To a purveyor of kitsch such as myself, spotting a 99¢ or dollar store, Dollar Tree or whatever other buck or below establishment that bases its name on that spin and carries bargain merchandise, shoots the same kind of joy and anticipation through your body as what Columbus must have felt when he spotted America. I never ever used to be interested in anything that wasn’t vintage but, especially since establishing the Allee Willis Museum Of Kitsch at AWMOK.com and seeing the crap, I mean treasures, real treasures, that people have posted that were acquired at such bargain emporiums, I’ve become a ravenous beast for the contents that lay within. Some of the most popular Bingo prizes at my recent Soup to Nuts Party Mix live show, like jam and jelly room deodorizers, Malted Milk Balls lip gloss, Pen/Stylos, and flowers in a can were purchased for mere pennies compared to their actual kitsch value had they been located on slightly loftier shelves.
But far and away, my most favorite purchase last week in Riverside, CA., where I went to see Larry Dunn, founding member of the group that gave me my start, Earth, Wind & Fire, and his orchestra play in White Park, was this paper-thin metallic tote telling me just what music does:
If I had had enough time to plan I would’ve taken my new flimsy tote to one of the spots I met up with Larry and crew. But I always travel with a digi recorder, a couple pairs of glasses, two phones, an Ipad, three cameras, two Flip cams, a bottle of water, and other away-from-home essentials, all of which would have been too much for this excessively-and-thankfully- kitschtastically-cheaply-made tote to bear, and I’d rather have it in my permanent collection than in the wastebasket at the Marriott where we all were staying. That’s not to say that it wouldn’t have been the perfect accessory to complement the fine meal I had at my favorite soul food restaurant in CA., which I’ve blogged about before and where we all went to eat as soon as we checked in.
Just as Music Saves My Soul on the tote, Fried Chicken, Yams and Greens Save My Soul on the table.
When Larry told me he was performing in Riverside I told him he had to go to Gram’s. When Larry called Gram to tell him he was playing in Riverside, Gram threw a party for the band.
I put my rep on the line when I said Gram’s had the best fried chicken in the state. Larry and his fabulous wife Luisa, also in the band, completely agreed.
As a customer, it’s always a good sign when the only poster on the wall is something you wrote.
The concert was great. As always, I photographed and videoed everything as soon as my songs were played, in this case ‘September”, “Boogie Wonderland” and “In The Stone”, all of which Larry also played keyboards on on the original records. He also played them for me live at Soup To Nuts Party Mix.
So all in all, a very productive and soulful weekend was spent in Riverside. A l’il bit o’ Soul at the 99¢ store…
…a l’il bit o’ Soul food at Grams…
…and a whole lotta Soul music with the Larry Dunn Orchestra.
Which is good as I need a whole lotta Soul this week to write a write a whole lotta: