More cheese, please! Artist and songwriter Allee Willis and Gnarls Barkley vocalist Holly Palmer adeptly bridged the gap between plain and fancy, yesterday and tomorrow, classic and futuristic, vintage and post-modern and good taste and tasting good at the launch party Wednesday night for their alter egos’ record launch/web site/art store opening: Bubbles & Cheesecake.
In addition to launching the web site (www.bubblesandcheesecake.com), the two women also premiered the outrageous animated video for their first single from the EP, The Soul of Bubbles & Cheesecake, called "It’s A Woman Thing," to the delight of the assembled guests, which included:
Songwriter Stephen Bray (who co-wrote the music The Color Purple with Allee); LeVar Burton (Star Trek); Rae Dawn Chong; Jennifer Coolidge (American Pie), Michael Des Barres; Tony nominee Brandon Victor Dixon; Nancye Ferguson; producer Paul Fox; songwriter Franne Golde; Jenifer Lewis (Sister Act); Ann Magnuson; Katey Sagal ("Married With Children"), Michael McDonald (Mad TV); songwriter Bruce Roberts; singer Brenda Russell; session bassist Lee Sklar; guitar legend Steve (and his wife Pia) Vai; Maurice White (Earth, Wind, and Fire); and Ahmet, Diva and Gail Zappa, among others. Even the journalists in attendance brought a sense of history repeating to the occasion, including former LA Weekly La Dee Da columnist Belissa Cohen, her contemporary protégé Lina Lecaro, Angela Janklow and the original Star gossip columnist Janet Charlton.
Between showings of the video, there was enthusiastic consumption of bubbles (champagne), cheesecake (cheesecake), 16-oz cans on Colt 45 Malt Liquor, sausages, ribs, barbequed chicken, collard greens, sweet potatoes and macaroni & cheese. At the Bubbles & Cheesecake store, there was actually stuff for SALE: Barbecue aprons ($30); t-shirts ($40). Bargain shoppers could get an eyeshade ($8) or dental floss ($5).
All this took place against the backdrop of "Willis Wonderland," Allee’s pink 1930’s era Valley home which was originally built as a party house for MGM and is now a kitsch, blaxploitation, soul and just plain silly museum.
If there was one thing in short supply, it was probably bad behavior. As some of the crowd has, um matured, they have mellowed. Nobody fell in the pool, donned a lampshade or otherwise.
About Bubbles & Cheesecake
Handmade music, video, art, animation, social network and merchandise fueled by soul-stirring songs by Allee Willis, Holly Palmer and alter egos Bubbles and Cheesecake. Bubbles & Cheesecake (www.bubblesandcheescake.com) brings the Internet a unique, hyper-interactive, multi-media/entertainment/lifestyle domain that’s been called "the soul man’s Martha Stewart." A sensory thrill, this soul-kitsch revolution arose from the musical collaboration between multi-disciplinary dynamo Allee Willis – a cyber-pioneer, visual artist, GRAMMY-winning, Emmy and Tony nominated composer whose artistry has sold over 50 million records, including Earth, Wind & Fire’s "September" and "Boogie Wonderland", the Pointer Sisters’ Neutron Dance," "Pet Shop Boys w/Dusty Springfield’s "What Have I Done To Deserve This", the theme to Friends, and Broadway’s The Color Purple – and singer-songwriter Holly Palmer, who recently toured with the Gnarls Barkley live band and has also worked with Dr. Dre and David Bowie, among others.