Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Fluff Festival Top Pick in the Boston Globe today!

PICK OF THE DAY

Fluff it up

In 1917, Archibald Query invented Marshmallow Fluff in Union Square, Somerville. Of the many Fluff-focused tributes at Saturday’s Marshallow Fluff Festival, check out games including Pin the F on Fluff Boy, Fluff Fishing, and Fluff Jousting. Artists, musicians, performers, inventors, vendors, and humorists include songwriter Allee Willlis (“Boogie Wonderland” and “I’ll Be There For You”), and Susan Olsen (Cindy Brady from “The Brady Bunch”) whose Fluff-inspired artwork will be on display.Sept. 24 from 3-7 p.m. (rain date Sept. 25). Free (except for food and some activities). Union Square Plaza, Somerville. 617-955-0080. www.unionsquaremain.org/fluff-festival

http://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/2011/09/21/list/gPFmlDfXZvTDfVWicHY19O/story.xml


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Categories: Advertising/ Promotion, Creativity, Food, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – My “Soup To Nuts Party Mix” Live Show Chosen as a Top Pick by The Los Angels Times!

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Categories: Advertising/ Promotion, Art, Creative process, empowerment, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music, Self expression, Songwriting, Theater

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Beatles Hair Pomade

I wasn’t even sure what this was when I saw it on eBay a few years ago but it looked like it couldn’t possibly have been actual sanctioned Beatles swag, and that alone kicks it into a very high level of Kitsch. Besides, just the box – 5″x7″x1-3/4″ with colors so vibrant they make your brain rattle – was worth the 3 bucks it took to procure it.

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Seriously Ugly Coffee Mug from Dyersville, Iowa

I’m not sure what goes on in Dyersville, Iowa but I sure hope it’s not a factory that specializes in turning out coffee mugs as this is one of the most seriously ugly ones I’ve ever seen. And, trust me, as a purveyor of kitsch I’ve seen a lot of them. If this is truly “Where Dreams Come True”, I hope that at least one Dyersville citizen is dreaming about a new coffee mug design.

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Categories: Advertising/ Promotion, Drink, Film, Furniture and Housewares, Kitchen, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Travel souvenir

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – The Fifth Dimension 7-Eleven Slurpee Cup

I absolutely loved The Fifth Dimension. I loved Jimmy Webb and I loved Laura Nyro, the songwriters who wrote some of their biggest hits, both of whom were major influences on my songwriting career and the latter of whom was one of the first artists I worked with when I got a job at Columbia and Epic Records fresh outta college. Nyro wrote songs like “Wedding Bell Blues”, “Stone Soul Picnic” and “Save The Country” while Webb wrote The Fifth’s first major hit, “Up Up and Away”, as well as “Carpet Man”and my favorite though slightly more obscure Fifth song, “Paper Cup”.

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – 1960′s Church & Funeral Fans, Wienerschnitzel and The Color Purple

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I bought my first African American church fan in the late 1970′s but my collection really kicked into gear after I worked with James Brown in the mid-80s. He always told me my music was so hot and picked up the fan to “cool himself down”. So after that I always bought the fans when I saw them cheap enough. But the collection blasted into overdrive when I began writing The Color Purple musical in 2001. The very first time Alice Walker, the author of the original book, came over I gave her her choice of over 50 fans.  I used them all the time with Brenda Russell and Stephen Bray, my music co-writers, but sadly can’t seem to find any photos of us cooling ourselves. But anytime anyone came over to hear any of the music they always listened with church fan in hand. I think we had just finished one of the Church Ladies’ songs when this group, including Alfre Woodard, Lorraine Toussaint, Stephanie Burton, Peter Hastings, Roderick Spenser and Maggie Wheeler (Janice on Friends), came over.

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Categories: Accessories, Advertising/ Promotion, Afro, Food, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Songwriting, The Color Purple

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – You Are What You Drive

stude

I’ve long said that everything about and around a person is a vehicle for self-expression. I mean the way you dress, how you decorate your living space, your hair, the plaster frog family on your front lawn, everything in your personal, physical and virtual environments is a canvas on and through which you show the world who you are. The driveway at The Allee Willis Museum Of Kitsch at AWMOK.com is packed with cars, campers and trucks that scream the personality of the person behind the wheel. Here are but a few examples of some such “I Am” vehicles.  Click any of them for more info.

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Categories: Advertising/ Promotion, empowerment, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Sculpture, Self expression, Technology

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Murder, She Wrote Board Game

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I never really watched Murder, She Wrote during its run on CBS from 1984-1996. I was in a very heavy songwriting and technology phase and although I always had the TV on – or should I say TVs as I had 28 of them at the time, one against every wall in each room so I wouldn’t miss a moment – I never had the sound up. All I ever watched then anyway were comedies. I didn’t have the patience for any of the more complex murder shows. To appreciate and understand what was going on in them I would have needed the sound up and once that happened it became more about me listening to the score and looking at the hairdos and fashions than actually following the plot. Following the intricacies of a murder case demands concentration. Just like trying to figure out how to play the Murder, She Wrote game does:

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Mispackaged Chuckwagon Airstream Combination Salt & Pepper Shaker

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Holiday Cleanup with the Ronco Miracle Broom

ronco-miracle-broom__3586

In 1973 when the Ronco Miracle Broom sprung on the market half of the households in America started vacuuming their shag with this revolutionary cordless electric vacuum cleaner.  That’s reason enough to collect it now but with products like this, especially those made in the 70′s and especially in the genre of products sold on TV – the Miracle Broom was among the first of hard-sell filmed TV commercials hawking new and unique products birthing what would later be known as the infomercial – oftentimes the box was as good as the product that came in it. Not to say that this Streamlined Moderne-meets-70′s-modern looking gadget isn’t great in and of itself but the graphics showing suggested uses of the product are even better. Blown out color, cheesy furniture and excellence in hand modeling being some of the pillars of that greatness. Here’s one of my favorite shots:

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