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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Found: Nathaniel's Manbag

Where else but Glasgow can a man in a drunken stupor lose a bag full of cash, illegal drugs, and transexual prostitutes and have it returned with everything intact three weeks later? (Answer: Vatican City.)

The lovely Hannah from Glasgow was the finder of the parcel, and for this we punish her with free Blood Arm tickets for life.

In addition to her uncompromising honesty and good will, Hannah is also a poet:





A big round of applause for Hannah.

I've been extremely negligent about posting photos of late, but this is because I've been unable to charge my camera. Here are some images that pop up when one performs a Google image search for the Blood Arm, if this is any consolation:

I love you,

Ben Lee Handler

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Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Blood Arm and Art Brut: Together at Last

Q: How much do we love Art Brut?

A (Q): How much does a fat kid love cake? How much did Hitler hate the Jews? How much do the deserts miss the rain?

We were finally able to perform with the inimitable Art Brut at the Insomniac's Ball this past Saturday in London. It was epic, though all I really remember is being thrown on the ground by a bouncer when the most Brutiful Eddie Argos called me on stage, and the lovely Christopher Svensson being physically assaulted for defending my honor. When I woke up this morning, Art Brut drummer Mikey was spooning me, Zachary and guitARTist Jarvis were passed out on the floor, and Zachary's head was shaven clean.

Best night ever.

More coming soon, when I figure out a way to charge my computer.

I love you all, but especially Keith Boadwee on his birthday.

-Ben Lee Handler

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Tom Cruise, Thanksgiving

We are now in St. Ives, celebrating the American holiday of Thanksgiving at the house of Tour Manager Chalkie and his beautiful girlfriend, Claire. For those of you who are unaware, Thanksgiving is the American holiday wherein we celebrate our liberation from the horrible alien warlord Xenu and his army of body thetans.

Anyway, we have a day to recover from our last European date in Amsterdam, which was, well, we can't remember? (Just kidding! I'll post a more detailed acount when we're able to post bail and I'm at my own computer!)

Now it's back to Chalkie's Singstar PS2, where I just dominated Zebastian at Cyndi Lauper's 'Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.'

I love you,

Ben Lee Handler

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Saturday, November 18, 2006

Jarvis Cocker. Also, Europe.

So first things first... We're in Europe. So far we've partied, performed, and partied some more in Paris, performed, partied, and partied some more in Zurich, then Munich, then Dresden, and now Berlin. If you're keeping track, that's a lot of partying, and our livers doth protest! (Do we listen to our livers? Never! Are the whites of our eyes growing yellower and yellower? Always!)

Here's a brief, city-by-city rundown of the events that have transpired on our European tour thus far, minus those involving hospital vists and violent neck lice infections.


After performing at the fabulous Les InRocks festival with the Automatic, Emmanuel, owner and visionary behind our European label, Because, (who sometimes performs under the name Serge Gainsbourg--you may have heard of him) had some very special Parisian surprises for us.

For one, we got to party with our European labelmate, Jarvis Cocker.

For two, we got to party with our European labelmate, Jarvis Cocker.

Additionally, Emmanuel enabled us to party with our European labelmate, Jarvis Cocker.

We also DJ-ed under close supervision of Emmanuel's right-hand woman and superstar club DJ Marie,

performed at the Virgin Megastore directly underneath the Louvre,

found a giant poster with the album cover on it,

and partied with the fabulous Pipettes.

And how can I forget... We acquired a tour bus for the European leg of the tour. Her name is Charlotte.

Then Charlotte took us to Zurich:

We performed at the Hafenkneipe, which apparently means awesome drunken time in German. Our new best friends Ollie, Roger, and Richie ensured we had a good time and drank well. Also, they taught me how to bartend.

(I call that one the Cock Vomit.)

This is the point where my camera ran out of space and my computer ran out of batteries. Please trust that the following day, we did go wine tasting on a grouping of boats in Lake Zurich, that we did actually drink a fuckload of tasty wines, and that Nathaniel and Dyan were actually arrested on charges of wine terrorism, only to be released after Dyan destroyed the evidence.

Things we've done in Germany, with marginal photo documentation:

-Drank too many liters of beer.

-Ate too many Bratwurst. (Including yours truly, who for ten years has fancied himself a vegetarian. This prompted too many hours of puking shortly thereafter.)

-Been kicked out of famous Hof Braus in Munich.

-Watched the film DIG! approximately 300 times on the bus.

Now we're in Berlin with a recharged computer and a camera with ample space, so please check in often for more frequent updates.

I love you,

Ben Lee Handler

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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Kris's KoRner; Identical Twins Stranded on a Deserted Island with a Dumb Nanny

Did you know that in sixteen hundred and something-or-other, King James of Scotland sent a set of newborn twins to a deserted island with a dumb nanny? And left them there for five years, without any human contact other than one another and their dumb nanny? And that when they were picked up on their fifth birthday, the twins were fluent in ancient Hebrew?

It's true. You can read it in any history book.

We did shows in Edinburgh and Huddersfield, but I will type about them later when I am on my own computer and not the one belonging to the lovely Chris Svensson. For now, you will have to make do with the first installment of 'Kris's Korner,' a column that will appear very irregularly on this site, wherein our dear friend (and sometimes lover) Chris Cain of the We Are Scientists weighs in on the most pressing topics of the day.

Without further ado, here's...

People come to me with questions a lot -- I chalk it up to my mustache, simultaneously avuncular and oracular. And while mind-reading is not among my skill sets, I can, with a 95% confidence interval, predict what someone is about to say when they approach me tentatively, finger raised, eyes narrowed. Inevitably it will go something like this:

"Hey, you know Ben Lee, right?"


"But so what about this Ben Lee character? You're part of his gang, right?"


"I want to now steer the discussion toward a topic I know most of our audience is... shall we say... VERY eager to hear about: Ben Lee Handler." Calamitous applause.


"Let me bounce a name off you: Be--"
"Ben Lee," I interject impatiently. "I know."

Fair enough. I do, famously, associate with Ben Lee. I am, notoriously, a vice-sergeant in his gang, The Ferris Wheels. I can, on a whim, call him up and leave him an encrypted voicemail that sounds, if you listen to it and you are the Uninitiated, very serious, very grave, but is in fact a request for him to pick up a bottle on his way to the party.

That's right, I party with Ben Lee. What's he like at a party? He's like a kangaroo in a pit paved with thumb tacks, and the pit is just a couple feet too deep for him to jump out of. He's flipping nuts. He's like an 80 year-old woman who's been doing adrenaline/PCP shooters.

I structured that last example as a simile, but there's more literal truth to it than you'd guess: I can take you to a certain very underground sex club in Prague where they actually serve a shot that's half adrenaline, half PCP. It costs the equivalent of 60 bucks American. "I'll have a Ben Lee," is all you have to say, and throw down your 1300 Koruny.

The club is called "Ben Lee".

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Monday, November 06, 2006

The Blood Arm Visits the Real Wales

After supporting our fabulous labelmates the Sunshine Underground in Leeds and Newcastle and witnessing the phenomenal Gossip at the Faversham in Leeds following the show, we and found ourselves (and our fabulous labelmates) freezing to death in the middle of a field in Wales. The field has a name: Llanfyllin (pronounced Shlannnnvosssshlin).

The countryfolk were kind, however, and provided us with beverage, shelter, amplifiers and a large bonfire on which to cook our freshly slain lambs. (The countryfolk provided us with freshly slaughtered lambs as well.) The show was a bizarre mix of hot and cold, with a few witches and the devil thrown in for good measure. All said, one of the weirdest nights of my life. We loved every freezing second of it.

I really love you, especially on our beginning-tonight-in-Edinburgh headlining tour,

Ben Lee Handler

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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Ireland in One Fell Swoop

“Where’s the party at?”

This is a question we often find ourselves asking.

Zachary is tired. In Belfast, the party is certainly not at Zachary’s space.

Zebastian certainly is down to party, as am I. But we are only a party of two! We want more! More people! More beer! More everything!

Jamie and John, W.A.S's merch and light-tech men, respectively, have a pizza, and pizza parties are always fun, but this is not the kind of party we’re looking for. We want the crazy! We want the clean, wholesome fun!

Au Revoir Simone always know where the party’s at, but they like adult parties, and frankly, we’re not grown up enough for those.

We like parties with music!

And dancing!



As it turns out, Zebastian soon revealed that he had seen an old Irish woman hovering over Zachary’s bed the night we arrived in Belfast, and Zach was a shell of a man ever since… a curse! Fortunately, something had possessed Nathaniel as well, actually increasing his party aptitude, balancing out Zachary’s virtual disappearance and helping to maintain a net prosepctive party loss of zero.

For the duration of our first trip to Northern and Southern Ireland, the singer insisted on us calling him Shameless O’Drunky, and she spoke only in limericks.

There once was a boy from the bay,
With behaviors so strange friends would say,
“Shameless O’Drunky, you’re one bizarre monkey,
but I’ll drink with you here anyday!”

That kind of thing.

Galway was beautiful, and provided perhaps the best We Are Scientists show I have ever witnessed, and I’ve seen a lot of them lately. Keith was a combination of drunk, inspired, and hopped up on goofballs and held every one of the 225 people in the audience under his thumb for the duration of the set. (There is plenty of room for crowd surfing and dancing like a maniac under Keith's thumb, mind you.) It was pretty amazing.

Then we came to Dublin, where Nathaniel managed to exorcize Zachary of his malaise via a mixture of Irn-Bru and vodka he named the “Irn-Bru Fuck Ben Lee Handler.”

Through the power of this elixir, the old Zachary returned in time to rock the fuck out of Dublin, drink a shitload of Guinness, get in a fight with a bouncer, and set off some fireworks.

How we had missed him!

Other exciting things that happened in Ireland:

-Chalkie had a nice cry at a very emotional gas station.

-We partied with the inimitable Eddie Argos of Art Brut.

-We had cyber-sex with Keith Murray of W.A.S. while we were all in the same room.

-Nathaniel bled a lot, cried a little.

-We spent a very long time in the tasting lab at the Guinness factory.

-A certain someone had a very special day, but I’m not allowed to mention it here.

-We met a horse.

I love you,

Ben Lee Handler

Coming very soon: Kris's Korner - A new blog feature wherein Chris Cain will type about how he feels about me at any given moment. Or maybe something else. It's up to him, really.

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