Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Goofy Squirrel Planter

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I got this squirrel planter last week when I was up in Sonoma recording. At least I think it’s a squirrel. Maybe it’s a gopher, or even a beaver. I’m not that up on my animals with buck teeth but whatever it is I love that it’s got two separate compartments and, as such, I will be putting it to work here at Willis Wonderland. I’m not sure if the squirrel/gopher/beaver will hold pencils in the large compartment and paper clips in the little ashtray/bowl or Q-tips in the large compartment and safety pins in the smaller one. These types of decisions are the joys of being a collector who actually uses what they collect as opposed to putting things behind glass as so many collectors do, squeezing the life out of the object whose role usually grinds to a halt because of such practices. Though as a whole I find that very few collectors of kitsch actually relegate their artifacts to imprisonment in glass jails. Kitsch lovers usually put their objects right to work.  There’s a utilitarian pride in collecting such a genre, making this squirrel/gopher/beaver about to be very happy in its new home.

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Speaking of new homes for squirrels, I have long been the enabler of fine living among the species. I apologize for the graininess of the following shots, all grabbed from videos at least 15 years old. This particular squirrel is enjoying a corn cob at a miniature picnic table and chair I erected for him/her to dine at.

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Before I bought the squirrel his/her own patio set, he/she used to snack at my table:

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A few times the squirrel dined in a fashionable 1950′s wrought iron planter:

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And oftentimes when he/she was full he/she relaxed on the head of a statue that James Brown himself removed from my backyard when we wrote together in 1985 and he combed my collection for any mammys and Sambos and sent them packing.

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After a few years I had to close the squirrel cafeteria because it just got too messy as every squirrel in Los Angeles eventually heard about it. As much as I miss all the activity in my backyard, this goofy little squirrel planter fulfills all my animal needs as he’s cute and I don’t have to feed him.

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Categories: Animals, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Sculpture

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Peace Foot

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I’ve seen trillions of sculptures of hands giving the peace sign but this is the first time I’ve seen a foot flashing the international symbol of love and harmony. As if that wasn’t kitschy enough, a cheaper made sculpture you could never find. Adorned with a flimsy paper peace sign sticker and colored to make it look like rich wood, this peace foot is made of incredibly cheap plastic, lucky if it weighs an ounce despite being 6 inches tall.  There’s no manufacturers mark anywhere on the appendage, as if whoever made it didn’t want to take credit for such a lovely and peaceful foot.

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Categories: Accessories, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Political, Sculpture

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – 1950′s Good Housekeeping Appetizer Book

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By the number of post-its that I’ve stuck in this book, 41 to be exact, it’s obvious that I’m as much a fan of the recipes in this hallowed hors d’oeuvres bible as the typical housewife was in 1958 when it was published by Good Housekeeping magazine and the Hearst Corporation. The fact that thanks are given to companies like Frito, Borden, the Hawaiian Pineapple Company, Lawry’s, the National Biscuit Company, Ralston Purina, Swift and the Shrimp Association of the Americas should be a great indication of the junk-tipped treasures that lie within. I have long followed the advice of this book when throwing small dinner parties, well, at least small parties for me, 10 to 20 people, and if you happen to be cooking this lovely Sunday afternoon or evening and haven’t decided on the menu yet I suggest you do the same.

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Categories: Book, Brands, Drink, Food, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Party

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Coleco “Quiz Wiz” Computer Answer Game and 42,000 Terabytes Later…

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Most people have a laptop or desktop computer and, if they’re lucky, a few terabytes of storage. I have 42,000 terabytes, the ever-growing result of owning one of the first networked houses in LA and being terminally digital dependent. I put the network in in 1991 when I connected all of my then three Macs and got online. This was still in the day when 97% of  the world’s population and 99.9% of the entertainment industry either never heard of the Internet or thought it was the dorkiest medium possible and would “never catch on”.  But I was clear that for me it was the road to ultimate self-expression, a way out of  being under the thumb of media conglomerates who controlled when and how I could express myself via my career. I was always a vociferous documenter and archivist so once that network went in my house it grew by leaps and bounds to this very day when my “laptop” looks like this:

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Categories: Gadgets, Games, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Technology

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Vintage “Sexometer” and Dinner with Michael Patrick King

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A few nights ago I had dinner at Street with Michael Patrick King.

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Categories: Celebrity, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Romance, Street, Toy

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Leaving Pomplamoose and Hitting The Madonna Inn

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Yesterday, me and Mark Blackwell, who I work with, drove back to LA from up north in Sonoma where I was working with Pomplamoose. As I had raced through the last 48 hours to drive up there with a van full of props so we could shoot our “Shbaby” video, unloaded everything, danced and carried on like a lunatic for the video for much of the time, wrapped, re-wrapped and repaired  instruments I had made out of foamcore, many of which weren’t happy taking the trip, singing and finishing tracks for another song, “R U Thinking”,  finalizing our “Jungle Animal” video, racing back and forth to the hotel where someone who weighed at least 400 pounds was very fidgety in the room above me both nights… as all this was crammed into a less than 48 hour period I was drop dead T-I-R-E-D when it was time to head back yesterday morning.

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Categories: Architecture, Art, Creative process, Food, Furniture and Housewares, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music, Place, Pomplamoose, Transportation, Travel

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Allee Willis Kitsch O’ The Day – Ultra Fancy Cheeeeap Tote Bag

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I beg to differ with the quotation “You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear”. I offer as proof this ungodly garish tote bag I picked up at the Mexican swap meet the other day, belted and sequined within an inch of its sow eared life and a stunning example of one of my favorite genres of kitsch -  when someone takes something so pathetically plain Jane most people wouldn’t give it a second look and attempts to make it look like something that would accompany one to a dinner at the White House, the Academy Awards or  some other such fancy dress affair.

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Categories: Accessories, Creativity, Fashion, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – “Maestro The Musical Bingo” Game and Working with Pomplamoose

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This game felt especially fitting because it’s supposed to teach you how to play by ear. Not only did I never learn to play by ear but I never learned to play period. Which makes the fact that my songs have sold over 50 million records a very kitschy thing indeed! I don’t suppose this game will help me, though, as there are no instructions included. I was never good at following instructions with anything anyway which is why just about everything I do is so spontaneous and free form. Which is what I loved about Pomplamoose when everyone started sending me links to their version of my song,“September”.   I sent them a message and asked them if they wanted to write something together, something I never do, but I thought they were so fresh and casual and inventive that it would be a good match. From the looks of their videos it looked like they already knew what this game had to teach.

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Categories: Games, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Memorabilia, Music, Pomplamoose, September, Songwriting, Travel

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – CBer’s Prayer Plaque and On The Road To Work With Pomplamoose

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As I cruise along the 5 and 101 freeways up north to finish three videoSongs with Pomplamoose, my trusty CBer’s Prayer Plaque is in place on the dash. Before modern technology, the CB radio leading the way in multi-vehicle communication, my  traveling life was hell. I never actually had a CB but I did marvel at how trucks could warn each other of impending Smokies or fabulous truck stops with Blue Plate Specials. Now that I have a cell phone, well, several cell phones, an Ipad and my laptop that I plug into the cigarette lighter I’m much more inclined to travel because I can stay connected. I never really had a desire to leave my life behind and now I don’t have to.

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Categories: Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Sign, Technology, Travel

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Allee Willis Kitsch O’ The Day – It’s very hot in LA today…

It’s sweltering in LA today. I have a house full of people as I’m racing to finish the Pomplamoose video, two of my computers have broken down so 2 techs are here, the pool filter’s being fixed, some bees are being removed, my assistant at helping me pack to get ready to go up north to finish two more songs with Pomplamoose, my animator’s here and someone’s giving me an estimate on new mini blinds. Thank God no one came dressed like these guys…

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Categories: Fashion, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music

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