Fulfilling the matriarchal duties of her sometime stage name Mother Gem, Leslie Hall has created a veritable mobile hatchery for Midwesterners trying to make a name for themselves as fledgling DIY performance artists.
On March 7 Germart – the Germick brothers’ collaborative audio-visual approach to interstellar domination– lured unsuspecting observers into the sometimes stank and decidedly dank orbit of the resplendent rumpus that is Planet Booty. Jettisoning the shrapnel of their first album’s otherworldly acid funk into the crowd at San Francisco’s Rickshaw Stop, a sweat-soaked Germart saw to it that the rate at which their audience’s collective hip gyrations increased was relative to the amount of flesh revealed over the course of the set – and thanked Mom, who was in attendance.
When the dust cleared, Christopher the Conquered and his arsenal of brass and percussion marched forth. The stalwart ambassadors of Des Moines, IA heralded the arrival of the assemblage’s matriarch, bleating jubilant, rapturous cries only to give way to warbled, plaintive pleas and much “chilling out” – a less frenzied but no-less tantalizing version of gyrating than their Hoosier counterparts elicited.
With the elasticized support of Scrappy, Mona Bonez and Grazie – the current members of her Junior Gem entourage – Leslie stormed the stage and buffeted the retinas of unsuspecting vir-gems with the refracted metallic majesty of her hand-crafted spandex raiments. Backed by the Beanie Baby Marching Band and several versions of her own likeness (via giant projection, kick drum and stuffed-nylon dummy), Mother Gem personally received her audience as newly inducted members of the Junior Gem dynasty.
Nurture your nature as Leslie and the LYs and Christopher the Conquered wrap up the final leg of their national tour and make a triumphant return to their summer nesting grounds. Joining them in their victory lap are Minnesotans Koo Koo Kanga Roo, toting their wholesome brand of “Hyper-Positive Toddler Hip Hop” complete with live, choreographed group dance and sing-a-longs.
Article & Photos by, Caitlin Welsh