Imagine Mimi from The Drew Carey Show dancing to Jazzercize in sparkling gold spandex—a concoction of wide hips, witty hops, willful laughs and DIY stage productions. Hers is a humble Midwest “Bling, Bling,” like Waffle House hashbrowns: smothered in gold glitter, capped with owl-frame glasses and topped with a blond bouffant.
She’s touring in support of a new album, Destination Friendship, and will be at The Urban Lounge Tuesday, Feb. 21.
City Weekly: Well, I'll be Bedazzled, tell us about your traveling gem-sweater museum?
Leslie Hall: Well, here is the news: My dad turned it into a tailgating bus while I was away on tour with Yo Gabba Gabba. If you ever go to an Iowa State football game and see a Starcraft built in 1976, pee on the wheels; it sends a message to my papa.
CW: Was it really the largest collection of jeweled knits in the world? Why did you start it?
LH: How dare you accuse me of lies and treason?!
CW: Who taught you how to be so damned crafty?
LH: Country boredom and the desire to stay busy during my favorite shows. The seated position is my favorite position, and that’s also the craft position.
CW: Who taught you to be so smooth on the stage?
LH: Television has been like a mother to me. I watch it and it teaches me, and then I produce even greater moves.
CW: Did you ever dream that you would be such a damned diva from Ames, Iowa?
LH: No. I'm usually pretty lazy, and I don't even like ice in my water. And I prefer cold showers, and, sometimes, I don’t wear a bra so my nip-nips are low. So, no, I didn't fit the “Celine” profile.
CW: How do you think your new album is different than your previous efforts?
LH: I have written a ton of songs about pants and snacking, so there is a song about feelings on there. But it is mostly about me singing about what I know most of all, and that is me.
CW: Where do you get the inspiration for some of your songs?
LH: I look in the mirror and practice smiling.
CW: What's a Leslie & the LYs show like?
LH: I dance. I wiggle. There are plenty of shenanigans. People are usually intoxicated. Afterward, we hold each other, and people attempt to touch my bra straps. I usually leave empty handed, but my hands are usually full of locks of hair from my most adoring fans.
CW: Anything else you'd like to add?
LH: Please come. We are driving through winter weather for you. If you don’t come, I wouldn't blame you; it’s a Tuesday, and we've all got cats to pet.