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Friday, April 28, 2006

We Are All Prostitutes; Coachella

When I was in University, I used to write a sex column for my school newspaper. For the column, I wrote about my even younger days as a male prostitute. The pen is mightier than the penis—this was my rationale, as I could service a significantly larger percentage of the population with my words than I could with my street business, not to mention that I could theoretically use the column as a resume-builder if I ever decided to go back to hustling. I wrote about diets of semen, sex with mirrors, sex with relatives, and scabies infections. About midway through my career as a University sexpert I got tangled up with the Blood Arm. These days, I find myself more in the role of pimp than anything, prosaically selling the band to crowds from Los Angeles to London. I all but forgot about my history in the sex trade. (Though I am not particularly ashamed of my past, there are certain aspects I’d prefer not to revisit. The beatings, for one. And the pregnancy! The constant pregnancy!)

Of course, one never can escape his roots completely. Wife and I recently visited her mother in San Diego for dinner. The meal went smoothly and everyone was cordial. When I returned home, I sent my mother in-law an email thanking her for having us—I’m a polite young man, and I really did enjoy our time together. However, in the mean time, the woman had taken the liberty to perform a Lexis-Nexis search for “Ben Lee Handler.” From this, she discovered my University sex columns, and from the columns, she learned of my earlier dalliances. She replied to my thank you note with the full text of my columns cut-and-pasted into the body of a message. She typed, “FYI, it’s still out there” in the subject line. We haven’t spoken since, and she frequently attempts to convince Wife of my homosexuality. (Wife is used to this sort of thing from just about everyone we know.)

Now I am sidetracked. This entry was supposed to be about Coachella. We of the Blood Arm Posse have sufficiently whored ourselves to the necessary parties, and have thereby acquired passes to the festival. Check back after this weekend for a full report of the festivities.

-Ben Lee

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Monday, April 24, 2006

Drawing Penis

Fun fact: An inordinate amount of web-surfers happen into this site via a Yahoo! search for the term "penis drawings."

The most baffling part about this is that BLOOD AMBITION 2006 is the tenth page listed in the aforementioned search. Does this mean that those who have found their way here through that particular Yahoo! query have browsed the nine sites listed before this one? Do they stop here, or do they continue to leaf through the other 899,000 pages listed in the search?

Yahoo! searchers of the world, please help me out! If you came here looking for penis-drawing related content, am I providing any relevant information? How can I better serve you? Please leave any requests/questions/critiques in the comment section below. (That this page is listed in the search at all is not a mystery, as I wrote an entry on the tendency of backstage graffiti artists to explore the genre of cartoon penises a while back. Read it here.)

And while we're on the topic of penis drawings, you may have noticed two new additions to the "TBA APPROVED BROWSING" section on the right side of this page. The Moko is an excellent London-based exploration of all things candy, and A Blog Called Nowhere is New York artist Nicole Eisenman's journal, which is totally overflowing with awesome. Enjoy!

-Ben Lee

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Friday, April 21, 2006

The Bushes!

While the Blood Arm has enjoyed a certain amount of success in recent years, it pales in comparison to that of our good friend Nick Lowe. Nick has become a Famous Artist. (Not to be confused with Nick Lowe the Famous Musician.) Under most circumstances, we hate it when our friends become successful—it drives us wild with envy and we wind up telling vicious lies behind their backs about them being infected with a mutant hybrid of syphilis, gonorrhea, and hepatitis (see the We Are Scientists)—but Mr. Lowe is a rare bird. For one, his plumage is magnificent. Check it out. (One must click on "Artists," then "Nick Lowe" to see some of his work.) For two, his rap band has taken the next level to the next level. Behold the Bushes. Talk about Advanced Russian Math!

In other news, the Blood Arm is keeping busy in the coming weeks. There’s a video to shoot, a single to release, a tour to plan, drinks to be drunk… Stay tuned for updates!

Ben Lee

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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Moses, the True Master of Ceremonies (Not the Real Album Title)

Something like 5,000 years ago, the people of Israel were enslaved in Egypt by an evil Pharoh. God didn’t like this. In conjunction with Moses, God unleashed a series of plagues on the Egyptians, until a particularly harsh one bought the Jews enough time to escape. (Then came Moses’ parting of the Red Sea and the crushing of the Egyptian army, yada yada yada…) The important part of all of this is that—thanks in no small part to God and Moses’ work—I’m here today, kicking ass. Saturday, Nathaniel, Dyan, Wife, and I attended a special ceremony at my parents’ house to celebrate that fact, which we call Passover in Hebrew.

Over the course of a seder, or the ritual Passover dinner, participants are required to drink four glasses of wine, reclining. This served no problem for the Blood Arm posse; we’re all seasoned drinkers. Also, the youngest person at the table is required to read four questions pondering the meaning of the feast. (The meaning of the feast? I quote from the service: Ben Lee is here today, kicking ass.) The reading of the questions could have served a problem (not all of us are literate), but fortunately Dyan is the youngest among us. She read them like nobody’s business—her Hebrew was flawless. Even my immigrant mother was impressed.

Of course, the core reason a Jew would bring some gentiles to a Passover seder is to convert them. According to Hebrew law, any non-believer who sits through the feast, drinks four cups of wine, and listens to the four questions is an automatic convert... four questions asked, no refusals taken. So a warm L’Chaim to Dyan and Nathaniel, newly minted Members of the Tribe.

Let it be known from this day forward: If you party us, you’re partying with the Chosen People.

-Ben Lee

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Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Oh, Manchester... We miss you so!

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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Things We Like

Black pudding.

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Sunday, April 09, 2006

UK Tour Dates; 'Suspicious Character' Single Release; San Francisco Stories

Finally I am at liberty to disclose the "big news" promised in the post below. If you haven't already learned from the main page, we're heading to the UK again in June!
Pencil in the following dates with "the Blood Arm":

June 4 Nottingham at The Social
June 5 Glasgow at King Tuts
June 6 Liverpool at Korova
June 7 Leeds Club NME at Leeds Faversham
June 8 Middlesborough Club NME at Middlesborough Empire
June 9 London at 93ft East
June 10 Stoke Club NME at Stoke Underground
June 11 Manchester at Manchester Roadhouse
June 13 London White Heat at Madame Jojos

Also, the single for 'Suspicious Character' is slated for a June 5 release. (This is the "I like all the girls/ All the girls like me" song you've been humming for the past year.)

Lastly, here is a brief rundown of our San Francisco trip to the NoisePop Festival. (Please forgive its tardiness and brevity--I have recently become a grandfather, and it is unbelievably time-consuming.)

March 30
Zebastian, Zachary, Wife, and myself drive up to San Francisco. We arrive just in time to visit Grandmaster B of the Blood Arm's New Genres class at the San Francisco Art Institute. I tell his students a story about pissing and masturbating on the Twin Peaks of San Francisco. The students walk away with a greater understanding of their surrounding environment, we of the Blood Arm Posse wrangle GBOTBA into drinking beer with us. We drink beer. Later we meet Dyan, Nathaniel, and San Francisco celebrity Mike D for drinks at the Cassanova. We drink more. More things I cannot recall happen. Horrible, horrible things. Or perhaps wonderful, wonderful things. They are in the ether now, lost forever.

March 31
I am awoken by GBOTBA straddling my head in his tighty-whities. He is jumping on the bed. From anyone else, this would be a bad thing, but from Boadwee it is not so bad. Oddly refreshing. The day happens. Soundcheck happens. We of the Blood Arm Posse are happily reunited with the fabulous Michael Tapper of the We Are Scientists. We hug him and pet him heavily. The show is good. Dyan debuts new dress. Nathaniel gets everyone to sit down. People dance. The Grates are great, Foreign Born is epic. I emcee for W.A.S. as well, they bring the house down. We continue the party in Tapper's hotel room. We drink too much, are significantly out-partied by Boadwee and his husband, Kenny Beans. Continue party in East Bay house of Boadwee and Kenny Beans. Zachary and Boadwee stay awake till seven AM, eating pizza, drinking, and listening to Queen.

April 1
Wake up late, eat food with Boadwee and Mike D, pick up Zebastian and head home. With Wife behind the wheel, cover entire distance in record four-and-a-half hours. Arrive back in Los Angeles in time for me to emcee for W.A.S. at the El Rey. More drinking happens.

Conclusion: It was a Very Good Weekend.


-Ben Lee

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Friday, April 07, 2006

Big News!

The whites of my eyes have turned yellow. Is this jaundice? Hepatitis? Either way, I'm sure our recent jaunt to San Francisco with the We Are Scientists, Foreign Born, and the Grates is somehow to blame.

Full details of that trip are coming soon, as well as some MASSIVE news involving recordings and opportunities to witness the magic that is the Blood Arm live...

Don't go anywhere!

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