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 1   Pete Atkin / Gigs / Re: Pheasantry dates for 2023  10.11.22 at 06:23 
Started by S J Birkill | Newest post by S J Birkill
You can be my proxy, Seán.
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 2   Pete Atkin / Words / Re: Hill of Little Shoes  08.11.22 at 09:43 
Started by Leslie Moss | Newest post by Andrew Long
This weekend I stumbled across this report of a visit to the Sydney Jewish Museum
'There is a wall of photographs of children slaughtered in the Holocaust and next to those faces a case of sculpted shoes;the shoes of the demonised and lost. It is the tangibility of such possessions that strike people with the horrible reality more than looking at numbers'
I wondered whether there was a connection to the lyrics of Hill of Little Shoes?
(The author (Robin Ince, last week's Big Issue p35) then also tells the story of Australian artist Sidney Nolan being commissioned in 1962 to illustrate an article on Auschwitz - but being unable to do so after visiting the site, having been  so shocked by the piles of spectacles , hair and shoes.)
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 3   Pete Atkin / Music / Julie's "The Magic Wasn't There"  24.10.22 at 07:25 
Started by S J Birkill | Newest post by S J Birkill
I might be the last one here to realise this, but it turns out that two different recordings of the song emerged from Julie's 1969 sessions for The Beautiful Changes at EMI Abbey Road.

"The Magic Wasn't There" first appeared as the A-side of Columbia 45rpm single DB 8649 in 1970, with Don Paul's "The Way Things Ought To Be" as the B-side. Later, in 1971, it was released as the first track on Columbia LP SCX 6466, The Beautiful Changes. The single sank with little trace; the album came to be recognised as a classic.
I imagine those of us who subsequently tracked down the single and bought a copy did so either out of understandable completism or from curiosity about the non-PA/CJ song. Either way, I expect most gave the A-side only a cursory play, being familiar with it from the album.
If so, we didn't listen carefully enough -- it's different!
There's a 'group' on Facebook for Julie Covington fans, and one of their number, Bob Dobalina, wrote:
Have just received and listened to a 45 of "The Magic Wasn't There" b/w "The Way Things Ought to Be." I've been listening to a cd of The Beautiful Changes for years, and I knew right away something was different about the A-side. Different mix? Actually, different vocal take altogether! The backing arrangements sound the same, but the vocals are definitely different. Wonderful, though. Really a treat to hear it just a bit differently.

The 45 is so punchy too.

Thank you, Bob! I found my copy and, sure enough, the vocal phrasing is different. Not only that, but so is the instrumental mix. And there's less compression at the bass end than we hear on the LP and CD version, which might account for its superior 'punch'.
I put together a pseudo-stereo version with two mono mixes, the single in the left channel and the LP in the right. I applied a similar degree of compression to the single track to make for a better comparison of the other differences. Listen here:
From the start, you might spot the tympani over the intro of the single version. Then you'll here Julie begin 'A single sign of care' without the swung/syncopated effect of delaying and shortening the 'A' -- the left channel vocal leads. And she's consistent on this throughout. There are lots more little differences, all subtle. How about that!
I've corrected the discography 'Play' button to deliver the appropriate version when the single is selected:
Thoughts? Might the single version be better? Shame they used the more compressed LP version for the CDs, but understandable as it was mastered for 33-1/3 vinyl in the first place.
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 4   Pete Atkin / Words / Another year, another 46 pages  16.10.22 at 21:46 
Started by S J Birkill | Newest post by S J Birkill
I've just completed another year of my illustrated 'Observer Originals' in the archive, with the Christmas week 1975 edition. Here's a mouse's-eye view -- click the image for the real thing:

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 5   Pete Atkin / Gigs / Re: Pete Solo at the Pheasantry 1st October 2022  12.10.22 at 15:12 
Started by Seán Kelly | Newest post by Terry_Caster
Yep! Well triangulated Cheesy  
Glad to make it through the travel shenanigans in both directions with relatively adequate progress.
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 6   Atkin admin / Tech / Posting MV links to Facebook  03.10.22 at 22:38 
Started by S J Birkill | Newest post by S J Birkill
As MV members, we frequently need to place ('share') a link to MV in a Facebook post. The process works fine when it's a general 'plug' and you use the normal MV address as a link: https://www.peteatkin.com/forum will do the trick, or https://www.peteatkin.com/short.htm if you want to show them the 'short' (the more friendly, message index only) version.
But if you need to reference a specific MV thread or post, there's a problem. For its own inscrutable reasons, Facebook does not like the typical forum post address. It may be 'too long' (too many characters), or it may contain too many of the 'wrong' kind of query-string separator (';' rather than '&'). In either case it will truncate the link, leaving the URL incomplete and delivering the wrong page to the hapless reader.
Until recently our recommended work-around was to use a free URL-shortening service such as bit.ly, but this was just too fiddly for the casual user, so it wasn't often done. And more recently Facebook has become suspicious of such links, to the extent where some messages containing them have been blocked as suspected spam.  
So... we needed a better way. I've today made some changes to avoid both of these problems. I've discarded the old 'SHARE' icon with its pop-up links to all kinds of social thingies (not really very useful, I thought), and replaced it with a new feature.
Read any post on MV (including this one) and you'll now see at the bottom right of its text panel a green button labelled "COPY". Every post has one. Click the button (it turns red) and the unique address of that post -- formulated so that Facebook won't do anything silly with it -- will be instantly copied to your device's Clipboard.
Then, when composing your MV-referencing message in Facebook, all you need do is paste (<CTRL-V>, or <Command-V> on Mac) that same Clipboard address into your message, and Facebook will create its own link pointing to precisely the right page on MV.
So, Facebook-using members, you're now better armed, with just a click and a keystroke, to direct your fellow-Facebookers to some of the richer, more in-depth content you and Pete's other faithful followers are posting here in Midnight Voices.
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 7   Pete Atkin / Music / Re: Songbook Volume 2  22.09.22 at 16:46 
Started by Pete Atkin | Newest post by Seán Kelly
This is excellent news indeed. No questions occur as yet - but definitely looking forward to this!  Cheers Pete and Simon Smiley
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 8   Pete Atkin / Gigs / Re: Gig report; news  20.09.22 at 19:04 
Started by S J Birkill | Newest post by Terry_Caster
Hopefully that'll mean I can actually make the Kitchen as well as the Pheasantry!  
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 9   Pete Atkin / Gigs / Re: Kitchen Garden: postponed  18.09.22 at 11:56 
Started by S J Birkill | Newest post by Pete Atkin
My gigs list is never all that long these, so I think I can consider myself to have been a bit unlucky at the number of postponements these past few months, each one for an individually good reason. Nevertheless, the older I get, the more I worry when it does happen.  However, I think the decision to defer tomorrow's gig at the Kitchen Garden Cafe in Kings Heath was unquestionably the right one for several reasons, each of them individually good.   It seems a long time to wait until February 19th next year, but it's such a good place to play that I'm grateful to have it in the diary   I'm told that very few - perhaps hardly any? - ticket-holders have asked for a refund, so I'll be all the more pleased to see you all then, with perhaps a few more besides.
I did have a bit of a turn yesterday when I heard that there's to be another rail strike on Saturday 1st October, fearing that my first solo outing at the Pheasantry might be in danger, but with a bit of luck I'll be able to do my travelling on the Friday and the Sunday and hope that those of you who've been planning to come will not be prevented from joining me there.   Performing without the incomparable assistance of Simon Wallace on piano is an undeniable disappointment - for you and for me - but I'll be doing my best to turn it into a positive opportunity by adding a few collectors' items into the mix.  (Requests welcome as always, of course - sendiong me a DM here is probably the easiest way to get them through.)
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 10   Pete Atkin / Words / Cultural Amnesia - a late entry  13.09.22 at 06:54 
Started by Kevin Cryan | Newest post by Kevin Cryan
John Naughton's online diary
Tuesday 13 September, 2022
Posted on September 13, 2022 by jjn1

Books, etc.
Cultural Amnesia

This is one of my favourite books — the result of a lifetime’s reading and note-taking by a great cultural critic. Clive was my predecessor-but-one as the Observer’s TV critic, and indeed was the writer who made television criticism into something that could be both insightful and readable. Like me — but with much more energy — he was an autodidact and this book represents a really touching attempt to read everyone worth reading before one dies, and then trying to communicate something of the essence of each. It consists of 106 short essays on writers, artists and thinkers — from Anna Akhmatova to Stefan Zweig, taking in Walter Benjamin, Camus, Miles Davis, Fellini, Freud, de Gaulle, Hazlitt, Hegel, the Manns (Thomas, Heinrich, Michael and Golo), Proust, Sartre, Trotsky, Waugh and Wittgenstein. There are some inclusions that initially raise eyebrows — for example Hitler. Why him? Because “one of the drawbacks of liberal democracy… is the freedom to forget what once threatened its existence”.
If I had a bookshelf in my bathroom, then this would be on it. Instead it sits in the study. And over the years, dipping in to it has been one of the joys of life. The first time I saw Wes Anderson’s film, The Grand Hotel Budapest, for example, I learned that it was partly inspired by the work of Stefan Zweig, about whom I had known precisely nothing. But Clive understood his significance. And now I do too.
Kevin Cryan
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