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 -- 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.


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'

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