“Allee Willis’ Wonderland O’ Kitsch – East San Fernando Valley, CA. Part 2″ VIDEO

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In part 2 I take you on a tour of even more grand and kitschifyingly wonderful monuments of aesthetic in my beloved east San Fernando Valley just outside of Hollywood. This time eye-popping wonders include giant golf balls, plaster families, official city art that says I don’t know what about the city, nipping happy faces, Russian onion domes, ancient Italy, unnatural rock, glittery hemp, an airborne 59 Corvette,  Amelia Earhart and a misplaced giant Emmy.

If you haven’t seen Part 1 with the spewing volcanoes, frog families and shoe cars go here now.

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Categories: Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Place, video

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Chase & Sanborn Coffee Can

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These days I’ve dialed back down to decaf but every Sunday morning begins with a nice steaming cup of this stuff.  Now it’s slightly more exotic brands than Chase & Sanborn but this is the one that got the habit rolling back in the ’70s for me. Though the can may be a little battered now it actually represented lots of breakthroughs in coffee can packaging that revolutionized the industry.  For one, the No-Slip Strip, a little sardine like key that you broke off the bottom and used to wrap the metal strip that held the can together into a neat, tight coil avoiding bloody fingers that were inevitable without such an instrument.

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Categories: Brands, Drink, Kitchen, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day

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Allee Willis’ Props O’ The Day – Bye Bye, Jerrie Thill…

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I just got the news that Jerrie Thill, the 91-year-old female drummer on an oxygen tank who I did my song and video, “Hey Jerrie”, with in 2009, passed away last night. She was a killer drummer and an astounding spirit, albeit a slightly deflated one over this past year since she broke her hip and was no longer able to play. We became great friends after I met her in 2008 during one of her regular Sunday gigs at El Cid.

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Categories: Hey Jerrie, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music, People, Self expression, Songwriting

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Market Basket Coffee Can

market-basket-coffee-can_2418I love names that are this unassuming.  Market Basket Coffee.  But who wants their coffee to taste like a market basket when you think about it? It’s not very exotic, just a bunch of metal bars being rolled around and stuffed with  food, cleaning products, panty liners and the like. Maybe it was a brand from some big supermarket called Market Basket. Maybe they just wanted to be super generic and basic like a good cup of coffee sitting next to a fried egg; no muss/no fuss, just a nice basic breakfast that won’t upset your stomach and a nice vintage can that still looks good.

The can is battered from decades of use, missing the top and scratched, but still has a permanent spot in the Willis Wonderland kitchen holding its precious cargo that also starts with a ‘c’, cat food.

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Categories: Accessories, Brands, Drink, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Liberace Mug

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I bought this Liberace mug at the first Hollywood estate sale I went to when I moved to LA in the late 70′s. I think Jack Hellman, the recipient of this inscribed mug from Liberace, was a critic at Variety.  I know that he was a Taurus.

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Categories: Advertising/ Promotion, Celebrity, Drink, Furniture and Housewares, Hollywood, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music, People, TV/Radio

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – 3D, Miami Beach & Charles Phoenix

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With 3D all the rage today many people forget that the first ubiquitous mass consumer experience with the technology was with View-Masters.  Introduced in 1962, one could view seven 3D images as they spun around on a paper disc creating lifelike reality inside the mouse hole of two eyepieces. The earliest View-Masters featured popular tourist attractions like this one of Miami Beach, where I first started buying these.

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Categories: Architecture, Clothes, Creativity, Detroit, Fashion, Gadgets, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, People, Photograph, Place, Toy

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch’ O The Day – Mr. Mother’s Day Cup & Saucer Sculpture

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I love, love, love crafts projects, especially when they go awry, and this coffee cup with saucer collar is one of my favorites. That it says “Happy Mother’s Day” despite its unmistakable portraiture of a mustached, bow-tied man is just the tip of the kitsch iceberg! The glitter is gooped on with an overabundance of still visible glue. Mom is decidedly not dishwasher friendly. Precision was not on the side of the hand that shaped the facial features, all of which are made of felt with excessively crooked edges. And the glitter on the handle nose makes it grossly uncomfortable to pick up, not that you would want to anyway as the saucer, should you be imbibing your Mother’s Day joe with Dad or any other human being, blocks your vision when tilted toward mouth.

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Categories: Crafts, Drink, Furniture and Housewares, Holidays, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – The Extendable Fork and Top Chef Masters

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Last night I found myself in the middle of another food fest, this time at Ciudad, another one of Top Chef Master competitor Susan Feniger’s restaurants in LA which she owns along with co-stupendous Chef Mary Sue Milliken.  Border Grill in Santa Monica and Las Vegas is theirs too.  As long as Susan remains on Top Chef Masters there’ll be a screening of the Bravo show each week at one of her restaurants, including my beloved Street.

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Categories: Accessories, Food, Furniture and Housewares, Gadgets, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Place, Street, TV/Radio

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – The Ultimate Green Garden

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If ever there were a garden for 2010 with no water required, no gardening bills to pay and always picture perfect plumage on well-sculpted almost-topiary-but-without-the-cute-animals tree/bushes this would be it.

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Categories: Art, bad art, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Nature

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – “Artistry With Hair” Sign

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One sure shot sign of Kitsch is when someone’s idea stops at the first thought and doesn’t spin off into a more creative zone that produces deeper, more interesting and creative spinoff ideas. This holds true with any creative vision, from telling a story to writing a song to thinking of a name for your business.

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Categories: Forgot to Categorize, Hair, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Sign

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