Thursday, August 30, 2007

All Things Cheese and Some Beef

I'm really not a TV or entertainment blog can I compete with blogs devoted solely to pop culture, TV shows, movies, and music. I dabble in all of them, but I aim to be a clever blog. But, alas, apparently I'm somewhat a TV-slash-movie-slash-pop-culture addict. A The Soup wannabe, if you will. On with the show....

I got a haircut last Friday. It's a great haircut. I could walk on the set of Ocean's 14 and someone would puff my face with one of those face-powder-puff things ...because they'd think I'm an actor cuz of my awesome hair ...get it? Aren't the best jokes those jokes you have to explain? I agree.

I've decided to post to Donniego on Sundays and Wednesdays - or very close to those days and unless something truly inspires me this ...can a 40-year-old musician still be called a "punk rocker?" Case in point, Bad Religion's Greg Hetson was recently introduced on a radio show as a "punk rocker." Aren't you "punk" or "a punk" when you are young and bucking the system? Showing no initiative? Trying not to fit in? If you are young and doing those things you might, hence, be labeled a "punk." But if you are 40 years old, you are married, have kids, and are playing in a band because you love music and you need to feed yer kids and pay for their college ...well ...explain to me how that is "punk." Similarly, if you are 40 years old, you're wearing a blonded-out-mohawk, you refuse to work or give up your marijuana, well ...aren't you just called a "loser?" I kinda hope being an upstanding citizen can be called "punk" cuz that means I'm TOTALLY PUNK, DUDE!!! Other titles you can't hang onto ...teen idol, teen heartthrob, child actor, and child prodigy.

THE CHEESIEST DAD: Matt Lauer. He says, "I'm right up there with the cheesiest of dads." Having dinner with your family is cheesy? Um ...actually ...IT'S F'N PUNK, DUDE!!!

HOORAY!: It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia's new season debuts on FX Sept. 13. There are so many noteworthy TV debuts and dates coming up, I think I'll make a list on the right side to remind me (and you). Another story on this from my wife is here.

PUNCHLINE NEEDED: After all the rehab and jail time, Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, and Paris Hilton decide they need a vacation away and decide they need a weekend of skiing in Colorado. Why? Because Lindsay Lohan loves piles of white powder, Paris Hilton really likes pole, and Britney Spears . . . .?

PUNCHLINE NEEDED #2: What do you call a Catholic Priest who is also a Cub Scout leader?

The punchlines to both of those jokes will be GOLD!!! I just can't think of them.

SAW IT: Superbad. There's probably a thousand reviews out there, so I'll sum it up this way's the hardest I've laughed in a theatre outside of South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut, and There's Something About Mary. Oh, and Dumb and Dumber. You'd think that teen comedies and all the jokes were used up, by now. Apparently not. This was like American Pie, but even funnier. Two hours of gags and jokes. I had an upset stomach at the end because of the belly laughter. I came away from the movie with these nuggets: (1) Michael Cera, Seth Rogan, and Clark Duke are squarely in my radar. And "in my radar" means that I will probably become obsessed with them. Case in point, my nugget #2 ...(2) I'm destined to write something clever that Seth Rogan will notice and before long I'll be hanging out and partying with Cera, Duke, and Seth ...cuz I assume they hang all the time. What will I write? A joke about getting laid or something, but it'll be written in a supressed, confused, midwest guy sorta way. I'll be a supporting cast member in the third season of Greek. Mark my words. Also, just know that 9 years ago I was completely focused on collaborating with Bob Odenkirk and David Cross - I'll bet you don't remember what we did together, right? Right.

Have you bookmarked the All Pilot Project? Do it. Cuz I'll be contributing ...I think.

Blogging is for crazy people ...therefore, I blog.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Mid-Week Stuff

MUST READ: A rant on coloring books at All things Meaningless.

MUST SEE: Tonight's 11:30 airing of The Colbert Report where "Stephen Colbert will be airing the interview with billionaire turd-cutter Richard Branson that was taped last week. It’s already made the news, because Branson actually poured water on Stephen. It sounds like it was bitter and tense the whole way through, and we’ll get to see what happened on Wednesday."

Cavemen first I rolled my eyes. Then I lashed out when people mentioned it. Next I kinda got used to the idea of a sitcom launching based on some funny Geico commercials. Then I warmed up to the concept. And, now, I can't wait for this sit-com to premiere. Did I say "can't wait?" I did. That right there is a prime example of a "distraction" keeping me from my "passions." Without airing, hype for this show is picking up steam. Don't believe me? Check this out (go ahead ...go into the apartment and start clicking around) . . .
"Stop for a second and open your browser and type in and you will see an awesome interactive media site. It will take you a number of hours of playing and viewing this site as this is how media interaction and the use of an entertainment website are meant to be. Awesome."
These cavemen have a blog. This site is humorous. Oh, I'll definitely be watching this and will be sad when the show is cancelled ...or ...I'll be telling you five years from now that it jumped the shark.

So, there'll be two shows I'll talk about alot this fall ...Kid Nation and Cavemen. Check back. I'll tell you what's good or bad about 'em.

If you want to know about the rest of the shows on this falls schedule, the crazy (or perhaps inspired) man at A Nickel for the Swear Jar might be writing about them all. He hasn't officially announced it, but still check his site for a thought or two on The Pick-Up Artist and other stuff.

Speaking of great hair - were we speaking of great hair? - I saw High School Musical 2 this past weekend ...twice. It was great. Cheese nation is alive and well. In fact, H.S. Musical 2 was the most watched cable show ever. The great hair belonged to none other than the star, Zac Efron. American Idol is the #1 show on TV and High School Musical 2 represents the highest viewership of any cable show ever and it's the #1 CD in stores. Like it or not, folks, but this next generation will be the most bubble-gum generation, yet.

Make sure to watch The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. That's all.

Monday, August 20, 2007


I read something great today about passion. You should read it, too. The quote that stood out . . .
most people who say “passion” refer only to a desire that provides them escape from boredom.
Kinda made me take a step back and think about things. What am I passionate about? My family. Yes. My hair. Check. Michigan State University? The sports teams? Sports? Writing?

You see where I'm going here? These things ...are they "passions" or simply "hobbies" ...or worse yet, just "distractions?"

This will be pondered by the authors at Donniego.

Monday, August 13, 2007

American Idol's LIVE

COLUMBUS, OH - How can I say this without being over dramatic? OK. I'll try it this way. On Saturday night I saw the American Idols Live tour and it was better than the birth of at least one of my three children.

Yes, folks, I got to see the spectacle live and I'd like to share the joy with you, now. I've hemmed and hawed a great deal on how to best describe this once-in-a-lifetime show-for-the-ages. Should I go artist by artist? Highlight by highlight? Or should I just walk you through the entire show giving you a sense that you were actually there?

I sat 5 rows from the stage (the best seats to any concert I've ever attended). To my left, 3 college kids having a good time. Behind me, 3 50-something women out for a night of wild Idol fun. The rest of the stadium? Wild, frenzied kids, mostly ages 6 through 15, screaming at the top of their lungs for two hours. I've been to quite a few concerts in my day and I've never heard anything like this. I now know why The Beatles stopped touring. The Fab Four said the screaming made it pointless to play anything because no one was really listening. The Idols live screams must've been close.

Was this concert "great?" I'm going to say yes ...for what it is, it is great. Cheezy. High energy. And slightly entertaining. And for 8 of the Idol finalists, this will be the coolest damn thing they'll ever do in their lives. Yes, though they don't want to admit it now, in about 4 or 5 years, at least 7 of them will be working in an office and thinking back fondly on the greatest summer of their lives.

Who won't? Blake, Jordin, and maybe Chris Richardson.

The show opened with the Idols' take on the Black Eyed Peas classic "Let's Get it Started." The stadium erupted, some pre-teens passed out (I"m sure), and I'm pretty confident a few 12 year old middle school girls spontaneously combusted - it's an unmistakable smell.

But the show moves quick, no sooner had they "got it started" did they all disappear and then Lakisha and Melinda appeared back on stage with a Motown tribute. Neither had much energy and I can tell they're both still pissed they didn't win. They were joined on stage by Chris Richardson for "I Heard it Through the Grapevine." More on Chris in a bit.

Then came Gina and Side Show Bob - aka Chris Sligh. Side Show Bob hasn't exactly been working out, let's say that. Gina and SSB gave the audience their first "we love Columbus" bit, and it never stopped for the rest of the night. It occurred to me that for these 7 and 8 year olds, this might be their first live concert. So when Sligh mentioned Ohio staples such as Skyline Chili and the Ohio State Buckeyes, these kids probably thought that Columbus, that restaurant, and Ohio State really were the greatest things about the tour. Needless to say, like any concert really, for the rest of the night the mere mention of anything "Ohio" brought the house down. They sang a Fall Out Boy tune together.

Next up, a pants-wearin' Haley. I boo'd like crazy. How dare she wear pants!??!?!?! How ...dare ...she!!! I won't dignify her with a review ...she sang something Country.

Then the stage went dark. Smoke filled the stage. And "Thriller" began pumping through the speakers. Ladies and gentlemen ...I give you ...Sanjaya. Rising up in the middle of the stage was crazy-haired Sanjaya. The screams were deafening. These kids don't see him as a talentless, androgynous, soft voiced guy singing, fittingly, a Michael Jackson song, who only made the top-10 because Howard Stern and VoteForTheWorst kept him alive. No, they see him as a funny, nice boy that Simon was mean to. And he knows it, and he's workin' it. He actually didn't sing "Thriller" but instead sang Jackson's "The Way You Make Me Feel." It was bad, but nobody seemed to care. Most of all the 50 year olds behind me. They snapped many, many digital photos.

Then a few forgettable performances followed it ...Side Show Bob played guitar (to prove he's not just some singing-only guy ...right). Lakisha, Gina, Haley (in pants) doing "Lady Marmalade." The rest of the concert kinda went like this...
  • Jordin and Chris Richardson did an acoustic duo (both playing acoustic guitars).
  • Jordin sang a solo.
  • Blake beat boxed and sang The Zombies "Time of the Season" (a song from Season 6).
  • Blake then explained his loop pedal and beat boxed, acoustic guitar'd, and sang his way through Marron 5's "She Will Be Loved" and rolled into U2's "With or Without U"
  • (Everyone learned guitar on the road, apparently)
  • Blake then did a two minute beat-box solo and electronicatalked the word "Ohio" into it. The crowd went ape-shit.
  • Baldy sang "America the Beautiful" backed up by the gals ...and we finally saw some leg. I cheered!
  • The boys then all gathered as the Idol band to (a) once again try and prove they actually have talent and (b) to get crazy screams. Baldy played keyboard, Side Show Bob and Blake played guitar, Sanjaya played tamborine (ok, he's not trying to prove to anyone he has talent), and Chris Richardson played drums. They sang Gnarl's Barkley's "Crazy". It wasn't bad. Then it got bad. They decided to flow that into The Beatles "Hey Jude." But something went horribly wrong. These pre-teens and teens didn't even know the song. I'm not kidding. And when it got to the most obligatory audience participation part of any song ever, no one in the audience really knew what to do ...I sang "na, na, na, na-na-na-na" ...but I was one of only a few.
  • Gina sang something by Pink. She was boring and I could tell she would rather not be on tour.
  • Chris and Blake performed a duet of Bill Wither's "Ain't No Sunshine" ...yes, Chris, again.
  • The Chris and Blake duo then did a beat-box-off and then a Jamiroquai duet. Yes. Still Chris.
  • Lakisha brought the house down (I guess) with Whitney's "I Will Always Love You."
  • Chris got a solo and did a two-song Maroon 5 medley (the Idols really like Maroon 5).
  • Baldy reprised his version of "Blaze of Glory"
  • A trio of girls and Chris performed "Life is a Highway" legs. More boo'ing from me.
  • Jordin showed up, finally, wearing a Buckeyes jersey. She did not get the cheers I would expect of the winner. Blake and Chris (and even Sanjaya) got ear piercing screams all night ...Jordin didn't. She's a great singer, but lack charisma.
  • Doolittle solo'd "Natural Woman."
  • FINALLY saw legs ...and they were awesome!!! I guess she sang with three other girls and I guess they might have sung something by Christina Aquilera ...I was watching leg.
My wife had commented a few times that we hadn't hardly seen Jordin, *THE* Idol, hardly at all. I assumed that the winner of each season must get their own mini concert at the end of every show and that's exactly how it went down. She started by reprising her best performance and sang Tom Jones' "I Who Have Nothing." It was good ...but it's no Tom Jones. She tried some banter with the audience and ...ouch ...its like they used her performances to all hit the restrooms. I think I heard crickets. She rolled into Benatar's "Heartbreaker", did something by Jewel, told us she loved Country music and reprised her singing of Martina McBride's "Broken Wing," and finished off her mini-concert with her version of "Livin' on a Prayer." She was joined on stage by all the Idols and they bid us good night.

But ...oh no ...not so fast. Queue the banshies. I'm not kidding ...I had to cover my ears. And they all came back. Woo hoo! Jordin sang her hit single "This is My Now" (I'm going to write the finale song next year, darn it ...that song sucks!). And then something crazy happened ...everyone came out and sang 30-seconds of the songs they'd already sung in the show. The worst encore I've ever seen. The only good part was that Haley was showing leg.

And that wrapped up the evening. For 16,000 pre-teens and teens, it was a night they'll never forget, though many of the 10 year old boys I saw clapping, singing, dancing, and cheering will someday deny they were ever there. Say what you want about it, but we American's love and need this kind of cheeze in our lives.

PREDICTION: Chris Richardson will have the biggest music career, followed by Blake. Jordin, sadly, won't. Chris was everywhere and was actually quite good.

PREDICTION #2: I'll definitely go to another Idols show in the future

PREDICTION #3: I look awesome in my Blake Lewis shirt ...yes ...I bought it. It's awesome.

Donniego ...out!