Open Mic Adventures XVIII: “Satiean Motion”

For the second consecutive edition of Open Mic Adventures, I’m diving back into 2022 and pieces from my my modern classical piano project, P​é​ch​é​s d​’​â​ge moyen, which I released on 4 March 2022.  This week, I’m featuring one of my favorite pieces, “Satiean Motion.”

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Open Mic Adventures XVII: “L’il Divertimento in C major”

It’s been a bit since I’ve been able to get back to an open mic, between school, Christmas, and illness.  Belting out the tunes is pretty tough when your voice is a froggy mess of croaks and squeaks (although I’m sure some people are into that kind of thing).

As such, I decided to cast about through the Portly Video Archives and pull out some golden chestnuts from yesteryear—or, in this case, something I recorded about eleven months ago.

Readers might recall my modern classical piano project, P​é​ch​é​s d​’​â​ge moyen, which I released on 4 March 2022.  It was a frivolous and fun little project that, like most such things, was born of “an absurd, self-indulgent inside joke,” according to the album listing on Bandcamp.

The recordings were pretty lo-fi, but some of the pieces are actually quite good (others are self-indulgent experiments in multimeter quasi-tonality).  I also loaded the digital Bandcamp album with tons of extras—including the video you’re about to see—like scans of the handwritten manuscripts and scores for each piece.

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SubscribeStar Saturday: Yulestravaganza 2022 Review

Today’s post is a SubscribeStar Saturday exclusive.  To read the full post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.  For a full rundown of everything your subscription gets, click here.

It’s Christmas Eve, the most mystical and magical night of the year.  Last Saturday was the annual Yulestravaganza, the most bonkers night of the year.

The Yulestravaganza, for those wondering, is not a consonant-ridden Welsh holiday.  It’s the little Christmas show my buddies John and Steve O and I put on each December.

Well, not quite each December.  During the long years of The Age of The Virus, the Yulestravaganza was a no-go, and we have been unable to get it together in other years due to scheduling conflicts.

But we managed to slap it together this year—very nearly at the last minute—and had a grand old time.

The Yulestravaganza is a “songwriter-in-the-round” format.  Each of us plays a solo selection (usually with one or both of the others hopping in here and there for harmonies or additional accompaniment), then we play a group selection.  Rinse and repeat until the gig is done.

It’s a very fun, very loose way of putting together a show.  We don’t have a set list, just a mental or jotted list of songs we’d like to get in before the evening ends.

So, how did the Yulestravaganza 2022 go?

To read the rest of this post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.

Memorable Monday: Cyber Monday Musings

It’s Cyber Monday here in the United States, yet another day to hawk my wares to my unwitting—uh, I mean “loyal”—readers.

Here’s the big one:  the Kindle edition of my book, The One-Minute Mysteries of Inspector Gerard: The Ultimate Flatfoot, is on sale for just $0.99 through midnight (EST) this Thursday, 2 December 2022!

And the paperback version is the perfect gift!  Why give someone a boring, predictable gift, when you can give them a collection of unsolvable, absurdist noir detective stories to read around the yule log?  Enjoy egg nog-enriched guffaws as your friends read mystifying tales of hyper-sleuthing.

Give the Gift of Weird this Christmas—like crudely painted primitivist artwork!

While you’re at it, why not head over to my SubscribeStar page and subscribe for $1/month to unlock all of my SubscribeStar Saturday posts.  For $5/month, you get fresh doodles every Sunday, as well as other random bonuses.

Well, you get the idea.  Support yours portly on this feast of savings!

With that, here is 2 December 2019’s “Cyber Monday Musings“:

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November 2022 Bandcamp Friday

The cozy season of autumn has arrived, with its warm fuzziness.  What better time to observe the monthly tradition of Bandcamp Friday?

The first Fridays of November and December 2022 will see the return of this pro-indie music observance, a day on which Bandcamp waives its usual 15% commission on sales.

In other words, when you buy my music, almost 100% of it goes to me, instead of almost 85%.

While I haven’t released any new music lately, I managed to release two short collections of music in AprilPéchés d’âge moyen II: One Week in March and The Lo-Fi Hymnal II.  All of my releases are just a buck each, though you’re welcome to pay more if you’d like to help out yours portly.

Currently, my entire discography of ten releases is $6.50, a savings of 35%, which is not bad for ten releases.  That’s $0.65 per release—not too shabby!  To purchase the full discography, click on any release, and you’ll see the option to purchase all of them.

I’m also selling all of my paintings for $10, with free shipping in the United States, regardless of how many you purchase.  They’re one of kind, so once a painting is purchased, it’s gone.

Finally, my book The One-Minute Mysteries of Inspector Gerard: The Ultimate Flatfoot is $10 in paperback, and just $5 on Kindle.

Well, that’s it for this month’s sales pitch.  Thanks again for your support!

Happy Friday!


SubscribeStar Saturday: Spooktacular 2022 Preview

Today’s post is a SubscribeStar Saturday exclusive.  To read the full post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.  For a full rundown of everything your subscription gets, click here.

The Spooktacular—my annual Halloween concert—returns in one week, on Saturday, 15 October 2022.  Since 2020—during the height of The Age of The Virus—I’ve hosted this annual celebration of musical spookiness (and spooky musicality) from my front porch.  It’s worked pretty well, and even spawned a published piece in Self-Reliance, so why mess with success?  We’re back on the front porch again.

I am adding one innovation, though, one that worked quite well with the TJC Spring Jam earlier this year:  like the Spring Jam, I’m turning the Spooktacular into a recital.  My buddy John and I will still play some tunes, and we’ll invite the kids up to play with us on “Monster Mash” and KISS’s “I Was Made for Lovin’ You,” but the opening segment of the Spooktacular will feature my private music students.  Indeed, it’s an open invitation to anyone who wants to play a tune—come on out!

Of course, I’ll be working hard this weekend to get the house prepared for the Spooktacular—and to remind folks about it!  There are many little tasks to complete and items, large and small, to prepare, both to give everyone a fun time, and to squeeze some buckaroos out of the event.

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Phone it in Friday XXV: Spooktacular 2022 T-Shirts

The 2022 Spooktacular is coming up on Saturday, 15 October 2022, which means it’s time to have some t-shirts made up.

This year, I’m debating between two designs:

The white image is a vampire playing a bass guitar (which he is apparently hypnotizing).  The caption on the bottom reads “Blood-Suckingly Spooky Rock ‘n’ Roll.”

The yellow image is a spider whose legs make up notes on a treble clef staff.  His caption reads “Venomously Good Rock ‘n’ Roll.”

The vampire could also be made yellow (or any other color).

So, I’m asking readers for your input:  which design do you prefer?  I’ll probably only make one this year, and I’ll use reader feedback to decide which one to order.

Thanks for voting!


Hustlin’ with Private Lessons

The school year is back in full swing, and with the brief respite of Labor Day behind me, it’s a long stretch of mind-molding from here until Thanksgiving.

Fortunately, the school year means music lessons, and music lessons—as one former colleague, now retired, frequently reminds me—mean money.

I don’t love money, but I certainly need it.  And love teaching music lessons, so it’s a happy way to bring in some extra bacon while also teaching kids (and adults!) to make music.  There are few things I enjoy  more than nurturing a love of music; if I make a few quid in the process, well, all the better!

The Lord has blessed me with an abundance—perhaps an over-abundance—of lessons.  At the time of this writing, I am sitting at twenty-six lessons a week across twenty-four students.  Scheduling has been a bit of a nightmare, but I think I have it largely figured out (of course, whenever I think that, some conflict arises and I have to play scheduling roulette—ha!).

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