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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
hollAnd - Borthwick
Helene
Temporary Residence Ltd.

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
There is a fine line between what can be considered art and what is just straight up pretentious bullshit. The collaboration between indie-pop producing behemoth Trevor Holland and New York artist Mark Borthwick stinks to high heaven of artier-than-thou attitude, is an essentially useless piece of plastic, and should never be listened to outside of an art exhibit.

Whereas some people find the work of Yoko Ono to be daring and beautiful, others find her contributions to this world annoying and heartless. The same can be said for Helene, which is nothing more than one incredibly long and irritating song of monotonous acoustic guitar plucking, coupled with emotionless spoken word poetry, and topped off with amateurish tape loops and hissing.

Although Trevor Holland has contributed some enjoyable work in the past (his hollAnd project and various production work for bands like Barcelona), this stuff is just flat out terrible. Apparently there is a Sonic Youth connection, as the line "…abundant souls waiting for the unexpected little fleetings layering themselves a thousand leaves a cleansing of a seasons end…" inspired the title for the last Sonic Youth album, A Thousand Leaves, and Borthwick actually took the photographs for that album's layout. Even Helene Filliers' vocals are a blatant homage to Kim Gordan, as the cut and paste meets acoustic guitar work is comparable to Gaster Del Sol (featuring new Sonic Youth member Jim O'Rourke) or Joan of Arc's horrid The Gap album.

Unfortunately, the artists involved in this project decided to actually release what was originally used as a part of an exhibition at the Swiss Institute in New York City. Even though some pretentiousness is charming and respectable, Helene is essentially 40 minutes of unlistenable crap that should have stayed hidden for the ears of the jet set.

Reviewed by Ryan Allen
A former staff writer with fabulous hair, Ryan Allen once fronted Red Shirt Brigade with his brother, Scott. He currently fronts the art/fashion punk band Thunderbirds Are Now!, with is brother, Scott.

See other reviews by Ryan Allen

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