“The D” update: Computer Hell/Detroit Heaven!

I know. It’s been pathetically long since my last update. This is not due to inactivity! We’ve been having 12 hour days here at Willis Wonderland since January and STILL haven’t quite gotten through all the footage and recording tracks, close to 3000 hours and 5000 tracks respectively, for “The D” record and multiple music videos, and Allee Willis Loves Detroit our feature-length hybrid documentary. Not that this has been driving us crazy or to drink.

There are a lot of D deputies in the way of engineers, editors, and assorted characters here every day:

I know it might seem like we do a lot of lying around but this rarely occurs unless eyeballs start rolling in the back of our heads after working 16 straight hours looking at 743 takes of various groups singing the same line. Two of these folks in the above photo are gone already. We hate to lose them, well one of them at least, but when one is paying such a high salary, as close to zero dollars as humanly possible due to our expansive budget known as my pocket, these things are inevitable.

Challenges have abounded. Like having to replace my hundred terabyte server in the middle of editing and mixing so that master files are scattered around on a trillion different drives and computers as opposed to one central location while the switchover happens. So this includes helpful things like servers constantly going down or computers not being able to talk to each other, watching files getting eaten up before your eyes, overwriting files, and all the other joys that come with working in a part-time dysfunctional digital environment.

And then there was the hideous discovery that due to brain slippage of a certain IT person (no longer) working here nothing had been backed up since February and we lost at least a month’s worth of footage of us figuring out how to jam thousands of voices and instruments into one record so everyone’s heard. Not to mention the fits of hysteria incurred after looking at blurry key footage and figuring out how to work around it. This had me in a such a comatose state I had to shoot Vernor’s, Detroit’s beverage of choice, into my veins to keep me from slipping into a coma.

But the trauma has always been tamed by the joy of working on such a unique project. Sometimes we have even have FRIENDS drop in to bring us matzoh ball soup, cupcakes, and other modes of sustenance to remind us we have a life on the outside.

And now traveling for “The D” crew kicks up again. I will be spending one week out of each of the next four months in the Motor City, this month to attend my 107th high school reunion!

Then I return two weeks later in August to give a speech on Creativity And Detroit at the Crooked Tree Arts Center in Petoskey, four hours from the city and where my parents bought their very first first house. Then I’m elated to report that on September 21 (yes, the “BaDeYa, say do you remember” 21st of September!) I will be performing LIVE in Detroit at the historic United Sound, the recording studio where the very first Motown records were made and still a vital part of Detroit music history. And then again at the end of October when the musical I co-wrote, The Color Purple, comes back to the D for the fourth time, this time starring Dreamgirl Jennifer Holliday, who I wrote for many a year ago and haven’t seen since, making for a Dream D reunion! All these extravaganzas will be filmed and recorded for “The D” and Allee Willis Loves Detroit.
So as we cut and paste, chop, mix, curse, cry, hug and exhibit all the various kinds of behavior that come with undertaking a task of this girth I thank all of you who have donated or contributed your services thus far. It’s not too late to donate!! We will do you proud!

Yours in The D,
Allee The D/ Allee Willis Loves Detroit home: http://www.WeSingTheD.com Sneak Peak: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rkbTpZdxy8 WDIV/ NBC Allee Willis Does Detroit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8HdLEfw1zg Fox 2 News: http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/video?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=9361767

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Categories: Forgot to Categorize

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Blogless, Broke and Happy

Sorry, sorry, sorry for no new entries in an eternity. I’m working around several clocks and all the energy that used to be poured into this blog has to now go into slogging through the close to 5000 vocal tracks and 3000 hours of footage so that I can complete “The D”/ Allee Willis Loves Detroit before my 100th birthday. Although joyous work for a completely worthy cause – DETROIT! – it all makes me very tired, especially when the 100 Terrabye server goes down and makes my collaborator, Andrae Alexander, and I experience death by technology.


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Categories: "The D", Allee Live Performance, Allee Willis Loves Detroit, Art, Creative process, Detroit, empowerment, Forgot to Categorize, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music, Self expression, Songwriting

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Allee Willis’ Soul O’ The Day – “Groovin’” Away With Booker T.

No new kitsch posts today as I woke up bright and early to finesse a melody and finish a lyric before engineer Supremo, Jared Lee Gosselin, and soul legend, Booker T., walk through the portals of Willis Wonderland in less than an hour.  We started a killer song, title as yet undetermined, on Friday. All I need to do is hear Booker hit the keys of a B-3 and melodies start dancin in my head.

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Categories: Afro, Celebrity, Forgot to Categorize, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music, People, Songwriting

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch ‘O The Day – A L’il Fluff’ll Do Ya

So yesterday was the big Fluff Festival in Sommerville, MA.  If I wasn’t still out of town and so far behind getting my upcoming Soup To Nuts Party Mix live show on October 18 written I would sit here and post a zillion photos that I took over the last 36 hours. But I couldn’t get a plane out of Boston with an aisle seat so I vowed to lock myself in my hotel room for the next 36 hours until my flight and write, write and write in hopes of having something significant to say and do on stage. But I’ll be posting a bunch of Fluffified photos every day this week. That is if I can get all the marshmallow out of my hair and off my fingers so they don’t stick to the keys as they’re doing now. So for now I’ll just leave you with a couple photos from Friday night at the Fluff VIP party with two fellow VIPs, the Brady girls, Cindy and Jan #2, Susan Olsen and Geri Reischl, photo #1 of our first dip into the Fluff and photo #2, post dining on the foodstuff we flew thousands of miles to honor.

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Categories: Celebrity, Food, Forgot to Categorize, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Soup To Nuts Party Mix live show, Travel, TV/Radio

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – 4th of July BBQ Recipes

One of the best things about the 4th of July is the food one consumes as a means of celebration, and normally my Independence Day spread looks like the above. I would be eating that or any of the following recipes were I not on a plane flying back from a wedding in Kenosha and munching on a can of Pringles as we speak.

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Categories: Animals, Food, Forgot to Categorize, Holidays, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Recipes

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – My Early Morning Drive Through Hollywood

Bleary eyed from chasing a friend’s cat through the hills above the Hollywood Bowl all night last night – finally captured I’m happy to say! – I had to get up bone-breakingly early this morning to pick up a keyboard in Hollywood. My eyes were still practically glued shut but there’s so much kitsch along the roadways in this city, I can always deal with a situation as long as I remember to bring my camera. In addition to the above mural painted underneath the 101 on Argyle, here are but a few of the gems that crossed my car and eyeballs as I made my tired trek this morning.

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Categories: Architecture, Art, Celebrity, Film, Forgot to Categorize, Hollywood, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Los Angeles

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Happy Father’s Day ‘Papa’ Cup

I have a problem with lettering on cups when the word is short yet from no angle on the cup can you see the entire word.

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Categories: Forgot to Categorize, Furniture and Housewares, Holidays, Kitchen, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Happy Passover! Hebrew Smurf Tile

I never really got into The Smurfs. That shade of blue was definitely not my favorite color and I didn’t have the patience to learn the Smurf language. I also didn’t have the patience to study Hebrew for the couple of years I attended Hebrew school at Beth Aaron, right across the street from Mumford High in Detroit, so have no idea what this Smurf is saying.

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Categories: Brands, Comic book, Forgot to Categorize, Furniture and Housewares, Hats, Holidays, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, TV/Radio

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Oops, I thought I’d be back in action….

My intentions were good. I was gonna wake up and spring back into action as I haven’t blogged regularly in over a week but my body still feels like it’s broken into 13 million pieces and I need a recuperation day from one of the greatest weeks in my life in Detroit that included giving a speech about the rejuvenation of the city, conducting my beloved Mumford high school marching band playing a medley of some of my greatest hits and, for the first time since my musical, The Color Purple, opened five years ago, conducting part of the show. My spirits are HIGH, like being powered by a hemi engine, but I need time to decompress, not to mention unpack my seven suitcases, go through the thousands of photos that were taken, begin transferring the close to 75 videotapes that were amassed, and somehow attempt to get back to my everyday life of music and mayhem in Los Angeles. So give me 24 and I hope to be back with something soon…

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Categories: Afro, Creativity, Detroit, Discography, empowerment, Forgot to Categorize, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Mumford high school, Music, School, Self expression, Songwriting, The Color Purple

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Glowing Lovers Valentines Day Lamp


This 1980′s plaster salute to love was a hot ticket item in Mexican swap meets in Southern California throughout the 80′s and 90′s. Although back then they were too cheesy for my just-out-of-the-gate budding love of kitsch which, although quite robust, still hadn’t crossed the line to full blown Camembert such as the love interpreted here. Thank God, I had the presence of mind to buy these Siamese lovers as lamps, plain sculptures, towels and any other material their love could be possibly be moulded or stamped upon.

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Categories: Forgot to Categorize, Furniture and Housewares, Holidays, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Romance, Sculpture

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