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”.

My 7-Eleven Slurpee cup may not be a paper cup but it’s plastic and lasts forever which seems like it would have been a more appropriate kind of cup for Jimmy Webb to write about crawling into and wanting to live forever.

The likenesses on this plastic Slurpee cup bear little resemblance to the real persons.  For example, here’s Billy Davis, Jr. in plastic next to Billy Davis, Jr. in real life:

They didn’t even get his signature pencil-thin-mustache-that-turns-into-a-goatee and certainly shortchanged him on his Afro. 7-Eleven did a better job on some of the other 1970′s rock star Slurpee cups I’ve collected:

Though neither Smokey Robinson nor Grand Funk seemed the types to merchandise themselves by aligning with a convenience store, especially as this kind of stuff was rare in the 1970′s, but maybe they liked Slurpees as much as I did. The Fifth Dimension seemed a more likely choice because of their sugary and delicious pop sound.

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Categories: Advertising/ Promotion, Afro, Brands, Celebrity, Drink, Forgot to Categorize, Music, Songwriting

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Kitschlicious Riverside, CA.

Last weekend I drove to Riverside to see a performance of The Color Purple, the musical I co-wrote. I tend to pick and choose the performances of the show I see based on how good the thrifts shops and vintage architecture is in the cities it’s playing in.

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Categories: Food, Forgot to Categorize, Furniture and Housewares, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Place, Sign, Transportation, Travel

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Happy Halloween Terrarium Candy Bowl

The only thing green this vintage 1970′s terrarium has ever been home to is if some candy happens to come in a green wrapper. It’s never housed any plants, little rock gardens or anything else that one might find in a planter but, rather, has been a big, fat bowl of sweets its whole life. One might assume this only happens around Halloween but this candy bowl may as well be cemented to the floor as you enter my dining room for as popular a piece as it is.

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

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Xavier Cugat Cork

Revered as much for his marriage to cuchi-cuchi girl, Charo, as for his spreading the gospel of bouncy  Latin music and rhythm, Xavier Cugat led the band at New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel and toney resorts around the world with his signature batons, one of which was real and the other of which was his pet Chihuahua. Cugat was a multimedia artist before his time, a musician, painter, cartoonist, movie star, business man and ladies man, husband of five steamy women, including the lead singer of his orchestra at its height, Abbe Lane.

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Categories: Art, Celebrity, Creativity, Dance, Drink, Forgot to Categorize, Hollywood, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, LPs, Music, People

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Kahlúa “Udderly Delicious” Glass With False Bottom

There’s absolutely nothing right about this insanely cheesy Kahlúa “Udderly Delicious”plastic glass which, unfortunately, there’s no way of taking a photo of and showing all the brilliance of at once. At first glance, it’s just an incredibly cheap cup with the Kahlúa logo and some cow spots painted on it. Plus the excellent “Udderly Delicious” slogan. But then you peer inside and see the creature that the udders belong to with a nice frosty drink on its head and two toy bottles, one of which is unmarked, which makes no sense for something that’s a promotional item, rattling around inside on top of it.

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Categories: Animals, Brands, Drink, Forgot to Categorize, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Toy

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Judging CANstruction

I’ve always been intrigued with label design, especially when appearing on cans, as the designer has to take the roundness into consideration as well as the inescapable fact that only a portion of the design is going to be seen at any one time. But then imagine having to stack the cans so they become something else. The label still needs to retain its power but must also give power to whatever structure you’re using it to make. This weekend I had the honor of judging and announcing the winners at the Los Angeles Canstruction awards, a design contest that takes place in over 100 cities where designers compete using canned food as the building blocks to make a variety of giant objects.  After the contest, all of the food is donated to local food banks, so the quality of the meal provided in each structure is a very important criteria in judging its worth.

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Categories: Architecture, Art, Awards, Creative process, Food, Forgot to Categorize, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Mr. T A-Team Transistor Radio

mr-T-radio_4616

I was never into The A-Team when it came out in the 1980′s. But lately, as I flip through channels in the wee hours of the morning trying to find something to fall asleep to, I’ve gotten completely obsessed with the reruns on Centric. I love all the low camera angles as truck tires screech by and slam dirt into the camera and explosions blow up right in your face. The direction has a clear POV and things that hover near the ground get as many close-ups as the actors do. And, of course, there’s always Mr. T, whose memorabilia I’ve slowly but surely collected over the years – banks, gold chain bubblegum, coloring books, puffy stickers, lunchboxes, air fresheners, and this Mr. T radio I recently received as a gift.

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Categories: Afro, Celebrity, Forgot to Categorize, Gadgets, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music, Technology, TV/Radio

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Allee Willis’ “The 365 Days Of September” – Day 5

Asian mariachi version titled “HALF OF CHEWING GUM BAND INSTRUMENTAL” by Nino, Chino and Paulo. They actually play it great despite the fact that a song consists of more than an intro. If it were me I’d squeeze in one more stringed instrument and move on to the verse and chorus. I always love when musicians play the melody in their head and assume the audience can hear it.

sept-http-www.youtube.comwatch-v=NnfSD-dcd_A

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Allee Willis’ “The 365 Days Of September” – Day 1, September 21, 2010

365-Sept2

People always ask me what my favorite song I’ve written is. I hate to favor any of the babies but pound for pound I’d have to shout “September”!  I think it’s an eternally uplifting song. It makes people HAPPY, not just with a capital H but ALL CAPS!! I write a lot of happy songs but even perennial foot tappers like “Neutron Dance” and “Boogie Wonderland” don’t inspire the immediate mood shift that “September” does. I’ve never been in a room where people’s toes didn’t start tapping or heads start bobbing as soon as it comes on. I’ve never been to a Bar Mitzvah or wedding where it wasn’t played, including Beyonce and Jay-Z’s, where I wasn’t but learned from US Weekly that that’s what they danced their first dance to. And they didn’t even get married in September.

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Categories: 365 Days Of September, Discography, Earth Wind & Fire, Forgot to Categorize, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, LPs, Lyrics, Music, September, Songwriting, video

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Bowling Bag Coin Purse and Matching Bowling Everything

Bowling-Bag-Coin-Purse_4173

Bowling is easily the sport that has rained down hardest on Pop Culture in terms of artifacts emulating its shape, spirit and efforts to capitalize on the good clean brand of social interaction the sport promotes. Though I go a little farther than the normal person in terms of their love of the sport. I should clarify that it’s not actually the sport itself I love so much as the accouterments associated with it. You name it and there’s some bowling derived interpretation of it. I have bowling can openers, decanters, tables, lamps, brushes, floors, shirts, shoes, dishes, cups, glasses, trophies and then some.  Sometimes I even turn the trophies into door handles.

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Categories: Accessories, Bar accessory, Forgot to Categorize, Furniture and Housewares, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day

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