Here We Go Again: Yet Another Bandcamp Friday

Happy Good Friday, readers!  Not only is it the day Christ gave His Life for our sins, it’s also—say it with me now—yet another Bandcamp Friday.

I’m not going to belabor all the statistics about the hard times musicians have endured in The Age of The Virus; you can read all about that in last month’s Bandcamp Friday appeal.  Instead, I’ll cut to the chase and let you know all the great ways you can support the blog, my music, my book (now on Kindle), or even just me.

For one, I have some intriguing merch available.  I’m currently offering two completely original doodles, “Bird of Paradise” and “Bleeding Heart,” for just $10 each.  There are no other physical copies in existence, so you’d own these lovingly doodled marker pictures—and no one else.  They make great “bathroom art”—the kind of thing that would look good in a guest bathroom, or maybe a tacky beach house.

I’m also clearing out the last few remainingFlamin’t-shirts for $15 (plus $5 shipping).  These shirts are rare and I won’t be making any more of them.

Most obviously, because it’s Bandcamp Friday, Bandcamp is waiving the commission it takes on sales of musicians’ work TODAY, Friday, 2 April 2021.  You can pick up my entire discography for $19.98 (or more, if you feel so inclined), a full 35% off the price of buying each album individuallyTo purchase the full discographyseven releases in total—you can view any of my albums (like Electrock EP: The Four Unicorns of the Apocalypse) and find a button/link that reads “Buy Digital Discography” (unfortunately, there’s no way to supply that link directly).

You can also purchase albums individually, either at their listed price or higher.  Here are my seven releases, in chronological order:

An easy (and free) way to support me is to “follow” my Bandcamp page and my Amazon author page.  I post updates about new merchandise, new music, and other interesting offers about once a month to the Bandcamp page, and new books will pop up on my Amazon page as they’re published.  It’s a good way to keep up with the latest news on my musical adventures.

Another free way to support me is to turn off your ad-blocker.  The site delivers several thousand ad impressions monthly, but most of those are blocked, which means they don’t pay out.  You can usually find the ad-blocker as a little widget or icon in the upper-right-hand side of your browser; click on it and it will usually give you the option to “pause” or stop the blocker from running on this site.  I know ads are annoying, but seeing a few DuckDuckGo ads helps out in an incremental way.

Even if none of that entices you, no worries!  I’m just glad to have you here, reading my self-indulgent garbage and my lengthy advertisement posts.

Happy Friday!

—TPP

More Hustlin’: Another Bandcamp Friday

It’s another Bandcamp Friday, which means if you buy my music today, Bandcamp doesn’t take their cut, which means I’m dedicating yet another post to pitching you my tunes and my merch (and my SubscribeStar page).

I make this appeal once a month or so, so I don’t want to sound like a broken record (no pun intended), but The Virus has really hit musicians hard over the last year.  My royalty payments from ASCAP in 2021 (based on performances in 2020) will be virtually non-existent (I usually bring in around $200-300 in performance royalties annually from my writer and publishing accounts—not much, but it helps), because there were virtually no performances last year.  Besides lost royalty payments, there’s the lost revenue from gigs, tips, and music lessons (the last of which is, thankfully, picking back up considerably—praise the Lord!).

Last May readers responded to the call and bought my tunes (you can pick up the entire discography for $19.98—a 35% discount, my biggest discount yet).  If you’d like to support independent musicians, today is a great day to do it, as I’ll take home (nearly) 100% of the purchase.

I also have some interesting merch available.  I’m currently offering two completely original doodles, “Bird of Paradise” and “Bleeding Heart,” for just $10 each.  There are no other physical copies in existence, so you’d own these lovingly doodled marker pictures—and no one else.  They make great “bathroom art”—the kind of thing that would look good in a guest bathroom, or maybe a tacky beach house.

I’m also clearing out the last few remaining “Flamin’” t-shirts for $15 (plus $5 shipping; the featured image for this post is on the shirt).  These shirts are rare and I won’t be making any more of them.

An easy (and free) way to support me is to “follow” my Bandcamp page.  I post updates about new merchandise, new music, and other interesting offers about once a month.  It’s a good way to keep up with the latest news on my musical adventures.

Another free way to support me is to turn off your ad-blocker.  The site delivers several thousand ad impressions monthly, but most of those are blocked, which means they don’t pay out.  You can usually find the ad-blocker as a little widget or icon in the upper-right-hand side of your browser; click on it and it will usually give you the option to “pause” or stop the blocker from running on this site.  I know ads are annoying, but seeing a few DuckDuckGo ads helps out in an incremental way.

Of course, you can always take the plunge and subscribe to my SubscribeStar page.  It’s very affordable and grants you access to exclusive posts on Saturdays (and bonus content for $5 and up subscribers).  It’s also the easiest way to support the site on a recurring basis.

Finally, you can send a one-time tip as well; thank you to those of you who have done so.

If you can’t afford to support the site, no worries!  I’m thankful to have you here.  You can always share my posts with friends, family, and other like-minded folks.  And I always love comments and words of encouragement—as well as suggestions about the kinds of content you’d like to see.

Thank you again, as always, for your support.

Happy Listening!

—TPP

Lazy Sunday XLVII: Winning

Need a soundtrack to go with all the winning conservatives are enjoying under President Trump and Prime Minister Johnson?  Download Contest Winner – EP for just a few bucks, or download the legendary title track.

As I wrote yesterday, it’s been a good week for populism and national sovereignty.  It’s easy to get caught up in the myriad defeats on our side, and it’s frustrating that we seem to rally only at the last possible moment to prevent total catastrophe, but it’s worthwhile to look back at our victories from time to time.

To that end, this edition of Lazy Sunday is dedicated to looking back at some conservative victories.  One of the pieces looks back at our greatest Secretary of State, who although was a part of the totalizing New England faction that dominates progressive thought today, also helped created our national borders with his diplomatic finesse.

  • Independence Day” – This post was a brief celebration of Great Britain’s final exit from the blight that is the European Union.  Hip, hip, hooray!
  • Trump Stands for Us” – This piece linked to an essay from my blogger buddy photog, “The Unique Value of the Trump Presidency“; both photog’s original and my commentary are worth reading.  There’s a popular meme that shows President Trump sitting sternly, pointing directly at the viewer, with a caption that reads something along the lines of, “They’re not after me, they’re after YOU; I’m just in the way.”  Boy, does that speak volumes.  As photog points out, President Trump truly does stand with us, the American people.  In part, he does that simply by not despising us the way our elites do.
  • Mueller Probe Completed, Trump Vindicated” – Before the Ukraine impeachment hoax, there was the Russian collusion hoax.  How soon we forget.  While Mueller declined to write in his report that Trump could be fully vindicated, he also couldn’t make a case for Russian collusion.  Trump did nothing wrong!  After the Senate acquits GEOTUS this week, I wonder what scary Slavic country they’ll pick next.  Maybe they’ll allege that President Trump is in league with Viktor Orban in Hungary?  That would make me support him even more!
  • #MAGAWeek2018 – John Quincy Adams” – A bit of an outlier here, but I wrote a fairly lengthy rundown of John Quincy Adams—probably our best Secretary of State, and one of our worst presidents—back in summer 2018 as part of #MAGAWeek2018.  JQA and his New England Puritan ilk can probably be faulted for many of the one-size-fits-all solutions progressives plague us with today (although he would have recoiled at what progressives want), but he was a genius in terms of foreign policy, and he was a sincere nationalist, in the best sense of that amorphous term:  he wanted to make American great, physically and economically.  It’s a worthwhile read to get some more insights into a largely forgotten historical figure.

That’s it for today!  Let’s keep winning in 2020, and KEEP AMERICA GREAT!

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

Gig Day!

Happy Friday, TPP Readers!  In lieu of my usual politically-charged antics, I thought I’d give you a brief glimpse into my non-political life.  Normally, that wouldn’t be very interesting—a hairy man watching YouTube videos in his underwear—but today is different:  it’s Gig Day!

When I’m not molding minds, I’m rocking faces.  “Rocking faces” is a relative term; my music is mostly piano-based pop-rock, and I shout out at performances, “Are you ready to soft rock?”  My music has been compared to Elton John, Meat Loaf, Ben Folds, and “Weird Al” Yankovic (how’s that for a mix).  Click those last two links to listen on Spotify, and I’ll earn ~$0.00011 per stream.

Anyway, that’s enough shameless self-promotion.  Because I’m writing this after a late night at an open mic, and because I’m excited to play my first major show since breaking my wrist last November (“major show,” again, being a relative term), I decided to take you on a tour of Gig Day rituals, and give you a break from politics.  We’ll get to how President Trump didn’t commit treason when he declined to diss the leader of a major nuclear power during a joint press conference next week.

The day of a show is always a bit electric.  I’ll spend this morning painting the floor of a boys’ locker room, but the tension and energy will be building even as I’m slopping paint.  The real magic happens after that.  I’ll come home and begin my elaborate pre-show rituals.

First, I’ll “sweat lodge it” in my little cottage for a short period.  This technique involves not running my flimsy air-conditioning units, while my body sweats out the impurities.  I’ll drink copious amounts of icy water, and probably run through some tunes.  I’m a very physical performer, and I get hot when I play, so the A/C will come on at some point during this phase.

After that, if all is good, I’ll begin packing everything into my twelve-year old minivan.  For a coffee house show like this, I’ll bring the following:

  • Keyboard (duh), mic stand, my beautiful Sennheiser microphone, and any necessary cables
  • A couple of tip jars
  • Merchandise, including my album and some sweet Tyler James Cook “Flamin'” t-shirts
  • A few Sharpies to sign autographs—because my fans deserve my signature immortalized in permanent marker

Next, I’ll take a purifying shower that will start off hot, then end ice-cold.  There’s no physiological reason for this method—I just like to cool down dramatically in the heat of the summer.  The A/C will be blasting pure frostiness by this point.

Then, I dress.  Tonight’s duds include this shirt:

Star Wars Shirt

My usual attire—even in the summer—consists of a long-sleeve button-up, jeans, dress-casual shoes, a sports coat, and tie (I used to play outdoor gigs in this get-up, minus the sports coat, but that was insane in South Carolina summers).  I’m sporting the above short-sleeve button-up because one of my weight-loss goals was to fit into it comfortably by the time I played this show.  I’ll probably still wear a tie with it.

Once everything is packed and ready to go—and after I’ve inventoried to make sure everything is packed (I once played a pool party gig without a mic stand; we had to suspend the mic from its cable over a support beam in the pop-up tent I was under)—I hit the road.  For today’s show, I’m picking up my buddy John, who will be joining me on this bill.

I like to arrive a solid hour before showtime, if not earlier.  It doesn’t take long to setup my minimal rig, but you never know what you’ll find.  I’ve played shows where the stage doubles as a dining area during normal business hours, and have had to move furniture just to set up my gear.  This timing also allows for a decent soundcheck, and gives me a chance to get my tip jars arranged as I want them.  Most importantly, it provides time to sort through music, tweak my setlist, and generally calm down before it’s showtime.

Finally—I play the gig!  Obviously, my favorite part, usually followed by some post-show camaraderie with friends and TJC mega-fans at that great, modern Southern institution, Cook Out.  John and I typically do a post-mortem of the show during our meal.

That’s a lot of navel-gazing, to be sure, but we’ll be back to our normal programming Monday.  I don’t play nearly as many gigs as I used to play, but it’s a decent way to earn a few extra bucks doing something I love.

If you’d like to learn more, visit www.tjcookmusic.com.

***

A final, parting coda:  I’m toying with the idea of doing a sort of “reverse house concert” later in the fall.  Unlike a typical house concert, where a host invites an artist to play, charges admission to friends, and puts the artist up for the night (usually with a free meal), I’d host a super-exclusive, very intimate show in my little place.

For context, I live in a 525-square foot cottage that’s packed to the gills with books, keyboards, and the like.  I’ve recorded a few “Kitchen Concerts” with John and another pal, Steve O (not the one you’re thinking about), a la NPR’s “Tiny Desk” concerts.  John and I would post up in the kitchen, and I’ll sell maybe six-to-eight tickets, with people piling in super-close.  We’d have some light h’ordeuvres, then commence a-rockin’.

The idea is that it’d be the ultimate fan experience, but we’d also livestream the concert on Facebook or Periscope for those unable to attend.  It would certainly be a unique experience.

What do you think?  Good idea?  Stupid to shove a bunch of people into a lonely man’s bungalow?  If you were interested in such an event, how much would you pay for a ticket?  $5?  $10?  $15?

Thanks for your feedback—and rock on!