Korn, NSYNC & A Piercing At The Mall: Total Request LOVE

Senior Year Donny
Me cosplaying as a boy band-er for Senior Picture Day circa 2000.

In the early 2000s, MTV’s genre-indifferent music video popularity contest, Total Request Live, was my identity. In high school, I wasn’t passionate about shit. I did sports, but f*cking sucked, got straight C’s & D’s in my studies, and tried backyard wrestling but couldn’t take a chair shot. I was the opposite of every teenager’s depiction in TV & Film–save for wanting to be acknowledged by the social ruling class, having volatile emotions & a face chock-full of tyrannical acne. While others enlisted in their respective cliques, I was a man without a homogenized-faction; TRL was a demilitarized zone in ninth-twelfth grade’s pop culture war that granted refuge to a draft-dodging phony like me.

My then-girlfriend was fanatical in her appreciation of that period’s preeminent boy band, *NSYNC. She was pink Starburst-sweet, brilliant (in both the regular way and “British” sense of the word–innit), a dynamic dance-squad dancer, and her type was a guy with nary a particle of self-esteem or discernable ambition. I adopted “being a boyfriend” as my personality, and it suited me well. Since I wasn’t confident or emotionally stable, I figured I’d play the part and resemble the 5-piece from Orlando that had a hold of her heart; I frosted my tips, wore bedazzled bandanas, and donned Y2K euro trash duds.

My younger brother, who I had a minimal relationship with, was v into Nu-Metal pioneers, KoRn (pronounced cOrN.) There is no way to overstate KoRn’s significance in the musical landscape of this era, they’re likely the last metal band to EVER crossover into the mainstream, and mi hermano was their biggest supporter. My kinsperson rocked hieroglyphic logo’d band tees, played guitar, blasted lyrically-indistinguishable songs in his Mustang, and had lengthy locks optimized for headbanging. He had a vibe; I was a poser.

There was a common thread that tied what m’lady and m’bro were into, eyebrow-piercings. The baritone bad boy of *NSYNC, Joey Fatone, had a ‘brow earing. The Drop-D heartthrobs of KoRn practically had six eye socket punctures apiece. This middle bit of the Venn Diagram about the two people I cared to connect with most was perfect for a unique-less teen such as myself. I too shall love *NSYNC & Korn, and I must bury a banana-shaped scrap of alloy in my skull and let the metal barbell dangle off my organs of vision awnings just like the KorNsync lot.

Continue reading “Korn, NSYNC & A Piercing At The Mall: Total Request LOVE”


Thank You Disposable Income Freak Show

If you’ve had coffee, carbohydrates, or a cold Miller Lite with me, you know that the Disposable Income Freak Show is my only outlet. I’ve convinced myself that putting on a show is the only thing that makes me likable and someone you’d want to hang out with. Spending time with creative/funny/inspiring people is the only thing that gets my schtick hard.

The Disposable Income Freak Show’s content is, at its core, all about how I don’t want to be a piece of shit anymore. I illuminate the ugly and dark parts of myself. Showcasing the other characters in my life that are just as flawed, but trying their best. Misery loves company.Continue reading “Thank You Disposable Income Freak Show”

@DonnyRad Returns To Chicago This Summer*

After an exhausting amount of consideration, Donny Rodriguez has decided to call the Windy-City (Da Bearz Den, Chicago-Iraq, Rahm’s Reign Of Terror Town, whatever we’re calling it now) home again.

A little insight into the move, Donny has gone through some dark times–like not “I’m emo and bummed”, but like “I’m writing a short film about the hopeless couple of months this past winter that I didn’t almost make it out of”.  After this episode, Donny decided to take off 4 months of writing (this is the first “proper” thing he’s written in forever) to work on himself as a person, which he never done before. Chicago makes him happy so he’s coming back for the Summer–only.Continue reading “@DonnyRad Returns To Chicago This Summer*”

Hombre’s With Ombres [Listicle]

My latest venture! #Fashion #Style #Hair


Hair today, gone mañana

Words and Photoshop by @donnyrad

Hombre is the Spanglish noun for “duder” and Ombré is a hair style where you dip the ends of your mane into color paste when you’re bored and wanna small talk a hair dresser who’s hungover and hangry. Since both words sound similar and the internet is devoid of content credibility, let’s take a look of the hottest trend in the bro-tino community!

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Beast Mode: 15 Workouts You Can Do At Festivals

“Music festivals are a great opportunity to beat your vital organs into submission like they’re in the octagon with Ronda Rousey. Ostensibly serving as a substance abuse grand prix, fests can be awful for your body in other ways too. Inactivity due to passing out in random mud pits, holding still for selfies and ingesting deep-fried fuel that smells like fat-shaming won’t help you keep up on your fitness.” Click here to read more at everfest.com

Disposable Income Freak Show Is Emotion

This blog knows what it’s talking about!!!

Comedy Wham

Promo picture of Donny Rodriguez as a ringleader. Donny Rodriguez is the ringleader of DIFS (Credit: Eliaz Rodriguez).

Donny Rodriguez is the quintessential do-it-yourself type. The bootstrappy attitude has lead him to create an entertaining show that shouldn’t be missed. Fortunately for you, the Disposable Income Freak Show is live this Friday at The New Movement Theater.

Windy City Roots

Rodriguez is originally from Chicago. He honed his sketch comedy skills in the Windy City for six years before moving to Austin. He started the sketch group Wood Sugars with his brother, filmmaker Eliaz Rodriguez, and their buddy, stand-up comedian Jon McCarthy, after goofing off during a poker game. McCarthy was replaced by author/actor Jeff Phillips after he left to L.A.

The Disposable Income Freak Show Flyer with characters on it. The Disposable Income Freak Show is only $5.00 online (Credit: Eliaz Rodriguez).

Since Chicago is basically the capitol of improv, you’d think Donny Rodriguez would have gone that route, but everyone I’ve written about has their own…

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Critics Pick: DonnyRodriguez.com Says You Should See The Disposable Income Freak Show This Friday!


I’m humbled and blown away that DonnyRodriguez.com made my monthly sketch spectacle, the Disposable Income Freak Show, a critics pick for the this week.  The aforementioned show (again, DonnyRodriguez.com’s praise makes me blush) is Friday (1/30), doors at 7:30/show at 8:00 at The New Movement!

Here are the top 5 reasons you should see the show:

5. It’s like a circus show with curiosities and oddities (“bros” and “basic chicks”)!  Who doesn’t love clowns/people who scream shit for no reason?!?!

4. It costs $5.  Cheaper than a craft cocktail on the Eastside with half the pretension!

3. It’s the perfect date from ages from 21-102.  Our show gets you, it’ll help you tongue kiss randos. #TheStruggleIsReal. Continue reading “Critics Pick: DonnyRodriguez.com Says You Should See The Disposable Income Freak Show This Friday!”

The 27 Best Boy Band B-sidez (LISTICLE)


I frosted my tips, rhinestone’d my tees, and got legitimately upset when the popular vote of TRL got the number one spot wrong by giving a NuMetal act the top prize–cue that blockhead Carson Daly quipping about doing it all for the Nookie.  I used to be boy band as fuck–thanks to my high school girlfriend loving that shit and me not really having the self-esteem to have opinions/tastes of my own.

I was #TeamJC before the hashtag “Team(InsertTweenDemiGodHere)” was a thing.  In an effort to seem cooler than I was, I adopted a third-fiddle vocal group 98 Degrees as my favorite, but if we’re real talking here, I was an *NSYNC frontrunner like the lot of us.  JT’s baby blues bling’d brighter than dhose bedazzled bandanas emirite?Continue reading “The 27 Best Boy Band B-sidez (LISTICLE)”