DEtroit Citay! 2013

Just got back from a quickie 2-1/2 day trip to the Motor City to go to the pre-release book signing party for Heart Soul Detroit, Jenny Risher’s fantastic photo essay book coming out in March that I’m in featuring 50 iconic Detroiters. Thrill of thrills sitting next to Martha Reeves of Martha and The Vandellas, one of my all-time favorite Motown groups, as we signed our pages.

This wasn’t my first encounter with Ms. Reeves. In 2008, along with Congresswoman Joanne Watson, she awarded me my first Commendation from the Detroit City Council.

I was also in Detroit this trip to lay the groundwork for “The D”, the massive unofficial official Detroit theme song I’m going back in September to record with potentially hundreds of thousands of Detroiters.

As such, I met with Tyree Guyton, who created one of Detroit’s most precious jewels, The Heidelberg Project.

I seriously hope to collaborate with Tyree. I spent almost every Saturday of my youth climbing on piles of crushed cars and assorted junk, artifacts that influence my art style to this day and upon which Heidelberg is built. My father’s scrapyard was just down the street from Heidelberg so I treasure that area of the city.

I also did an unexpected Q&A with some seriously talented kids at Mosaic Youth Theatre.

They have the good taste to be doing some of my music at a program they’re doing at the Detroit Institute of Arts in March.

I may end up coming back for that because these kids were seriously great and evolved. And, of course, I’ll use any excuse to come back for this…

… Chef Greg and his insanely incredible tasting Boogaloo Wonderland!…

…which I LOVE so much I fly him to LA to serve them at my live shows.

Chef Greg’s D’Emilis Cafe is on Curtis and Wyoming, the corner I used to get off the bus on to go to high school back in the day.  I invited some family and friends there on Saturday before I had to get on the plane to come back to LA.

Chef Greg made me a peach cobbler for the plane.

Which was good because a bottle of water spilled in my backpack and drenched all my money which was still soaked when the food cart came down the aisle selling the crappy plane food.

So here’s to dry money and plenty of it, Boogaloo Wonderlands, and a bright future for the once and future city of the future, Detroit!  See you in September for some serious Dancin’ in the Streets!

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Categories: Afro, Awards, Badeya, Baby!, Book, Celebrity, Creativity, Detroit, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music, People, Songwriting

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch ‘O The Day – Oscar-Winning LPs

 


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Categories: Art, Awards, Celebrity, Cheesy LPs, Fashion, Film, Hollywood, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, LPs, Music, TV/Radio

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Honoring Lily Tomlin

On Friday I had the honor of sitting on the dais and speaking at the Pacific Pioneers Broadcasters luncheon honoring my friend, mentor and sometimes collaborator, Lily Tomlin.


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Allee Willis’ Kitsch ‘O The Day – Fluff Food

I must admit that contrary to my normal habits, I didn’t do much consumption of food at the Fluff Festival this past weekend in Somerville, MA.  I was too busy sweating like a little piglet, as I’m sure you can see from the back of my hat hair.

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Categories: Art, Awards, Brands, Creativity, Fashion, Food, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music, September, Travel

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Allee Willis’ Food O’ The Day – As far As I’m Concerned, Top Chef Master Mary Sue Milliken

I’m sure that Floyd Cardoz is a magnificent chef and I should’ve seen his win coming from that constant coming-in-second storyline all season. But having spent at least half of my adult life eating Mary Sue Milliken’s food, I went into the Top Chef Masters finale openly prejudiced that she would reign supreme.  But alas…

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Categories: Awards, Celebrity, Creative process, Food, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Los Angeles, People, Place, Reality tv, Self expression, Street, TV/Radio

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – I’m in the New York Times today!

Nice, big, fat story in the Times on me today + 12 photos. Thank you, Bob Morris, for seeking me out (no press agent involved here!) and writing such a heartfelt, spirited, and happily long piece. My house thanks you too (at least the part of it that made the photo)!

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Categories: Architecture, Art, Awards, Creativity, Fashion, Furniture and Housewares, Hollywood, Kitchen, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Los Angeles, Music, Painting, Press, Sculpture, Self expression

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – 1976 Do-It-Yourself Oscar Kit

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This is a product worthy of an Oscar for Best Kitsch, a fake wood cardboard stand-up “plaque” that looks suspiciously like the piece of cardboard that comes with any cheap picture frame, stapled on, staples askew, emblazoned with a cheap gold embossed sticker with three imprints, none of which have anything to do with the Academy Awards other than a trophy featuring a nude female athlete that kinda sorta is in that Oscar trophy pose. All of this is encased in a really cheap brittle plastic enclosure that’s tinted gold to make it look more “fancy”.

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Categories: Awards, Holidays, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day

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Allee Willis’ Soul O’ The Day – I’m Here and so is Oprah, Jennifer Hudson, Fantasia and LaChanze

Last night on the Kennedy Center Honors on CBS Oprah Winfrey was the first one to receive her award. Not only did my song,“I’m Here”, co-written with Brenda Russell and Stephen Bray, from my musical, The Color Purple, get played during the montage of Oprah’s life but it was then sung to her live by Jennifer Hudson, backed by the choir at Oprah’s alma mater, Tennessee State University.

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Categories: Afro, Awards, Celebrity, Creativity, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music, People, The Color Purple, video

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My Song Sung to Oprah on The Kennedy Center Honors TONIGHT, Tues., Dec. 28!

Sorry this is so last-minute (not as sorry as I am for that crazy smile on my face) but if you have a chance to catch or TiVo The Kennedy Center Honors tonight, Jennifer Hudson is singing my song, “I’m Here”, to Oprah when she gets her honor. The Kennedy Center Honors are on CBS, I think at 9 pm. I’m told it’s toward the beginning of the show but with this said, you never know how things are going to be edited and whether the song is going to be there or not. But I have a lot of friends who were there and said it’s fantastic. Of course, it’s a great honor to know that “I’m Here” is part of such an honor for Oprah!

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Categories: Afro, Awards, Celebrity, Creativity, empowerment, Film, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Lyrics, Music, People, Songwriting, The Color Purple, TV/Radio

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Cher Perfume and Burlesque, A Very Bland Thanksgiving Turkey!

Unfortunately, my bottle of Cher perfume, given to me as a birthday present one year by Elvira, is long empty. Just like Burlesque, the film that opened this week that Cher and her once great face that no longer moves stars in. But in the case of Burlesque, I wasn’t expecting emptiness so much as a big fat Thanksgiving turkey gloriously stuffed with kitsch. I’d been whetting my lips for a year and a half since the insanely done-to-death-27,000-times-over storyline was revealed to me when I, along with God knows how many other songwriters, was asked to submit a song for the film. My co-writer dropped the ball and never handed in any of the three we did  - I’ve yet to even hear a mix…..Earth to Steve…..but often when my songs haven’t made it into a film it saved me from being stuffed into too many cinematic turkeys. Unless, of course, you count Howard The Duck, which I co-wrote five songs for with Thomas Dolby. But that was just about writing with Dolby and George Clinton as, despite being excited about being in a George Lucas produced film, I knew it was headed for the turkey farm my first time on the set when Howard, a little person stuffed into a costume that looked like a pillowcase with feathers glued on, ran in.

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