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'


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

Saturday, May 13, 2006

FBO: 'Seeks Apology from Rolling Stones'


The Rolling Stones have survived Keith Richards' recent tree fall and head surgery, but at 43 (the band, not Keith) you have to wonder how long a band can last before it begins to taint its overall legacy. Ie, can we still appreciate 'Gimme Shelter' after 'Rock and a Hard Place,' 'You Got Me Rocking' and 'Oh No Not You Again.' Lesser bands like Aerosmith are doing a better job at keeping themselves attractive to younger generations. The Stones have subjected their willing, nostalgic public to live albums following tours supporting greatest hits albums, and even live albums from tours supporting live albums. Last year, their 'Rarities' record -- released sofly in Starbucks -- included half-assed songs previously released, and live songs of hit songs. They are, as Dylan once wrote, long 'staking their future from a hell of a past.'

Consider this:

The last good Stones album, with songs showing any durability or any sense of capturing the general public's imagination, was undebatably Tattoo You in 1981. That was 18 years into their career, and now 25 years ago. That means over half of their career hasn't produced a single essential song.

Meanwhile, bands like U2 and even Depeche Mode are producing more consistent work into their third decades.

The FBO calls for the Rolling Stones, supposedly the world's greatest rock'n'roll band, to apologize for 25 years of careless creativity and outright manipulation of their fans.

FBO Admin
Mobile HQ -- Bucharest, Romania

Friday, May 05, 2006

FBO: 'On the Edge of Success'

With four bands, a couple NOAs to Shakira and Wilco, and some temporary honorary members under our belt, THE FBO IS NEARING ALL-OUT SUCCESS. If you have questions, can offer tips, let us know.

FBO Admin
Mobile HQ - Parmakule, Turkey

Note: The photo was taken atop Mt Tampa near the 'Hollyood' sign in Brasov, Romania. In this case, it is a metaphor. The platform is the 'edge,' and the housing block smear of Brasov's outer districts provides 'success.'