Saturday, April 29, 2006

FBO: 'A Helping Hand to the Non-Failed'


FBO Admin has received countless calls for tips that new bands, aka to-be-failed bands, can refer to. Here's five:

1. Hail to 1:51. All songs, no matter how bad, earn a song length of 1:51. No one can complain that it's 'sucky' or 'drifts without direction' if it's 1:51 or less. At 1:52 a song must earn every second. Consider this before repeating your first verse again just to get the obligatory verse after solo after second-chorus arrangment.
2. Don't talk about yourself, yet. 'Singer-songwriters' -- apparently different than people who write and sing songs -- talk about their problems with mics. Others yell at their parents thru distortion pedals. We don't care. We have problems too. You have to earn your stripes before you can complain about your life. Start complaining about ours, for example. Or sing about crickets attacking three-legged animals.
3. Don't laugh at your own jokes. They're not funny. If Steve misses the bass note AGAIN, who cares? If a lyric has a hidden reference we don't know, don't think it's funny. It's not. And you're pissing us off thinking it is funny. Know those mirrors where things are closer than they appear? It's like that for jokes on stage, but worse.. It seems a lot funnier when you're on stage than to the bored audience watching it.
4. Don't focus on the constructs of your songs. Audiences don't care if you started with a bridge, then went to pre-chorus THEN to verse, then chorus, then did a solo, before going through it in the right order. We couldn't give frack all. Audiences only care if it rocks.
5. Don't put Velvet or any gun part in your band name.

FBO Admin
Mobile HQ: Istanbul, Turkey

Friday, April 21, 2006

FBO: 'Recommends Travel'


Recently on the publicity trip for promoting failed bands, FBO Admin watched Matrix III with two French people, a Canadian who had her backpack stolen in Serbia the day before, a Japanese farmer in ennui for abandoning his home, and a young German apologizing for 'how German' the hostel co-owner was. What was striking about the episode -- this weird international mix in a former communist country -- is how unstriking it was. A generation ago, our parents -- most of our parents -- never knew even a Canadian, and now it's relatively normal to watch bad Keanu Reeves movies with failed farmers and angst-ridden youth from former enemies.

FBO Admin has travelled, in the past year, in pre-research and press-garnering trips to Vladivostok, Beijing, Plovdiv, Bogota, Mexico City, San Francisco, Brasov and Mandalay. Guesthouses in all had Chinese soap. This is something new. Two years ago in Bulgaria, notebooks were Bulgarian-made and said 'notebook' in Bulgarian on the cover; these don't exist anymore. Half the signs in Sofia, Bulgaria, meanwhile, are flashy 'Western-style' ads in Roman alphabet, not the Bulgarian-created Cyrillic.

The FBO recognizes this 20-year period -- the crux of the FBO generation, and a setting for massive world change -- is when different things on Romanian hand-tool farms and men-in-skirt sidewalks of Myanmar are becoming more and more the same. We are literally the ones who are living while this is happening.

Why bring this up?

--> The FBO recommends all of its members and fans to travel now. What is 'exotic' now will likely be a lot less so in another decade or more.

Meanwhile, FBO is considering putting Member #004 Asylum's Terry Waska back in the Penalty Box.

FBO Admin
Mobile HQ: Sibiu, Romania

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

FBO #004's Terry Waska: Out of the Penalty Box

Terry Waska, a member of Failed Bands of Oklahoma Member #004's Asylum, is released from a one-month sentence in the FBO penalty box, in which he could not participate in FBO functions. The sentence was proclaimed, with unanimous acceptance among FBO members and fans, for 'questionable use of state imagery.'

The photograph was taken 25 minutes ago.

Welcome back Terry!

FBO Admin
Mobile HQ -- Sibiu, Romania

Sunday, April 16, 2006


Image hosting by Photobucket


FBO Admin recently had a virtual sit-down talk with David Cantrell of FBO Member #004 Asylum, Jeff Morris of FBO Member #002 The Cant/Cinder Biscuits, and Alan Hiserodt of FBO Member #001 Tall Tales...

FBOA: What was the worst live experience? What happened?
--> DAVID: one of the worst was when we played w/ some skinhead bands @ Theater Tulsa
in 1987 and were pelted w/ full cans of beer by a not-so-friendly contingent of neo nazis. they called us "Jews." then a guy shot himself in the leg in the parking lot so the coppers swarmed in and shut down the show while we were still playing. there were articles in the paper the next day about "skinhead violence" @ local shows.

--> JEFF: Garfields OKC. Manager pulled the plug on us since we were too loud. "What? We Cant hear you over this huge, 3-way PA that we lugged into this little choke-n puke restaurant!" See attached jpg for documentation.
--> ALAN: Was going to play w/ TT in Stillwater, OK at the ??Jam?? ...some party on campus, right near the dorms. During the day I had to play with the Rogers State College jazz band at a Mall in Tulsa. On the way into the gig I slammed my finger in the car door. The thing swelled up like a baseball all day. Went to a clinic where my sister worked, had the nail drilled to let the blood out. Played w/TT that night and flung blood all over my drums the whole set. It throbed the whole time....sucked!!

FBO: Describe your best flyer or album cover.

--> DAVID: one of my favorite flyers was for a show we did @ club nitro. it had a photo of a girl engaged in the fine art of fellatio. the flyer said "DO YOU WANT ONE OF THESE?" then in small type it said you could pick up your own copy of the flyer @ the asylum show.
--> JEFF: t-shirt with Richard Kiel smiling mug shot. See pic.
--> ALAN: The TT flyer with the Baby's head was the best, very disturbing looking. or the Pot Pie cover.

FBO: What advice would you give for active (ie 'to-be-failed') bands in
Oklahoma these days?

--> DAVID: don't be afraid to travel. you might not make any money, but you won't make any money in oklahoma either.
--> JEFF: don't expect to be paid., have fun with it, keep your day job
--> ALAN: Move! or tour constantly.

FBO: If outsiders visit Oklahoma, what is the first thing you'd want to take them to, show them in Oklahoma?
--> DAVID: like to take "outsiders" to oklahoma. my current band Cobra Kai (based in colorado springs) recently went on a mini Oklahoma tour. we played the 66 Bowl in OKC and a club in tulsa. while in tulsa i took my drummer to visit Bob Wills grave and then showed him the freakishness of Oral Roberts. we had a great time. i can make tulsa seem like the greatest place in the world if i'm only in town for the weekend.
--> JEFF: This s a very tough one, here's a list:
a} Okie Noodlin festival in Pauls Valley (, Rattlesnake Roundup (Waynonka and Waurika;, Stillwell Strawberry Festival, and the Authentic totem pole in Foyil (
--> ALAN: Updates to Bricktown in OKC. OU football game. or a Flaming Lips Show.

Thanks all,

FBO Admin
Mobile HQ -- Bistrita, Romania

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Introducing Two-Week Honorary Member: Romania's 'Cop Singer'


The FBO believes that boundaries play no part in deciding what failed bands qualify as Failed Bands of Oklahoma material. While the Mobile HQ stopped into Sighisoara, Romania -- on its two-month trip across Romania, to spread awareness of failed bands -- a four-piece, 30-something band rehearsed in a pink-walled club in a medieval town caught their ears/eyes.

Thirty-seven year old Lucian, the club's owner and band drummer, wears a leather jacket and calls his life 'paradise.' The old pink-walled theater on the medieval steps below the castle walls of Sighisoara (the birthplace of Dracula in the 15th century) stages themed disco nights and jam sessions. Mainly he's happy just to have the stage to rehearse in the late afternoon. Playing a few 'old originals from old bands' and some covers by Romanian rock bands like Compact (whose lead singer died in a car accident when a US marine stationed in Romania slammed into the taxi he was driving in -- US authorities got the marine out of the country, and much of Romania grew furious over the lack of trial...).

Lucian named his club after an album by Dream Theater. 'Petrucci [Theater's guitarist], Malmsteen, Satriani, Vai -- they're geniuses.' Unasked, he plugs in an Ibanez V-guitar into the Marshall amp and plays licks as if Nirvana never happened.

Meanwhile, the singer, Flaviu, is a policeman. He holds lyric sheets for cover songs while the keyboard player -- actual mullet -- tries to figure out parts. He explains, 'Being a policeman isn't all that good. This is is the best way to not think about it for awhile,' he laughs.

FBO Admin
FBO Mobile HQ - Sighisoara, Romania