Thursday, December 28, 2006

FBO: 'Listening to James Brown'

We so often forget to tribute the greats until they die. James Brown's catalog of music is likely going to see a bump in sales following his Christmas Day death at 73, but probably for the wrong songs. James, these days, seems best known for his early 1960s haircut and songs like 'I Got You (I Feel Good)' and his landmark live album Live at the Apollo recorded in 1962. But he got more interesting as the '70s began, with Bootsy Collins on bass and deep-voiced back-up vocalist Bobby Byrd to echo his points ('that's right', 'yeah!,' 'keep on singing') in songs that regularly passed the eight-minute mark. The key was horn-accented, bass-driven grooves that had no particular parts -- songs could as easily end three minutes as 10 minutes.

If you're looking for some dollar JB downloads to tribute the 'godfather of soul' check out these, only one of which makes his 20 All-Time Greatest Hits CD:

Get Up, Get Into It & Get Involved Best call-and-response and guitar/horn interplay of all time. All seven minutes... gold.
Talkin' Loud & Sayin' Nothing Listen for his response when the band follows his instruction: 'Stop! ...that was good!'
Soul Power Everyone is doing their own thing and it works.
The Payback Enter the wah wah.

And if you don't have it, you must have this hit:

Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine

I never saw James Brown live, but visiting Trump Hotel near Central Park last year, a sudden stir came across the gaudy all-gold lobby, and in came The Man. There was no mistaking him. In a full red suit, hair primped into its famous wave, sun glasses on, and quick boot-heel clicks on the marble floor. The entourage stuffed into a gold elevator and up to a gold suite. Today James Brown's body was on view, in a golden casket, in the Apollo Theater in Harlem. He arrived in a horse-driven wagon along 125th St, where thousands of fans came to pay their respects. One last grand entourage. I really should have gone to see it.


FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY

Monday, December 18, 2006

FBO: 'Tributes the Perpendicular Rocker'

LET'S START ROCKING IN AMERICA.. CORRECTLY

The FBO are exhausted at the lack of inventiveness it's seeing on rock stages of the non-failed and failed rock world. Rolling into Stillwater, for example, a band unloads equipment, and then -- without thought -- set up drums center stage, toward back.

In a word: no.

Night Ranger's exceptionably talented Kelly Keagy receives a retroactive FBO Ribbon of Choreographical Merit for setting up his drums differently. Whether backing Jack Blades on 'Don't Tell Me You Love Me' or pouring a bit too much emotion on the never-caught-on catch phrase of 'you're motoring, mo-to-ring' with fist pumps at the end of the bombastic 'Sister Christian,' Kelly does it like you want him to: PERPENDICULARLY, at the SIDE OF THE STAGE, drum set pointed inward toward the chest-bearing rhythm-guitar prowess of Jeff Watson, allowing the crowd full site of his skin-pounding chops and forehead-perspiration below a tuffle of frizzy hair:



Kelly also deserves special praise for his daringness in concert attire, as the following photo (taken in St Louis in 2000) attests:



Night Ranger deserves praise for meaning what they do -- no matter how misguided -- and for creative stage design. I saw them -- with Ratt opening -- in 1985 and was so impressed that I bought a white muscle t-shirt with the 'Midnight Madness' cover on it. Time passes though and Night Ranger, these days, add considerable strength to the age-old argument that San Francisco may be rock'n'roll's worst rock'n'roll city (Starship, Santana, Huey, G-Dead, Steve Miller, Night Ranger are among the 'highlights').

Night Ranger, Kelly... we just want to thank you.

Props also to photography by Ellen Kozisek (www.geocities.com/rainbow2/NR).

Let's all make 2007 a PERPENDICULAR YEAR!

FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY

FBO: 'Failed Song a No-Go'

Regretably, the plans to record the FBO anthem, 'The Failed Bands of Oklahoma,' this week have been scrapped due to low show in interest. The song still waits production, but the challenge to Kansas' failed bands will have to wait until FBO's second year of existence in 2007.

FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY

Thursday, December 14, 2006

FBO: 'Tendencies of Lazy/Successful Map Pointers Exposed'

Watch any pirate or explorer or WWII film and you see it. Characters pulling out a worn map, rough on the egdes. They lay it out on a giant wood table and with candle light search out the possibilities for the next plot point to take place. Then point it out with not one, but two or three taps of the carefully unmanicured fingertip. THIS is what irks us at the FBO -- that they ALWAYS pat their finger at the destination with two or three pats. Why?

-->If we point to the cupboard that keeps the glasses to a visitor do we point towards it twice? No.

--> After laundry's done, do we set a folded t-shirt in the dresser twice? No.

--> If a car pulls in front of you dangerously, they get one middle-finger flip-off -- possibly held for effect -- but the gesture is rarely made twice.

Once again, the FBO has spotted a gesture that has become popularized from bad television or lazy film-making. We copy what we see. All the more reason -- as is the FBO plan -- to steer fans and members towards healthy, reponsible entertainment and away from lazy things like movie remakes, sequels or TV-to-film adaptations.

FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY

Friday, December 08, 2006

FBO: 'Contemplates NFL Helmets'

WHAT PRICE WOULD YOU BESEAK FAILURE?
In the last 15 years we've seen a few things where unforgiveable acts have led to success from previously failed franchises of the National Football League. Consider this:

* Denver Broncos changed from mostly orange uniforms to 'more macho' navy blue with Nike stripe swoops on pants (won Super Bowl twice)
* Baltimore Ravens sold out historic Cleveland Browns and swapped orange helmet for 'macho' black raven helmet (won Super Bowl)
* Atlanta Falcons sold out franchise-long red helmet for 'macho' black helmet (appeared in first Super Bowl)
* Tennessee Titans sold out Houston Oillers, macho-ed up uniform (appeared in first Super Bowl)
* New England Patriots took off ball-snapping patriot from helmet for USFL slick helmet (won three Super Bowls)
* Tampa Bay cut the sissy peach uniform pattern for the most aggressive macho-ized uniform (won Super Bowl)

(The Seattle Seahawks uniform change -- slightly changed color -- got them into last year's Super Bowl, but the color change was a wise call.)

And note teams that haven't sold out their uniforms and apparently will never wreak any sort of success:

* Arizona Cardinals (did sell out St Louis)
* Detroit Lions
* Cleveland Browns II (re-instated best helmet in the NFL, a striped nothing of orange)

Some of you wonder, is failure synonymous with status quo, or maintaining of tradition? Not necessarily. But change must be justified, and never a calculated move to 'aim down' to perceptions that fans can't stomach riskier uniform decisions. Even if that means you won't have success.

The FBO endorses these uniform changes -- all retro decisions:

* New York Giants --> return from ugly blue 'Giants' helmet to the old softer-blue 'ny' helmet
* New York Jets --> scrapped inexcusable ugly-green 'jets-->' theme for retro Namath uniforms
* San Diego Chargers --> when they wear the old retro white helmet, gold bolt with number uniforms
* Buffalo Bills --> when they wear the retro OJ-era, all-red buffalo helmet

Consider cheering for these teams, and never root for those on the easy-way-out-to-Super-Bowl list above...


FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY

Monday, December 04, 2006

FBO: 'Lyric Ideas for Future-Failed'

FBO's semi-permanent headquarters are tucked away in Brooklyn, across the East River from Manhattan. In the rock world, Manhattan namedropping is common occurrence. Listeners who've never visited New York, know about 'Broadway,' 'downtown,' 'uptown girls,' the Chelsea Hotel, the 'A train.' To score heroin, you follow Lou Reed up to 'Lexington 125' (125th Street and Lexington, in Harlem). If you're pondering a life as a 'playboy' and hang around in gay bars, follow Mick Jagger to 'the west side of town.' Beach-bound follow the Ramones to 'Rockaway Beach.' Hipster youth know NYC cops are 'not very smart' from the Strokes, or that NY is 'forever kitty' from the Sonic Youths.

Yes, LA gets its nods, Chicago a couple. But save from a Huey Lewis song or 'Route 66,' or a regretable song by the Eagles, the rock world tends to ignore about every other place else on earth.

In the hopes of improving rock listeners' geography, and spreading out the lyrical in a more even-handed manner, the FBO believes this should change. Simply naming a town (the Band's 'Look Out Cleveland!') is not enough. The rock world needs more below-the-surface references.

--> Tips:

* Write songs name-dropping everyday street intersections in your town, which will feel insidery and cool to those outside your town: 'You're a woman, I'm a male; let's go take PCP at 41st & Yale'

* Talk about geographic features near your home (note that Tom Waits has mentioned Lake Tenkiller): 'kids, children -- there's a lot of foes that will face ya; shrug'em off or throw 'em off the Black Mesa'

* Neighborhoods or counties are good too, or obscure highways -- 'Bye bye Ada, hello Atoka crack park; betwixt the two: heartbreak, Highway 3, 47 miles of tire marks' (Hwy 3 connects the two towns; apparently the author drives with the brakes on)

* Include local festivals: 'In jail. Refusing arrest. One too many. At Tulsa's Mayfest.'

* Don't mention generic 'mall' or 'store' or 'hospital' for settings, instead go for specific local convenience stores or mini-chains: 'Bad luck and angst. At the top of my bio. I broke my finger on the Zingo, I birthdayed at Taco Mayo'

**Note: If you use any lyrics included here (and please do), we will find you and ask for 40% profits of any sales.**


FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY

Thursday, November 30, 2006

FBO: 'Calling All Failed Bands'

FBO READY TO UP THE ANTE, FOLLOWING KANSAN ATTACKS

After Kansan failed bands' guerilla attacks to undermine this site -- evident in the Rolling Stone magazine cut-and-paste jobs following the justified Byrds post (see below) -- it's time for a about-face, self-survey of FBO. And it's clear: we are not doing enough. This gut-check prompts the FBO to call out for all failed bands -- with the exception of Kansan failed bands -- to come together on Boxing Day to record a song 'We're the Failed Bands of Oklahoma' in Oklahoma, which will be mixed, made into a video and sent to Kansas as a challenge.

--> Please post here if there is a day just before or after Christmas -- roughly between December 23 and December 27 -- that you could spend an evening with pizza to lend your bass, vocal or drum stick to the first collective FBO anthem.

Note the Stupid Shape:












Note the Shape of Excellence:













By the way the BEST SONG OF THE WEEK goes to the re-release of the opening track of Pearls Before Swine's hilarious Balaklava, a lightly psychedelic, anti-Vietnam War album from 1969 with heavily reverbed, brittle melodies and creepy whispered messages ('all is silent,' 'waiting,' 'Jeezuzz'). The opening song, 'Trumpeter Landfrey,' is an actual recording from the 1880s of a survivor of the 'charge of the light brigade' from the 1854 Crimean War. Trumpeter Landfrey says:

'I am Trumpeter Landfrey, one of the surviving trumpeters from the charge of the light brigade in Balaklava. I'm now going to sound the bugle...'


Shaken and stirred,

FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY

Saturday, November 25, 2006

FBO: 'Furious with Byrds'

The worst band in the history of rock music is the Byrds. Making a career out of covering other people's songs with flat harmonies and 12-string guitars, the Byrds never really had a moment until they gave up the reigns of their band -- in a career crisis moment after psychedlic's fire simmered out -- and let Graham Parsons sing lead, direct the songs and make their best album 'Sweetheart of the Rodeo' in 1968.

With David Crosby (of lame CSN&Y fame) and Parsons gone, the smug Roger 'I have a 12-string! I have a 12-string!' McGuinn -- never much of a force in the band -- took over, finding new Dylan songs to cover. (They re-did Dylan's biggest song 'Lay Lady Lay' the same year Dylan released it, for example.)

Eventually we -- the children of the '80s -- believed what we were told: the Byrds were an important 1960s band and the uncharismatic, poor singer McGuinn was its pioneer. We clapped politely as they were awarded status to the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame in 1991. And we nodded our heads in time to the 10-second soundbyte of 'Turn Turn Turn' as it accompanied a Time-Life Book commercial in 1989. None of us have ever listened to any of their non-Parsons albums, nor should.

Take a look at this:

* first 'hit' was 'Mr Tambourine Man' (written by Dylan)
* follow-up single 'All I Really Want to Do' (written by Dylan)
* follow-up single 'Turn Turn Turn' (traditional folk song by Pete Seeger)
* two years later they actually wrote a song ('So You Wanna Be a Rock'n'Roll Star') to make a dig at the manufactured Monkees' overnight success, forgetting they had formed in a similar fashion a few years earlier
* fired (admittedly overrated) David Crosby who had been principal songwriter in psychedlic era
* in 1972, following success of rival Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Byrds released 'Byrds' album under name 'Gene Clark, Chris Hillman, David Crosby, Roger McGuinn & Michael Clarke)

The FBO calls for Roger McGuinn, as the official Byrds spokesperson:

--> to apologize
--> to post all material free online (none of their music should make money from this point on)
--> return the 'Hall of Fame' inductee ribbon
--> stop talking about the Byrds on nostalgic radio/TV shows


FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY

Monday, November 20, 2006

FBO: 'Considers Google Ban'


THE SUCCESSFUL BEGINS BLOCKADE AGAINST THE FAILED
Google is trying to punish the Failed Bands of Oklahoma. Previously a search of 'Failed Bands of Oklahoma' linked directly to this site. Now the FBO official site doesn't make it in the first 20 pages of Google links. What went wrong?

The FBO's recent challenge for failed bands of Iowa and North Dakota struck a chord with Google, as did the now-suspended ban against New Jersey.

While sorrowful that the Internet search engine is upset with the FBO, the FBO cannot retract its missives and dicta. That Google is so unnerved by FBO's actions suggests that collectives of the failed are causing alarm in the ranks of the successful.

The FBO is considering a full ban on Google.


FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY

Monday, November 13, 2006

FBO: 'Tips for New Bands'

Surprisingly, bands have yet to seize a few ideas waiting for glory:

ALT-ROCK BOY BAND Somewhere in the warehouse rehearsal spaces of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, there must be some scruffly-haired 25-year-olds practicing dance moves and putting payments down on cordless head mics. Alt-rock needs a 'boy band' -- with dance routines and line-up of five with varying personalities.

CO-OPT SOME JOEL Yes, the US Office TV show finally made a crack at 'William Joel,' but so far no one has yet to realize the misplaced snarl and tuff guy of the Bronx's least intimidating homie of all time, Billy Joel, could easily translate into some fine cover material: it's catchy, it's funny, it's misguided and it has a message.

HOCKEY PLAYERS A good name for a band.

BAND ATTACKED BY GOPHERS With ample fake blood and fake amputated limbs on-hand, rent gophers for a show and set-up a band-under-attack in the last song.


FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY

Thursday, November 09, 2006

FBO: 'Defining Stacy'

Surely less than 1% of the earth's inhabitants are named 'Stacy,' but the FBO subscribes to the belief that -- regardless of their chosen or adopted names -- the nearly one in 10 people, regardless of sex, is a 'Stacy.' Loosely 'Stacy' is a name for someone with a slight stammer or deformity, an uneccessary cheery disposition, or a significant under- or over-bite.

Stay tuned for more on the definition of a Stacy.

FBO Admin
Mobile HQ -- Singapore Airport

Sunday, October 29, 2006

FBO: 'Induced Project Garners 10/10 Review'

The FBO is happy to learn it has a new fan. FBO's first-induced project -- Tall Tales' 'LIVE in Oklahoma' (posted at Audiostreet.com -- click here to see it) -- got a perfect review from FBO Top Fan (knocking Rich Trott to Number Two Top Fan), Brian Adad. Mr Adad wrote:

"This music makes my life worth living. Last month I was about ready to
kill myself, but then I heard "Dicks" and now I'm going to wait and
kill myself later."

You are not alone when you're a part of the FBO Family. And you are part of the FBO Family, Mr Adad.


FBO Admin
Mobile HQ -- Ha Tien, Vietnam

Thursday, October 26, 2006

FBO: 'Liking'

Presently FBO is LIKING

AT LEAST HALF OF THE NEW BECK ALBUM 99-cent downloads and miniaturised album cover art that appears stamp-sized on your iPod has changed 'the album' forever. It's no longer necessary to keep a listener's attention for a full 45 or 60 minutes -- albums are dying. So for me I only need about five songs that electrify that inner cord from cerebellum to rectum to back a 'record.' The new Beck album, The Information has at least six worthy songs that make the album as good as any since his best, Odelay, from a decade ago. Songs are heavily percussed, with reverbed guitars and keyboards that give a spacey feel to his usual 'Subterranean Homesick Blues' three-word wordplays. He's trying harder than on Guero and the album comes with head-shot videos for each.

RIVERS The Burmese like to say you connect with earth by walking barefoot, but I find more power by drifting in a shallow canoe in rivers -- like the sediment-rich, chocolate milk-colored Mekong in Vietnam. Tiny canals shoot all directions, under arched bridges you have to duck for or get decapitated by. Bikes and motorcycles ride over them and onto sidewalk-wide roads meaning expanses of the rice-growing and fruit-growing Mekong Delta can't be reached by cars. We wouldn't exist without rivers -- no other body of water combines a place to transport people and things, bathe in, fish from, wash clothes and dirty saucers in, and send your defocate off with. A tip of the hat to rivers.

RUTGERS SCARLET KNIGHTS NCAA football's oldest Division I team, New Jersey's state school Rutgers, is undefeated and ranked for the first time in nearly three decades. Despite its history, Rutgers has struggled with personality. In the 90s, the put 'NJ' on their helmets to plug their connection with the country's most easily criticized state. Now they've switched to winning. Because of the Scarlet Knights' success -- and what exactly is a Scarlet Knight, something a kin to the Lavendar Gnomes? -- NEW JERSEY has been DE-LISTED from the 'watch list' for its curious urinal policy on turnpike rest-stops.

FBO Admin
Mobile HQ -- Cantho, Vietnam

Sunday, October 15, 2006

FBO: 'Revisiting Failed Film Setting'


For the time being, nothing spells 'F.A.I.L.U.R.E' for Americans better than Vietnam. The decade-plus conflict cost untold millions of local lives and tens of thousands of Americans, for a cost that most here either opposed or didn't really care about. FBO has had representatives in Vietnam before -- as part of the failed film project Holding Ground Just Beyond the Limits where actors impersonated Quebecois Olympic 'recruiters' looking for French-speaking athletes to come to Quebec and play for a national team after Quebecois reaches independence. The project, held with a faulty videocamera in 1997, failed.

A key seen involved a District One sports club in Saigon, where 'ping pong serves' were 'clocked' and interviews held in a steamy room with Coca-Cola banners on the walls. This week FBO returned, for a ping pong lesson and to see how that setting of a pivotal scene in the failed project had fared.

Ms Lung was a ping-pong champion in 1983 and has been teaching children since. She volunteered a quick class in the same steamy room. The Coca Cola banners are gone now, replaced by a banner of a cheerful Ho Chi Minh lifting weights. Apparently we at FBO had been striking the ball wrong all these years. The elbow of you striking hand should be against your side, wrists holding the paddle loosely, and striking the ball lightly with a circular motion -- the paddle stopping (if you're right handed) near your left temple. Backhands are even funner. The paddle is held roughly parallel with the table facing to the left (for right handeders) around your stomach, then swiping lightly the ball with a motion similar to tossing a frisbee.

The sports club will be demolished later this year, so that a new one can be built. Hopefully FBO's testament to failure can carry over to the new grounds.

FBO Admin
Mobile HQ -- Saigon, Vietnam

PS-- For those intersted, Robert Reid is keeping a nearly daily blog of his Vietnam exploits while updating a free online guidebook to Vietnam for himself.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

FBO: 'Recap: The Watchlist & Suggested Bans'

Some cynical posters have suggested FBO is 'all about itself,' that it 'only toots its horn,' but it's not so. In the FBO's efforts to garner press for failed bands everywhere, the FBO has fulfilled its civic duty by signaling things gone haywire -- suggested ways to improve the situations -- and called for 'bans' to prompt positive change. Here are some of the things that's triggered POSITIVE FBO ACTION: bans against the following, sought apologies or multi-point plans for recovery. Note that, after careful consideration, cussing has not been added to the watchlist of ban list. It's OK to cuss if you should choose to.

--> SEEKING APOLOGY FROM ROLLING STONES FOR DECADES OF MEDIOCRITY
--> BAN HOLLYWOOD'S ENDLESS SEQUELS & REMAKES
--> HOW WORLD CUP 2006's MISSED OPP CAN REBOUND IN 2010
--> BAN NEW JERSEY UNTIL PROPER URINALS ARE INSTALLED
--> BAN NORTH CAROLINA UNTIL QUARTER IS RE-DESIGNED

The FBO is always welcome to your suggestions for civic re-think. The more antennae, the more the FBO can do.

FBO Admin
Mobile HQ -- Saigon, Vietnam

FBO: 'Answers the Big Three'

Should I cuss?
It's a personal decision, but FBO is noticing an increasingly free use of profanity in commericials and TV shows. Jon Stewart bleeps '****ing' all over his show, and we're invited to laugh at the so-called shocker -- but it's just not as funny anymore. Several ad campaigns do things like have a cellphone stutter as a bloke's furied cussing begins, others cut off someone in revelation saying 'holy ****' or, for Burger King, make a stretched effort to use 'Sit Happens' as a campaign by suggesting their burgers make you want to sit. Cussing when you hurt your toe isone thing. But, comically speaking, perhaps stronger gestures can be made by saying something that actually says something than going for the cheap joke. That may have ran its course by 2002.

Who is the Best Rock Singer/Band Over 50?
Bob Dylan. His new album Modern Times follows a string of studio albums that make blues sound remarkably original while trivializing anything the Stones have done in 25 years.

What is the Meaning of Life?
To procreate, further the species' existence.



FBO Admin
Mobile HQ -- Saigon, Vietnam

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Monday, October 02, 2006

FBO: 'Tributes Failed San Franciscan Civic Interventionists'

BEFORE THE FBO, THERE WAS SUPERPUBLICO
At least one FBO member partook in a San Francisco collective in 1998 that eyed excessive pricing in minor-minor sports leagues -- and intervened, as a positive gesture.

One of the most exciting sports stories of the 1990s is of the San Francisco Bay Seals, a 'division three,' 'professional' soccer team in San Francisco. In 1997, the Bay Seals knocked off TWO division one soccer teams in the US Open Cup, prompting the USA Today to call them the 'sports team of the year' and the New York Times to applaud their 'David and Goliath' effort. Remarkable endorsements from far-reaching sports pages. A year later they became the first US sports organization to play in communist Vietnam (they played the Ho Chi Minh City Police Department).

SuperPublico, interested, checked out a 1998 game, but found unrealistic skyscraper-high prices ($12) keeping them out of the stadium. If $12 doesn't seem like a lot, consider that it was higher than the cheap seats to watch the Golden State Warriors or Oakland A's play (thus meaning it was cheaper to go watch Derek Jeter, Shaq or Allen Iverson play than semi-pro ball players who keep the day job). Attendance was terrible -- ranking 26th of 27 teams, and charging nearly double the league average. The sports story of 1997 brought in only 375 people per game in 1998.





Knowing the history-making Seals could not survive with this flawed business method, SuperPublico's two members returned to the next SF Bay Seals soccer game in desperation and handed out these salmon-colored leaflets, suggesting to fans (most of which were on the free list) that if they were worried about the team's extortionate prices that they say something BEFORE THE TEAM FAILS. The next day a current FBO member recieved a beligerent call from Bay Seals coach Tom Simpson, furious, about the leaflet that correctly showed the damning BS' attendance and ticket prices in comparison with the league. 'Where did you get such junk?,' Mr Simpson demanded. Superpublico responded, 'Actually we contacted all 27 teams directly -- these averages are 100% accurate. We can show you the Excel documents.' The phone conversation ended after that, as did Superpublico's relationship with this unthankful organization.

Shortly thereafter SuperPublico attended a book reading of Doors' keyboardist Ran Manzarek, asking him, 'Ray, what do you think of [minor-minor soccer league] ticket prices?' An enraged Ray immediately responded, 'They're too high.'*


What ever happened to the Seals? New ownership took over the team a couple years later (unfortunately we don't know what happened with ticket prices) and changed the name to the pitifully optimistic 'Bay Area Seals,' as if soccer fans from Berkeley or San Jose would make the drive to Kezar for low-grade soccer at high prices. The team folded after the 2000 season.

The FBO hopes to pick up this sort of positive interaction with failed enterprises and art collectives.


FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY

* This is true, as is the whole story

Thursday, September 28, 2006

FBO: 'Celebrates State-to-State Tension'

DETEST THY NEIGHBOR
FBO's yet-to-be-publicized pet project of late is a mass campaign to expand the state of Delaware to include presently Maryland's Eastern Shore, which -- by all accounts, looking at a map or talking with a handful of Delawareans -- is 'Rightful Delaware.' Delaware actually was once part of Pennsylvania, and seceded while Lord Baltimore and Mr Penn bickered about where the state line between the two states were. Eventually, a couple British blokes -- a Mason and a Dixon -- were employed to draw the line (aka the Mason-Dixon line), which cut directly south along Delaware's western border, making our nation's first state Delaware the only one to reside EAST of the Mason-Dixon line.

--> What's to be noted here is that two states' tensions and sour relationships, in a way, led to a state in itself. The FBO sees such tension as analogous to failed bands' ongoing plights amidst the predictable derision, sarcasm and negativity from sideline watchers or non-failed bands.

While FBO Admin continues to work on the ploy for 'Rightful Delaware,' it's worth nothing the FIVE MOST INTRIGUING STATE/STATE RELATIONSHIPS:

North Dakota & South Dakota We love this one. Republican party in 1889 sliced this territory into north and south halves to gain extra representation in congress. Over the years, however, rivalry and distrust developed. Roads usually linked the states east and west, not toward each other. North Dakota feels more tied with Minnesota, South Dakota with Iowa. Occasionally North Dakota floats the idea of changing its name to just 'Dakota' -- 'for fun' one governor said -- outraging South Dakota with the tenacity. FBO formerly applauds the state of North Dakota and sides with North Dakota's punkish attitude towards its southerly neighbor, something Oklahoma knows something about.

Maryland & West Virgina, Maryland & Delaware, Maryland & Pennsylvania
Maryland gets the FBO award for craftiest-devil state. Take a look at it, and note how its western extremities nearly end around the Cumberland Gap, then re-emerge to steal some of former Virginia, and now West Virginia. Meanwhile, there's the aforementioned Mason-Dixon tensions with Pennsylania, and the absolute robbery of Rightful Delaware. The FBO puts Maryland on a 'watchlist' with potentional banning being considered.

Vermont & New Hampshire Like stalagmites and stalactites, no one remembers which one of these small, pointy states in New England is which (Vermont is to the left, in more ways than one). One votes Republican, the other is a BYOB (bring your own bong) bastion of liberal America.

Michigan & Wisconsin No! We are not amused by Michigan's violation -- that severed, irrational 'UP' upper peninsula thing. It's clearly Wisconsin and the FBO wants you to give it back.

Oklahoma & Texas Oklahoma's panhandle exists because Texas wanted slaves. Following the Compromise of 1850 (which prohibited slavery north of the panhandle's present southern border), Texas just sliced the liberated patch of land, which eventually became the least-heralded part of Oklahoma.

The FBO welcomes your votes for most intriguing state-to-state relationships.


FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY

Monday, September 25, 2006

FBO: 'Postpones Panhandle Concert'


CONCERT POSTPONED
Despite fevered anxiety on part of FBO's members and FBO's fans, the first-ever Failed Bands of Oklahoma 'Tribute to Failure' concert/event, scheduled for next month in the Oklahoma Panhandle, is -- with reluctance -- being postponed to May 2007. 'Willingness is not a problem,' explains FBO 001's Robert Reid. 'We just need a little more time to get everything in place...'

Listen to the official announcement:
this is an audio post - click to play



FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

FBO: 'Adopts the Fleshtones'


Most bands can easily highlight a few events -- a CD, a show, an on-stage vomitting -- as the stand-out highlights of a band's life past or in progress. For FBO #001 Tall Tales, usual candidates include an unlikely road trip to play two remarkable shows in Greencastle, Indiana; and opening for the Fleshtones on March 21, 1989 at Oklahoma City's Blue Note.

Last Sunday in Brooklyn was the 'Atlantic Antic,' New York's best of an endless list of street festivals, when a mile of the big boulevard gets filled with food stands, stages, stands promoting politics or selling ironic t-shirts. Last weekend is typical. At one area the Museum of Transit set out a dozen old buses -- some 80 years old -- for people to walk through; nearby a Brazilian drum group played. Up the street was a belly dancer playing to old guys playing Middle Eastern music, a John Lennon-lookalike fronted a loud garage band, with two go-go dancers standing on speakers, a zany marching band played an Eastern European-styled song with much stop and shouting, and Tall Tales' old boss, the Fleshtones, blared through a 50-minute set next to a Spanish food stand.

The Fleshtones, in their 50s, are playing better, more inspired, more fun that practically any one, certainly classic bands like the Rolling Stones (whom the FBO have asked for an apology). Throughout, FT singer Peter Zaremba -- still with a flop cut and a goofy grin as if he's getting away with something -- spun around between phrasings, while the bass and guitar players did kicks in the air. During the last song, 'Push Up Man' (from their 2005 record Beachhead) those three jumped off stage onto the street, handing out the bass and guitar to whomever would take them.

As the drum beat continued, the three Tones cleared a pit and picked people to do push-ups. At one point, they locked with five fans in a wall and 'pushed' their way through the crowd. Then jumped back on stage to finish the furious stream of joy.

--> The FBO officially adopts the Fleshtones.



FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY

Thursday, September 14, 2006

FBO: 'Adopts Temporary Mascot: Injured Squirrels'

The FBO is not shy to adopt places temporary headquarters (eg Istanbul, Los Angeles, Sz├ękelyudvarhely) or regions as pet venues (Oklahoma panhandle), but now -- following a poorly argued response from FBO's top fan Rich Trott to a recent post that put him in the FBO penalty box for the second time -- the FBO has found a temporary mascot: the injured squirrel.

Find out more about injured squirrels here.

-->The FBO accepts suggested names for its injured squirrel mascot.

FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

FBO: 'Terry Waska Gets One Get-Out-Of-Penalty-Box Card'

The FBO's ongoing efforts to recruit new failed bands to add to its steady membership of four recently got a boost, with thought-out, time-consuming research -- MySpace links of a few failed bands from Oklahoma -- from Terry Waska, member of FBO's Asylum. For his efforts Terry receives on free 'Get-Out-Of-Penalty-Box' card to be used at a future mishap of his choosing.

Thanks Terry.

FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY

Friday, September 08, 2006

FBO: 'Ban Against North Carolina'

FBO Admin recently purchased a small cup of Starbucks coffee from the first Starbucks ever, in Pike Place Market in Seattle, WA. Outside, three haggardly guys with Neil Young 1971 hairstyles played Neil's 'Heartless' -- the spoon player throwing down his spoons in faux angst at the end of the unexplosive tune. Inside teams of tourists eyed Starbucks merchandise. Receiving coin change from the overly friendly cash attendant, FBO Admin noticed a 'North Carolina quarter' -- branded 'FIRST IN FLIGHT' and showing bald Ohioan Wilbur Wright (shown below) watching his Ohioan brother fly the Ohio-made aircraft on December 17, 1903.

Enough already, Carolina! One wonders, who exactly is 'first in flight' here? An Ohioan made and flew an Ohio-material aircraft. Either way, for North Carolina to emblazen their one-shot at coin immortality with Ohioans is a missed opportunity. It's like having the Rolling Stones putting George Harrison's 'Bangladish concert' set on the cover of their '40 Licks' greatest-hits package, and a photo of a bong Steve Stevens, of Billy Idol's band, made in 'shop' in 12th grade. C'mon!

FBO, thus, recommends, banning travel or commercial trade with North Carolina until they come up with a more creative and apt slogan for their beautiful state. To distance itself from its northerly cousin (who tries to lump the states together with the poorly uniformed 'Carolina' Panthers, based in Charlotte, NC), the FBO recommends that South Carolina change its name.

--> Please give us your suggestions for South Carolina's new name, which will be forwarded to South Carolinian authorities.

It is worth pointing out that Mack Brown, coach of the Texas Longhorns, once coached at North Carolina. His #2 team hosts #1 Ohio State this Saturday. You can be sure Wright descendants and Kitty Hawk's chamber of commerce will be watching this game CLOSELY.

Prediction: Texas 27, tOSU 20. There is no justice on the gridiron pitch.


FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY

Monday, September 04, 2006

FBO: 'Did Lou Reed Punch a Squirrel?'

The best lyrics are lyrics that mystify. In Lou Reed's immortal, and unknown, 'Bottoming Out' from his Legendary Hearts album from 1983, the singing character has problems. Rather than beating up a significant other, he takes off to punish the asphalt with his motorcycle tread. At one curve, drunk, disaster strikes.

Lou sings:

'I'm cruising fast on a motorcycle down this winding country road... And I pass the gravel on the foot of the hill where last week I fell off... There's still some oil by the old elm tree, and a dead squirrel that I hit... But if I hadn't left, I would've struck you dead, so I took a ride instead'


Lou/character confides that he hit 'a dead squirrel,' which prompts questioning and reflection by careful listeners. The lyrics suggest that Lou/character hit an already dead squirrel with his motorcycle, not an alive one. He may have 'hit' it with his tires, or -- more likely -- he wrecked (thus the 'oil by the old elm tree') THEN noticed a dead squirrel which he, in a state of angst, punched with his fist.

Bob Dylan's album, just out, contains another great morsel of confusion. The lead-off 'Thunder on the Mountain' features the following in its second verse:

'I was thinkin' 'bout Alicia Keys, couldn't keep from crying... When she was born in Hell's Kitchen, I was living down the line.
I'm wondering where in the world Alicia Keys could be... I been looking for her even clear through Tennessee'

It's humorous, inventive and misguided. Ms Keys actually was born in Harlem, but raised in Hell's Kitchen. She's never lived in Tennessee. Bob did the math and noted he was living downtown when Ms Keys was born way uptown. But why bring it up in the second stanza of your first studio album since 9/11? The inclusion of Ms Keys, paired with Tennessee, in lyric deserves something. So the FBO awards Bob Dylan a 'Ribbon for Confusion Lyrical Merit'.

POLL QUESTION: Do you think Lou Reed punched a dead squirrel, ran over a dead squirrel or ran over a live squirrel that died shortly thereafter?


FBO Admin
Mobile HQ -- Seattle, WA

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

FBO: 'Entertainment Planner for Late Summer'

WRITE A MYSTERY NOVEL

New York City's Black Orchid (tel 212-734-5980, 303 E 81st St), for 12 years and running, has put love and know-how behind the mystery and crime books, old and new, in its skinny two-floor shop in a less luxe pocket of the Upper East Side. FBO Admin stopped in to talk about a potential 'Entertainment Planner' substitute to movie bio-pics, sequels and TV remakes, and chatted with Bonnie, one of the store's owners.

She said, 'It's hard being a small store. It's not enough to be good when you're small. It's not enough to make the best coffee or have the nicest store. You have to be big to survive.' The owners had memorized the nominations (and winners of course) of a recent mystery novel contest.

I asked about Oklahoma.

'Ohh! Books about Oklahoma? That would be excellent for us... People love series novels based on destinations, where authors really know the place... People are interested in Oklahoma because no one knows about it much, and it has the lore of the Native Americans. If you write one, just make sure not to kill your main character. Readers like to know a character is going to survive, so they can follow it.'

She clearly wants books about Oklahoma. You should write it.

Re-cap:

--> Writing about Oklahoma is good
--> Don't kill your lead characters

Please post your suggestions for the lead character (not to be killed).


FBO Admin
Mobile HQ -- Upper East Side, New York City

Thursday, August 24, 2006

FBO: 'Our Top Fan'


The FBO's biggest fan is Rich Trott, a brown-haired gentleman from San Francisco who runs his own collective The Palace Family Steakhouse. Mr Trott has provided a recent boost of energy in getting the 'panhandle show' done. 'Just set it up,' he says, 'And it'll come together.' Mr Trott has offered to play. We asked him a few questions about the FBO.

You've been voted the FBO's 'top fan' -- what do you like about it?
I like the Google ads near the top of the site.

What bands have you failed in?
Bands that I have personally failed in include Crystal Tears (fired after less than four weeks for sucking at my instrument, wearing a pink shirt to a gig, and having a haircut that made it look like I just got out of prison) and the Pride (fired for excessive passive-aggressive behavior like ignoring the fact that the band existed until the day of a show). You probably meant to ask what failed bands have I been involved with, but just because the band fails doesn't mean that I've failed. Sometimes, as Pee Wee Herman said, I meant to do that.

What upsets you most about the FBO?
Failure of the Oklahoma Panhandle show to materialize.

Why are you interested in an FBO show in the Oklahoma Panhandle?
Why would I not be interested in an FBO show in the Oklahoma Panhandle?

What's the most out-of-the-way show you've done?
Paducah, Kentucky, with the Slow Poisoners--also, one of the best and most satisfying shows I've ever played. Newman, California, is pretty out-of-the-way too, as is Fallon, Nevada.

Comments on the FBO logo?
The FBO logo is a little bit too sexy.

--> Feel free to post your own questions to Mr Trott here, and we'll ask him to respond.

Thanks Mr Trott.


FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

FBO: 'Disappointed with New Jersey'

As travel writer, cartographic expert and architectural historian John SPE Spelman once said, 'Even Bruce Springsteen can't make New Jersey cool.' The state is famed for being the butt of jokes from some of its neighbors, particularly New York. It calls itself the 'garden state' but its top half is a smear of suburbs and industry, and the turnpike that crosses it -- used by travelers between NYC and Philadelphia or DC -- gets choked with traffic wanting out as quickly as possible. I've long defended New Jersey, but I won't be until they address an issue I noticed while stopping off en route to a FBO-publicity event in Georgetown, Delaware.

The men's restrooms at all turnpike rest stops, including one named James Cooper, clearly want men to see each other's penises. The wall-free urinals jut out from the wall like a toilet, unecessarily. Men cannot 'crowd the porcelain', as the popular privacy-embracing technique is called. Instead they must stand two feet from the wall, about mid-way down in the toilet hall of the busy bathroom. The absence of privacy walls leads one to believe New Jersey wants this inevitably voyeuristic exercise to happen. A Google search on 'urinal models' couldn't find one as irrational in its first 80 finds. Meaning New Jersey really SOUGHT OUT such irrational urinals. Why?

Urinals are meant to hang from walls, Trenton!

The FBO will not pursue activities in New Jersey until this issue has been solved.


FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY

Thursday, August 17, 2006

FBO: 'Spots Some Geniuses'


NOT THE BAND
It's important to gauge the beating heart of the ultra-insider, indie-rock world on occasion. Recently FBO Admin attended such an event, a free show double-billing Beirut and Deerhoof at Brooklyn's McCarren Pool. The outdoor 'pool party' welcomed thousands with big shades, half-way beards, ironic t-shirts, who came to hear various levels of challenging indie rock, plus slip-n-slide on a giant slide or play dodgeball.

San Francisco-bred Deerhoof is a trio fronted by a small Japanese woman (Satomi Matsuzaki) and featuring possibly the greatest drummer in rock'n'roll (Greg Saunier), who plays a tiny two-piece set with alarming effect. The stop-n-start songs spaz along, defying co-dancing for more than 12 consecutive bars, yet remain catchy with the shrill vocals of absurdist lyrics ('dog on the sidewalk... dog on the sidewalk... I SEE' or 'come...see...the...duck' etc), used more as an instrument.

Beirut is a more contrived band, fronted by a 20-year-old guy who noticed that 'gypsy music' might be cool in the indie-rock setting. We applaud their t-shirts, which showed a circa-1980 illustration of a Czechoslovakian town labelled in cursive 'Beirut.' Lots of horns and bellowing vocals. Not FBO Admin's taste necessarily.

THE GENIUSES
During Deerhoof's show, FBO Admin spotted geniuses. Four backstage VIPs set up directly behind the stage, standing as visibly as possible while still carefully slouching against a red-brick wall. Shades on. Flirting. Party dress. Black denim contrasting acely with the red. Whispering comments -- probably about the artwork for their next show's flyer; they must be in a band -- and lazily clapping after songs, prompted by the thousands of fans before them doing the same. (Note photograph carefully -- mindful of other on-stage 'VIP' spectators siiting in the shade, tucked nearly out of view to the left.)

The FBO feels a mix of emotions from their 80s-style tenacity -- something straight out of a backstage-set video by Poison or Warrant in 1988. It's both contemptuous, highly self indulgent and yet strangely compelling.

The FBO awards these four people, and particularly the two bandmate guys, the status of GENIUS for their display in the full gaze of Williamsburg, the designated coolest neighborhood of North America.


FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY

Photo credit: Tom Caw, of Connecticut

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

FBO: 'Who Won Super Bowl I?'

Fact: North Carolina and Ohio hate each other and have been fighting over their respective links to the Wright Brothers' historic flight from 1903. North Carolina -- where Putt Putt was invented, Blackbeard settled with his 14th wife, Michael Jordan was born -- has long adopted 'First in Flight' as its motto, adorning its sky-blue and white license plates; Ohio rebutted with 'Birthplace of Aviation,' as the Wright Brothers designed and built their planes, and made early experiments in their home in Dayton.



Who's right?

Consider this question: who won Super Bowl I in 1967 when the Green Bay Packers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs, 35-10? Green Bay? Well, if you support North Carolina, you are WRONG. Because the game was arbitrarily held in Los Angeles, LA then 'won' Super Bowl I. Per North Carolinian reasoning, Dallas and San Francisco and Chicago and New York and Denver and Green Bay and Pittsburgh have NEVER won the Super Bowl, while New Orleans has won eight titles, Los Angeles six, San Diego three, Houston two, even Minnesota, Arizona and Detroit have won one.

According to North Carolina the achievement has NOTHING to do with the players/teams/engineers/bicycle-repairmen on the field, but the setting of the field. Green Bay won in LA? LA is the champion. Einstein figured out E=MC[squared] in Phoenix? Phoenix is the genius. Britain defeats Napoleon at Waterloo? Thus BELGIUM conquers France. JFK is assassinated in Dallas? Forget Oswald or your conspiracy theories, TEXAS killed the president.

The Wrights only picked Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, from the recommendation of the US Weather Bureau. They were, paraphrasing here, 'looking for a lonely, sandy, windy place where no one will be in the way and nothing's going on -- not the sort of place we'd ever really want to spend time on our own.' The WB immediately replied, 'North Carolina.

--> The FBO sides with Ohio on this. The FBO encourages North Carolina to change their license plate, state motto immediately -- phasing out all old ones by mandate. Perhaps they could focus on the natural beauty of the state or Blackbeard.


FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY

Friday, August 11, 2006

FBO: 'Favorite Failed League'


This week the NFL is celebrating its new commissioner, and ESPN I'm told is making a nod at the 25th anniversary of the death of the wonderful USFL league that featured the Oklahoma Outlaws, but the FBO's favorite failed league is the ABA. The American Basketball Association played hoops with a red-white-and-blue ball in the colorful period between 1967 to 1976, including players like Julius Erving and Moses Malone and teams like the Kentucky Colonels and Dallas Chaparrals.




The ABA folded with some teams being incorporated into the NBA -- eg San Antonio Spurs, Indiana Pacers, NY Nets, Denver Nuggets -- but we particularly applaud those who refused to move to the NBA, such as the Pittsburgh Condors and Virginia Squires. We encourage you to learn more at from this fan site.



Please contribute to this week's poll -- your favorite failures in sports.


FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY

Monday, August 07, 2006

FBO: 'Rule on Listening to Music'

ON OCCASION music listeners are so enamored with a song -- say an Oasis one -- they cannot stop listening to it. Three, five, eight times in a row. A rule is needed: don't stop. The moment you start to censor or limit your rotation, the enamoring dies, and dies quickly. It's better to take 'Wonderwall' and just kill it.

FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY

Thursday, August 03, 2006

FBO: 'Failure Growing in Importance'

FAILURE is a growing part of our culture, our life. No where is this more obvious than in the growing trend seen in the past half-decade in TV commercials. About half are 'promoted' by 'misfits' and ironic heroes, such as the patronizing use of pudgy ethnic men (eg Indian) with moustaches and thick glass lenses and the inability to articulate sentences, sometimes standing helplessly before 'product' with the buzz of a fluorescent light bulb in the background. Another recent ad campaign -- of a bald man with glasses -- is holding for some service's telephone customer service -- having to say his password ('big boy') on a train just before he goes under a tunnel and loses the connection.

Advertising and marketing departments are banking that you will LAUGH at these people.

The new Red Stripe campaign is the biggest failure of all. It's a failed attempt at 'failure for irony' ad. In it, unlikely things happen -- a dorky guy oohs over the bare feet a man stretched out on a table. A presumably Jamaican man with a big smile appears in an all-white suit and proclaims 'creepy foot doctor: bad... hooray beer!' while holding a bottle of Red Stripe. It does not work on any level. In another he consoles a man sitting peacefully. 'You are very ugly.' Then hands him a Red Stripe. 'Now you are beautiful.... hooray beer!' It's possibly revolutionary failure, or a bad director who doesn't 'get' the failure aesthetic. The FBO suspects the latter.

For the moment, a definition is needed. There are three types of failure: Failing at earnest desires to do well (as shown by FBO members in their initial incarnations), failing on purpose to create humour ('big boy' commercial), and failing at failing on purpose to create humor (Red Stripe).

FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY

Monday, July 31, 2006

FBO: 'Women Conquer 2006 Pop'

The best three songs of 2006 so far, per FBO's limited ear-scope, are sung by women.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs, 'Cheated Hearts'
Second LP by the NYC trio is a step above their first. Unlike the White Stripes' self-destructive tendency to keep the pared-down drums/guitar set-up with minimal/no overdubs on record, the Yeahs fill out their drum/guitar set-up with little extras to make listening to the album a bit less hollow. Singer Karen O looks like the child of Joey Ramone and Chrissie Hynde, and she effortlessly offers new hooks with her stand-out clipped voice. 'I think I'm bigger than the sound,' she calls out. Yes.

The Pipettes, 'Your Kisses Are Wasted On Me'
Again, the UK's pop industry remains miles ahead of the USA's. This poppy singles-oriented band of three rather dorky women conjures up Vandellas and other fun synchronized finger-pointing musicians of the early 60s. This song, here-and-gone in 2:11, mixes a B-52s/Kate Pierson soaring chorus with a sassy interjection by the verse singer.

Cat Power, 'Willie'
Some critics are after Cat for her latest album, The Greatest, but the FBO considers it her best. Best is 'Willie,' with its elusive lyric story and faintly syncopated vocal delivery that seems informed by rap via Stephen Malkmus. Unlike some indie kings -- like Malkmus -- Cat is figuring out how to stay relevant in her late 30s. Maybe that's what talent is. We also like 'Living Proof,' and if you can understand its implications towards religious tensions -- as implied by the video where Cat in a jumpsuit holding a crucifix races against women in hijabs -- please let us know.


FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

FBO: 'Embracing Failure is Positive Gesture'

RECENTLY a prospective candidate band for FBO Member #005 scoffed the idea of membership, saying being in a 'failed band' collective is 'too negative.' It's worth talking about why such a collective is not negative, but the opposite.

1. WHO SAYS FAILING IS BAD? Conditioned by 'good guy winning' cartoons and some rewritten nurseries where the pigs are NOT eaten, it's hard for some of us to see the glory in Nebraska's football team going for two points and losing the national championship to Miami in 1984. But is Coach Tom Osbourne bad for choosing not to tie? And is it negative to remember that the two-point conversion failed?

2. WE APPLAUD CREATIVITY. In an era when Hollywood films are content to keep as many as possible new multi-million-dollar projects with things that are 'familiar' -- ie sequels to previous successes, remakes of previously successful films or TV shows, or biopics of celebrities who succeeded in various media -- even a failure at something new, totally new, should be applauded. In life, it is far easier to listen to your copy of 'She Sells Sanctuary' than go write a song about trans-gendered apes. These failed bands, and others, deserve recognition for not staying at home or going to parties and listening to the Cult.

3. WE ARE NOT DEAD. A band that stopped playing, with little or no ongoing record of their production is ultimately a dead band. In fact, they quit. Failed bands, in this forum, are NOT dead, but have resurrected -- unquit themselves -- and have a chance to reach new audiences and even create new art. It's hard to think of anything more positive. Unlike a high-school reunion, where guests laugh about the distant past, the FBO encourages new projects.

The FBO issues a challenge to those who think this collective is negative. Please come up with some means of pooling quit bands, dead bands that is more honest and more constructive and more positive than the FBO. And we will bow to your success, if you can do it. We'd love to!

Until then, the FBO remains ready to grow. We accept all failed bands -- anyone, everyone. As long as you failed.


FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY

Monday, July 24, 2006

FBO: 'Is it OK to Go to a High-School Reunion?'

HOT FREAKS & REUNION RULES

Probably no other event in our life is a more apt forum for gaging failure/success in an unapologetically, guilt-free nostalgic environment than high-school reunions. Recently FBO Admin and a couple FBO members attended a 20-year high school reunion for a graduating class of half a thousand. Here are a few FAQs and FCPs (frequently cited problems) of high-school reunions that FBO will simplify for you.

Should I go to my high-school reunion? Yes (depending on your class size -- smaller schools might be more painful). If you have a need to 'go home' for visiting purposes, or live in the area, missing one (at least) is like going to Niagara Falls and not seeing the water. Might as well. There's nothing to lose. If the pricks are still pricks, or the hotties sporting new facelifts, or the jocks holding onto the glory days in letter jackets, so be it. But you'll never have a chance to enter a room with some many personalities from your life long ago. It may be superficial, but it's like time travel. Plus you get to see who got fat.

What should I wear? Let's start by saying what not to wear. Unless you have eye problems or your name rhymes with Tory Part you should NOT wear sunglasses at night. And there's no possible excuse for shirts unbuttoned half way to the navel (wiht no under shirt). Several FBO members had this treat on Saturday, with an unironic MC calling shots as if on a particularly far-reaching SNL skit. Its gawl still sinking in two days later. A reunion is probably not the occasion to make statements. Wear what you wear at Thanksgiving, but 'summer it up' a bit. For some that's a tie-free day at a bank or mixers at the yacht club, others it's vintage Nightranger muscle tees. But unless your name rhymes with Tory Part don't wear sunglasses at night.

Should I listen to the band? No. And perhaps there shouldn't be one. No matter how good they are, reunions are not about 'rocking.' A DJ can pump out the '80s hits for you to help set the background for a nostalgic mood, spur on conversations about Huey Lewis concerts. Recently, FBO members witnessed a put-together quartet of people attending a reunion. Side-by-side expensive guitars lined the stage, and the band -- named for a school endeavor for the event -- treated it as a 'gig' to land shows in bars in the area. They finished with a 1986 classic, but peppered the set with early 21st-century heavy-alternative anthems, played loud enough to make soccer moms' noses bleed. They were good, but so what? The singer -- two wrist bands on his strumming arm, unbuttoned shirt over a Jim Morrison t-shirt, and two gold necklaces tight around his neck -- complained after a compliment, 'Yeah, but no one was watching us.' Yes, they were here to talk and mingle and reveal crushes and ask about jobs or children they'll never see.

I'm on the planning committee for my reunion, where should we hold it? Why not see if you can at your high school? The FBO members' recently shelled out several dozen dollars each to go to dark casino banquet hall, with a mezzanine bar area looking over the loud slots. Cash (or open) bars are a good way to break the ice, but why not rent out the high-school gym, have punch and cake, and -- just like the good ol' days -- sneak in your own liquor?

Will I score? If you are available and looking for love, don't look for it at a 20th-anniversary high-school reunion. Tenth maybe. At 20, it's about the saddest thing imaginable, and so many people there are not doing the same. If it happens, well good for you.

I used to be mean to a few people, should I apologize? Hopefully they've gotten over it, but it might be nice to just say 'hi' and see how they're doing. If you want to apologize, that's OK, but don't do it with an audience that puts the sad freak in for some public scorn once again. Also, it's really lame to resort to 20-year-old jokes though and subject a few people to the same abuse. If you see someone doing it, it's your job to intervene and stop it -- these incidences are rare, however.

Will the cool kids finally give me a chance? Probably not. If you're looking for redemption at not being in the 'in' crowd, it's not really going to happen unless you've done something amazing the past 20 years. People are really there to see who they knew way back when. Don't take it personally.

Are pricks still pricks? Almost always.

FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Tulsa, OK

Friday, July 14, 2006

FBO: 'July's Entertainment-Alternative Planner'


FUN, FUN, FUN?
Clerks II is out, Pirates of the Caribbean II is swabbing decks, Superman Returns is fizzling, Miami Vice is looming. It's going to be a busy summer of popcorn-eating and movie-going, right? Wrong.

The FBO urges you to S K I P - T H E M - A L L .

The FBO continues its voluntary ban, in an effort to promote a more stimulating and creative Hollywood film industry, any movie that banks on the 'familiar' -- bio-pics, TV show, sequels.

--> Four July back-ups for your entertainment fix:

See 'A Scanner Darkly' Since his Slackers debut, Richard Linklater has always been interesting, and Keanu Reeves might finally do something to shed the 'bogus' rep he has from his 'Bill & Ted' origins in the cartoony take on the Philip K Dick book. Apparently Dick's real-live family was so pleased with Reeves they gave him a long-held copy of the manuscript. Quite a gift.

See the World's Largest Amateur Rodeo It's hosted in Pawhuska July 18-23. Hopefully we'll have some coverage posted here next week.

Contribute in the FBO's Communal Review of 'The American Outback.' Read The American Outback: The Oklahoma Panhandle in the Twentieth Century, Richard Lowitt's new essay covering the FBO's favorite piece of land, and post a review here for the FBO Communal Review of the book. Anytime before the end of the month. The review will be posted August 1.

Make a wicker basket People knock it, but it's a skillful CRAFT that takes time and thought to replicate. Baskets make great gifts and Arbor Day is around the corner.


FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

FBO: 'World Cup 2006 Fails the Case for Soccer in the USA'

WILL THE 'NEXT HOCKEY' BE LACROSSE?

EVERY FOUR YEARS soccer makes a case to be a relevant sport, a great one, one that should at least surpass hockey in the minds of most Americans, with the exposure to the World Cup. This year soccer failed. More so than in any World Cup in recent memory.

This year's 64-game tournament, held in Germany, just finished with Italy's anti-climatic penalty kick win over France (and the much-talked about head-butt by French captain Zinedine Zidane), most games it seemed were one-goal games, with the goal coming off a controversial penalty kick (like Italy's iffy call over Australia in a second-round, 93rd-minute 1-0 win), or aid of player ejections that seemed extreme (like the USA's two reds against Italy), and continous dives to call fouls for free kicks (France's win over Spain in the second round came off a non-foul foul).

Bad TV
American TV announcers didn't help. Constantly criticizing the referees is something that works when you're going after the BCS' burps for an audience that truly understands college football. But 'analysts' this time -- like goateed, long-haired Marcelo Balboa -- pulled no punches on the refs, only confirming some budding soccer fans' beliefs that the sport is unexciting or flawed. Rarely will you see more negative coverage (though it may be justified). One announcer, during an Iran game, inappropriately politicized it, by constantly referring to Iran's politics, then even pointed out the 'chill' of seeing an event in the Nuremberg stadium where Nazi rallies had once been held. TV coverage likes to promote story lines in games, and their (convincing) adoration for three or four games straight of French captain Zidane unravelled when he head-butted an Italian player 20 minutes into overtime. He got the red card, and the rest of the game felt stained.

Doesn't the USA have a soccer league?
Most enigmatically, the American soccer league, MLS, seemed to care less that the world's favorite tournament was on during their season. They didn't suspend games, and only made ONE advertisment in 64 games to signal that 'hey, American soccer happens every year... you can watch it now.' They should have at least advertised during US, Mexican, Brazilian and English games. If the New York Red Bulls can, purportedly, afford to pay David Beckham $100 million to play in the USA, SOMEONE should have the money for a few ads. They really missed an opportunity.

Teams were not 'beautiful'
Over-hyped favorite Brazil -- they never play well in Europe -- never gelled on the field. The 'world's team' were never much to see, and they fell in the semi-finals to France 1-0. The Americans, particularly coach Bruce Arena, got bitter from their first-round exit, something TV coverage zeroed in on, like ESPN analyst Eric Wynalda -- a former player -- giving sharp critiques at Arena at every break. Only Italian fans are satisfied with Italy's play in the final. They held out for a post-overtime shoot-out, where their 6'4" goalie had a huge advantage over France's. The 'beautiful game' was a little plain this time.

Wasn't 2002 great?
Recent Word Cups have done a better job. In 2002 co-host South Korea surpassed expectations and the US team came a non-call hand ball in the penalty box from getting pass finalist Germany in the second round. In 1998, host France shocked favorite Brazil 3-0 in the final, and Mexico had some inspired last-second wins to rally around. In 1994, the USA hosted the event, only lost to the winner Brazil in the second round 1-0, and underdog Bulgaria made it to the final four.

FBO's suggestions for World Cup 2010

--> a) never let a final game be settled by penalty kicks; let teams earn a new sub per every 20 or 30 minutes played in overtime, and go until someone scores; it's better entertainment, and it provides a more satisfying victor
--> b) check replays for ANY penalty kick awarded or red card given; these game-changing plays occurred too much in 2006; the field is so big that it's hard for a ref on it, or two on the sidelines to see what was a dive and what wasn't
--> c) MLS needs to think of how to market itself AT ALL during any World Cup
--> d) TV coverage should stop talking story lines during every break and compile a World Cup overview videos to explain tournament history to people who don't know it (yes! Uruguay won it twice!!), with some of the great goals and controversies on video
--> e) never ever politicize the event

Unfortunately for those Americans who haven't seen the 'beautiful game' when it's beautiful, soccer felt like a game of cheats, dives, ugly defense, and bad refs. A pity.


FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

FBO Question: 'Did Sting End the Cold War?'


THREE MONTHS after Mikhail Gorbachev became the General Secretary of the Communist Party in the USSR in March 1985, English pop musician Sting released his solo debut The Dream of the Blue Turtles, which included the hit single 'Russians.' In the next couple years, Gorbachev revolutionized the Soviet system, encouraging a policy of 'openness' (or glasnost) that led to a freer media to attack the government, and an economic 'restructuring' (or perestroika), which accidentally paved the way toward the fall of the USSR. The Cold War's first steps toward ending began, then, around the time of the release of Sting's stoic 'Russians.' Clearly Gorbachev was listening.

Though melodically flat, Sting's lyric held no punches. Take this in:

'In Europe and America
There's a growing feeling of hysteria
Conditioned to respond to all the threats
In the rhetorical speeches of the Soviets
Mr Krushchev said ''We will bury you''
I don't subscribe to this point of view
It would be such an ignorant thing to do
If the Russians love their children too'



Despite Sting's fascination with Soviet quotes that dated (at the time) three decades, it seems clear Sting played a compelling part in ending the Cold War.

It's up to our viewers to vote whether Sting deserves a Ribbon of Merit. Please let us know what you think.


FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY

Friday, June 30, 2006

FBO: 'Adopts the Trabant'


The East-German Trabant, a two-cycle car that was originally intended to be a 'family motorcycle,' became one of the longest surviving cars in automotive history. Its design -- covered with a plastic-like substance (not 'cardboard compressed' as some say -- was a legacy of embargoes opposed from steel plants in Western Germany against Soviet bloc countries. Its engine, its look hardly changed from 1957 till the car was discontinued in 1990.


In the FBO's recent press trip to Bulgaria and Romania, FBO Admin found that old Trabants could be purchased in Bulgaria for as little as US$100.

We think the endurance of the Trabant, despite the odds, is roughly symbolic to the Failed Bands of Oklahoma's plight -- to garner press, to play shows, to continue creating music, to ban movies like 'Superman Returns.'

In other news, here's the FBO Admin's World Cup picks:

Germany over Argentina, 2-1
Italy over Ukraine, 3-0
England over Portugal, 2-1
Brazi over France, 2-0


FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY

Friday, June 23, 2006

FBO: 'New Incarnation of #002 Changes Name'


NAME GETS CHOPPED

Eric Harmon, formerly of The Cant or Cinder Biscuits (together making up FBO Member #002), has let us know that the new incarnation of those bands -- Chop Shop -- has changed its name to Gear Test. We asked why:

'Well, the name geart test was going to be the name of the EP -- but kept loathing the name chop shop for various reasons -- it was a little too metal, a club in okc called chop shop. Every mom'n'pop motorcycle shop this or that side of the pecos had one.

I was talking to the boys about it for months, until i just changed it on My Space. It was our "url" all along anyway -- just seemed right. A good time to do it before we released any "actual" product.'


FBO Admin
Temp/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY

Monday, June 19, 2006

FBO: 'Alternates to Superman Returns'


THREE SUPERHEROES TO CONQUER OLD ONES

Because of the FBO-initiated ban on cinema's troubling tendency toward sequels, remakes and biopics, the FBO reminds you to skip Superman Returns, which is released June 28.

Alternates include:

Nacho Libre Rarely do Hollywood summer comedies base themselves in Mexico, feature a cast composed of almost entirely unknown Mexican actors, and follow the exploits of a Mexican tradition, such as wrestling. Plus it's very funny. The FBO loves Nacho Libre.
World Cup Over three billion people tuned into the 2002 final (this Cup's final is scheduled for July 9), compared to about 60 million world-wide clicking on the Super Bowl. It's the world's biggest sporting event and worth the hype.
Blue Rose Rocket Our favorite Oklahoma Panhandle band (shown above) is made up of two kids and a gray-ponytailed lead guitarist. Stay tuned for an interview (if they answer our emails). Meanwhile, buy their album and listen to it.

FBO to Hollywood: 'Superman Never Again'


FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

FBO: 'Applauds the Band that Refuses to Fail -- California's Slow Poisoner'



POISON (LABORIOUSLY ADMINISTERED) GARNERS HOPE

Andrew Goldfarb, aka Slow Poisoner, is a surrealistic one-man band from San Francisco. The band once had five people, then two, not just one. Songs include the post-911 tribute 'Days of the Soft Break' and a new one called 'Flaming Creatures (of Rock & Roll)' -- click here for the download, and other SP info. SP takes songs like these on the road to very unsual out-of-the-way venues. Not many San Franciscan musicians consider playing Lubbock for instance. Here's our virtual chat transcript.

The band size keeps falling. Why do you refuse to fail?
I also refuse to succeed. Eventually I hope to kick me out of the band too, but still perform, as a shadow of my former self, strumming an air guitar.

The FBO applauds your choice of playing shows at places like Lubbock and Wichita. Why do you play such out-of-the-way places?
Lubbock is the birthplace of the Legendary Stardust Cowboy (www.stardustcowboy.com). Reason enough! And Glen Campbell's "Wichita Lineman" is what's driving me to Kansas:


I am a lineman for the county
and I drive the main roads
searching in the sun for another overload
I hear you singing in the wire
and I can hear you through the whine
and the Wichita lineman is still on the line


Plus, there's a venue there called "Kirby's Beer Hall."

You mention on your website that all but three people hated you at one show in Georgia. Metal fans apparently. What did they say, and what did you say?
Our communication was non-verbal: they started square dancing ironically, and I responded by square dancing sincerely.

Thanks to SP.

FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, New York

Friday, June 09, 2006

FBO: 'Bringing Joy to its Readers'



The FBO searches all corners of the globe to bring happiness to failed bands and fans of failed bands.

FBO Admin
Mobile HQ -- Los Angeles, California

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

FBO: 'Tributes 6-6-06 With Failed Fake Metal Band'

ANOTHER ONE THAT DIDN'T MAKE IT
In honor of 6-6-06, and the FBO celebrates FBO Member #001 Tall Tales' spin-off heavy metal band THE BILL WYMANS. The short-set 'band' played a few times in 1990 and 1991, usually 'opening' for Tall Tales when no other bands were available.

Danny Fallis told us that the BWs were born from an impromptu 'jam period' that led to four new 'non Tall Tales sounding songs' in a few hours. 'We had a show coming up and we tried to figure out how to incorporate them into our set list,' Fallis says. 'I remember leaving the stage, taking a shot of something, putting on a wig and PJs, and they whole band ran back onstage proclaiming to be the Bill Wymans.' Alan Hiserodt added, 'It was a gag to do at Rome [a former club in Norman that once hosted the New Kids on the Block] too. We finally got a headline gig there, but no opening band. So we opened for ourselves.'

The short set-list ressurected an old song from pre-Tall Tales days called 'Streets of Hell,' a cover of the Scorpions' 'Rock You Like a Hurricane' and a few new songs including 'Let Me Play Your Sex Organ' and the band's favorite, a ballad called 'I Want You Inside Me.'

The Bill Wymans faded after a few shows. Hiserodt explained, 'We had opening bands, so we had no need for the BWs at that point.' But Fallis disagreed, 'Who said they're dead? They could come back like all bands do. I'm thinking sometime around 2008.'

Tall Tales picked the name because Bill Wyman was a 'womanizing bassist.' Something the band was very familiar with.


FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY

Thursday, June 01, 2006

FBO: 'Pre-release of Oklahoma Gazette Feature'

Many FBO fans remember that FBO's Mobile HQ was contacted by the Oklahoma Gazette a couple months ago. So far the virtual interview hasn't made an appearance in the publication, so we thought we'd allow fans to get a 'preview' of the actual transcript -- in its rare, unedited format.

Sent on April 7, 2006, from FBO's Mobile HQ in Cluj-Napoca, Romania:


Oklahoma Gazette: What inspired this blog?
FBO Admin: I don't know where to begin. It neatly matches the point of life I'm at -- a merger of travel, resurrecting past dreams for no other purpose than a better substitute to television, and adding unnecessary monikers and bureacracy to things like failed bands. So it's kinda personal. I've always enjoyed watching bands that were OK, maybe bad, more than 'real' ones to succeed. There's nothing interesting, to some degree, in watching .38 Special. They were a successful band, they made some (debatably) catchy songs, with beards. OK. But a band that DID NOT make it makes you ask why. Makes you sit and ponder everything. You actually hear the skeleton of music, of lyrics, of band logos MORE SO when you look into things that, for a variety of fair/unfair reasons FAILED.

What has the response been?
I'd like more. But we have four bands that said 'yes, we failed, we want in' -- Tall Tales, Soul Shaker, The Cant/Cinder Biscuits and Asylum. I'm trying hard to get outside our immediate circle. I'd love nothing more than a failed Alabama-knock off from Wagoner in 1982. A Run DMC from Midwest City. A Stryper from Ponca. We're just starting. A cartoonist in Bulgaria said he'd make a cartoon of FBO HQ. I'd love to internationalize it if possible. Then maybe failed magicians are next... Anyway, I feel this is the point where I'm trying to get people involved in something that COULD be big, COULD be interesting. I'm certain it will. So I keep at it to 'create a back log' so that when interest comes, there will be something to show.

What does celebrating a failed band achieve?
Celebrating a failed band is a celebration of your own dreams. The FBO represents you, the average person. I mean it.

Do you feel as though any currently active bands can take lessons from those that have failed?
Certainly could. At least some things not to do. But I don't care too much about helping them. Let them fail/succeed on their own. Best of luck. However, I pencilled in a 'panel discussion,' perhaps during the panhandle shows, or as a 'live feed' at a Norman cafe, from FBO members across the state, where discussions and topics like this can be addressed. Actually, to be really honest, I'd say that none of us failed. We went out and made stuff. DIY art. Songs, lyrics, stage props, programs, album covers, flyers, promotion, management... It's quite an achievement to even have failed. I'm as proud of the bands I've failed in as anything I've done. I mention it in every job interview I've been in...

Could you elaborate a bit upon the slated "Panhandle Tour"?
I think this is the crux of the FBO. Oklahoma mainland rarely considers its panhandle. I'd seriously like the state to start a festival, a movement, a march, a day -- to acknowledge the panhandle. We so rarely do. And without it Oklahoma would look pretty Connecticut-like and dumb on a map. Plus having failed bands playing Guymon or Oklahoma Panhandle State University (they're interested, I've asked), can you imagine? A 'Last Waltz' of the unheralded? Doing a warm-up acoustic show atop Black Mesa for no one? Is there anything better than that?


FBO Admin
Temp/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, New York

Sunday, May 28, 2006

FBO: 'Bans Sequels, Remakes & Bio-Pics'



You happy with self expression in this new century? Compare the public outcry in the late 1960s -- when actual blood was spilled around political conventions, student killed on campuses by police -- to the 00s, when an unpopular war, in which even the nation cannot agree how/why it started, yielded a relatively peaceful re-election for the incumbent. Little to no 'action' on the streets. Everyone was at home. One possibility is that the kids of the 00s are too content, too satisfied (hand-held video games, online chatting/dating, garage bands recording their own albums, kids making their own movies) than in the 60s and it's turned into a relatively lack of self expression.

Moving on, the FBO is worried about the trend in cinema of making biopics, rehashes of old TV shows or old movies, or sequels. It's become safer, from a box-office point of view, to give the public something it is already familiar with ('Dukes of Hazard,' 'Miami Vice,' 'X-Men 2' even 'Walk the Line') than to 'take a chance' on something completely new.

The FBO has had enough of the lack of creativity the motion-picture deems appropriate for our public. It's insulting and wrong. The FBO, thus, is suggesting an out-right ban of all future sequels, remakes and biopics.

It's still OK to see films based on books.


FBO Admin
Mobile HQ - Bucharest, Romania

{Photo} The photo, of a train worker, was taken in Tynda, Russia, in June 2005. The FBO sees this image -- one of action (creating things) -- as a symbol of the FBO. The ban is not a negative action, but one to prompt greater creativity. Also the members of the FBO, and all failed bands, should be comended for 'creating things' with little hope of acknowledgement or reward.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

FBO Finds 'Key European Hub'


FBO ADOPTS SZEKELYUDVARHELY, ROMANIA

Some towns are great just because the people are great. This town of 37,000 in central Transylvania is the only of its size in Romania home to a majority (about 97%) of ethnic Hungarians called the Szekely. Their ancestors have lived here for over a thousand years. Transylvania only left Austro-Hungarian hands after WWI, something some locals here still resent.

Music and art is a big part of the town, with G Pub, sporting six rooms -- including a collection of radios dating five to eight decades. The G stages local bands, including the 17-year-old kids as part of Tear Gas (who write their songs and sing gruffily in English over brooding rhythms with heavily reverbed Cure-like guitar leads), and an expiremental guitar/violin duo called Amnesia. Tear Gas' artwork adorns one bar here, taken by a teenage girl who last year introduced the town to dreadlocks. On Sunday mornings, intellects and hipster youth heel-click, with urgency, to Casa de Cultura, where they are attending a rehearsal of a theatre piece, performed in Hungarian.

Being here, FBO Admin notices, is like being in an Eastern European or Southeast Asian town shortly after it 'opened up' to the west -- something like stepping into other towns (even a Prague or Ho Chi Minh City) in the early or mid 1990s. People are delighted by your presence, wondering how you knew about their town, and how you decided to spend time here. A chance encounter in a shop leads to an hour-long converstation about politics or horse markets or hockey or clarinets.


--> The FBO sympathizes with the sense of being an 'outsider' enclave amidst a greater, more successful, entity. And hereby adopts Szekelyudvarhely (Odorheiu Secuiesc) as its two-year European headquarters. Based on peformance that status may be renewed in 2008 for another two-year period. Talk has started with Robert Roth, of Herr Travel, about bringing some Failed Bands of Oklahoma to participate in a rock-music festival in 2007. Stay tuned.

Tasks for the Key European Hub will include fostering an open environment for failed bands, spreading awareness for failed bands, as well as hosting FBO events by 2007.

A key goal of the FBO's press-garnering tour of Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey is to find a Key European or Middle Eastern Hub. That task has now been achieved.


FBO Admin
Mobile HQ/European Key Hub -- Szekelyudvarhely (Odorheiu Secuiesc), Romania

PS -- The photos include an abandoned power plant on the road between Szekelyudvarhely (Odorheiu Secuiesc) and Marosvasarhely (Targu Mures); a clock in the town's central square, and the 1781 Hungarian Reformed Church.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

FBO: Gives Retroactive 'NOA' to Edward Van Halen

You Got to Roll With the Punches and Get to What's Real

Dutch-born Edward Van Halen's solo in 1983's 'Jump' (the album 1984 actually came out in December 1983... FBO educates as well as entertains...) is probably modern art. Known for finger lifts and show-off rapid-fire solos ('just finger exercises,' Angus Young once said), Eddie knew he was shocking 'die hard' Halen fans with the synth-driven lead-off single 'Jump.'

In the video, moments before the obligatory guitar solo begins, Eddie points a 'coming up' sign with his hand, then flies into his fastest-ever solo, totally at odds with the song, to just 'give something' to the fans.

FBO believes this was done in jest, rather cynically. He used a portion of a song to make a statement.

For this, the FBO awards Eddie Van Halen a NOA*.


FBO Admin
Mobile HQ -- Targu Mures, Romania

* NOA = Nod of Approval