Allee Willis’ “The 365 Days Of September” – Day 7

The kids at Fairview High do a noble job of singing and a much more ambitious job dancing than a lot of other high schools I’ve seen do “September” on Youtube. But, as the Grand Pooh Bah of Kitsch, the standout for me is the performance by the horn section.  Either someone didn’t do their homework before they came to band practice or they’re just plain tone deaf. What it really sounds like to me is that the horn players got the big riffs down after the choruses and just figured they could coast through the single note accents. Which would have been fine had they managed to find the key. Far be it for me to not encourage someone to go farther in music because they’re un-schooled. I still don’t know how to read, notate or play a note of music, including “September” and anything else I’ve written, so I’m all in favor of doing it just for the love of it. I’m just sayin’, the horns are a standout, wayyyyy stand out.

For a more through exploration of my “365 Days Of September” mission as well as details of how the song was written, go here. Until tomorrow, ba-de-ya!

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Categories: 365 Days Of September, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Lyrics, Music, Musical Instruments, September

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Allee Willis’ “The 365 Days Of September” – Day 3

How happy am I that neither rain, sleet nor snow could keep the Kennett High School Marching Band from playing my song, “September” back in January of 2007?! I’ve been especially aggressive tracking down marching bands playing “September” as in a couple of weeks I have the great honor of conducting the University of Wisconsin marching band at the Homecoming halftime game when they play three of my hits, “September”, “In The Stone”, an Earth, Wind & Fire song that has grown to mythical proportions in marching band repertoires, and ” I’ll Be There for You (the theme from Friends)”, which I have no idea as to why it’s on the program when “Boogie Wonderland” or even “Neutron Dance” would seem more appropriate to drum the spirits up for the big game.

http-www.youtube.comwatch-v=_4EqFuZbu1M&feature=related-sept

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Categories: 365 Days Of September, Dance, Educational, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music, Musical Instruments, September, Songwriting

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Vintage Bongos & Pomplamoose

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These 1950′s bongos with pearlized crushed ice wrap and heavy chrome hardware have been beaten on just about every song I ever wrote.  If it weren’t for their bone crushing girth they would be in my suitcase right now as I’m on my way up to northern CA. to finish six songs with Pomplamoose.

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Categories: Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music, Musical Instruments, Pomplamoose, Songwriting

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Plastic Fruit & Vegetable People and The Most Talented Man You’ve Ever Seen Playing Music On Vegetables

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I used to actively collect figurative sculptures made out of plastic fruits and vegetables. Largely crafts projects, I loved them because most of them were so completely stupid looking but you could always tell a lot of love went into making them. I eventually stopped collecting these anthropomorphic fruit and vegetable people because in order to stand up straight most of them were made out of really light, cheap plastic food that would crack after a couple of  years leaving them looking like accident victims. Much like what happens to actual vegetables that I periodically have a conscience to buy only to end up jamming them down the disposal when they start curdling and smelling up the frig because they’ve gotten too old to eat. But as with anything, I love when things have dual purposes like plastic fruit for display/plastic fruit for body parts. Like what a great shape an apple makes for a head or how natural the sprouts on the top of an onion look for hair.  And until now, that’s how I prefered to experience vegetables.

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Categories: bad art, Crafts, Creativity, Food, Kitchen, Kitsch, Music, Musical Instruments, People, Sculpture, Self expression, video

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day update – Disco suitcases temporarily retired

My trip was postponed for a month so the suitcases on are back in the closet and the percussion is resting nicely in its regular bed.

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Categories: Creativity, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music, Musical Instruments, Pomplamoose, Songwriting, Travel

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – 1970′s Disco Suitcase Set & Pomplamoose

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I’m supposed to be traveling today but won’t know if I’m going until a couple hours before the flight due to complications on my collaborator’s side. I’m not the world’s most eager traveler to begin with but having a suitcase that makes me smile every time I look at it sure helps if one is of the nature that their traveling psyche can be affected by aesthetics.

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Categories: Accessories, Disco, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music, Musical Instruments, Pomplamoose, Self expression, September, Songwriting, The Color Purple, Travel

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Plastic Rolly Polly Doll

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This was a gift from Michael Patrick King, writer and director of Sex and the City, a couple of years ago for my birthday. I always thought the doll had a Carrie Bradshaw vibe to her, smiling and happy and looking good in red.  One day I slammed my shin into the table Rolly Polly sits on and it made such a great chime sound I didn’t mind the dripping gash down below.  I limped into my recording studio and dragged a mic to reach her, tilting her in all directions, spinning her  around and pushing her across the table. The different chime patterns sounded great and distinctive, sometimes carrying on for 30 seconds or more.

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Categories: Accessories, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Musical Instruments, Toy

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – 1930′s New Year’s Eve Noisemaker

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Battered and rusty, this vintage 30′s noisemaker still exhibits signs of life with a great hardwood-ball-against-tin sound that I still use as percussion on a lot of my songs. I suspect that the artist who did the graphic didn’t know a lot about music though as this is quite a peculiar figuration for a jazz combo. Sans piano and bass, there’s but a guitarist and drummer accompanying the three-piece horn section, the middle horn of which looks more like the end of a hookah than the trombone it probably should have been. I also love the little muscle man with the A-bomb afro hovering under the band, stylistically completely inconsistent with the rest of the figures. All of which means this noisemaker firmly hacks a deep notch in the belt of Kitsch.

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Categories: Holidays, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music, Musical Instruments

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Fuller Brush Songfest Bath Powder Mitt

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This thing kills me. Not only does it still reek of the scent of the powder that was pumped into it five decades ago but it exemplifies a common marketing tactic taken by some of the most brilliantly kitschy products when a staunchly middle of the road company attempts to be hip and takes on a pop culture trend. In this case, it’s The Fuller Brush Company attempting to cash in on the folk singing craze of the early 1960s by covering a bath mit in fabric that looks like something that would have been stretched over the armrest of an Ethan Allan Early Americana couch.

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Categories: Accessories, Health & Beauty, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Memorabilia, Music, Musical Instruments, Products

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Lawrence Welk Musical Spoons

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Lawrence Welk was always too square for me except that that’s where I could continue to get my Mickey Mouse Club fix when in 1961 Mouseketeer Bobby Burgess won a dance contest to Welk’s hit, “Calcutta” (an LW record I LOVED) and became a regular on the show two years after the mouse ears left the air. Though Bobby went from being a hip kid to an excessively corny adult as soon as he hitched to Mr. Wunnerful Wunnerful wagon, I still appreciated his move as otherwise I may have missed Lawrence Welk and his jaw droppingly cheesy production numbers that became a primer in my never ending education in Kitsch. Combine that with the fact that I never learned how to play an instrument and you end up with my excitement about these musical spoons which became one of the first instruments I “played” when I started to write songs.
Forget the spoons, the packaging on this is fantastic. With not an inch left uncovered, it boasts “Get on the beat!”, “Be a champion!”and “The international pastime – spooning!” Perhaps so, but not that kind of spooning.

Lawrence Welk was always too square for me except that that’s where I could continue to get my Mickey Mouse Club fix when, in 1961, Mouseketeer Bobby Burgess won a dance contest to Welk’s hit, “Calcutta” and became a regular on the show two years after the mouse ears left the air. Though Bobby went from being a hip kid to an excessively corny adult as soon as he hitched to Mr. Wunnerful Wunnerful’s wonderful wagon, I still appreciated his move as otherwise I may have missed Lawrence Welk and his jaw droppingly cheesy production numbers that became a primer in my neverending education in Kitsch. Combine that with the fact that I never learned how to play an instrument and you end up with my excitement about these musical spoons which became one of the first instruments I “played” when I started to write songs.

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Categories: Advertising/ Promotion, Celebrity, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Memorabilia, Music, Musical Instruments, Songwriting

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