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Friday, June 03, 2005

The Professor of Indie Rock

Backstage at our first Los Angeles show with Franz Ferdinand, everyone in the Blood Arm camp had the same question on their lips: Who’s that girl? The dressing rooms were quite crowded, but we all had our eyes on the same person (Dyan and Wife included). That girl was a tall, leggy blonde, killer body, wearing black, knee-high, patent-leather high-heeled boots, a short plaid red skirt and a tight white button-down shirt. It seemed the uniform of a cold-hearted dominatrix, but there was something—maybe her quickness to laugh—that had us convinced there was more to her than that. We positioned ourselves next to the food-spread in such a manner that it was possible to eavesdrop on her without making our intentions excessively overt. (In retrospect, however, it was quite obvious that everyone in the room had exactly the same idea.) She was ranting about the “Coital Calvary of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Whole Lotta Love’” in relation to Kant’s Metaphysics of Morals, or something. We heard Nick from Franz refer to her as “Professor.” We were intimidated. We were intrigued. My dreams for the following ten days were soundtracked by Van Halen’s ‘Hot for Teacher.’ I thought, even if she is a cold-hearted dominatrix, I could live with that.

Weeks later, when the Franz boys returned with the Futureheads—a show I guest MC-ed (tut-tut)—we were confronted by the same vision, this time donning white, knee-high, patent-leather high-heeled boots. As I returned to the side of the stage after completing my duties, the mysterious Professor was sharing a laugh with Dyan and Kate (a.k.a. Wife). I started to panic. The Professor was laughing. With Dyan and my wife. If they were laughing at me I would die. (Both my wife and father—doctors—have informed me on numerous occasions that if one is laughed at by the three hottest babes he has ever seen, his hair will turn white and his heart will drop straight to his stomach. The ridiculed man will perish slowly and painfully as his stomach acids systematically reduce his heartbeat to bile.) Lucky for me, FF’s aging guitar tech was the one to change colors and collapse, and I lived to be introduced to the Professor.

The Professor, it turns out, is a Professor indeed. The Professor of Indie Rock. Wendy received a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from UCLA, where she taught for a spell before moving to England to do research for her first book. This research entailed becoming the first employee at Domino records, helping to orchestrate the unprecedented rise of Franz Ferdinand, and making the UK an even smaller island—the collective drool of the men of the country poured into the ocean and raised its water level a solid meter. Now Wendy has completed her manuscript and she’s back in the States, where she’s just as fast to smile and laugh as she is to parse Hume or Kant, or for that matter, Zepp or the Stones.

Over the past year, Professor Wendy has become one of the Blood Arm’s bestest friends in the whole world. She’s been a shoulder to cry on when we’ve needed to cry, the first to high-five us when there’s cause to celebrate, the one to feed us when we’ve been hungry, the one to spank us when we’ve been naughty. (OK, the spanking hasn’t happened yet, but I’m trying. I’ve been bad, very bad.) And now—brace yourselves—for the first time in far too long, the Professor of Indie Rock is s-i-n-g-l-e.

She may have more brains and hots in a fingernail than any of us could hope to achieve in a lifetime, but if one can ever build up the guts to approach her, it’s quickly apparent that Professor Wendy is one of the most approachable people God has ever put on his green Earth. Gentlemen, please be gentlemen… When you see her at the next TBA show, call her “Professor.”

-Ben Lee

Oh! Speaking of people we’re totally crushed on… The lovely lads of Maximo Park have invited us to support them on their tour up the left coast, and we’ve wholeheartedly accepted! You heard it here first.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

if you tell me she's politely rebuffed zach's imminent advances . . . then, and only then could she take her place as a minor diety.

1:33 PM  
Anonymous wildchild said...

So u guys are playing with them at the troubadour on june 29?
i must know so i can go buy my ticket.

4:20 PM  
Anonymous sophie said...

hey there! just a quick note to say congratulations on the release of say yes! i rushed down to my local retailer of records and brought all 3 versions!!.....(now i'm broke...but it was worth it!)trouble is i don't know where it charted i'm sat here glued to the radio but am having no luck! please update us on it's position! congratulations again for the fabulous single!
sophie xx

p.s on the topic of the charts has that darn "crazy frog" made it's way to the states yet!?

9:53 AM  

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