They've got all the info you need on which are the best sound systems, which after-parties are worth going to and which toilets you should go to avoid huge queues plus tips like don't wear flip flops!


If that's not your bag, how about heading up to Lancashire for the World Gravy Wrestling Championships? It's in the town of Rossendale on Monday 31st and I think the name says it all - there's a pool of gravy, wrestling occurs, good fun is had by all...


And if you're really looking for something weird to do, it's European Bat Weekend - meet up with your local Bat Club and go on a night-time bat-spotting walk.


Edinburgh Fringe - Awards Time


Of course, you could spend your bank holiday catching the last few days of the Edinburgh Fringe. It's the business end of the season as they say. The nominations for the Comedy Award came out on Wednesday.


Nominated for the main award are Bo Burnham: Words, Words, Words; Greg Davies: Firing Cheeseballs at a Dog; Josie Long: Be Honourable; Russell Kane: Smokescreens and Castles; Sarah Millican: Chatterbox.


Interesting to see a strong female presence on the list, a third nomination for stand up Russell Kane and an inclusion for Bo Burnham - the man with 60 million Youtube hits at the tender age of 20.


My favourite to win out of those might be We Are Klanger Greg Davies.


There's also some controversy going on - the Awards are celebrating their 30th anniversary this year and are having a vote to find a 'Comedy God' - pitting all the nominees from all the previous 30 years against each other. Comedian Stewart Lee has taken against this and the fact that he awards are sponsored by Fosters and has lead a campaign to get people to vote for the obscure Japanese avant garde musical act Frank Chickens who got nominated in 1985. It's like a comedy equivalent of Rage Against the Machine vs X Factor. Apparently, at the moment they are winning!


All the winners will be announced on Saturday.


5000 Morris Dancers


The South Bank in London is being taken over by a festival of Morris dancing next week, but it's Morris with a cool spin. It's called 5000 Morris Dancers and the festival's logo is a spin on the iconic Clockwork Orange image but with a Morris dancers hat - which gives you a clue as to the festival's intent.


It's the brainchild of the pop artist David Owen kicks off with an art installtion he's done across London. Starting on Tuesday 31st, 1000 cardboard cut-outs of Morris dancers will appear across the city - all with different pop culture spins - some re influenced by Clockwork Orange, some by Morrissey...


Then, over the weekend of the 3rd to the 5th, the Southbank is taken over by a load of Morris themed events - folk bands, mass Morris in the street and a documentary by actor and comedy writer Tim Plester about his familiy's Morris heritage called Way of the Morris.


Could it actually turn the much derided men in white suits and bells into cool counter culture icons?



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Jon Teamlaverne Jon Teamlaverne | 13:54 UK time, Thursday, 26 August 2010


Let's get ready to rumble as this week, to coincide with the Leeds and Reading Festivals, the Indie Travel Guide pits the two cities against each other in a bid to discover who is Indie-est.


So, in the blue corner. West Yorkshire's finest and in the red corner, the pride of Berkshire...


We're going to do this like Indie Top Trumps. We've got several categories. Let's see how the two towns match up to each other...




Clearly, a town's Indie credentials can be judged on how many bands it has spawned and, of course, whether they are any good.


So... lining up for Reading we have:


Firmly in the Indie camp...Slowdive, Does It Offend You, Yeah? The Cooper Temple Clause - actually from nearby Wokingham and have, of course, now split up. Irwin from The Hoosiers comes from nearby Woodley and supports Reading Football Club.


Slightly more tenuously... Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip - formed after meeting at a gig there and Tom Rowlands from the Chemical Brothers went to Reading Blue Coat School.


Kind of counts... Stuart Price aka Les Rhythmes Digitales and Thin White Duke, most famous for producing Madonna - also produced The Killers...


Biggest selling artist from Reading though... Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells - not so indie, though he was the first release on Virgin...


So, how does Leeds weigh in? Well, pretty impressively...


We've got some genuine Indie Hall of Famers here...


From back in the day... Gang of Four and Cud... the mighty Wedding Present.


More recently, there's the Pigeon Detectives...Hadouken! (who met at Leeds Uni) and of course the indie superstars that are The Kaiser Chiefs.


And that's before we've even mentioned the fact that Leeds arguably invented Goth as the spawning ground for Sisters of Mercy, who grew out of places like the F Club and Bar Phono.


So, at the end of that round, by my reckoning the scores are definitely 1-0 to Leeds.


Gig Venues


Ok, another key Indie factor. Does the town have any gig venues? If it doesn't it's not likely to attract any good bands.


Leeds has some goodies. There's Brudenell Social Club - which has played host to loads of gigs including some pretty impressive secret gigs - by the likes of Franz Ferdinand and the Kaisers.


There's also The Cockpit, which hosts a lot of gigs and has a place in Indie history as apparently the place where Nick Hodgson introduced Ricky Wilson to the other members of Kaiser Chiefs, who were at that point known as Runston Parva.


And perhaps most impressively of all in the rock history stakes... the legendary Refectory or 'Refec' venue at Leeds University - still the biggest venue in town I think is where The Who recorded Live in Leeds - one of the seminal live albums.


How'd you like them apples Reading?


Reading in comparison I think suffers from being a bit too near London - it doesn't have any really iconic venues.


The main places to see bands are South Street Arts, The Hexagon and the Concert Hall, none of which are likely to see any major bands recording live albums.


So, Reading might look on the ropes, but wait a minute! We should point out that the Reading leg of the festival has been going for a lot longer than its Leeds sibling and, get this - the Reading Festival is actually the longest running popular music festival in the world!!! Yes, you did read that right. Not Glastonbury, but Reading. The festival originated from the National Jazz Festival set up By Harold Pendleton, founder of the Marquee Club, in 1961 and has been based at Reading since 1971.


So, for that fact alone, I'll score it 1-0 Reading this round, putting the scores at 1-1.


Record Shops


Ok, clearly if a town is indie, it needs to have plenty of places to buy indie music. On this one, unfortunately for Reading, it's a walkover for Leeds.


Unless you count the Oxfam shop, the only decent independent record store Reading offers is The Sound Machine.


Leeds on the other hand, weighs in with such institutions as Jumbo Records, Crash Records and Relics Records.


All credible indie stores, so I'm afraid to say that round was a pasting for Reading and the scores now stand at 2-1 Leeds with one round left.


Cool Facts


My final criteria for judging the two towns is 'Cool Facts' quite simply a head to head on any interesting or quirky facts I managed to cull from Google.


So, 3 facts from each place...



Leeds invented cinema... Inventor and cinema pioneer Louis Aimé Augustin Le Prince shot the first ever motion picture "Crossing Leeds Bridge" in Leeds in 1888.


Leeds invented traffic lights... the first permanent set of fully automatic traffic lights was installed in Leeds in 1928.


Leeds invented M&S... Kirkgate Market in Leeds is where, in 1884, Michael Marks first opened his Penny Bazaar which was to lead to the foundation of Marks & Spencer, in 1890.




Reading apparently has 127 different spoken languages within its population, and therefore (for its population size) is unrivalled in the world with regards to number of languages spoken in one town


The roadside chain of restaurants Little Chef began in the town back in 1958. Its first branch was a small eleven-seater venue


And finally, Charles Dickens was asked to stand as MP for Reading, but declined.


Ok, none of those are particularly impressive, but out of sheer niceness and due to the fact that as an extra fact Ricky Gervais was born in Reading I'm going to score it 1-0 to Reading so we have a final score of 2-2.



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Jon Teamlaverne Jon Teamlaverne | 11:00 UK time, Thursday, 26 August 2010


What? You haven't heard of The Vaccines? Where have you been!? They're like, so hot right now...


Well, to be honest I hadn't heard of them either, but this lot are London's current buzz band and there's positive noises coming all the right places for them. Also, Jay Jay Pistolet is a member, as is the brother of Faris of The Horrors. Make up your own minds:


The Vaccines - If You Wanna



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Jon Teamlaverne Jon Teamlaverne | 11:00 UK time, Wednesday, 25 August 2010


Today's MPFree makes for a pretty good Headphones moment too - so make sure you get the cans on early.


The song is one any regular 6 Music listener will know as it comes from Broken Social Scene; it's the current single in fact. Difference is, this is the Skeet Skeet remix of All To All. This is the third week in a row that the BSS folk have made available a remix of All To All, and there's more on the horizon.


Broken Social Scene - All To All (Skeet Skeet Remix)



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Jon Teamlaverne Jon Teamlaverne | 11:00 UK time, Tuesday, 24 August 2010


Today's MPFree comes from friend of the show James Yuill. Dan Lissvik has got his hands on the track First In Line and done a number on it; made it all a bit balearic.


First In Line originally appears on Yuill's latest album Movement In A Storm which was released back in June.


James Yuill - First In Line (Lissvik remix)



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Jon Teamlaverne Jon Teamlaverne | 11:23 UK time, Monday, 23 August 2010


It's a big MPFree to start the week from Simian Mobile Disco. This is a new track from the duo and will feature on their first US released mix which is in association with New York's Fixed parties.


The mix is released in October, but here's the track for free, right now!


Simian Mobile Disco - Nerve Salad



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Jon Teamlaverne Jon Teamlaverne | 12:01 UK time, Friday, 20 August 2010


There's some of TeamLaverne's favourite artists from this year on this week's Mpfree. Lucky us and Lucky you!


You're final track this week comes from Fever Ray. It's a cover of Peter Gabriel's Mercy Street done in a very Fever Ray way. It will be given a proper release on Rabid Records later this year, but why not get it for free now?


The artwork to accompany the five tracks this week comes from Nik Cannon. Lauren asked for photos inspired by 'waiting' as lots of you were waiting on A'level results and other such things (like babies) yesterday.


This is Nik waiting for a tube (technically Nik, you should be behind the yellow line - listen to the loud speaker person).




Your tracks this week are:

Gold Panda - Snow & Taxis

No Age - Glitter

Silver Columns - Always On (Caribou Remix)

Manic Street Preachers - I'm Leaving You For Solitude

Fever Ray - Mercy Street


Some of the above free downloads are only posted for a limited amount of time; therefore not all may be available.



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Jon Teamlaverne Jon Teamlaverne | 11:45 UK time, Friday, 20 August 2010


This week's space cadet is Gregor of Twickenham; our second ever WOW Signaller. In his message he introduced our intergalactic neighbours to Douglas Adams, space dating and asked one of the big unanswered questions.


To show we come in peace, Gregor also sent out a rather fine record by Orbital featuring a young Alison Goldfrapp. The stars will surely be welcoming us with open arms. If you missed it, listen now:



Would you like to send a message and a song into space? Email Lauren the track which you believe is the best example of humanity, and what your message would be.


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Jon Teamlaverne Jon Teamlaverne | 08:30 UK time, Friday, 20 August 2010


This week's Memory Tapes could easily be a People's Playlist; Confused? Read on...


This week's comes from Stewart Tolhurst who writes...


"For the last few years I've been in an internet forum that swaps mix-CDs. Back in 2005 I did a crime and punishment themed mix: Strangeways Here We Come (Songs About Crime & Punishment)...


"This was probably my favourite of the mixes I've done for the group over the years and it went down very well with the Americans that received it as a lot of it was new to them.


"Sadly the mix club is winding down now. It's a shame as I always used to love listening to the CDs I was sent and there would usually be at least one gem I'd never heard before and there are many bands I have fallen in love with due to those little silver discs of joy..."


It comes with some pretty cool artworK:




And here's the tracks...


1. Morrissey - The Last of the Famous International Playboys

2. Fun Lovin' Criminals - The Fun Lovin' Criminal

3. The Velvet Underground - I'm Waiting for the Man

4. Pulp - Sorted for E's & Wizz

5. Supergrass - Caught by the Fuzz

6. The Pixies - Cactus

7. UNKLE - Eye for an Eye

8. Ben Watt featuring Estelle - Pop a Cap in Yo' Ass

9. The Smiths - Shoplifters of the World Unite

10. Pet Shop Boys - Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money) [original 12-inch mix]

11. New Order - Thieves Like Us

12. Gorillaz - Dirty Harry

13. Primal Scream - Jailbird

14. Kate Bush - There Goes a Tenner

15. The Zombies - Care of Cell 44

16. Kylie Minogue/Nick Cave - Where the Wild Roses Grows

17. The Smiths - Suffer Little Children


Inspired? Email Lauren your Memory Tape.



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Jon Teamlaverne Jon Teamlaverne | 14:39 UK time, Thursday, 19 August 2010


iPod Theatre


There's quite a few shows on the Fringe this year that are using iPods to give you an interesting theatrical experience - some of them even actually make you become one of the actors (not as scary as it sounds!)


Suspicious Package at C Too venue. There are shows throughout the day. You get to take part in a Film Noir - solving a crime around the streets of Edinburgh. It's surprisingly good fun.


En Route at the Traverse Theatre. Using an iPod and texts to your phone it takes you on a magical mystery tour of the city accompanied by music from Edinburgh-based musicians and a quite poetic narrative.


The Bench organised by the Forest Cafe - you and a stranger sit on a bench and have a conversation based on what the iPod tells you to say. It's strange, absurd, intimate and very memorable.


Check out all shows here.


And see my piece about iPod Theatre on The Culture Show tonight on BBC 2.


Bo Burnham


A 19 year old American musical comedy sensation, Bo Burnham has 60 million (!) Youtube hits and is signed up to do a film with Judd Apatow. His first Youtube video 'My Whole Family Thinks I'm Gay' racked up a million hits overnight. The buzz around him is incredible and it looks like he could well be winning an award this year. Fiercely intelligent too for a 19 year old.


Book now as the run is selling out. He's on at Pleasance Dome at 9.35pm.


Festival on a Budget


The Free Fringe and the Five Pound Fringe, even the International Festival is offering reduced tickets - this is a recession friendly festival.


If you're in Edinburgh, check out some of the Free Fringe shows, including stuff by the very talented Robin Ince.


And experiment with some shows you might not have heard of on the 5 Pound Fringe. There's loads of good stuff - Henry Paker in particular is getting quite a bit of buzz and Steve Pretty's Origin of the Pieces is very funny. Andrew O'Neill the 'occult comedian' is always worth checking out too.


And finally... a few Award tips


What used to be the Perrier Award is now the Fosters Edinburgh Comedy Award. It still counts big up here and sells a lot of tickets ever year you come back after winning.


I spoke to a critic friend of mine and he slipped me a few guesses about who might be on the award list next week.


So, there's good buzz around...


Bo Burnham - the rave reviews everywhere cannot be ignored, Newcomer or main award is the question...


Greg Davies - first solo stand up show from the big one out of BBC 3's We Are Klang, kind of like a giant Rick Mayall. He is very very funny. He's eligible for main award despite having done lots of Klang shows up there as this is his first by himself.


Sarah Millican - the South Shields comedian who won Best Newcomer in 2008 and is now a tip for the main award.


And Doc Brown - rapper turned comedian could be a good bet for best newcomer.


Could Kevin Eldon (off of Big Train,etc) - doing his first solo fringe show - be in with a shout?


There's always some surprises though so don't take my word for it!



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Jon Teamlaverne Jon Teamlaverne | 14:29 UK time, Thursday, 19 August 2010


I may still be in Edinburgh, but for this week's Indie Travel Guide we're venturing out on a whistle-stop tour to explore some of the indie stuff happening around the Scotland islands.


The Scottish Islands - the land that Indie forgot?


I saw the Orkney Islands referred to in an NME review as 'the land that indie forgot' - very unfair I'm sure - but there are very few bands who will extend their tour to take in the more remote parts of Scotland, and, as it's a long old hike to Glasgow, a lot of people living on the islands might grow up seeing very few if any indie gigs. The Bees did play on Orkney a few years back and Echo and the Bunnymen once did a tour of the Outer Hebridies - the route map of the tour was in the shape of a rabbit's head on the insistence of their then manager Bill Drummond (off of the KLF).


It'd be nice to see a few more bands straying up this way though - it's beautiful and you've got people hungry for indie not jaded by band overload like in a lot of UK cities.


The Hebridies


The Hebridies are off the west coast of Scotland and are divided into two groups - Inner Hebridies and Outer Hebridies.


The Hebridies are where they filmed the reality TV series Castaway and it's also where the classic Film Whisky Galore was filmed. It's pretty darn remote.


The islands biggest claim to indie fame perhaps is that the band Stornoway are named after a town on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Henbridies. They actually played a gig there earlier this year. It isn't the most rock n roll place. The Sunday Sabbath day is still very much observed. Until last summer there were no ferry services to or from the island on Sundays, there are no Sunday newspapers and all the shops are shut.


There is a big Celtic music festival on the Isle of Lewis every July. Runrig headlined this year. They have some fairly well known bands and singers - Imelda May, Afro Celt Sound System...


Orkney Islands - Fun for 'Ferry Loupers'...


There are 70 islands, of which 20 are occupied. There are various ferries going across. You can take the ferry from Aberdeen to Kirkwall, the largest town on the largest island - which is known by locals as 'the mainland' - not to be confused with Scotland which is 'Scotland'.


If you live on the island, you're an Orcadian, which sounds quite brilliantly like something from Lord of the Rings. If you're just visiting, you're a 'ferry louper'.


There's only one record shop - Grooves. I don't think it's got the hugest range but they will order things in.


Of course, Orkney, so cruelly labelled by NME, now has its own certifiable indie hero - Erland Cooper from Erland and the Carnival.


A club called Fusion is the main place to go out. It's in Kirkwall. Bands play here - it's where the Bees came when they played a few years back.


Shetland Islands - Viking traditions...


To the North East of Orkney lie the Shetland Islands, another archipelago. Both Orkney and Shetland have had a big Scandinavian influence over the centuries as the islands changed hands between the Norwegians and the Scots. Traditional music here is a mixture of ancient Norwegian folk music and Scots jigs. You'll still find traditional music alive and well on all the islands and you'll hear it more than Indie.


This tradition of Norse culture comes brilliantly to life in the winter with the Up Helly Aa festivals where people dress up as Vikings and burn a replica long ship.


You can see the Up Helly Aa festival in Lerwick, the main town in Shetland on the last Tuesday of January every year.It looks great, there's a torchlit procession, the burning of the ship and then dancing and drinking all night.


The Shetland Islands see a few more Indie gigs than some of the other remote places in Scotland. Over the years they've had the likes of Pulp, Ian Brown, Franz Ferdinand and even, back in the day, the Smiths.


The Faroe Islands - Scandis not Scots...


They're not Scottish of course, indeed, they are officially Danish, but they're close enough to include in this guide. Perhaps most famous for being that football team that everybody always beats by lots of goals in qualifying matches, their entire population wouldn't fill most Premier League stadiums but the Faroes do actually have a burgeoning music scene.


Boys In a Band - a local indie band won the Global Battle of the Bands, pocketed $100,000 and then did 24 gigs in 24 hours around the islands, they describe their music as 'Bob Dylan on amphetamine' and their influences as "Dylan, White Stripes and Boris Yeltsin".


Teitur Lassen, a singer songwriter, is probably the best known singer to come out of the Faroes. He's had a fair bit of international recognition and has toured around Europe and the States.


I read an interview with a Faroese singer songwriter, where he was saying that they have a microcosm of the music business on the Faroes - they have the music community, the gigs, the radio stations, the press, the festivals and the audience but because it's all happening in a country of 48,000 people, it's all much more intimate. So, he was saying, if you did a tuba album in your toilet it would probably get reviewed in the national newspaper.


And, the Faroes do have their own music festival, which sounds great. The G! Festival is held every year in the tiny fishing village of Gøta. It's so popular now that one fifth of the Faroe Islands population go there and it's started attracting people from overseas. If you're a festival aficionado in search of a new experience, this could be it.


Expect the sea as a backdrop, turf roof houses all about, seagulls overhead. A DJ stage in a burned out fish-drying shack, a backstage area in a 19th century schooner and near 24 hour sunlight. And, if you fancy it you can nip in to one of the saunas on the beach.


The acts are a mix of the growing local music scene and bands from other Scandinavian countries.


Unfortunately, you've missed it for this year as it's in July, but why not investigate it for 2011.



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Jon Teamlaverne Jon Teamlaverne | 11:00 UK time, Thursday, 19 August 2010


You really don't need me to tell you anything about today's MPFreers. It's the Manics.


The song is a teaser of the forthcoming album Postcards From A Young Man which is released on 20th September. This song doesn't appear on the new album, so get it now for free while you can.


Manic Street Preachers - I'm Leaving You For Solitude



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Jon Teamlaverne Jon Teamlaverne | 11:00 UK time, Wednesday, 18 August 2010


You love a song, you play it a lot, and then some bright spark decides to give it away for free. Ain't life grand!?


Lauren's played Caribou's remix of Silver Columns' 'Always On' a few times, and now you can get your hands on it ahead of its release on 13th September.


This track comes from the album Yes, and Dance and is available here:


Silver Columns - Always On (Caribou Remix)



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Jon Teamlaverne Jon Teamlaverne | 11:00 UK time, Tuesday, 17 August 2010


Today's MPFree comes from another band who've featured on the show in the past. Glitter comes from No Age's soon-to-be-released album Everything In Between.


Glitter will be the lead single available from 23rd August with the album out late September. The band are heading to the UK & Ireland in October for a 10 date tour in support of the record.


No Age - Glitter



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Jon Teamlaverne Jon Teamlaverne | 11:00 UK time, Monday, 16 August 2010


I think I speak for us all when I say today's MPFree is MASSIVE! Snow and Taxis by Gold Panda could easily be a Headphones Moment such is its tinkliness (is that a word?)


This is a taster from the debut full length album Lucky Shiner which is released in October. Or, if you have tickets to Green Man Festival this weekend then you can see Gold Panda in action there.


Gold Panda - Snow & Taxis



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Jon Teamlaverne Jon Teamlaverne | 12:25 UK time, Friday, 13 August 2010


Ladies and gentlemen, we really are floating in space; audio-wise at least...


Today (Friday 13th Aug) is a big day; our inaugural WOW Signal is now heading for Upsilon Andromedae.


When TeamLaverne was looking for a song to send out into the cosmos, we asked the audience 'which song best represents humanity?' - the most suggested track was Do You Realize??? by The Flaming Lips. We agreed, and thought it only fitting that Wayne Coyne of The 'Lips delievered the first message.


Luckily for us Wayne agreed, and if you missed the show, you can listen here:



Would you like to send a message and a song into space? Email Lauren the track which you believe is the best example of humanity, and what your message would be.


A screen shot from the computer that controls the radio telescope's dish direction, snapped during the transmission of our very first WOW signal to the stars.





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Jon Teamlaverne Jon Teamlaverne | 11:30 UK time, Friday, 13 August 2010


It's the usual collection of future classics on the MPFree EP today. Another great week for music and a triumph for free stuff. High fives all round...


The MPFree EP artwork is equally impressive. As it's Science Week on 6, Lauren asked you to conduct a simple experiement involving sunlight, a glass, refraction and a resulting rainbow. The lack of sun was a problem for the majority of the country, but bigbouquet on twitter got around this by using a lamp and a CD. I'm sure you'll agree, the results are rather pretty.


The final track for the EP comes from Paul Smith of Maximo Park


Anyways, here's your artwork:




And the tracks are:


Paul Smith - North Atlantic Drift

Bear In Heaven - Lovesick Teenagers

Silje Nes - The Card House

Ozomatli - 45 (Ultrasparx mix)

Antony & The Johnson - Thank You For Your Love


Some of the above free downloads are only posted for a limited amount of time; therefore not all may be available.



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Jon Teamlaverne Jon Teamlaverne | 17:15 UK time, Thursday, 12 August 2010




For the launch of the WOW Signal, Sir Patrick Moore has written a piece for Lauren's blog on the SETI (Search For Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) Institute. We are truly honoured.


Seti, Is It Worthwhile?


Most people - not all - believe that the Universe is teeming with life. After all, our Sun is a very ordinary star in a very ordinary galaxy, and the Earth is a very ordinary planet. There must be myriads of planets in the Milky Way alone, but one question remains unanswered; on a planet where life could appear, will it?


There are several points to borne in mind. First, there is no reason to be sure that all life-forms must be of the same kind as ours, wholly dependent upon carbon; there may be many forms so different that we could have great difficulty in recognising it. Secondly, life may occur in places intolerable to us, and we have already found living things in the most unlikely places, such as the thermal springs on the ocean-beds. And thirdly we do not know if primitive life will generally evolve into intelligent life, if its environment remains stable over a sufficiently long period. We can look here at our twin, Venus, which was presumably born at the same time as the Earth. Its initial condition may well have been Earth like, but when the Sun became more luminous Venus quickly changed from a welcoming world into the scorching desert of today.


Where should we search for intelligent life? I will confine myself here to life we can understand, because once we enter the realm of flying-saucers and "bug-eyed monsters" speculation becomes both endless and pointless. This means we can forget the Solar System, where only the Earth could support anything so advanced as an earwig. We must turn to other planetary systems, light-years away.


Visual methods have been suggested, but lasers have their limitations, and all in all it seems (to me, at least), that radio is the only hope. This is why SETI programmes have been organised, and it is true that with our 21st century equipment we could easily detect signals from a similarly equipped operator on, for example, a planet orbiting Epsilon Eridani, 11 light-years away. We could even exchange signals, though the finite speed of a radio-wave would make quick-fire repartee rather difficult; send your message to Epsilon Eridani in 2010 and the response would not arrive until 2032 even if the Eridanian was alert and replied immediately.


Any interstellar code must surely be based upon mathematics, because we did not invent mathematics; we merely discovered it, and any other advanced civilisation will do the same. Haphazard searches are a waste of time if success is ever achieved it must be by a SETI-type programme.


We may well ask why we are so keen to make contact. There are, however, some people who demur; claiming that far from making contact we should try to avoid it, and should do our best to conceal ourselves just in case we attract undesirable attention. It has been pointed out when relatively advanced beings encounter tribes of lesser development, the results are usually unpleasant (look at what happened to the Native Americans and Aborigines). To me this seems illogical, because races capable of interstellar travel would be genuinely intelligent, and would have long since abandoned warfare. They could no doubt teach us a great deal.


So what is the outlook? All I can do is give you my personal view. I believe that intelligent life is common, and that there are many races too advanced to destroy themselves, as we terrestrials are in danger of doing at the present time. If I am right, then SETI is of immense importance. It may bring success tomorrow, next month, next year, and we have to admit that contact will never be made. But the challenge is there and we must surely accept.


Who knows whether anyone out in the Universe will ever detect your 6 Music transmission, that's not really the point; it's the trying that counts! I wish you and the venture success, and of course, happy stargazing.

Patrick Moore



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Jon Teamlaverne Jon Teamlaverne | 17:10 UK time, Thursday, 12 August 2010


So, the first WOW Signal transmissions from Lauren's show will be aimed at 'Upsilon Andromedae'. Aimed at what now? Glad you asked... I'm also glad Paul Abel of The Sky At Night was on hand to help with the answer...


Upsilon Andromedae is a star 44 light years away from Earth. It was one of the first stars identified as having a system of planets. So far, astronomers have found three planets in the system which are called Upsilon Andromedae A, B and C.


Luckily for Planet C, it's located in the Star's 'habitable zone' - a zone defined by astronomers as the region around a star which can support human life (and liquid water). Now, Upsilon Andromedae C is a gas giant, but if it has moons and it's possible that liquid water and possibly life could exist there.


An Artist's Impression...


James Westerman has kindly giving us an impression of a moon in orbit around Upsilon Andromedae C.




Looks nice doesn't it?! If you fancied a weekend away there, or just wanted to pick the star out in the night sky, Pete Lawrence of the Sky At Night has given us instructions on how to find it:


"The best jump guide to Upsilon is to say look to the east or southeast after 21:30 BST and locate the really bright 'star' - that's the planet Jupiter. Above and right of Jupiter is a faint circle of stars which represents one of the fish in the constellation of Pisces the Fishes.


"Above that is a large square of stars known as the Great Square of Pegasus. Earlier on, the square may appear tilted over and more like a diamond than a square! Locate the bottom right star of the square (Markhab) and draw an imaginary line from it through the upper left star (Alpheratz). Keep going until you come to Mirach and then on to Almach.


"Roughly mid-way between Mirach and Almach is a faint triangle of stars. Upsilon is the upper-right star in this group. A pair of binoculars might help if your skies are light polluted!"


Here's a map, again created for us by Pete Lawrence:




As Sir Patrick Moore says, happy Stargazing!



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Jon Teamlaverne Jon Teamlaverne | 11:43 UK time, Thursday, 12 August 2010


So, the Edinburgh Festival... The 'festival' is actually a series of festivals. There's the International Festival which is more highbrow - theatre, opera, dance and classical music from around the world. There's the book festival, the film festival, the TV festival and then there's the Fringe. The Fringe is what most people think of when they think of the festival - it's dominated by comedy these days, but there's also a lot of theatre, dance and music spread out across the city at hundreds of venues throughout the day and night. The Fringe runs until August 30th.


If you're thinking of going, you'll want to get hold of a copy of the Fringe programme - as there's so much going on though it can be pretty daunting reading, so here's a few tips from me...


Musical Comedy...


There's been a big resurgence in musical comedy lately. What was once deemed quite naff has now, in the wake of the success of the Flight of the Conchords, become pretty hip. There's now a Musical Comedy Awards and there's a crop of people on the Fringe this year who are pushing the boundaries in interesting directions.


Already being talked up a lot are two rap related comedians Doc Brown and Abandoman. Doc is a rapper turned stand up who also happens to be Zadie Smith's brother. His show Unfamous is on at the Pleasance at 7pm every night. Abandoman are a duo from Ireland - a guitarist and a rapper who entirely improvise their show every night. Described as 'Flight of the Conchords meets 8 Mile', it's pretty brave but when I saw it, it really worked. They're on at Pleasance at 9.45pm.


Also worthy of a mention are Frisky and Mannish who stormed it last year and could well do again this year (Underbelly 9.00pm), Axis of Awesome - a band of musical comedians from Australia (Gilded Balloon Teviot 7.45pm) and Dead Cat Bounce - an Irish spoof rock band (Gilded Balloon Teviot 9.45pm).


And of course, you can see DJ Danny downstairs at The Tron at 10.20pm on the 11th and 12th August.


Musical comedians don't normally tend to win the main comedy award but this could be the year.




Theatre sometimes gets ignored at the Festival as all the publicity focuses on comedy. Sitting in the middle of the Venn diagram between comedy and theatre is Daniel Kitson, who's performing at the Traverse in his new show It's Always Right Now, Until It's Later, not quite stand up, more storytelling is what the former Perrier winner goes in for these days. It's on from Aug 12th, shockingly, it's at 10am - way before most people on the Fringe get up, indeed only a short time after most of them go to bed.


Very definitely theatrical is the world premiere of a production of Hemmingway's novel The Sun Also Rises, being performed by cool New York theatre ensemble Elevator Repair Service. It's on from 14th-17th August as part of the International Festival (Royal Lyceum Theatre 7.30pm) and also generating a bit of buzz if Beautiful Burnout at the Pleasance - a piece by physical theatre company Frantic Assembly all about boxing. Viseceral is the word apparently (Pleasance 7.30pm)




In honour of it being Science Week on 6Music, I thought I'd pick out some science based shows that caught my eye.


Quite a few of them also fall under the musical comedy banner. There's Baba Brinkman who is doing The Rap Guide to Evolution which was a big hit at the festival last year (Gilded Ballon Teviot 20th - 29th, not 23rd at 12.30pm). Darwin seems to be pretty popular for musical re-workings. Steve Pretty is doing a show called Origin of the Pieces - which is an exploration of the evolution of music from prehistoric flute to Jedward (GRV 2.40pm) and, on an indie tip, indie stalwart and favourite of Lamacq, MJ Hibbert from MJ Hibbert and the Validators is staging a two man rock opera called Dinosaur Planet that sounds good (GRV until 14th 12.00pm).


And finally, it's not science, but parascience - there's been a bit of psychic-based controversy - Assembly, one of the biggest venues are putting on a psychic medium called Joe Power (Assembly Hall 4pm).


Now, comedians are a fairly sceptical bunch and he was actually booed and heckled off stage at the press launch. And, coincidentally, over the over side of town, Tom Binns who created the award nominated Ivan Brackenbury Hospital Radio DJ character has a new character - Ian D Mountford, a medium from Sunderland (Pleasance 2.15pm). Apparently he's learned all the 'tricks' mediums used and is genuinely freaking people out. Interesting head to head - the 'real medium' versus the 'fake' one.


Find out more about the Fringe and about the international festival.



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Jon Teamlaverne Jon Teamlaverne | 11:05 UK time, Thursday, 12 August 2010


Scotland's capital is in the spotlight this month as it stages its annual arts festival - the biggest in the world. In Indie terms though it's always been a bit in the shadow of nearby Glasgow, which has a much stronger tradition in terms of the bands it has produced.


That doesn't mean you can't have a good indie night out here, apparently it's Mark E Smith's favourite city, and in terms of a town to hang out in - there aren't many more beautiful or atmospheric than Edinburgh.


The thing that will strike you first when you hit town is the huge mountain/hill that seems to sit slap bang in the middle of the city. This is Arthur's Seat (nothing to do with the Dudley Moore film or the Russell Brand remake), and it's the best place to get an overview of the place.


From here, you can see everything (it's not that big a city). Right in front of you is the Old Town, divided in the middle by the Royal Mile, a cobbled street that runs from the Castle to Holyrood Palace and the new Scottish Parliament, then, over on the other side of the main shopping street, Princes Street, you can see the New Town - grand Georgian houses built in the 18th century - and then, over by the sea, there's Leith, once deemed to be a bit rough but now full of trendy bars and restaurants.


It's all very walkable - just one word of warning - there's a lot of hills in Edinburgh. Sometimes it feels like you are always going uphill. I saw a Tweet from Jason Manford the other day that said he felt like he was in one of those MC Esher paintings, where somehow impossibly you keep going up and up and up...


To Festival or Not to Festival, that is the question...


A lot of people try to time their visit to Edinburgh to coincide with the festival. Edinburgh transforms during August - I think the population triples in size or something like that. Every available space becomes a venue, numbered from 1 to 389!


The hub of it all during the day and early evening is the Pleasance (Venue 33) - a collection of performance spaces surrounding a cobbled courtyard. It's basically the place to see comedy. Most of the best shows are here every year.


Bars stay open late in Edinburgh all year round, but during the festival it really does get to be about as close to a 24 hour city as the UK does. Most bars stay open till at least 3am if not later. Some stay open till 5 or 6am.


So, if you're going for a tear up timing your visit for during the festival is a good idea. If you've ever been there in August then Edinburgh outside of festival season feels very quiet in comparison. The downside though is that Edinburgh in August is rammed and prices are massively hiked for everything from taxis to drinks to accommodation. If you can find a place to stay, it's likely to be pricey if not extortionate. Booking well in advance is highly recommended. Some people end up camping out of town and getting the bus in.


Pubs and Bars...


There's some cracking boozers in Edinburgh. One of my big tips would be The Brass Monkey (14 Drummond Street). It's very near the Pleasance so perfect for a pre or post show pint. It's a nice pub but what make it really special is that the whole of the back room is one giant bed that you can sprawl on. It's plastered in old film posters and they have a big screen there and show films everyday from 3pm.


Another place is The City Cafe (19 Blair Street). It's an American style diner with pool tables. It's open all day so it's quite a good place to eat during the day and drink in the evening. You'll see a fair few Indie kids in there. Apparently it was once a hangout spot of Irvine Welsh.


And if you really want to get yourself in trouble, try the Penny Black (17 West Register Street). It opens at 6am, so it's the perfect place to carry on after everywhere else shuts. I think it's for people on night shifts but it gets a lot of use from festival goers. Saw a quote on an Edinburgh pub website that said "If you want to drink beer whilst watching breakfast television, this is the place to do it." Go once for the experience, any more often and you may well need help...


Where to buy your tunes...


The best known record shop in Edinburgh is Avalanche (63 Cockburn Street). They specialise in Scottish Indie, have a good stash of vinyl and were nominated for 'Music Retail Store of the Year' in the 2010 Music Week Awards. They also have gigs in-store.


There's also a good second hand record shop (lots of vinyl) called Unknown Pleasures on the Royal Mile.


And check out Vinyl Villains (Elm Row, Leith). On their website, their owner states that the reason they have survived since 1983 is that "there are still a huge number of like-minded people out there, with discerning music taste, who refuse to be brainwashed into accepting the regurgitated gunge that passes for culture today." Apparently it was name-checked in the Proclaimers musical Sunshine on Leith. Have to admit I didn't even know there was a Proclaimers musical.


And speaking of Leith...


Don't miss out on a trip to Leith. I'd been going to the festival for years before I finally made it over to this side of town. It's great.


It used to be really rough - the derelict train station there gave Irvine Welsh the name for his novel Trainspotting. There are some quality pubs - and some really nice restaurants. And The Shore, the street overlooking the water has a nice, seaside feel.


Try Malt and Hops (45, The Shore) Good real ales, some fine whiskies and cask conditioned cider (not to be tried lightly I hear).


Or, also on The Shore, the King's Wark, who do very good food.


Restaurant-wise, Fisher's Bistro does great fish and seafood, caught fresh.


A night of Indie dancing...


The Liquid Room (9c Victoria Street) is well known for good club nights and gigs. It's only just reopened this month after being closed since 2008 due to a big fire. Fyfe Dangerfield played at the opening launch party last week and it's hosting loads of stuff during the Festival.


I've heard quite a few of the best indie nights out are at the Student Union, organized by the University's Indie Society - Indie Soc. They promote gigs and club nights at The Wee Red Bar at Edinburgh College of Art (Lauriston Place). I think non-students are generally fine to get in, though they may sometimes be strict. Good night out though apparently.


Probably the finest Indie night in Edinburgh though is The Egg, every Saturday at The Wee Red Bar. It's only a quid to get in before 11.30 and £3 after. It's an Edinburgh Indie-stitution.


Indie Fringe


If you do make it up this month, the Fringe isn't just comedy and theatre, there are some really good bands on. What used to be called T on the Fringe has now become The Edge Festival. They're using a few different venues including the Corn Exchange where Dizzee Rascal is performing on Aug 26th, The Liquid Room - a bit of an Edinburgh institution that burnt down last year but is now back up and running - and the HMV Picture House, an old cinema, that's playing hosts to gigs from Eels (25th), The Coral (26th),Modest Mouse (29th), The Low Anthem (30th) and Phoenix (28th) amongst others.



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Jon Teamlaverne Jon Teamlaverne | 11:00 UK time, Thursday, 12 August 2010


The penultimate MPFree this week comes from a TeamLaverne favourite and is part of a free compilation EP.


Leeds label Dance To The Radio will once again be taking over the BBC Introducing stage for the Thursday night at Leeds Festival. To celebrate, they're giving an EP of bands set to perform on the stage.


Songs come from The Neat and Get Cape, Wear Cape, Fly - but we've gone for....


Bear In Heaven - Lovesick Teenagers



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Jon Teamlaverne Jon Teamlaverne | 16:44 UK time, Wednesday, 11 August 2010


We're back on more familiar teritory with Memory Tapes this week. Last Friday it was all about groups of friends getting together to share music; this week we're back to boys falling in love with girls.


Sophia in Manchester writes...


"I'd love if you could play some tracks from this mix that a boyfriend made for me a few years ago. I moved back to the UK to go to Leeds Uni from the US where I had spent most of my formative years, as a consequence my musical knowledge was patchy, to put it nicely (I still thought Take That were cool, as when I left in 1997 they most certainly were).


"The boyfriend that I swifty acquired in my first year, Anton, was a bit of a musical boffin and introduced me to some really great music, and I introduced him to the Smashing Pumpkins, still one of my favourite bands. Although we're no longer together I've got to give him a lot credit for shaping my current music tastes, he knew his stuff! This particular CD, the second one he made for me, was for our 6 month anniversary.


"The track listing, which is a bit hard to read, is written on a Vanity Fair article about Lindsay Lohan, randomly. We both saw Neil Young at glasto last year, which was one of the highlights of 2009 for me, and this year I got to see Ray Davis, who was just fantastic, I know Anton would have loved it!"


The CD looks like this:




And the tracks are:


Victoria - The Kinks

Alright - Jamiroquai

Goin up the Country - Canned Heat

Believe - Smashing Pumpkins

Peg - Steely Dan

Vivrant thing - A Tribe Called Quest

Wont Get Fooled Again - The Who

Oxygen - Willy Mason

Mr N***a - Mos Def

Nothing in This World - The Kinks

Lonley - Tom Waites

Never Be Alone - Simian

Old Man - Neil Young


Would you like to send Lauren your Memory Tape? Don't delay, do it today!



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Jon Teamlaverne Jon Teamlaverne | 11:00 UK time, Wednesday, 11 August 2010


Silje Nes is new to TeamLaverne, but not new to the world.


Opticks, which is released in September, is the fourth album from the Norwegian multi-instrumentalist. Lauren gave you a first taste from the album as a Headphone Moment last week, and here's your second, which is just as beautiful.


Silje Nes - The Card House



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Jon Teamlaverne Jon Teamlaverne | 11:00 UK time, Tuesday, 10 August 2010


Your MPFree today is a London take on some LA fusion.


Ozomatli have been doing their hip hop/jazz/funk thang for 15 years now. Their latest album Fire Away was released in April and today's MPFree is a remix of one of those tracks.


Ultrasparx are the London duo behind the remix, and it's rather fine.


Ozomatli - 45 (Ultrasparx Remix)



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Jon Teamlaverne Jon Teamlaverne | 11:00 UK time, Monday, 9 August 2010


Today's MPFree is a taster of new material from Antony & The Johnsons.


'Thank You For The Love' will appear on both the new album 'Swanlights', and on a EP - both of which are due for release in October.


This is the title track from the EP which will be accompanied by four other songs. Enjoy.


Antony & The Johnsons - Thank You For The Love



Jon Teamlaverne Jon Teamlaverne | 08:21 UK time, Monday, 9 August 2010


Science is important to Teamlaverne, and now Teamlaverne wants you to be important to science....maybe.


A Brief History Of Wow


In on the 15th August 1977 Dr. Jerry R. Ehman detected a narrowband radio signal whilst working at The Big Ear radio telescope of Ohio State University. The signal lasted for 72 seconds and was never detected again. The origin of the signal is debated but there were expected hallmarks of potential non-terrestrial and non-solar system origin.


Skocked by the read out on the paper chart, Dr Ehman circled it and wrote 'wow' next to it, hence the name.


Where You Come In


So, here's how TeamLaverne's wow signal will work. Rather than recieving signals, this is all about sending them; or rather you sending them.


We want you to pick a song that, in your opinion, best represents humanity. That song, along with your message will be sent via a radio telescope to a point outside the solar system to be discovered by....who knows?


This is your opportunity to talk to the stars, potentially make first contact, and introduce us to our neighbours (universally speaking).


Email Lauren your suggestion for a track and an outline of what your message would be, and your voice could be on its way in to outer space and beyond



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Jon Teamlaverne Jon Teamlaverne | 09:00 UK time, Friday, 6 August 2010


Today's Memory Tape is an ongoing tale of friendship and a love of music...


What's more, it comes all the way from Stockholm; from the keyboard of Nina Blom to be precise, who writes...


"This is my mixtape story and it is five years long and still going. In April 2005 four girlfriends invited me to join their group to do 'Record of the Month'. The way we do it is we choose three songs each that are our favourites that month and we put it together to a record, we also take turns doing the artwork.


"When it is complete we meet for a release party and listen to the record together, we also eat, drink and chat of course and it has been a great way of keeping in touch. This spring we celebrated our fifth anniversary with a party and we all had to select five songs from our records that were extra special to us, later in the night it turned into a game of randomly choosing a record and telling another person to play something from that record, as we have 5 years x 11 records/year x 15 songs, there are 825 songs to choose from!


"When we started doing this it was so perfect for me as I had lost touch with current pop music and this forced me to find new music to listen to, and during our years together I have found so much great new (and some old) music through my friends that I surely wouldn't have discovered otherwise."


You're right reader, that is a great idea!


So, this gives TeamLaverne five years worth of CDs to pick from. View all the tracks and the artwork from Nina & Co.


Make sure you tune in to the show on 6th August to hear which five tracks are selected.


Inspired? Why not email Lauren your Memory Tape.



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Jon Teamlaverne Jon Teamlaverne | 11:00 UK time, Thursday, 5 August 2010


This week's MPFree EP is a right old mixed bag; from the sublime beauty of S.Carey on Monday to the Dancehalls of Toronto on Wednesday. You certainly can't say the MPFree EP is predictable; and neither is the MPFree EP artwork. Following the rather fabulous news that the 6 Music audience has doubled over the last 12 months, Lauren asked for photos of things that've doubled - the rest was up to you.


We got a lot of photos of oversized fruit (always a joy) and fat animals. The photo we've gone for though isn't a fat animal, he's simply doubled in size from when he was a puppy. Obviously, that's pretty common, but we picked it purely on the basis that Otis (that's his name) is looking wistfully out of the window. Wistful pets will always get picked; that's just how we roll.


Finally, to the business of today's MPFree - it's from another band Lauren played last week. Jaill are from Milwaukee and this track, 'The Stroller' comes from the album That's How We Burn.




Your tracks this week are:

S.Carey - In The Dirt

Abe Vigoda - Throwing Shade

Bonjay - Stumble

Magic Kids - Superball

Jaill - The Stroller


Some of the above free downloads are only posted for a limited amount of time; therefore not all may be available.



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Jon Teamlaverne Jon Teamlaverne | 11:00 UK time, Thursday, 5 August 2010


Magic Kids entered our lives last week with the arrival of the debut single. We liked it; we played it.


Now, a week later, they're back banging on the door of TeamLaverne in the shape of a MPFree. They're welcome house guests though.


This track is from their debut album 'Memphis' which is out on the 24th August - we're excited about it; you should be too.


Magic Kids - Superball



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Jon Teamlaverne Jon Teamlaverne | 09:44 UK time, Thursday, 5 August 2010


Zoo Lates


London Zoo is throwing open its doors every Friday night in August for a late night rave up amongst the animals.


There are some who would say that alcohol and wild animals don't mix but they're wrong and Zoo Lates is out to prove it. You can wander round the Zoo until 10pm sipping on cocktails and meeting the 720 different species who live there and, best of all, you get to boogie.


But how do you play banging choons without causing a stampede of frightened beasties? Easy, you have a Silent Disco. The festival favourite will be on hand with headphones to create a very animal-friendly club night.


And there's a barbecue. And live demonstrations of the animals. Hopefully these two events aren't connected.


It's £16.20 per person. The first one on Friday 6th is now sold out so if you fancy it, get booking for the three remaining Fridays!


Musical Movies in Stockton on Tees


The Georgian Theatre in Stockton on Tees, up in the North East is a venue that hosts a lot of good bands, and on Sundays this month they're also showing a season of films inspired by bands.


On Sunday 8th, they've got Julien Temple's documentary Glastonbury, charting the history of the festival - perfect if you didn't make it this year or did and are already feeling nostalgic.


On Sunday 14th, it's the ultimate musical mockumentary, the piece of comedy I would most like to have made: Spinal Tap.


And on the 22nd, it's Sam Taylor-Wood's John Lennon biopic Nowhere Boy.


And you get to watch the films in a 'comfy cabaret layout' apparently, with sofas and you can have a proper drink and a snack while you watch. And it's only £4.50 to get in.


Ilfracombe Birdman - Sunday 8th August


From animals to human birds. You know those early black and white films you see of people trying to fly by chucking themselves off high things with homemade wings attached? You know how it looks funny but dangerous? Well, this is a whole day devoted to people doing just that.


The 'birdmen' (and presumably birdwomen) are modern day Icaruses who chuck themselves of the pier in Ilfracombe in Devon in a bid to be the one who flies the furthest. Being a pier, they have the sea to fall into so no one gets badly injured. It still looks quite high though.


Some of the flying inventions on display are quite ingenious, others are just very comic. It's a fitting testament to the human desire to fail spectacularly.


It runs from 11am till 8pm and, as well as the kamikaze antics, there's a stage with bands. And guess what, The Wurzels are playing. Yes, The Wurzels. Now you're interested...



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Jon Teamlaverne Jon Teamlaverne | 09:23 UK time, Thursday, 5 August 2010


Have you noticed cycling is the coolest thing in the world right now?


It ticks both environmentally-friendly and recession-friendly boxes and is surely the ultimate indie way to get about.


Top Shop even stock a range for ladies cyclists now, made by trendy East London designers Cyclodelic.


And for cool one off cycke jerseys designed by artists check out Milltag.


And with loads of cycle cafes opening up and trendy cycling blogs, this truly is the year of the bike.


London - City of Cycles....


Part of the reason there's been so much attention on cycling recently is because this month London has officially gone bike-friendly. The mayor, Boris Johnson, is of course a keen cyclist and July saw the opening of two of his schemes - a major cycle hire scheme across the city and first of the 'cycle super highways'.


If you haven't seen the hire bikes yet, here's a pic.


They're not very cool, which I guess is good as it means they won't get nicked. They're aimed at people doing short journeys - the first half an hour is free. Up to an hour is £1 but the longer you have it, the steeper the charges get - 6 hours is £35 and 24 hours is £50, so if you wanted a bike for a day or two you'd be better off going to a company that hires them out or even buying one.


The Cycle Super Highways have had slightly mixed reviews so far. Only 2 of the planned 12 opened this month - Barking to Tower Gateway and Merton to City. They're blue lanes painted on the road that, in theory, cars can't go in but at the moment as they're not city-wide London still doesn't have that feeling that a lot of other European cities have that cyclists can go anywhere safely.


Still, it's the first time in this country that cyclists have been thought of as something to be helped and not just tolerated.


There's also a new book out called Where to Ride - London by Nick Woodford, which gives lots of good tips for cycle routes.


One Nation on a Bike...


It's not just London that's getting on its bike. Manchester has the Love Your Bike initiative.


They organise a communal bike ride on the last Friday of every month.


A lot of cities are getting more cycle conscious now. It'll be interesting to see if it leads to better cycle paths across the UK.


Cycle Protests...


Some people get quite militant about cyclists rights.


In June there was the World Naked Bike Ride in 9 cities across the UK - there'll be another one next year in case you missed it!


If you like the idea of a mass protest ride, Crictical Mass also organise one on the last Friday of every month in London where they jam the streets with bikes to slow cars down.


Cycle Cafe Culture


Cycle Cafes are cafes you can actually take your bike into that often have bike shops or repair centres attached. This is a really new trend. I think the first one in London only opened in 2008. They're inspired by the sort of places you can find in Copenhagen and Amsterdam where you can have a coffee or a beer whilst you get your bike fixed or just eat lunch without worrying if your bike is safe outside.


With all the bike buzz in London, there's been quite a few springing up in the capital lately - perhaps it's no surprise they are almost all around the uber-cool East London area.


Look Mum No Hands! Is the new trendiest place in trendy Shoreditch. It only opened in April but it's already really popular. It's got bike-lock-friendly plant pots on the pavement, a cafe and fully licensed bar and a bike workshop it the back. When the Tour De France was on, they were showing it on big screens. They do a nice line in caps for kids that say 'Look Mum No Hands!' too.


Trendy cycle gear manufacturer Rapha have opened up pop up stores in both London and New York - which also have cafes and yes, they show cycling on the telly too. The London one is on Clerkenwell Road.


Other London Cycle Cafes to check out:


CycleLab workshop and juice bar, on Pitfield Street in Islington.


Lock 7 on Broadway Market in Hackney (one of the first cycle cafes in London).


And cool Japanese bike company Tokyobike have just opened a pop up store in Spitalfield Market with a permanent store and cafe to come.


Bristol has had its own cycle cafe for a lot longer than London. The Mud Dock Cafe is a bike shop with a very good cafe attached right by the river next to the Thekla - Bristol's nightclub on a boat.


And for cyclists attempting a less urban more ambitious ride, Penrith have the less trendy but very nice looking Greystoke Cycle Cafe.


Getting involved...


If you're a beginner and are wondering what's what in the world of cycling, you could do worse than checking out the Guardian's Bike Podcast.


There's also loads of cycle blogs. www.copenhagenize.com is the most famous one, but there's loads of British ones too, like I Bike London.


There's a quite a few devoted to cycle fashion - how to look good whilst on a bike, such as https://londoncyclechic.blogspot.com/ and https://ridingpretty.blogspot.com/ which features some very fetching photos of a burberry bike tool kit carrier...


There's a list of the Top 50 from around the world here


Reading the blogs you start to get a grip on some of the trends and issues within the cycle community. Things like single speed bikes (no gears) very trendy right now and electric bikes (a new phenomenon on the market).


Also, there seems to be a sub-culture devoted to helmet-less cycling - the bike equivalent of going commando.


www.bikeradar.com is also a good source of info.


Bike Holidays


If you find you enjoy cycling so much you actually want to do it on holiday too, check out Skedaddle who run cool cycling trips abroad. They go everywhere - Europe, Asia, Africa, South America.


It's quite nice to have a clear route and a set challenge with a cycle holiday. In the UK, a lot of people do the C2C or Coast to Coast - you can follow the route of Hadrian's Wall if you like.


Holland Bike and Barge sounds like a pretty cool option - no hills there either. And there are some quite exciting options such as Cuba and Japan - where you finish cycling on a volcanic island. Of course, it's a great way to see a country, you can stop whenever you want, you really meet people and you're totally open to all the smells, sounds and sensations (and rain of course!)


If you'd rather be a free spirit, you can of course organise your own trip but it's worth making sure you really know the routes you're going to take so you take the scenic route and don't end up going down a motorway.


Travelling around Europe you could combine train and bike for the ultimate green holiday.



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Jon Teamlaverne Jon Teamlaverne | 11:00 UK time, Wednesday, 4 August 2010


Today's MPFree is a corker! We've got a bit of dancehall for you; all the way from the home of dancehall - that's right... Toronto!


Bonjay are Alanna and Pho who's latest EP Broughtupsy is released in September. Expect more of the same, but for the time being, stick this in your ear:


Bonjay - Stumble



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Jon Teamlaverne Jon Teamlaverne | 11:00 UK time, Tuesday, 3 August 2010


With a new album on the horizon and UK dates lined up, we figured it was a fitting time to point you in the direction of some free music from Abe Vigoda.


The LA based four piece release the album Crush on 20th Sepetember; their third in total and second through Bella Union. Gigs in London and Brighton are booked in for October, and this song could easily soundtrack for summer until then. Get involved:


Abe Vigoda - Throwing Shade



Jon Teamlaverne Jon Teamlaverne | 13:24 UK time, Monday, 2 August 2010


As I'm sure you all know, the Edinburgh Fringe kicks off this week. There's a dizzying 2453 acts at this year's festival, so we've plucked a couple out for you which caught our interest...


If you'd like to add a couple of your own, then use the comments board beneath this post.





Group: 19.29

Venue: Zoo Roxy

Date: 9th to 12th August

Time: 16.30


This is a kind of treasure hunt which takes you across the city where you "search for the door, escape with the bride and reach for something unreachable. Follow the clues and do what we say if you want to escape. But remember, there are choices, there are always choices."


Sounds good eh? Visit the group's website for more information.




Cabaret has grown this year at the Fringe with loads of shows taking place, two we picked out are:


The Crack

Venue: Assembly at Princes St Gardens

Date: through out August

Time: 21.20


This is high energy mash of variety, comic performances and stand up all woven together by Miss Behave (of the award winning La Clique).


Not one to take the kids to, but there are plenty of opportunities to book the babysitter.


Black Lantern Cabaret

Venue: Zoo Roxy

Date: 5-29 August

Time: 5.20pm


This cabaret is more music based and claims to 'redefine the late night cabaret for the twenty-first century'. As well as live music you'll also get spoken word, burlesque, break dancing and multimedia projections.


Live music-wise, expect everything from ska to hip hop to screamo. You'll definitely like something.




Arj Barker - Let Me Do The Talking:

Venue: Assembly Rooms

Date: 5 to 29 August

Time: 21.20


If you don't recognise the name then you should recoginse face. Arj Barker plays Bret & Jemaine's pawn shop owner Dave in Flight Of The Conchords.


He's bound to draw an audience on that role alone, plus Rhys Darby (Murray in Conchords) stormed it at last year's fringe, so the signs are good.





HMV Picture House - 22 August


I'm sure you're all aware of Zach Condon's Beirut, and if you are, then you should also be aware of how rare his UK appearances are. The only other dates on this short visit are in Eastbourne, Dublin and at The Green Man Festival. Should be special.



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Jon Teamlaverne Jon Teamlaverne | 09:48 UK time, Monday, 2 August 2010


Last week Lauren caused quite a storm with the Headphones Moment. It came from S. Carey who's in Bon Iver backing band and has a debut solo album out at the end of this month.


Loads of you got in touch asking where you could get material, and the answer is here! Yep, we've dug out one of his tracks as an MPFree - lucky old you. Enjoy.


S. Carey - In The Dirt


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