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 1   Pete Atkin / Words / Re: Clive in LegnanoNews  02.07.19 at 19:03 
Started by Kevin Cryan | Newest post by Kevin Cryan
I'd agree about the translation, but then I'm far from being the person to ask.
 
I take the translator to be Chiara Lazzati, the journalist who published the piece.  
 
I cannot find out of relevance about her other than she studied modern literature at The University of Milan (Italian: Università degli Studi di Milano ).
 
One of these days I may ask my friend Martha Cooley, who, with her husband Antonio Romani, does quite a bit of translation, to have a look. Just out in interest, you know.  
 
Kevin Cryan
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 2   Atkin admin / Tech / Uploading an avatar image  01.07.19 at 08:42 
Started by S J Birkill | Newest post by S J Birkill
"OK Guys" (imitates intro to a YouTube tutorial video, minus the jangly music)...
 
Our new user image upload functionality will work for your personal avatar images, the ones that show up under your name when you post to MV. Haven't got one? Shame on you!
 
Here's how:
To enable upload, you first need to act as if you're posting to MV. Don't worry — you'll not actually be posting anything. Log in to the Forum, open any message thread (this one will do), and find the "Reply" option near the right-hand end of the bottom blue bar:  
 

Clicking this will open the message composition window. Bottom right of this is the new "Upload an image" button, and top right is the button cluster with the new Upload arrow:
 

There's redundancy here: either control will open this Image Upload pane above the text entry box:
 

Click the "Choose File" button, and you'll see your computer's familiar file-selection window. Navigate to the location of the image file you wish to use, select it and click the "Open" button. Or double-click the file name — either will do. The selection window will close and you'll see that your selected filename has appeared in MV's Image Upload pane:  
 

Now click the "Upload chosen file" button. Gears will grind, you'll wonder why the "Please Wait" spinner didn't work, and the pane will change to one giving you a preview of your image. This will be full size (up to 850 pixels wide), but fear not — it will be downscaled to fit within a 160-pixel square box, with aspect ratio preserved, when it comes to be used. (If you'd rather scale it yourself, first crop and/or resize your image such that neither its width nor its height exceeds 160 pixels.) With any luck it won't look much like this old geezer:  
 

You'll probably need to scroll the pane to see the full image. Which you should do, as the link you need is the 'also available' one displayed in blue below the image.
 
As an aside, you don't need to click the "Insert into message" button at the top of the pane — to do so would place an image-coded link into the (otherwise empty) message composition box, also displaying it in red above the preview image:
 

—  don't worry if you've already done this, it won't hurt — you'll just not be needing it since you're not posting at this time, just uploading the avatar image.
 
Instead, you need to highlight (don't click) that blue address below the preview image, and copy it (Control-C) to the clipboard. Or make a physical note of it, if you prefer.
 
Now you've finished with the Image Upload pane, and indeed the Post Reply window, so you can exit these (don't click "Post"!) and select the Profile item on the MV top menu. This opens your personal profile page. Scroll down to the Optional Information section and find the line "I have my own image... at this address":  
 

Check (tick) the small checkbox to confirm your intention, and paste (Control-V) or type the address into the blue box to the right. It will probably be truncated by the edges of the box, as shown above, but that doesn't matter. Now all you need do is scroll to the bottom of your Profile page:  
 
—  and click Change Profile. You're done!  
 
Note that you can change the picture whenever you wish, by uploading another (without limit) and changing the image address in your Profile to suit. Or indeed remove the avatar image entirely, by unchecking the 'I have my own image' box in your Profile and choosing '(no pic)' from the drop-down list.
 
Problems? Suggestions?
 
SJB
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 3   Pete Atkin / Gigs / Re: Eyemouth Hippodrome 29.6.19  01.07.19 at 03:13 
Started by Rob Spence | Newest post by Phil Smith
Many thanks for words of appreciation directed at me. I did give Pete some suggestions about the set list, and he kindly obliged me on quite a few. I tried to include lesser performed songs, and ones which might draw in those previously unacquainted with the canon. Successful? Well, I certainly don't think we can have any reservations about Pete's performance.But you can't please everyone....
It has been asked of me in the past, given my musical knowledge, why I never considered a career in the "business", and I always replied "no, not ever" given some of the people it was my misfortune to encounter in the early '70s.
This could never be the case in relation to Pete. It has been an honour, a privilege, and a pleasure to link up with him in relation to this gig. I get the impression that the Hippodrome performance has given as much pleasure to others as it did to me.
But reality strikes hard, and at tonight's Spooky Men's Chorale gig in Edinburgh [thoroughly excellent], two people in front of me complained about my paper bag rustling, not, I might add, within a song performance [for such I would not do. EVER].  Arguably, I let the side down with an Anglo Saxon response. I must do better....
I may be suffering with a case of the post promotional hypertension trying to relearn my alto saxophone gig blues. Or possibly I might be mentally unwell. Who could tell?
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 4   Pete Atkin / News / Re: Eyemouth gig resumed  28.06.19 at 11:00 
Started by Phil Smith | Newest post by Phil Smith
Thanks for that, Steve. Have just collected the keyboard for Pete's use tomorrow night. Bear in mind that I have no role in respect of administration regarding the Hippodrome, but the proprietors tell me they are very pleased with the number of advance tickets sold, which is not to imply that any late rush will not be accommodated. Plenty of room for all!
I have been working my little cotton socks off to attract people into attending, not necessarily with total success. A long story......
Anyway, bring it on with abandon!!
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 5   Pete Atkin / Newsletter / Re: MV1602 - "Loose canon" book  13.06.19 at 15:42 
Started by Simon Reap | Newest post by Kevin Cryan

Issue 112, June 2019

Loose Canon: The Extraordinary Songs of Clive James and Pete Atkin
Ian Shircore
Publisher   Red Door    Publishing Price £14.99
ISBN 9781910453230
 

 
EXTRACT COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL   

 
From Fifty Years in the Racket
 
Quote:
At the time of writing, Clive James is Britain's best-known living poet. With the possible exception of Roger McGough, whose early fame was greatly helped by having a Number 1 hit single with a pop group that included Paul McCartney's brother, he is just about the only poet whose status as a household name spans every household in the country.
 
It's a level of recognition poets like Wendy Cope, Andrew Motion and even the wonderful Carol Ann Duffy can only dream of. But these people are singleminded. Poetry is what they do. Clive has never been remotely singleminded. His fame is based on a vast range of tire­lessly productive creative activity. He has written serious poetry and bestselling memoirs, thoughtful literary criticism and a new translation of Dante to set alongside several decades of trenchant, informed and opinionated newspaper and radio journalism and a long string of hugely popular television chat shows and documentaries. By being everywhere, doing everything and refusing to pigeonhole his talents, he has become an inescapable part of our culture.
 
What he's not known for - beyond a small and passionate cult following - is his songwriting. The 200 or so songs co-written by Clive and his musical partner, Pete Atkin, are probably the least-known part of his creative output. And that's a shame, because this catalogue of wonders, built up over nearly half a century, includes some of his finest work.
 
Nobody loves a smart-arse, they told us. But it's not true. Some of us can't help being drawn to the flash and glitter of pyrotechnic wordplay, the knotted allusions and cross-references and exuberant technical ingenuity that show up in everything Clive writes, in poetry, prose or song. For us, it's about savouring the phrase, the idea, the image, the moment. Each stanza, paragraph or verse gives us something unexpected and unworn, thrown together with reckless energy in the laboratory of an extraordinary mind. When carping commentators accuse him of flaunting his erudition, dressing himself in false modesty and just plain showing off, the response surely has to be 'Yes, and...?'The man is unique, and he gives us unique pleasures, for which we are grateful.
 
When I first knew Pete and Clive, in the early 1970s, the songs were the thing. As each new album brought fresh and unpredictable joys — 'Touch Has a Memory' on Beware of the Beautiful Stranger, 'The Flowers and the Wine' on Driving Through Mythical America, 'Thirty Year Man' on A King at Nightfall and The Road of Silk's 'Senior Citizens', to pick just an arbitrary few - I was convinced that the James/Atkin partnership was on its way to fame and fortune. I was not alone. I saw the reaction as audiences heard these songs for the first time and instantly took them to their hearts. And I became in­creasingly aware that the songs were gaining influential fans, such as John Peel and Kenny Everett, whose enthusiasm would surely help them reach a broader public.
 
In the early volumes of his Unreliable Memoirs, Clive mentions several times that he and Pete had a master plan. The way they saw it back then, the songs they were writing would be the gold mine that funded everything else they wanted to do in their lives. But for that to work, they would have to make a hit single of their own or, as seemed more likely at the time, produce songs that other, better-known artists could cover. That wouldn't make them household names, but it could potentially generate a stream of songwriting royalties.
 

 
Note

 
The Dublin Review of Books (drb), founded in 2006 and published online only since 2012, is an Irish review of literature, history, the arts, and culture.  

 
Kevin Cryan
 
« Quote was true to online version of DRB article. Admin corrected cases of missing characters in final paragraph quoted here to improve legibility. »
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 6   Pete Atkin / Words / Clive James - Les Murray (1938-2019)  12.06.19 at 19:20 
Started by Kevin Cryan | Newest post by Kevin Cryan

 
Clive James on saving figure skating—and why poet Les Murray should have won the Nobel
 
When I first read Les Murray's poetry, an unfamiliar feeling of humility overwhelmed me

by Clive James / June 11, 2019
 
EXTRACT
 
Quote:
Les Murray (1938-2019)

The greatest Australian poet, Les Murray, died in Australia during the English night. I was surprised by the tinge of anger in my grief when I heard that Les was gone. Finally I’ve traced this anger to its source; a general feeling that my old friends are checking out and leaving me alone. How dare they? But then I realise that they have gone beyond caring what I think.
 
The BBC was the first on the phone to ask me for an interview. Unfortunately, with all my facial injuries, I would have sounded as if I’d drunk myself to sleep, so I regretfully declined. Since it wasn’t the last request, let these paragraphs serve to answer them all. It’s important to say at least something, because Les himself was always the hulking incarnation of professional courtesy. As poetry editor of Quadrant magazine, he was famous among Australian poets for giving his opinion of their manuscripts within a month, instead of, like other poetry editors, after a decade. Apart from making the long flight from Bunyah to Buckingham Palace to receive the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry from the Queen herself, Les turned up on the night for all the other prizes that he won, which is more than you can say for Bob Dylan. Some of us will go to our graves thinking it should have been Les who got the Nobel Prize, but no doubt Dylan will make good use of the extra few million dollars.
 
Les Murray was a great poet from his first day on the job. Back there at Sydney University a thousand years ago I was literary editor of the student newspaper Honi Soit and thus well placed to print my own contributions. I had no conscience in the matter, and no qualms about appearing to rule the roost, but when that first poem arrived from Les, I saw immediately that he had something none of the rest of us had. An unfamiliar feeling of humility overwhelmed me.
 
It was a poem about three starlings and a crippled thief. “The starlings wandered / Till three hawks took them / And now my agents / Have caught the cripple.” I never forgot that poem, and afterwards I made a point of reading everything else he wrote. It’s a task that has taken me all his lifetime and nearly all of mine.  
 

 
read on
 

Kevin Cryan

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 7   Pete Atkin / Gigs / Re: The Pheasantry - 1st June 2019  04.06.19 at 15:13 
Started by Pete Atkin | Newest post by Seán Kelly
Correction to my notes above - that wasn't Senior Citizens which Simon began with a lovely curling piano intro - I have a fairly clear memory of Pete starting that one alone on guitar. So ... it was something else... Sorry. Never mind you get the general flavour.  Smiley
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 8   Pete Atkin / News / Server upgrade  24.05.19 at 04:39 
Started by S J Birkill | Newest post by S J Birkill
Apologies for the outage late on Thursday evening. Dreamhost upgraded the peteatkin.com server software, an upgrade bundle which included the Perl program running Midnight Voices. For security reasons, a key section of the server's directory structure has now been excluded from the internal file search path, with the result, last night, that MV was no longer able to locate its necessary files, returning a 'server error' message. We installed a workaround as soon as we discovered the problem, but inevitably there was a period, between about midnight and 03:45 UK time (Friday morning), during which MV was inaccessible.
 
There may yet be other issues -- we haven't tested everything. Please post in the Tech board if you discover anything that's not working as you think it should.
 
Steve
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 9   Pete Atkin / Words / Clive James recalls..  07.05.19 at 21:18 
Started by Kevin Cryan | Newest post by Kevin Cryan
..... Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra
 

 
It's more fun than worrying about Brexit
 
Quote:

Caesar’s dead, Cleopatra’s dead, Joan of Arc is dead, and I’m not feeling too well myself. So, or a bit like that, goes Mark Twain’s most famous joke, and I’m bound to say it’s looking slightly less funny now that I have to dictate this article through a straw. My recent operation was successful in the sense that my head is still on my shoulders, but the way my head and shoulders join up is subject to review. Should there be nuts and bolts à la Frankenstein’s monster, or would it be easier to just reshuffle the pieces at random each morning, like one of those multi-unit Henry Moore statues where the head lies around looking at the body from a distance?
 
I wish I could say that I cared a lot either way about Brexit, but the truth is that by this stage the things I care about seem mostly to be in the past.....
 

 
read on
 
Kevin Cryan
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 10   Pete Atkin / Members / Re: New members  06.05.19 at 00:17 
Started by S J Birkill | Newest post by Carole
Welcome, Ian  - good to have you on board! That was a great message. Please don't shut up, we need more like that on the Forum!
 
Carole
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