Sunday, March 02, 2008
Leslie Hall: Large and In Charge
If you haven't seen or heard of Iowa artist and satirical rapper Leslie Hall, consider this your official introduction. Currently touring North America with her band Leslie and the Ly's, they stopped in for a show on February 8 at Montreal's funkiest fire-trap, ZooBizarre.
I first came across Leslie Hall through her photo series of self-portraits wearing hundreds of gem sweaters she's rescued from the thrift stores and landfills of mid-west America and beyond (now safely housed in her touring Gem Sweater Museum RV). In these she transforms herself into the perfect '80s outcast with her oversized glasses, bouffant hair-do and gold spandex pants. Amazingly, she manages to convey dignity and poignancy while working with all the 'wrong' elements. The full effect of this series is best experienced on her MySpace page where the images cycle through in rapid-fire succession. Check that out here.
On the music side of things, Leslie and the Ly's are the perfect satirists - both paying homage to and taking the piss out of a musical genre with a notoriously narrow view of male/female relations, fashion and lyrical content. This chick is hilarious. Her music should be compulsory listening for every teenage girl (and boy) in the land as a perfect antidote to that Spice Girls pre-fab, anti-flab, 'girl power' (retch!) vapid rhetoric which always sets my blood to an instant boil. This woman is the antithesis of all that. She is Large and in Charge! She's the new corn-fed feminist icon for the 21st century!