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Will Donato at Houndstooth Pub May 11, 2015

Posted by Mike C. in Internet, Jazz, Music, Personal, Photography, Travel.
2 comments

Houndstooth Pub was the place to be Saturday night as saxophonist Will Donato took the stage.

This was the first time I had seen Will since he performed with fellow saxophonist Elan Trotman a few years ago. Both times, a significant personal event occurred the same day. Then, it was the removal of a curbside tree at my neighbor’s house, one that had been there since I moved to Wantagh in July 1993. Saturday, it was the tenth anniversary of MikeChimeri.com.

I was thrilled to see Will. He’s a ball of energy, winding his way through the crowd, connecting with every audience member, including me. He even has a humorous side, which he displayed when speaking to the audience between songs.

Will was mostly on alto saxophone:
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Bill Heller on keyboard:
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Kenny Harris on bass:
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…and Chris Marshak on drums:
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SET LIST
1.
Kenny’s Groove (Kenny Harris)

2. New Life
Originally heard on:Will Power,” 2004

3. I’ll Be Around (The Spinners cover)
Originally heard on:Will Call,” 2007

4. Italia
Originally heard on: “Will Power,” 2004; “What It Takes,” 2010

5. Funkability
Originally heard on: “What It Takes,” 2010

6. Show and Tell (Al Wilson cover)
Originally heard on:Universal Groove,” 2014

7. Working Day and Night (Michael Jackson cover)

BREAK

8. Always You
Originally heard on: “What It Takes,” 2010

9. Jaywalkin’
Originally heard on: “Universal Groove,” 2014

10. You’ve Just Been Had (Kenny Harris)

11. Down & Loaded (Bill Heller)
Originally heard on:Find the Way,” 2014 (Bill Heller)

12. What Is Hip? (Tower of Power cover)

13 (Encore). Play That Funky Music (Wild Cherry cover)
Originally heard on: “Universal Groove,” 2014

Now that you know the set list, let’s move on to various pictures of Will in the audience and on stage:
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He switched to tenor sax for “Down & Loaded”…:
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…before returning to alto for the last two songs:
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Now for pictures of the rest of the band, starting with Bill Heller:
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Vocals on “Show and Tell”:
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Vocoder on “Working Day and Night”:
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…and “Play That Funky Music”:
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Kenny Harris:
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Vocals on “Kenny’s Groove”:
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…and “You’ve Just Been Had”:
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Chris Marshak:
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Wide shots:
“New Life”:
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“Down & Loaded”:
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“What Is Hip?”:
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“Play That Funky Music”:
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What a wild show this turned out to be. I had a blast. I spoke to Will and the band during the break and after the show, and before I left, Will and I posed for a picture:
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Thank you to Will, Bill, Kenny, and Chris for making this a night to remember.

Ten years of MikeChimeri.com! May 9, 2015

Posted by Mike C. in Internet, Personal, Radio, Technology.
1 comment so far

Today marks ten years since I launched MikeChimeri.com. For its first seven years, it was a WYSIWYG site created with Yahoo SiteBuilder. Then, I merged it with the four-year-old Mike Chimeri Blog.

I originally created this site to replace InstrumentalInvasion.net, following my last Instrumental Invasion show at WGBB-AM a few days earlier.

I can’t believe it’s been ten years. Thank you to everyone that’s visited. Here’s to ten more years.

Don’t Be a Pinhead Tour at Westbury recap May 3, 2015

Posted by Mike C. in Audiobooks, Books, Comedy, Commentary, Media, News, Personal, Politics, Radio, Theatre, TV.
2 comments

According to WordPress, this is my 350th post at MikeChimeri.com.

Last night, for the first time in four years, I was at NYCB Theatre at Westbury to see Bill O’Reilly and Dennis Miller. This time, their tour had a new name: Don’t Be a Pinhead.

My dad and were seated in Section B, Row H.

The show was scheduled to begin at 8:00, but didn’t start until 8:09. At that time, Bill got on the P.A. system and directed the crowd to “please greet Dennis Miller!”

Dennis’ first joke was “Hi, #Hello #GoodEvening.” Here are some of the topics of his 35-minute set:

  • Hillary Clinton
  • James Carville
  • Other potential Democratic presidential candidates
  • Bill Ayers
  • John Kerry
  • Potential Republican presidential candidates
  • John Boehner
  • Green hotel
  • Apple Watch
  • Weird sports day – “Floyd Mayweather won the Kentucky Derby”
  • Harry Reid
  • Obamacare
  • Pope Francis
  • Nancy Pelosi

After the last Pelosi joke, Bill walked toward the stage and exclaimed, “Dennis Miller, everybody!” Bill’s 35-minute set included:

  • Baltimore
  • His hard scrabble upbringing in Levitttown
  • Hillary Clinton
  • President Barack Obama
  • One poll on each of the two
  • James Carville
  • The previous two presidential campaigns (McCain, Romney)
  • Romney’s 2012 primary opponents
  • How Bill got the five living presidents to sign pictures of them to raise money for track chairs

Intermission was 15 minutes, after which Bill and Dennis returned to the stage for Q&A. Once again, they sat in chairs while the stage rotated. Highlights of this part were:

  • A question from Barry in Syosset led Dennis to joke “Barry’s got Syosset?”
  • “Volleyballtocracy”
  • Dennis’ nicknames for Vice President Joe Biden: “Jar Jar Biden,” “Plugs MacKenzie”
  • The Saturday Night Live parody of Hillary Clinton’s campaign launch
  • Bill and Dennis won’t endorse any candidates for 2016
  • Dennis’ stories of traveling with Pres. George W. Bush
  • Stories from Bill and Dennis’ trips to Iraq
  • A plug for the Rockin’ the Boat benefit on May 21
  • What is a pinhead?
  • The Killing books (Dennis’ book: Killing Lincoln Logs)
  • Bill’s infamous appearance on The View in October 2010

And with that, the night was over. Bill and Dennis left to a standing ovation. Dennis paraphrased Jackie Gleason by saying “Long Island audiences are the greatest audiences in the world.” It was certainly an entertaining two hours.

If you want to see the Don’t Be a Pinhead Tour, get your tickets fast because the shows sell out in a hurry. The next three shows in Cleveland and Memphis next month, and Atlantic City in August, are all sold out. I recommend watching the Miller Time segment every Wednesday on The O’Reilly Factor to see if new dates are added. So far, Atlantic City is it.

If any viewer e-mails from audience members are read on The Factor this week, I will update this post with those e-mails and Bill’s replies.

5/8 UPDATE: There weren’t any viewer e-mails from audience members this week, but dates were added to the tour this fall. You can find them here.