Sunday, February 26, 2006

FBO gives 'NOA' to Shakira

It is not often that the FBO enters the realm of the suceeded. But here at FBO Mobile Headquarters in Samokov, Bulgaria, it is impossible to escape the long reaches of the new Shakira song 'Don't Bother,' which might as well be the Temporary National Anthem of this EU-country-in-waiting. Now beyond the 25th listen, the 'speak over' bridge part has been the attention-getter (less so the A Morissette-styled vocals). Speak-overs are turned to often, usually by the less brilliant performers of the modern era. Key exceptions include Elvis' 'Are You Lonesome Tonight?' and anything Johnny Cash.

Shakira gets an Failed Bands of Oklahoma NOA (Nod of Approval) for her effort, which was mistakenly understood at first as here taking in someone from a 'communist country' and teaching them 'football,' which would have been much better. Yet her inclusion of communism and football finds a special place in the FBO collective heart.

Congratulations to Shakira and the entire Colombian nation for the following successful 'spoken word' bridge, just after the guitar solo SHE performs:

'For you, I'd give up all I own
And move to a communist country
If you came with me, of course
And I'd file my nails so they don't hurt you
And lose those pounds, and learn about football
If it made you stay, but you won't, but you won't'

FBO Admin
Mobile HQ, Samokov, Bulgaria

Monday, February 20, 2006

FBO: 'Stairway al Top'

The FBO is proud to surmise its accomplishments of its first six weeks:

--> 1) signed on failed bands Tall Tales and The Cant/Cinder Biscuits
--> 2) nearly had actual contact with Oklahoma Gazette
--> 3) adopted the Oklahoma Panhandle as its symbol
--> 4) signed on potential Bulgarian illustrator to create first ever failed-band comic

In the upcoming weeks, the FBO will accomplish the following:

--> 1) sign on at least one more failed band
--> 2) draft its first cartoon, via Bulgarian artist
--> 3) contact the Oklahoma Tourist Board about declaring the first week of October as 'Reach the Panhandle' week -- 'mainland' Oklahoma's overdue thanks to the panhandle, to coincide with the multi-date FBO tour
--> 4) contact the author of the upcoming Oklahoma panhandle book for an interview

In the mobile HQ, FBO Admin met Khristofo, the grinning lead singer of a failed punk rock band from Tryavna, Bulgaria. 'We played two shows in one year,' Khristofo said, hitching a ride with the Mobile HQ's van, en route (he was) to a 'death metal' show in Varna that night. 'We were the only band in Tryavna, so we didn't have the need for a name... but we had many ideas.' His? 'Civil Defence.' Khristofo denied that his songs were about flowers or butterfly collection. 'Mostly the songs were about friends. Also, one song was about if you want to do something, don't sit around and wait for it to happen. Nothing will get done.' Positive punk, then? 'Yes, positive punk.' Khristofo was hitchhiking a bit drunk.

Honorary FBO Membership: Civil Defence, of Tryavna, Bulgaria!

If you are a failed band and haven't yet contacted the FBO about potential membership, it's not too late to join!

FBO Admin
Mobile HQ: Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

It's Official: FBO 'Adopts' Oklahoma Panhandle

The Failed Bands of Oklahoma (FBO) -- still busy setting up its FBO: Panhandle Tour of 2006 (tentatively pencilled in for late September or early October) -- has, from a pedestrian overpass in its Mobile HQ in Smolyan (Bulgaria), officially 'adopted' the Oklahoma Panhandle as its logo and virtual home base. On the scene, FBO Admin explains why the Oklahoma panhandle is so important to the FBO.

'Without the Oklahoma panhandle, Oklahoma would have a stupid shape. Note these comparative renderings:'

'Also, the panhandle's history coincides with how we view FBO members. Because Texas wanted slaves, the present panhandle region was severed from Texas in 1850. It remained unclaimed -- as 'No Man's Land' -- for the next 40 years, until honorary FBO member, president Benjamin Harrison, granted the 34-by-168-mile area to Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) on May 2, 1890.

The panhandle bore the brunt of the Dust Bowl, which mainland Oklahoma likes to wear the fashionable scars for; these days the panhandle has become, according to Richard Lowitt (author of 'American Outback: The Oklahoma Panhandle in the Twentieth Century,' 2006) 'the most prosperous part of the state, with wheat, meat, and energy as the largest contributors to its economy.'

'Recap: what was unwanted and wore down previously, now basks in glory. That's the promise of the FBO.'

FBO Admin
Mobile HQ: Smolyan, Bulgaria

Monday, February 13, 2006

Dozens ask: 'Why is this man so interested in the FBO-adopted Oklahoma Panhandle?'

Stay tuned and find out why his binox are pointed toward the destination of the FBO.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

FBO: Jump Aboard!

The FBO welcomes all failed bands -- from Oklahoma; from Nebraska; from Bristol, England; from Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

The FBO mobile Headquarters has been traipsing about Bulgaria in the efforts to:

a) spread awareness of the FBO
b) spread awareness of failed bands
c) to recruite failed bands in Bulgaria for possible collaboration
d) to garner press coverage

So far, FBO Admin has witnessed two bands -- one a Black Sea cover band that had electric violin and played a cavernous nook-and-cranny basement rock bar, starting with 'Beat It.' The guitarist didn't attempt to recreate the Eddie Van Halen solo. The other were a testosterone-but-earnest five-piece named PIF, who apparently have records (thus not failed). They clearly listen to their Pearl Jam albums a lot, and certainly attracted a doting hip crowd of 80 to cluster to one end of Mega-Extreme Bowl on a Saturday night to see them. They mixed in a number of covers (including a Pearl Jam and INXS song), amidst their own songs in Bulgarian. The singer, eyes shut and head shaking, wore a Bush (band) haircut, but try to move like Ed Vedder. A six-foot dancer, with Jughead floppy hat, danced in front of the stage in that hey-I'm-20-and-need-attention sort of way that's hard not to find endearing. At one point a drunken man (large) came over to compliment FBO's documentation of the event (video). One woman in audience (bleached hair, outfit of a whore) did a 'snake charmer' dance, eyes closed. The singer is totally committed to the music. Nearby hundreds of students down mixed drinks and bowl lanes (about $3 per game) under black lights. I think PIF stands for 'Probably in Farms.'

FBO Admin
Mobile HQ: Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Sunday, February 05, 2006

FBO: Goes Cartoon

Good news!

Alex --- of Sofia, Bulgaria, has agreed to become the FBO official cartoonist. His night-job allows for lots of time to draw -- many heroic pictures -- that he colorizes and makes into cartoons. He wants to help the FBO. Anyone can suggest strip ideas to FBO. More on this to come.

By the way, the FBO predicts the Pittsburgh Steelers to beat Seattle Seahawks, 35-20.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Introducing FBO #002: The Cant/Cinder Biscuits

The FBO expands...

Oklahoma's failed The Cant/Cinder Biscuits -- two closely knit incarnations and great bands -- have joined the Failed Bands of Oklahoma.

Active from 1986 to 1989, The Cant (no apostrophre)members were: Eric Harmon, Adam Jackson, Jeff Morris, John Gilmore. They released one cassette called 'No Apostrophe' in 1988. Recently Adam -- who came from Washington state in the 1970s -- has put together a studio with Eric.

Active from 1989 to 1999, the follow-up Cinder Biscuits (no semi-colon) members were: Eric Harmon, Jeff Morris, John Gilmore (later replaced by Mr Paul Schiavo, who also played for a short time with FBO #001, Tall Tales). The Biscuits released a cassette in 1992 and a 7" single in 1994 (some still available). The band dissolved after Jeff moved to Dallas and Paul moved to Woodstock, NY. Eric had been splitting time with the non-failed band Chainsaw Kittens.

Members of both bands have recently re-formed as the new incarnation Chop Shop (, which have been recording an EP due out soon. They already have written about 'two CDs worth of music.' And been trying to squeeze onto sets 'whenever Mike Watts comes to VZDs.' They have upcoming shows in Dallas, Oklahoma City, Norman and Tulsa

Interview with Eric Harmon

What was your last Biscuits show like? Your first Can't show?
'cinders played in woodstock ny, with paul on bass----at the joyous
lake-hippy dippy--uneventful! well the cant were originally called the unorthodox,then birthday suit, i think it was at the U club in norman-----opening for the wickers------i remember kevin stark screaming at our soundcheck-those drums sound great over and over---l.s.d---maybe!'

Have you ever played in the Oklahoma or Texas panhandle? Ever been to the Oklahoma panhandle?
'cinders played in enid! does that count---we had to whip out some ted nugent for that-never done the panhandle thang! driven through both many a time.'
[note: FBO #001 once fired a member in Enid]

You've played with non-failed bands (eg Chainsaw Kittens). How do you compare failed bands and non-failed ones?
'the kittens did some things i'm proud of, recording in l.a.,mixing at ocean way studios (same one brian wilson used) -opening for iggy pop in 1994-98 shows-u.s.a- a meat puppets tour-meeting,little richard,joey ramone,chris robinson,joe strummer,ric ocasek,david yow,the figgs,graham parker,tommy stinson,---just a few there-----the kittens ended up a failed band!!!!! to look at the music scene today it's all a failure---------tall tales could have been sent out on that road-to get burned to a crispy core--------would that be good?????? pocket bands are the best, from the replacements-to the tall tales!!!!!!!!'

Thanks to Eric and all members of the Cant, Cinder Biscuits and Chop Shop. More to come!

FBO Admin
Temporary Mobile HQ: Sofia, Bulgaria