Midweek TPP Update: Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp, #MAGAWeek2022, Etc.

Summer is rolling right along, sometimes at an alarming speed.  I’ve gotsta buckle down if I’m going to get all these projects finished.

This week I’m running Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp, which I offered for the first time last summer.  Last year I had three campers—a small but talented group.  This year, I’m down to one diligent bassist.  I wasn’t even sure if he was going to show up, but his grandmother rolled up Monday morning and dutifully dropped him off, so we commenced a-rockin’.

Essentially, he’s getting twelve hours of private lessons from yours portly for about 22% of the normal cost (if I charged my half-hourly rate of $30 for twelve hours/twenty-four half-hours of lessons, I’d pull in $720; I’ll net $160 on this camp [that’s $200 total for the camp, less the 20% the school takes]).

Of course, we’re not playing bass for three hours straight each morning.  Where it’s just the two of us, we’ve worked out a schedule that seems to work pretty well:

  • Start with about thirty minutes of bass guitar—his bass “lesson” for the day.
  • Shift over to piano (his little fingers need a rest from pressing metal against a hard wooden fretboard) for about thirty minutes, working on chords and music theory.
  • Take a morning break, during which we talk about songwriting.
  • Work on songwriting (we’re currently wrapping up a tune called “The Story of Sam the Clam”) for about forty-five minutes.
  • Take a second, shorter break.
  • Review the songwriting session, then clean up and organize the Music Room for the day.

It’s pretty cool to have the flexibility to build the camp around what he wants to learn, while also working in some things that I know will be beneficial to him.

The other looming event of the year is #MAGAWeek2022, which will run from Tuesday, 5 July through Saturday, 9 July 2022.  For newcomers, #MAGAWeek2022 is when I celebrate the people, places, things, ideas, concepts, institutions, etc., that have, in their own way, Made America Great (Again).

During that week, all posts are behind the paywall over at my SubscribeStar page, but generous previews will be available here.  Fortunately, it’s just $1 to get access to everything for the week.

Finally, I’ve at least pulled up the manuscript for the first volume of Sunday Doodles, which I hope to publish via Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing service by the end of the summer.  The plan originally was to include the first fifty editions of Sunday Doodles, which are normally only available to $5 and up subscribers, as a handsome, black-and-white paperback.  Now, however, I’m thinking I might go even bigger, and include the first 100 editions of Sunday Doodles.  Talk about a nice coffee table book!

Speaking of, I am running late—for the first time in a long time!—on this past Sunday’s edition of Sunday Doodles.  Hopefully it will be live for subscribers by the time you read this post.

So, there you have it—some quick updates on yours portly.

Happy Wednesday!

—TPP

Minecraft Camp 2022

Yesterday (Monday, 6 June 2022) marked the beginning of Minecraft Camp 2022.  I’ve been doing Minecraft Camp since 2014, when a former colleague of mine created the camp and brought me on as his assistant.  That first camp—eight long years ago!—was announced on Friday, 6 June 2014 (it started on Monday, 9 June 2014) so there’s a nice symmetry there.   The cycle of time—and Minecraft—marches on.

My former colleague created a little blog for Minecraft Camp, Minecrafting at 5001, way back then, but I did not do a great job of keeping it updated last year.  That’s in part because we had something like sixteen campers, which made keeping up with the blog difficult.

I’m hoping to keep it updated a bit more frequently this time around.  I’m actually running two sessions of camp this year:  one this week, and another next week.  At the time of writing, I have eight campers confirmed, with a possible ninth.  I just have three campers for the second session, but I look for that to change—Thursday of last week I just had five campers enrolled in the morning; by that afternoon, I had three more last-minute sign-ups.  One of my campers is doing both sessions.

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It’s Not Bandcamp Friday

Today is not Bandcamp Friday.  According to that link, “Bandcamp Friday is over.

However, Bandcamp sent the following e-mail to its users:

On Friday, June 17th, from midnight to midnight Pacific Time, we’ll hold our third annual Juneteenth fundraiser, where we donate 100% of our share of sales to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, a racial justice organization with a long history of effectively enacting change through litigation, advocacy, and public education. Read our statement here.

Bandcamp Fridays will resume on September 2nd, and continue on October 7th, November 4th, and December 2nd.

Please help us spread the word!

bandcamp logo

Yeesh!  As such, I would encourage my readers not to purchase my music and merch on Friday, 17 June 2022.  I’m not surprised Bandcamp—a company dedicated to helping indie musicians sell their music—is embracing the woke agenda; personally, I don’t care.  I don’t even mind if Bandcamp makes money from sales on the platform; they’re a private business, and while they’re a pretty big player, there’s nothing totalitarian in their practices (yet), and there are multiple alternatives for musicians to sell music online.  It’s not like Google or Facebook, two virtual monopolies in the tech sector that dominate access to free speech and information.

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TPP in Self-Reliance Magazine

It’s a celebratory time of year.  Sunday was Mother’s Day.  Social media was abuzz all weekend with graduation announcements.  Wedding season is gearing up.  And summer vacation is just around the corner.

So is the 2022 TJC Spring Jam.  This year, I’m making the first portion of the Jam into a recital for my private music students.  That’s going to make for a fun evening, and I suspect it will boost attendance—all those parents and family members coming out to hear L’il Billy play his piano piece.

Last fall, I submitted a piece to Self-Reliance, a magazine about independent living, entitled “The Front Porch Concert: Opportunity for Musicians in The Age of The Virus.”  They accepted it and cut me a check some time ago, and I’ve been waiting patiently for the article’s publication ever since.

Much to my delight, I arrived home from a school event Saturday evening to find the Summer Issue, Issue #25 of Self-Reliance, in my mailbox.  There on page twelve is my article, taking up four beautiful pages.

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May 2022 Bandcamp Friday

It’s another Bandcamp Friday, so I’m taking a break from supporting friends to hawking my own goodies.

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.  The Lo-Fi Hymnal II is totally free, though you’re welcome to pay more if you’d like to help out yours portly.

Currently, my entire discography is $26.48, which is not bad for ten releases.  That’s $2.65 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’ve also been paintington of little picturesI’m 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.

I’ve done two landscapes recently that I really like—“Windy Nightfall” and “Playing in the Graveyard.”  I think the former is the better painting, but the latter is a bit more fun.  You can judge for yourself:

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

Happy Friday!

—TPP

Easter Weekend Updates

Hi TPP Readers,

I wanted to send along some Easter weekend updates.  To celebrate Holy Week, I’ve released a free collection of recordings on Bandcamp, The Lo-Fi Hymnal II.  It is free to download (though you can pay more if you wish).

I’ve also cut the price of ALL of my paintings to $10.  Free shipping in the United States.  I also have two new paintings for Easter (and soon a third):  “Easter Eggs” and “Neon Cross.”

Here’s wishing you all a safe and happy Easter Weekend!

—TPP

Painting Update

Last week was our big Fine Arts Festival at school, and part of the festival included an art showcase.  The Fine Arts Department Head invited me to submit my little paintings for sale, which I happily did—all nineteen of them!

On the last night of the festival, I slashed the prices of all of my paintings, and ended up selling four that evening (“Ghostopus“; “Springtime“; “Feelin’ Froggy“; and “The Elixir of Life“).  As such. I’ve lowered all of the paintings on Bandamp to $15 accordingly (“Valenween/Franketine” is at $20, but just because I like that one so much).

I haven’t had time to work on too many paintings since the festival, but I do have a few newer ones that might be of interest to readers.

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April Bandcamp Friday: Péchés d’âge moyen II: One Week in March

Today’s post is no April Fool’s joke:  I managed to eke out another release in time for the April Bandcamp FridayPéchés d’âge moyen II: One Week in March.

It’s half the tracks of Péchés d’âge moyen, which was not my original intent.  I’d hoped to record at least another ten, but with time dwindling, I opted instead to record the five pieces I wrote the week of 14-18 March 2022.

I managed to compose one piece each day that week, and it was an eventful one:  Pi Day (14 March), The Ides of March (15 March), and Saint Patrick’s Day (17 March) all fell within days of one another.

The track listing is as follows:

  1. Pi Day” (Monday, 14 March 2022)
  2. The Ides of March” (Tuesday, 15 March 2022)
  3. Downpour” (Wednesday, 16 March 2022)
  4. Saint Patrick’s Day Jig” (Thursday, 17 March 2022)
  5. An Impressionist’s Friday Afternoon” (Friday, 18 March 2022)

There’s also a bonus track version of “Pi Day,” which I recorded at school on a Baldwin Acrosonic spinet piano (the same piano used in Péchés d’âge moyen.  Again, I’d hoped to record the whole thing on there, but it just wasn’t possible given time constraints and work commitments.  Instead, I played the tracks on my Casio CDP-S100.

And, if you’re feeling really generous—or would like something pretty to hang on your walls—I’m selling the one-of-kind painting I used for the album cover.  It’s called “Springtime.”

Finally, there’s all of my other great music.

Happy Listening!

—TPP

Even More Little Paintings

I took a bit of a break from painting last week to finish up Péchés d’âge moyen, my short collection of twelve original piano miniatures, but by the time “More Little Paintings: Hearts and an Octopus” posted last week, I’d already churned out a total of fifteen of these little guys.

Rather than subject you to week after week of bizarre paintings, I figured I’d dump them all into one post:

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