EYE on Detroit! $$ in da Bank!

It’s no secret to anyone within miles of  my mouth that constantly babbles on about it that I love my hometown of Detroit, the city that gets more bad raps than an unpopular war, deadly criminals, and oil spills put together. If one had unprejudiced EYEballs to look through they would see the same beautiful and spirited city that I see, the one whose people – perhaps not those who fled to the lighter color suburbs  -  still believe in and wake up with the soul that Motown pumped into their veins still cursing through their bodies to make things better. Some of that stuff musta stuck personally to me as I seem to have become in my old age the cheerleader I always wanted to become in my young age, though now for the whole city as opposed to just the Mumford Mustangs, whose colors I bore at my graduation oh so many years ago.

As most of you reading this know I’m heading back to Detroit the entire month of September, a month I helped popularize in song!,  to conduct daily sing-alongs in order to record, “The D”,  the new theme song for the new Detroit I wrote with Andrae Alexander and to simultaneously film near round-the-clock in order to make multitudinous videos and an accompanying D documentary.

Raising money to do this, or for anything in my career, has been my least favorite part of being an artist. I hate dealing with money. That’s not why I make art/music/videos/web worlds/etc. It’s antithetical to this pure artists’ brain and being to ask for money. But as an artist who 90% of the time has funded themselves, and as a songwriter who has watched my own and others’ work get essentially cast into the public domain, operating under the digital assumption that songwriters no longer deserve compensation, unless there’s some gold or green in the bank ain’t no nothin gon happen no mo.

So I launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise the money for “The D”. But I’ve been pretty shy about confronting the bane of my career – asking people for money so I can put some gas in The D tank and actually pull off what most artists would want 1,000,000+ clams to do – spend a month getting every single person in Detroit who wants to be on the record or perform in the video/film to do exactly that. And I’m prepared to do it with scotch tape and string, the usual way I’ve have to execute my career, walking the money gutted path of pennies, stripping down the grand vision that I see in my head to the thinner version my pocketbook can afford. The good news about this is that without those limitations I doubt I ever would have stumbled onto the KITSCH style I’m known for in all areas of my art –  other than my music, which remains on its Grammy high. And for this I thank those who have been either too cheap or ball-less or working at entertainment conglomerates to support me just to sit back and watch from behind the fence while I hit the home runs for those who HAVE pulled their checkbooks out.

All of this rambling to say, THIS WEEK ONLY, if you donate at least $15 to “The D” you’ll automatically be entered into the raffle to win one of an excessively limited edition of personally-autographed-by-me “Keep Your EYE on Detroit!” dashboard EYEballs in addition to all the other perks associated with the amount you contribute! Thank you, Archie McPhee, for the generous donation of these ocular wigglers.

This nifty EYEball shaker will not only liven up your car dashboard but will be a constant bouncing reminder that you’ve put your money where the underdog is and be a part of calling attention to a true American city that’s reinventing itself very much in the spirit that the United States itself was created. Forge into new territory and do it for yourself. Detroiters have no government to rely on, hell even the mayor quit, so people there are just rolling up their sleeves and executing ideas that they wouldn’t have the balls to even think of let alone build in other cities.

I’ve long said that the times that I’ve been perceived as hot in my career aren’t actually when I’m hot. It’s in the valleys when you think nothing is happening and no one’s paying attention to you because  they think you’re over when you do the work that shoots you to the top of the mountain in your so-called “hot” periods. That’s what it’s like in Detroit now, the Wild (mid)West, the city that slid first and watched all the others fall in their arrogance of “that couldn’t happen here”, and the first city to embrace, at least from the inside, that radical change isn’t re-building, it’s re-imagining and re-inventing.

You can feast your real EYEballs here where I’ve just posted gaggles of photos from my trip to Detroit in April. Then try to get your real plastic EYEball here by helping me pull off this insanely massive project I have in my head to do in Detroit this September. If one just keeps their EYEs pointed toward the ground and walks the same path one’s always walked you get the same life you’ve always had. But if one keeps their EYE on Detroit, you’ll see the path changing, leading to a very bright light in the future. Please be among those who help me shine that light! http://igg.me/at/WeSingTheD EYE will appreciate it forever!

YOU + (at least) $15 = Making Allee very happy.

Full deets on da D: http://igg.me/at/WeSingTheD

 

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Categories: 365 Days Of September, Allee Live Performance, Art, Creative process, Creativity, Dance, Detroit, empowerment, Hats, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Mumford high school, Music, Party, People, School, Self expression, September, Songwriting, Travel

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Happy Mother’s Day!!

Mother’s Day has always provided supreme opportunities for kitsch. Be it flower arrangements, stuffed animal displays in front of gas stations for last minute pick-ups, or greeting cards – store bought and handmade equally qualifying – Mother’s Day is a kitsch karousel that never ceases to go round.

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Categories: Art, Children, Crafts, Detroit, Families, Holidays, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Painting, People, Photograph, Self expression

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Heads Up, Detroit!

Just got back from an amazing trip to Detroit where I was laying the groundwork for the big project I’m coming back in September to do there and the project for which I’ve just launched a fund-raising campaign in order to pull off.  Below are are a couple of great stories that came out about my exploits. Please, please, PLEASE pass the link to the Indiegogo campaign for “The D” around so your fearless Kitsch leader can spread all the kitsch and glory around Detroit in September and pull off the greatest sing-along/theme song/video/documentary known to mankind!!! (That may be stretching to a bit but that’s what it feels like in my head!). http://igg.me/at/WeSingTheD

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Categories: Advertising/ Promotion, Allee Live Performance, Allee's live performances, Art, Creative process, Creativity, Dance, Detroit, empowerment, Film, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music, Party, People, Self expression, September, Songwriting, Travel, video

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R.I. P. Annette…

 


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Categories: Celebrity, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Memorabilia, Music, People, R.I.P., TV/Radio

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Allee (stand) up and coming!

Heads up on some upcoming LA and DEtroit happenings:  THIS Saturday night, March 9, I’ll be reprising my “Neutron Dance” and “Stir It Up” sagas and sing-alongs at Eve Brandstein’s Poetry In Motion at Beyond Baroque in Venice, CA. 8PM, tix here.  And a week from Sunday night, March 17, I’ll be performing an all new St. Patty’s ‘What Have I Done To Deserve This?” extravaganza at Beth Lapides’ acclaimed UnCabaret, 8 PM, at First and Hope in downtown LA, tix here. If u wanna laff, hit those links.

And if you happen to find yourself in Detroit the weekend of April 28, the official unofficial theme song I wrote for the city, “The D”,  is going to be debuted by the Mosaic Youth Theatre at The Detroit institute of Art on the 27th. And I am pleased to the Nth degree of Kitsch to also be a special celebrity presenter at Hump the Grinders famed 2013 Detroit Hair Wars at Cobo Hall on the 28th.  If this doesn’t say it all I don’t know what does:

Categories: Afro, Allee Live Performance, Allee's live performances, Art, Comedy, Detroit, Hair, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music, Neutron Dance, Songwriting, Standup, Stir It Up, Theater, What Have I Done To Deserve This?

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Doing “The Vagina Monologues” (!) and hitting the standup trail

Anyone who knows me knows that I invite change in my career like most people do with hairstyles. Perhaps because I haven’t changed the latter since 1983 I’m now tweaking the former like crazy since I finally took to the stage last year to do my sold-out-standing-room-only series of live shows, a brief snippet of which you can see here.

The day before my haircut in 1983:

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Categories: Advertising/ Promotion, Allee Live Performance, Badeya, Baby!, Comedy, Hair, Hollywood, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Self expression, Standup, Theater

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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.


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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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Get Yo Hands Offa My Psyche… My First Stand-Up EVER Comin’ Right Up!

After almost four decades the torturous vice grip on my psyche has been chiseled open so that my little stage personality, the one that once cowered in a dark corner  but whose pleas to give it a chance never stopped rattling through my brain, has finally put on some clothes and come out to play!  FINALLY all the noise can stop!!

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Categories: Allee's live performances, Celebrity, Hollywood, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music, Theater, TV/Radio

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Photos from my live show – Badeya, Baby!, Nov. 9, 2012

On November 8 and 9, 2012 I reprised BaDeYa, Baby!, my sold out one-woman-show-with-25-people-in-it at NoHoPAC in beautiful North Hollywood, CA. Just as the shows that preceded it on September 21 and 22nd, it was a salute to my very 1st hit, “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire, the first line of which is “Do you remember the 21st night of September?”.  All the hits, sing-alongs, dancers, games, prizes, Boogaloo Wonderland sandwiches from my hometown Detroit, not to mention the big ol’ greasy foot massages conspired to make these evenings no normal singer/songwriter fare! So enjoy the show and the next time I do this I hope you BaDeYa with me!

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Categories: Afro, Allee Willis' Ba-de-ya, Allee's live performances, Art, Badeya, Baby!, Boogie Wonderland, Celebrity, Creativity, Dance, Earth Wind & Fire, Fashion, Friends theme, Games, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Los Angeles, Mumford high school, Music, Neutron Dance, People, School, Self expression, September, Songwriting, The Color Purple, Theater, video

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Ba-de-ya, Baby! II – THIS Thursday and Friday night

I know. I’ve been a hideous blogger as of late.  After years of dedicated waking up hours before I naturally would in order to churn out my daily Kitsch ‘O The Day offerings it hit me that I was much better served throwing things out in little dribs and drabs via Twitter and Facebook than the long tomes I slaved over and that ate up major portions of my morning each day.

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Categories: Allee Willis' Ba-de-ya, Allee's live performances, Badeya, Baby!, Disco, Discography, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Lyrics, Music, Neutron Dance, September, Songwriting

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