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Sunday, 4 September 2011

Three Sides Of Leisha Hailey

Actress, musician, and one time potential football (as in 'soccer') star, Leisha Hailey is certainly not one to let the grass grow around her. Since 1991, when her first band The Murmurs started, she has created a body of music, TV and films, all Independently minded, all exceptionally good.

Most people know Leisha from the TV show 'The L Word' on which she plays bisexual journalist Alice Pieszecki, but her forays into the world of the creative arts began almost a decade before with her first band, and it's her THREE bands; The Murmurs, Gush and Uh Huh Her that we are here to celebrate today.
The Murmurs began in 1991 as an Indie Folk/Pop duo consisting of Leisha and fellow singer/songwriter Heather Grody. The pair met when both were students at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and quickly cultivated a following around the East Village area of Manhattan. Their debut album 'Who We Are' sold healthily enough, but it was their second eponymous album, that begat the single 'You Suck', which gained the pair a certain notoriety.

Expanding to a four-piece, all-woman group in 1997, they released 'Pristine Smut' and played at the legendary Lillith Fair festivals that promoted female-fronted or, indeed, female only bands or musicians. 1997 also saw Leisha's acting debut in the cult movie 'All Over Me'.
In 1998 The Murmurs released what would become their final album, 'Blender', which also contained the song they are probably best known for, 'Genius'.

The Murmurs continued as a band until 2001, which proved to be be quite a tumultuous year for Leisha. Her five year long relationship with Canadian singer k.d. lang ended, as did The Murmurs, although Leisha and Heather remained together to form new band Gush. Sadly, very little material exists of Gush, as they mainly sold their only album at live shows.
Gush continued until 2003 when Leisha was offered the part of Alice in 'The L Word'.
'The L Word' is/was a show that was never afraid to create an extradiegetic situation, and often with Leisha's music, for example; in the first series, The Murmurs' song 'Genius' soundtracks an entire scene; in a later series episode the scorching Katherine Moennig, who plays serial shagger Shane McCutcheon, is seen wearing a Gush teeshirt; and in one of the last episodes, a song by Leisha's third band Uh Huh Her can also be heard.
Uh Huh Her is where we currently find Leisha. After 'The L Word' ended in 2009, she threw herself completely into this new electropop band, which she formed with Camila Grey. The band achieved some bonus publicity when their songs and posters were featured in the Oscar nominated film 'The Kids Are All Right'. Their only album (so far) 'Common Reaction' was released in 2008, with the promise of a new album later this year.

Leisha still turns in some acting performances, appearing on TV shows like 'Grey's Anatomy' and 'CSI: Las Vegas', and recently appeared in the movies 'Fertile Ground'.
In 2007, Leisha was voted the sexiest woman in lesbian website AfterEllen's Top 100. And as for the football, well it appears that a busted knee put paid to that promising career. But, I suppose, football's loss is music's gain, and as long as the music is as wonderful as this, it's our gain too!

"I think she's a genius"


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