World’s Most Popular Laundry Chute

By far the most popular photo in the 19, count them, 19 photos of my house in the Los Angeles Times over the weekend was this one of my laundry chute: 

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This makes me very happy as a porthole carved into my bedroom floor is a testament to my life philosophy of ‘if stuck with a weakness, turn it into a strength.’

In 1980, when I moved into my pink Streamline Moderne birthday cake of a house, built in 1937 as the party pad for MGM or Warner Bros. depending on who you listen to, all the floors were covered with thick beige shag carpeting. Now I who worship at the throne of kitsch do not mean to demean shag carpeting. Had it even been a little less crusty it would still be under my feet today. But I could tell by the way my pets hoovered it that many discretions had been committed upon that shag. So at precisely 8:00 am. August 1, 1980, the second I took official ownership, I was on my knees de-shagging the pad.

The wood underneath was the original hardwood floors, the kind of thin blond strips they don’t make any more. Never cared for or waxed and riddled with nail holes along the sides, the floor as a whole still looked pretty good except for where the aforementioned pet activity or overwatered potted plants left huge black stains. Most of these I could cover with my collection of vintage-suplemented-with-Ikea Atomic-rugs. But there was a spot in my seven sided bedroom where the wall turns 22 degrees every three feet where a carpet couldn’t lay in any kind of natural way so I just accepted the big black stain though it depressed me every time I looked at it. 

This the kind of Deco home where you know there’s a porthole looming somewhere. I have 3 of them downstairs in my paneled rec room with the singing sea life linoleum floor.

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There are three more portholes outside:

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All of these came via Ebay from either a 1951 US Naval cruiser or a 1952 Criss Craft boat. I bought another one that looked great in the photo but when it arrived wasn’t anywhere near as sturdy as the other ones and had little shards of mirror stuck between the brass sides. Who knew that portholes were such a big item in the world of mirrors?  The porthole sat idly in a box for years. And the only thing that covered the big black stain was my dirty clothes as they piled up on the floor because there was no laundry chute to deliver them downstairs to the washer and dryer.

I am one to use found objects in less than normal ways. Like I oftentimes use steering wheels for table legs:

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So when I decided in 2002 that I couldn’t take looking at that big black stain anymore it made perfect sense to cut it out of the floor and use the once-mirror-porthole as the portal to the laundry chute. It was no surprise to me that of all of the photos in the LA Times the one of the chute garnered the most attention.  It makes me very happy to share my chute with the world now!

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Categories: Art, Creative process, Hollywood, House, Kitsch, Los Angeles

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Boogie Wonderland In The White House tonight

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I know you are all watching the Oscars tonight but you weren’t invited to the White House anyway so no conflict.

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Categories: Afro, Boogie Wonderland, Earth Wind & Fire, Kitsch, Music, Party, Songwriting

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“Badeya, Say do you remember…?”

A friend just sent me this. It was on Ellen two years ago. 

 

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Categories: Art, Kitsch, Music, Songwriting

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I’m The One Who Needs Oxygen

 

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Categories: Art, Creative process, Discography, Hey Jerrie, Jerrie Thill, Kitsch, Lyrics, Music, Party, Self expression, Songwriting, video

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Jerrie Beat!

 

Had a totally triumphant party last night at ghettogloss, to launch “Hey Jerrie”, my latest music video with me and Jerrie Thill, my favorite 91 year old female drummer/singer on an oxygen tank.  I would have woken up and started to get photos up here but I looked at YouTube and the video has EXPLODED.  Close to 25,000 views in the first 24 hours and it’s on 37 charts around the world.   So I’m fielding a gaggle of emails,  Facebook messages and the like so reporting on the frivolity of the launch party will probably not happen til sometime this weekend.  So for now, please enjoy the video (hit the ‘Watch in HD link’ or it will look like crap) and send http://www.jer91.com to everyone you know.

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Categories: Hey Jerrie, Jerrie Thill, Kitsch, Los Angeles, Music, Party, Songwriting, video

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Breathing Easy…

I’m racing down the final twists and turns of the highway known as Allee’s Throwing A Party and have hit the inevitable pothole of I’ve Got It Together/ I’m Totally UnPrepared. One of the reoccurring bumps in the road has been the design that accompanies this particular project/ party and whether I’ve gone too far or not far enough – a creative problem an artist with any depth must learn to handle gracefully without the aid of too many outside stimulants.

This Thursday night, 2/5, is the launch of “Hey Jerrie”, my new music video featuring me and spectacular 91 year old female drummer on an oxygen tank, Jerrie Thill.  As I am wont to do for my parties I’m sitting here hand-making hundreds of souvenirs including fans of my and Jerrie’s heads:

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Categories: Art, Creative process, Health & Beauty, Hey Jerrie, Jerrie Thill, Kitsch, Music, Party, Self expression, Technology, video

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