Leslie & the Lys, 2014 edition

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The first time I ever posted anything about Leslie Hall was almost six years ago when I found her Gem Sweater website and I could not stop laughing. This lady in Iowa had found all these bizarre gem sweaters and taken a photo in each, with the same hair and makeup. The absurdity killed me. When I found she had a band (Leslie & the Lys) and they had a song about her Gem Sweaters, I thought it was even funnier. Hayley and I got the CD and played it all the time in the car.

Six months later, we saw they were on a national tour and as luck would have it, coming to play a show in Chapel Hill. We had a blast, met a bunch of great people, Hayley ended up on stage and even got to meet the band. We were hooked and have been going to their shows ever since – 2009, 2010, 2012 and then this week. It’s hard to explain how great these shows are – it’s part music, humor and performance art. It’s positive, the crowds are always so happy.

Over the years, we’ve gotten to know the band. We always arrive early because I want to get seats off to the side to keep Hayley out of the chaos. We’ve helped with set-up, brought them vegan goodies and had them ship stuff to us to resupply. But this time, we went a step further. Since they had a day off between their DC show and the Chapel Hill one, the band stayed with us for a couple of nights.

I recognize it’s a bit crazy but we’ve kept in touch for years and we knew they’d be great fun to have stay. Life is about experiences after all, right? Hayley was over the moon that they were all here. It was a little mindblowing, they’d given us a lot of laughs and music over the years – and here they were, their crazy van parked in front of our house. After buying more veggies and vegan stuff than I’d ever known existed for our six guests, we settled in for a lot of laughing, chatting, Netflix, making stuff with the sodastream and doing laundry. They really just wanted to relax and recharge. They were incredibly easy, funny and lovely house guests. Plus I love for Hayley to see creative amazing people following their passion.

So Leslie, Mona, Derek, Beth, Adrien and Kristen, you can come back any ole time. Hopefully we’ll see you in a year or so.

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Photos: Leslie & the Lys show, 2010 version

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If you are a reader of my little site here, you know of my great affection for the Keeper of the Gems, aka Leslie Hall and her band Leslie and the Lys. I mentioned her on her two years ago and several more times including meeting Leslie and the band at a show last year (CNN story, 09 concert pics, initial post).

Well fast-forward to February and Leslie and the Lys were playing in NC again. We arrived early to get good seats and lucked out as the band was just hanging out before the show so we spent 30 mins chatting, getting autographs and being silly – they actuallydid US State flashcards on Hayley’s iTouch with her which was hysterical but informative since they were on a concert tour of the country. A bunch of folks we met at the show before and kept up with on facebook showed up, all in our sparkly sweaters. It was a great deal of fun.

After the show, Leslie grabbed Hayley (literally) to take all sort of funny pictures.

See more photos from this set:
Regular view (easiest to find one in particular or print)
Slideshow view (easiest to see them all)

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Leslie Hall story on CNN!

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One of our super favorite perfomers Leslie Hall was profiled on CNN!! And OMG, she’s in talks for a show on HBO!!! I thought seeing her live and on Yo Gabba Gabba was a big deal – an entire show of the Midwest Diva and her lady jams might just blow my mind!

YOU’RE GLAMOROUS! SHAZZAM!

Read the article: Quirky Iowa rapper gaining ce-Web-rity status.

My previous posts on her:

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Photos: Leslie & the Lys show

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I’ve written in this very space of my love for Leslie Hall and her world of Gem Sweaters. Leslie is simply hysterical – the combination of great song topics and a midwestern white girl rapping in gold pants rocks. Hayley loves the Leslie & the Lys CDs and asks me play it in the car all the time. I love her website and her music because she’s original, funny and infectious.

(If you don’t know about her, take a minute and read this story from Wired for a brief overview, YouTube Gem Leslie Hall Bedazzles the Masses.)

I hadn’t checked the band’s website for their tour schedule but I found out one day last week on facebook & twitter that not only were they back on tour but over in Chapel Hill that very night! Leslie, her gold pants, gem sweaters and the Lys had arrived all the way from Iowa and we would not miss that chance. The Midwest Diva had knowledge for the Junior Gems!

She was playing at a legendary club, the Cats Cradle, that I grew up going to as well. I called them and they said it was cool to have kids there and Leslie, while appealing to adults more than kids normally, is pretty G/PG stuff (booty is the worst word I heard) and after all, they did invite her to dance on Yo’ Gabba Gabba twice last year. I informed Hayley about what I’d found out and she proceeded to jump around and scream like a crazy person, so I knew she wanted to go too.

The show was fantastic – not too packed or rowdy. We sang and danced, it was GLAMOROUS – shazzam! Hayley was the only kid there so she was feeling very cool. And then, things got even cooler when Leslie brought her up on stage! Hayley was thrilled – wasn’t even worried about going on stage at a concert. We even stayed after the show to meet Leslie and the Lys.

Needless to say, we haven’t stopped listening to the CD since the show. I’m so excited my kiddo gets this stuff – she can have her Hannah Montana, etc but I’m content to fill the rest of her noggin with offbeat original stuff.

See more photos from this set:
Regular view (easiest to find one in particular or print)
Slideshow view (easiest to see them all)

A few videos from the show:

Willow: the song that Hayley is on stage during

The classic song Gold Pants!

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Photos: Guitar lessons

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Hayley started back at guitar lessons today and I was playing with my cell phone so I snapped a few pics.

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Put on your GEM SWEATERS

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I love Leslie Hall and her Gem Sweaters. If you don’t know the story, she collects and models horrible bedazzled sweaters. She also has a website that will crack you up – plus it highlights her band Leslie and the Lys that sings about sweaters and other important midwest diva issues.

Her CD made me snort with laughter. I didn’t know she had a video online for the band’s song about Gem Sweaters:

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Photo Gallery: Jonas Brothers & Avril Lavigne

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The last night of July, we piled up everyone for the nearly sold out massive Avril Lavigne & Jonas Brothers concert. It was INSANE but the girls had so much fun. We found their friends and had a group of ten girls from our neighborhood mostly of them on the swim team together. Great concert and such well-behaved kids.

I had posted a few photos right after the concert but here are all of them:
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To see the rest of the set:
regular view
slideshow view

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Photos: Corbin Bleu, Drake Bell, Ally & AJ concert

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Wednesday night I took Hayley and her friend to see Corbin Bleu, Drake Bell, Ally & AJ in concert. Talk about insanely screaming kids, my hearing is still partially gone I think. Ally & AJ were better than I expected but between the High School Musicalfans to see Corbin and the Drake & Josh fans to see Drake, the boys definitely got more noise!

They were bummed that Corbin didn’t do anything from HS Musical 1 or 2 but he did do the main song from Jump In as an encore and came out in the Izzy Daniels boxing robe.

Drake was great – better than I expected as well. He’s got a whole mod, early-beatles sorta thing going on with the music and style. Luckily he did the theme song of the show, which we ALL screamed along with him. He did the song he released last season I think on the show as well as the new song that was the center of the story for the Really Big Shrimp Drake & Josh special.

(i didn’t take all these photos, some of them a friend sent to me. the security guys said my camera was too professional to bring into the concert so i could only use my cell phone camera.)

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Photo Gallery: Spring Chorus and afterwards

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Photos from the Salem Singers Spring Choral Recital and some cute photos of Hayley afterward.

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See more photos from this set:
Regular view (easiest to find one in particular or print)
Slideshow view (easiest to see them all)

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Video: Pick up the Party

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Hayley and her friend Abigail had a sleepover tonight. At some point we got the fine idea to make a music video. So they wrote a song, dressed up like rockers and put on makeup. They worked out playing it (Abigail on lead vocals with Hayley on drums and backup vocals) and I taped them.

It was hysterical fun – I love this age. They are charmed by everything and always ready for silly fun.


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