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Hanging out, LY style

BY MCKENNA PAULUS | MARCH 13, 2014 5:00 AM

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Leslie Hall started her band Leslie and the LYs out of her fans' desire to simply see, hear, and smell more of her.

"We started off taking photographs of me, and I made a website dedicated to me, and eventually people wanted to buy something from me," Hall said. "So I made an album about myself so they can listen to songs about me, in their car, at their job, and with their friends."

Leslie and the LYs will play at 9 p.m. Friday at the Blue Moose, 211 Iowa Ave. Admission is $10 to $12.

Just by looking at a picture of Hall, it is clear she is a very eccentric woman who loves bright colors and crazy outfits. The band plays songs to get people moving, and Hall created her own genre of music.

"I would describe us as a fun-girl-pop-jam band; all the songs are like that," she said. "We are trying to get people to dance but also to make you listen and laugh. Plus, we're trying to stay smart."

The group tries to convert the excitement the members portray in their music into bizarre and amusing live performances. Band member Beth Kemp said the band likes to include the audience in the festivities, which results in an engaging party atmosphere.

"I think the unique thing is the experience when you go to a show, it's a total sensory experience: You see it, hear it, and smell us," Kemp said. "There are a lot of colors and textures, and we really do a great job of dancing and not making anyone feel silly."

Kemp said there is an element of surprise that comes with the live shows. Although it is well-known the group is a great entertainer, the members still love pushing the limits.

"We like to keep our cards close to the chest, but we do a lot of costume changes, and there are a lot of props, and we love using bright colors," Kemp said. "It's a unique experience; it's like watching TV, but you're watching live, and we work really hard to keep the audience laughing and entertained, and we want them to squeal and beg for more. That's our goal."

During its famous live shows, the band presents a Vegas-theme performance. Ramona Muse, an LY in the band who sings backup vocals, said all the showmanship comes from Hall's experiences and influences.

"The Vegas-show styling is that [Hall] has been to see Spice Girls and Brittany Spears so many times, and she always comes back and is like, we have to do this thing I saw," Muse said. "But we don't have the money, so we come up with an homemade Iowa styling."

The band, which has been together since 2005, has created numerous viral videos on YouTube and has released five albums. It demonstrates no signs of slowing down, and Muse said the players want to work on catering to a new audience.

"We want to make more videos, with other artists, and we really want to work on a kids' album," Muse said. "The wheels are always spinning in our head; nothing is off limits."


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