when smart girls do stupid things

by LJ helpert

supported by
Michael Reilly
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Michael Reilly Wow! – an exciting talent overflowing with musical and conceptual experimentation. I hear some similarities to the sounds of Imogen Heap and sparklehorse, with Leslie's striking vocal delivery adding considerably to the total package. Favorite track: Chit'lins.


*The Short* this album is a concept album more-or-less about a woman/heroine who tries to wrestle her soul back from a vacuous zombie robot but fails.

*The Long*
Returning to Barcelona in November of 2011 I recorded this EP through Kickstarter, funded by family, friends and listeners.
I spent one month field recording the streets of Barcelona and turning the sounds of the city (street cleaners, bicycles, pedestrians, festivities) into beats and textures and base tracks for the song structures.
I wrote a dialogue between a man and a woman struggling through uncomfortable conversation in a cafe in the Barrio Gothic of Barcelona and recorded various couples' renditions, each person speaking in their own mother tongue--- to emphasize the lack of communication between the two lovers at the cafe.
This album is my first real independent "concept" EP.

I wanted to create a parody of the Ego's process of rejection, something heavily electric-guitar based--- a sort of "comedy-horror" album, not without authentic feel, but authentically feeling into the contrasting personas often exemplified in our learned response while we try to find what is "real" in the world of Feeling.

The EP's influences are myriad, in part borrowing from the esthetics of Deconstructionist Literature, which uses symbol and sound to create a self-contained type of lexicon. For example--- if a person recognizes the Note "E" in a Schubert Impromptu, she/he can acknowledge the same note "E" in a Radiohead song, without associating the former music to the latter.
I wanted to use image and texture in this way- so that a typewriter, for instance, loses its connotation to any reference outside of the self-contained entity of the EP, and becomes instead part of a lexicon possessing non-connotative relevance. In this way, I aimed to swathe the listener in a field of un-defined, pure Feel, to break The Recognition-Based Collective Definition humans apply with immediacy onto "things", and to invite one's freedom from the habit of "identifying" sound/image with philosophies or meaning. Likewise, I wanted the lyrics and story to lose personal association with the perceived creator/artist; for in all Theater, the actor is not, in reality, exactly his character; and so ---in a sense--- this EP borrows qualities of Musical Theater, for I wanted to truly go into the wasteland of Egoic garbage and Recycle There: for we are so often interested, as a "green-ing" culture, in re-using plastics and physically wasted materials, but we have less often thought to reuse our wasted Emotions.
And darlings, for this EP "When Smart Girls Do Stupid Things", I had a-plenty wasted emotions to reconstitute.
As in Indric Mythology, there is not solely one unchanging principal role/theme but often an interrelated multidimensional "fundamental" environment bred into this EP.
There is the final track with the repetitive note C (the minor third) which I meant to avoid in the composition but ends up being the central drone--the song is the Voice of The Pet Blue Fish who is a main character/symbol in the dialogue between the two expired lovers, meeting for cordial conversation in a cafe. The woman expresses that she would like the man to walk his bike beside her, accompanying her until she reaches the entrance of the pet store near Plaza Jaume so that she can purchase a Pet Blue Fish. She continues to tell the man (who is largely disinterested in her whimsical reality) that she will name the Blue Fish "I Don't Care If You Leave Me" and keep it in one simple, glass, round bowl with its name-placque on the side. The fish will be her practice of "How to Feed something Too Much and Not Care When It Dies".
The Blue Fish is sort of the Underpinning Base Character of this EP and the final Narrator of the EP.

I became this EP for seasons prior to recording it, during the recording and even in the months after its completion. In this way, I understand how Actors can lose themselves in their character. I wanted to understand why it is, in fact, easier to climb a mountain than scramble out of a slippery sacrificial pit; I guess I wanted to understand precisely how a smart woman can self-objectively abandon herself and give her power away to an undeserving figurehead. I'd explored the archetype of being Brave and Strong, and this album was the Exploration of being at One's Most Pathetic. I don't recommend it for the faint at heart. In fact, I don't recommend it at all. Yet I continue in the depth of my being to hope that there is more melodic learning to come, more precise, well crafted and relayed ART. I care more about mastering a brush stroke than I do to save the world, in fact, I am sure that Mastering A Brush Stroke does save my world.


released July 18, 2012

The Cover Art was created by one of my most favorite artists worldwide, and for this I am most thankful. The artist is Jeff T. Owens (www.jefftowens.com) and I highly recommend anyone checking out his powerful work. I asked Jeff to create an image of a gaunt woman self-objectively lost in her own reflection who is taking the gas-nozzle from a vampire-zombie-robot and "huffing gas" a cheap high/past-time of ignorant youth. The image comes from the line of the EP in Chit'lins that says "When You Accidentally Fuck A Zombie, It's Like Huffing Gas".

I couldn't have figured out the pre-production of this record without the tech advise/assistance of Leonardo Aldrey, Samuel Watkins Fisher, Count Kellam, Patrick Ferguson, C.K. Koch and Oriol Rocca who let me borrow his field recorder. Thanks to Yann De Kéroullas and Count Kellam for playing with the mixes/mastering and offering input and time. The dialogue recital sessions were made possible by Andrea Cirotto, Amanda Jayne, Antoine Casteignau, Elia van Reck, a little Ainize Txopitea and even Michele Bajona (his whistle got in there on The Blue Fish Track). Thanks to Babo at the downstairs market who always saluted me kindly through my gallonwater bubblegumperiod wearyeyed heartbreak smile purchases. Special thanks to Taylor Rankin for creative sessions. Thanks to Amanda Jayne for saving me with Beach Coffee Vacation Excursions.

For the recording of this album, I brought my preproduction and song structures to the beautiful genius Dave Bianchi and he patiently rocked out this EP with me for a few weeks in Barcelona, along with musicians Oriol Roca (drums) and Miguel Serna (bass). Vocalists Danny Lippitt, Sinead Savage and Duffy O-Brick added their wonderful sound to the record, and Fran Bartlett graced us with her Cello.

I took a trip to San Francisco to meet up with Charlie Wilson (www.soniczenrecords.com) who gave so much in an intensive session to this record, recording a bit more with me, doing some post-production, re-mixing and mastering.


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::leslie jill helpert º≠º New York, New York

<---a non-deductive anachronymph, meaning, mostly "of a chronologically inconsistent hemimetaboly". she makes candy out of earthsap, rudders and thunder ----->

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Track Name: Chit'lins
You Get Dressed Up
To Make A Buck
I'm Getting
Sloppier Than Ever Before
A Wasted Brain
Made A Habit Of Feelingless-ness
Traded All The Big Word That I Knew
For Your Kisses.

Your Vacuous
Unsentimental Statements
And Zombie Face
Interrupt My Concentration
Months Possessed
And Sleep Disabled
Haunted How I Trained You
To Respond As Unfaithful.

Now I Know I'll Get Away From You
In A Thousand Lifetimes We'll Be Having Some Fun
When The Feelings Are Gone
And The Past Is Done
And It Turns Golden
Now I Know I'll Get A Break From You
In A Thousand Lifetimes We'll Be Hanging Out Tuff
When The Feelings Are Gone
We'll Be Having Some Fun
When I Know It's Over.

You Take A Game
Like Milton Bradley
Had Me
Tweezin' And Grabbin'
The Plastic Burnt Toast
From My Heart Box
The Battery Charged Buzzer Sounds
And Look We Both Lost.

What's The Sum
Added Zero To One
How To Take Away Zero?
It's Hard Math For Our
Her Cape Gets Bunched
Up Her Ass
Like A G-String
It's Part Art-Of-Zen
Now She Gets Rid Of Nothing.

This Is How Your Higher Conscience Makes Sure That
You Never Get A Chance With Him Again
Cuz When You Accidentally F*** A Zombie
It's Like Huffing Gas
Track Name: The Peaches
Well You Know You Never Did
Anything You Said
And Though Your Words Were Worthless
It's Much Worse
Under Surface.

You Swallowed Something Awful.
As A Toddler When You Waddled
Cross The Carpet
For A Waffle
And You Couldn't Read The Lable.

So Grew Up
Like A Clown
Street Miming, Stealing Sound
From The Ladies
Who Pound The Pavement
Into Peaches.

Well Your Face
Is Painted In One Expression
Innocent In Need Of Affection
And Stage Make-up
Highlights Your Thick Brow
That Suggest Yes
You'd Like To Get It Up
In The Bow-Wow.

Your Hands
Skillfully Unwrap The Package
And Reveal The Tiny Instrument
That Somehow In Ten Minutes
Is Designed To Suck All Happiness
From The World's Most Mellifluous Damsels
Extracting Sound Like A Musical Leach, Yes
From The Ladies
Who Pound The Pavement Into Peaches.

Do You Want
A Number
Someone You Can Call
Someone Who Can Help You
Do You Want A Number.

Cuz You Know
You Never Did
Anything You Said
You Know You
Never Did
You Stole The Sound From The Ladies Who Pound The Pavement
To Peaches:: You Never Did Anything :: But You Steal All The Sound :: Steal All The Sound From The Ladies Who Pound :: The Pavement To Peaches.
Track Name: Alreadyeth Brokeneth
You Think You
Broke My Heart
That's Not The Case
And You Know

Though You Did
Burn It
And Throw It
And Strip It Of Poem

You Took The Cute
Little Marks
From Its Surface
And Drew There Skull And Bone.

You Think You
You Think You
You Think You
Broke My Heart. (street cleaners clang)

It's Always Been
A Mess Maker
A Card, Shark
And Faker

It's In Parts
Like Life's Theater
And When It Starred
It's The Repeater
In Its Own
Pathetic Waltz
You'd Like To Take Credit
But It's Not Your Fault.

We Stood
At The Statue
Of Stature And Value
I Was Hoping
You'd Tip Me Over
The Fence Of Self-Composure
And Make A Decent Woman
Out Of Me.

But Oh You Were Hoping
For Something More Token
But I Was No Token
I Was The Tower Herself.

You Think You
Broke My Heart
That's Not The Case
And You Know.
Though You Did
Stone It
And Store It
In The Dark
Didn't Grow It
You Chucked
The Stale Ends
Like A Sandwich
And You Paid
No Advance For
Such Damage

And Though Your Name
Likes The Advantage

You Think You
You Think You
You Think You Broke My Heart
But That's Not The Case
& You Know.

(catalan circle song, on the streets)
Track Name: The Blue Fish (pet)
I Don't Want To Hate You
But I Don't ...Anything.
The Resistance To Hatred
Has Taken Me Whole.

And I Almost Want To Sing Still
Til You Wake
But I Know You Are Dead
And You Always Were Dead.

Wish You'd Go Away
Wish You'd Go Away
But How Can You Tell
Something That Never Came
To Go Away.

I Want To Repeat
I Mean I Want A Motif
I Want To Cetrifugally Suck
It All Back Into Space.

And You're Not Gonna Get These Words Either, Mister
Do You Know How Long It Took
Just To Wrap My Unusually Small Heart
In This Stitched White Linen Square
And Hand It To You There
And Watch You Stare.

Wish You'd Go Away/We Should Go Away
But How Can You Tell
Something That Never Came
To Go Away.
Track Name: (out)tro
You Changed Me
And I Knew You Would
So I Hid Myself
Really Good