Thursday, March 30, 2006

FBO: 'Reminds You to be Thankful'


Thank you panhandle!

The FBO has contacted a representative of the Hughes-Strong Auditorium of Oklahoma Panhandle State University regarding a potential venue for the first FBO 'revue' performance in the Oklahoma Panhandle.

Stay tuned for updates regarding the show...

FBO Admin
Mobile HQ: Brasov, Romania

Sunday, March 26, 2006

America's Best Band Salutes the FBO

American bands are, as experience and truthful observation tells us, far less impressive, important or lasting than British ones. It is hard to find any long-term bands from the US that can remotely rival the legacy of bands like the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, the Clash, even the Who and the Kinks. Not much of an American answer to that -- the Ramones and Beach Boys had their moments, Talking Heads too; once a beacon of hope, REM has all-out sucked for nearly 20 years, Nirvana were too flash-in-the-pan, Aerosmith is just Stones Lite. Metallica fans made a lot of bands, but the band fought free downloads.

It's also interesting to note that the greatest bands of Ireland and Australia -- U2 and AC/DC respectively -- could compete with anyone on anyone's compiled 'great American bands' list.

--> The FBO sees the perplexing under-achievement of American bands (as a whole) as an indication of 'room to move in' for failed bands of Oklahoma, as well as other states.

Anyway, the greatest American band, these days, must be WILCO, who -- in a musical way -- consistently find new ways to make music where musicians listen to the songs (not themselves) and build unique songs with varying parts that reward multiple listens. And Jeff Tweedy's voice -- an update and improvement of Paul Westerberg's -- has belted out many a sorrowful tale worth repeating too. Some of it sounds familiar, but it is all WILCO's. They are super and ever-surprising.

Tweedy's best lyrics come from last year's song 'Late Greats':

"The best band will never get signed... so good, you won't ever know... You can't hear 'em on the radio"

The FBO see this as an endorsement to the practices of the FBO, and of its members. Thanks to Jeff Tweedy and America's best band Wilco. The FBO appreciates the acknowledgment.

Meanwhile, the FBO would like to christen its new FBO's List of Ten Best American Bands (FBO LOTBAB). Listed in chronological order, based on subjective appeal, plus relative importance and influence. Solo acts -- importantly Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash and Bruce Springsteen, but also Bill Joel -- are not elgible for the list.

--> Beach Boys
--> Velvet Underground
--> Creedence Clearwater Revival
--> Ramones
--> Minutemen
--> Sonic Youth
--> Public Enemy
--> Pixies
--> Pavement
--> Wilco

FBO Admin welcomes your comments and editions to the list of Ten Best American Bands.

FBO Admin
Mobile HQ: Sinaia, Romania

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

'Are You FBO Material?'

Curious? Want to be a part of the FBO? Want to be induced to collaborating on records, or join a tour of the Oklahoma panhandle? You're not alone, friend.

Fill out this questionnaire. Perfectly affirmative [ie 'all yes'] results yield elgibility.

--> Did you play in a band?
--> Did the band play at least 51% originals?
--> Did the band begin at least 10 years ago?
--> Did the band quit at least once over the period?
--> Did the band FAIL to procure an outside recording contract from an outside recording label (eg not your own created label)?

Note: it is not necessary to have ever been based, played in, or been to Oklahoma to be elgible for membership in the Failed Bands of Oklahoma. Any induced projects -- eg new songs created by revived failed band -- remains the 100%-controlled content of the failed band itself. If a failed band should snag a recording contract, the band will -- by definition -- removed from the FBO membership status.

The FBO, like a samiritan warning of trolls under the bridge, only wants to help you, in its efforts to garner press coverage of failed bands.

FBO Admin
Mobile HQ: Brasov, Romania

[The photo of two Yakut performers, both are Russian citizens, was taken in 2005 at a festival outside Yakutsk, Russia.]

Monday, March 20, 2006

FBO gives 'NOA' to Ingmar Bergman, Swedish Ambassador



The opening day of Bucharest, Romania's first-ever Ingmar Bergman Film Festival kicked off with the 1978 film 'Autumn Sonata,' which is introduced by a periphery character who proclaims he'd 'love nothing else but to tell [his wife] he whole-heartedly loves her' but he can't because he can't 'find the words.' The film, in which Liv Ullman and Ingrid Bergman play embattled heavyweights (daughter-mother) who ruthlessly tear apart the semblance of family fabric, features a piano scene played by a professional and an amateur.

FBO Admin, who was invited to attend the event, would like to proclaim a conjunctive NOA (Nod of Approval) to Swedish Ambassador to Romania Svante Kilander who sponsored the event AND to Ingmar Bergman for starting his music-tinged movie of failure and missed opportunities with a secondary character who lacked the means to convey his message.

--> The FBO see the film as a precursor to the goals of the FBO. The FBO also see Mr Kilander's starting the festival as a direct acknowledgment of the FBO's efforts.

Beforehand, Mr Kilander -- in a blue suit -- spoke in English to the mix-match crowd of Romanian intellects (some 60-year-old pony tails, '80s shades, fuzzy Parisian hats, chatting 20-somthing couples -- all of whom watched the 100-minute film by reading subtitles in ENGLISH). Mr Kilander said, 'I hope with this film you find some new aspects, outlooks of life... what it is to be human.' He added 'It is of course a Swedish film, but Bergman himself isn't just a Swede, but a great artist of the world who happens to have Swedish citizenship.'

Shortly thereafter a 70-year-old woman apologised to FBO Admin for the size of her fuzzy hat.

In addition to Mr Kilander's sentiments, The Failed Bands of Oklahoma also believe the FBO's goals transpire borders and time zones, in its efforts to garner press coverage of failed bands.

The FBO's first-induced EP is done. More recordings are on the way!

FBO Admin
Mobile HQ: Bucharest, Romania

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Introducing FBO #004: ASYLUM


The FBO knows it's a crime, but Tulsa's rock-hard Asylum were never signed, and subsequently 'failed.' The band played from 1985 to 1991, then got back together briefly for a revived fling in 1993. That was when drummer Dave Hedberg popped off to Austin suddenly, and the band (David Cantrell on vocals, Terry Waska on lead and rhythm bass, Stacy Lane on guitar) struggled to find a permanent replacement. Stacy and Dave went on to Bunnies of Doom, Terry to Pit Bulls on Crack. Other drummers included Derek Sanders, the great Alex Smith, Jody Ake and, as Terry Waska says, 'some guy named Brian I think.'


FBO: Best Asylum show?
TERRY WASKA: This has to be during our brief reunion period when we opened for power pussy rock sensations EXTREME!! During our set they came to the side of the stage, scowling at us with their fret-shreddin’ arms crossed and asked the stage manager when we were going to be done. We were told that the comment was in obvious disapproval of our music. Then they gave us 15 minutes to pack our shit and get out of the backstage area, which we did. Unfortunately, the case of beer (our pay for the night) was backstage. The local crew wound up drinking it. No doubt in praise of our rock power.
2) The big acid jam at TuCCA was pretty cool too.
3) With Tall Tales in Mannford, OK
OK, I really don’t remember much about that gig, I was just sucking up.

What were the songs about in general?
They were all about our admiration of Extreme.

Ever write something and think 'this is it! this will break us' -- what was it, what happened to it?
Nothing in particular that we just knew would launch us to stardom. One song that did catch on was “No Way Out”. We used to get rotation charts from indie and public access radio stations around the country with that song somewhere at the top. Unfortunately U2 came out with “Bullet the Blue Sky” right after we released it and the two sounded disturbingly similar. “Nuno Opus # 6” was a good one too.

When was the last time you all played together?
It may have been that Extreme gig.

Why do you hate the Oklahoma Panhandle? What happened there?
It’s a long story, but it starts with being pulled over because the cop couldn’t see the dealers tag in the rear window, and ends with my wife going to jail for rolling papers and a fat rookie with a shotgun telling my son that his parents were druggies and he was going to become a ward of the state, and it would be 6 months if we’re lucky to be reunited, if at all. Fuck “Red Carpet Country”. I suggest renaming it “Redneck Carpet Country”.

What are your favorite state/country shapes?
The Hawaiian Islands are fun – they look like the little pearly trail I left on my belly last night.... [FBO Note: Terry Waska has been placed in the FBO Penalty Box for one month for this comment. He is unable to partake in FBO events until after that period.] Is that too much information?

There's never too much information at the FBO, only penalty-inducing information... Why did Asylum break up?
Stacy and Dave were two-timing me with Bunnies of Doom, so like a jilted lover I left and played with myself for a while.

What was the closest you were to crying on stage?
We played with a Christian band at Club Nitro. Our drummer walked up to these freaked out looking culture shocked Christian rockers and informed them that the fine for jacking off on stage was only $5 more than the fine for jacking off back stage, so fuck it – he’d pay the extra $5. I laughed so hard I cried.

How do you see Asylum differently now than you did in 1986 or so?
Much less bitter these days about the small audience sizes.

Thanks Terry, and welcome to the FBO Asylum!

FBO Admin
Mobile HQ: Bucharest, Romania

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

TALL TALES (FBO #001) releases first FBO-produced EP, celebrates with drinks

TALL TALES' first live album -- 'LIVE in a Place in Oklahoma' -- is out. The double B-side single of 'The Falkon Flies (Dies)' also features the songs 'Dicks' and 'A Place in Oklahoma.' It was recorded LIVE at Zapata's Cafe & Cantina in Altus, Oklahoma, on December 22, 2005.

--> Please go download the live album and offer us your reviews.

Any FBO member -- or future member -- who would like help promoting a 'FBO induced' album is welcome to do so in this forum. We will post it, try to garner press coverage, you will keep any proceeds. The copyright remains the artist's.

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'LIVE in a Place in Oklahoma' Track listing:

DICKS (1:57)

'THE FALKON FLIES (DIES)' is a testament to truth. In the song, the band – attacked by a wild 'falkon' – is hurt and afraid. The 'falkon' is winged and prehistoric, and has no respect for living with others peacefully. After fending off attacks with a spear, the 'falkon' is finally killed by a bazooka, but not until after members of the band lose arms, ears and noses. The only intact part of them is their sight and their voice. The song was written on a plane.

'DICKS' is another testament to truth. It is a soundbyte from a composed, then discarded, EP-length song called 'Song about the United States of America.' The song, at 20:05, was to be played live in 2005 with a (shown) timer that stopped, with the song, at the 20-minute, five-second mark. These plans were also discarded.

'A PLACE IN OKLAHOMA' is another testament to truth. It is a song about Tall Tales in 2005 and 2006 talking about what it's like to be Tall Tales in 2005 and 2006. More loosely, it is a concession to mediocrity and lack of success.

Tall Tales is Dan Fallis (vocals, accordion), Rob Reid (guitar, backing vocals), Alan Hiserodt (drums), Gregg Dobbs (guitar), Mitch Newlin (bass).

copyright 2006, Sprockett Records, Norman, Oklahoma

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Thanks to Tall Tales!

FBO Admin
Mobile HQ: Bucharest, Romania

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Introducing FBO #003: SOUL SHAKER


The Failed Bands of Oklahoma, as promised, is growing. Originally inspired by cereal and Nazareth, Norman's SOUL SHAKER has become FBO Member #003. The band -- made of various lineups (including James Lambeth, Ty Kamm, Matt Babich, Danny Blunck and later Steve Miller and Barry Zimmerman) -- played from 1989 to 1993. It had its turbulations. 'Steve and James quit,' Ty Kamm told us, 'Because they couldn't get along... ironically they later formed Green Dream together which became Soma Holiday.' They now live in different continents.


FBO:Where did the name Soul Shaker come from?
TK: Matt had a sticker (that he got from a cereal box) on his first bass amp that read "Soul Shaker" in a real cheesy font. We thought it was funny, so we went with it. Plus they said soul shaker in a Nazareth song and a Cult song.

Why did the band fail?
Because we had one of the worst band names ever (I tried to change it several times and was out-voted) and at times we just plain sucked.

What was the best Soul Shaker show?
Man, that's a tough one. Probably the "Charlie Watts Night(s)" with Tall Tales & Cinder Biscuits at Kelly's in Norman.

What was the closest moment you all were to succeeding?
The closest we came was when we changed our name to Klipspringer after having been Nowhere Band for one gig and Lotion for 2 or 3 gigs.

Welcome to Ty Kamm and all the member of Soul Shaker. The FBO looks forward to future collaborations in the efforts to garner press coverage for each other.

FBO Admin
Mobile HQ: Brooklyn, NY

Monday, March 06, 2006

FBO: 'Failed Bands are Universal'

FBO Admin member Robert Reid talks about the first FBO Press Trip (a month-long stint in Bulgaria) to garner press coverage for the FBO. Click the following to hear the previously recorded conference:

this is an audio post - click to play

Failed bands are indeed universal. The one pictured here was spotted in a Berlin mall in 2003.

FBO Admin
Mobile HQ: Brooklyn, NY

Friday, March 03, 2006

FBO: 'We're Not Alone'

We're not the only ones with eyes on the Oklahoma Panhandle!!!

Next month, OU professor Richard Lowitt will be releasing his book American Outback: The Oklahoma Panhandle in the Twentieth Century (Texas Tech University Press). See the press release. We encourage you to purchase the book, read it, and comment on it to Texas Tech and the FBO. We're happily applaud the subject of Mr Lowitt's work, and will happily pick up the reigns with our 'Oklahoma Panhandle in the Twenty-first Century' tour in early fall.

--> Stay tuned for an FBO review of the book in mid to late spring. We will also try to contact Mr Lowitt for an interview and advice on panhandle 'hot spots'.

Mobile HQ has taken a break from Bulgaria, but will be back in Eastern Europe late next week on the second leg of the FBO 'publicity tour'. Meanwhile, failed-band Soul Shaker has been sent a formal invitation to the FBO, and should hopefully join in the next few weeks. The FBO also has contacted successful Romanian-twin pop group Cheeky Girls for interviews and tips on how to garner press coverage for the FBO.

FBO Member #001 has completed its three-song live EP 'LIVE IN OKLAHOMA,' which should be available for free download on its revamped website by March 14.

FBO Admin
Mobile HQ: Brooklyn, New York

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Attempts to reach AZIS: 'unsuccessful'

In November 2005, Bulgarian asteroid spotters found a new one and promptly named it for AZIS, a roaringly androgynous 'gypsy singer' that has captivated, and antagonized, Bulgarian audiences this decade. This evening, as Bulgaria tips off its Martenitsa celebration*, FBO Admin squirmed its way into Sofia's VIAD Club -- through a hierarchy of black-suited security (one, quite unprompted, told FBO Admin's future: 'you well have a very good year, though the summer may be a bit rocky'), a manager in a acid-washed leather jacket, and a gold-chain balding goon. FBO Admin, with assistance of Mr Assen of Sofia, waited from midnight to 1.05am for Azis to arrive to discuss failed bands, and ways to garner press for them. The manager confided, 'Azis is a very strange man... it's totally up to him if you can get an interview.'

Azis' music chalga, or 'folk pop' music, is known for borrowed melodies -- often Indian-sounding by way of Serbia and Turkey -- and also for its dumb lyrics (tonight's sample: 'we win, we lose... either way we get drunk, we're Bulgarians!'). Many many Bulgarians have bitterly complained about it with FBO Admin, yet it remains the nation's most popular music. Tonight's warm-up performance played for a 20% capacity audience, in a pillared basement club with adjoining brothel named 'AMAZONE.' Around the five-inch high stage women strolled in 'belly dancer' outfits, while the leopard-skin attired singer and totally bored bass player slouching on a chair joined an ambitious synth player. It was hard to tell who did/didn't work for the club, as scantily clad women beckoned would-be clients into Amazone, and men in ties walked briskly on the marble entry tiles as purple strobes flashed. Heavily synthesized beats raged, and more heels clicked marble, and it became clear to FBO Admin and Mr Assen of Sofia that Azis' appearance was getting later and later, and likelihood of FBO contact smaller and smaller. Concession to defeat was made at 1.05am. Apologies to FBO Members and FBO fans.

In other news, FBO Admin conscripted a new Sofia band, tentatively entitled OHIO SUKKERS to 'write lyrics,' 'make a photo,' and 'plan a stage show (perhaps with puppets).' One member promised to have something by March 10 to debut on the FBO website.

FBO Admin
Mobile HQ: Sofia, Bulgaria

* In March, Bulgarians exchange bits of red-and-white yarn, often made into figures, to friends and family, who must wear them until they see a stork and then tie it onto a tree. Stork shortages around Bulgaria are creating intense anxiety this March.