Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – I’m off to Detroit!

Off to host a greatest hits concert at my high school, Mumford, before the wrecking ball knocks down one of the most gorgeous Deco buildings ever ….

(Don’t start me on THAT!)…and the teachers, staff and principal are all let go so kids can walk into the cement block replacement and a wall of new faces over the summer.  So this is going to be a big, fat blowout-sendoff-of-an-affair if I have anything to say about it.  Which I do!

So 6PM. Thurs. night at Mumford. If you live in Detroit, get yourself to the funkiest couple of hours in the city.  You do NOT need to have gone to Mumford to enjoy this. Really, if I do say so myself, there isn’t a corner or mousehole in the world where they don’t know “September”.  It’s a fundraiser for the choir and tickets are only $5!!!

I’ll also be heading over to my father’s high school, Cass, which becomes only the second high school in the country to perform my musical, The Color Purple. Performances are Wed. – Sat.  Ive been waiting for the high school part of TCP since I wrote it so I can’t wait!

The rest of the week is filled with an endless slew of meetings with movers and shakers, large and small, as I feel out a couple of long term projects I want to do in Detroit. There will also be a lot of barbecue and soul food. In anticipation and though it’s not from Detroit, this was lunch from Uncle Andre’s in Studio City, Ca. yesterday:

 

Usually, I blog endlessly about my exploits in Detroit, but this time I come back to LA just in time to jump into rehearsals for my Allee Willis’ Super Ball Bounce Back Review live show at King King on May 8 & 9.  Im going to try and use this trip to become an interested and dedicated Tweeter, which has felt more like an invasion of my mental state since I signed up soon after the bird launched.  But I’ll be in trouble if I concentrate on blogging and not beefing up for my live show, using my hotel bedroom as a pretend stage and finishing the seemingly endless amounts of special visuals and animations I started getting ready with Alfonso Estrada for the show.

So Bon Voyage as I head for LAX. Listen for the tweety bird (which I’ll probably post the best of here too).  Back in a week. And back with AWMOK.com postings tomorrow when I awake in the Motor City.

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Categories: Allee Willis' Super Ball Bounce Back Review, Allee's live performances, Creative process, Detroit, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Mumford high school, Music, School, Self expression, Travel

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Countdown To Blast-Off! 27 days & Counting ‘Til May 8&9!

Rehearsals for my May 8 & 9 return to the stage in my Super Ball Bounce Back Review have begun. Given what happened at my last show in October this is very significant!

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Categories: Allee Willis' Soup To Nuts live show, Allee Willis' Super Ball Bounce Back Review, Allee's live performances, Art, bad art, Creative process, Detroit, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Mumford high school, Music, School, Self expression, Songwriting, Soup To Nuts Party Mix live show, The Color Purple, Theater

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Allee Willis Marches on Detroit! Part 14, THE VIDEO

As I’ve been blabbing about for weeks now, I had the extreme pleasure of conducting my high school marching band playing a medley of some of my greatest hits in the lobby of the theater I grew up in in Detroit with the cast of the musical I co-wrote, The Color Purple, singing along. I meant to post video of our performance as soon as I got home but to my horror, one of the three cameramen only shot the students from the back and the other both forgot to turn his camera on for parts of songs and babbled over the footage like he was the subject of a documentary. So it took quite a lot of editing to get something where you could even begin to see the  warm, wonderful and uplifting-higher-than-the-sky feeling that permeated the theater that day.

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Categories: Boogie Wonderland, Detroit, Discography, Earth Wind & Fire, Friends theme, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Mumford high school, Music, Musical Instruments, Neutron Dance, Party, School, Self expression, September, Songwriting, The Color Purple, video

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Allee Willis Marches on Detroit! Part 10 , The Restaurants

An important part of any urban experience is where and what you choose to eat. Anyone who knows me knows that no money needs to be wasted on the fanciest or trendiest restaurants in town. I wanted to hit the institutions in Detroit that not only involved the excitement I had as a child driving to them but that have proven to be quality enough (or, preferably, kitschy enough) to live on, restaurants whose very presence defines the personality of the city. Most of my all-time favorites have long since succombed, like Dinah Inn, Jerry’s, both great steakhouses off Woodward, and my all-time favorite deli, Darby’s. Even Carl’s Chop House closed a few years ago.

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Categories: Architecture, Celebrity, Detroit, Food, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Mumford high school, Place, The Color Purple

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Allee Willis Marches on Detroit! Part 7, Fox News and Marching Band Rehearsal

Tues., April 5, started at 7 am. (Kill me now; that’s the middle of the night for me.) Thank God there was a Yum Yum (my dictation software just typed that as Young Dumb) Donuts open in Southfield, the suburb of Detroit where Fox News is located. So I hit Young Dumb for a quick sugar infusion and rolled up the street to Fox in time to be on the morning news. Thank God the Green Room, one of the few actually painted green I’ve been in, had a nice, squishy couch. The donuts hadn’t quite kicked in yet.

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Categories: Detroit, Mumford high school, Music, Musical Instruments, School, TV/Radio

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Allee Willis Marches on Detroit! Part 5, The School and The Hot Dogs

The first time I ever went back to my high school, Mumford, after graduating in 1965 was when my musical, The Color Purple, first came to the Fox Theatre in 2008.

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Categories: Architecture, Detroit, Food, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Mumford high school, Music, Neutron Dance, People, School, Self expression

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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 Marches on Detroit! – A Benefit for Mumford High School

Next week I’m going back to my home town, Detroit, to conduct my high school marching band playing a medley of my greatest hits in the lobby of the theater I grew up in before a performance of my musical, The Color Purple, with the cast leading a sing-along.  It’s a fundraiser to buy new uniforms for the Mumford marching band because with over 40 kids in the band, some of them are still marching around in threads from when I were there.  Although I never made marching band as I never learned to play an instrument. I never learned how to read music either which should make my conducting this event most interesting to say the least!

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Categories: Detroit, empowerment, Financial, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Mumford high school, School, Self expression, The Color Purple

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From Allee on the road…

As much as I look forward to rolling out of bed every morning and choosing a fresh, new and wonderful artifact of kitsch to present, today is an absolutely torturous day in terms of what I have to accomplish. First of all, I’m driving back to LA from Monterey. It’s supposed to rain like cats and very large dogs most of the way back so I have to get an early start. Also, I have to write tons of the kind of stuff I hate to write because I’ve got to unleash a whole Facebook campaign on a death-defying event I’m attempting to pull off in 2 1/2 weeks in Detroit when I conduct my high school band in the theater I grew up in playing a medley of my greatest hits before a performance of my musical, The Color Purple, with the cast singing along. This should sound like a manageable event, but just imagine the sound of a marching band playing in the four-story high/almost block long lobby of a theater built in 1930 of solid concrete and marble, the acoustical nightmare of which has just dawned on me: What’s the point of having a sing-along if all you can hear is a bevy of brass drilling through your your eardrums?

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Categories: Art, bad art, Clothes, Creative process, Creativity, Detroit, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Mumford high school, Music, Musical Instruments, Party, School, Self expression, Songwriting, The Color Purple, Travel, video

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Detroit Zoo Hat and My Homegirl, Lily Tomlin

When I grew up in Detroit I went to the zoo on 10 Mile and Woodward at least a couple times a year. Although I got this particular chapeau on Ebay, I’m certain I had one exactly like it as I never went there without something separating me from the sun. I was quite fond of theme hats as a kid.

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Categories: Animals, Celebrity, Detroit, Drink, Food, Hats, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Mumford high school, Music, Musical Instruments, Place, Songwriting, Street, Travel, video

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