Monday, December 04, 2006

FBO: 'Lyric Ideas for Future-Failed'

FBO's semi-permanent headquarters are tucked away in Brooklyn, across the East River from Manhattan. In the rock world, Manhattan namedropping is common occurrence. Listeners who've never visited New York, know about 'Broadway,' 'downtown,' 'uptown girls,' the Chelsea Hotel, the 'A train.' To score heroin, you follow Lou Reed up to 'Lexington 125' (125th Street and Lexington, in Harlem). If you're pondering a life as a 'playboy' and hang around in gay bars, follow Mick Jagger to 'the west side of town.' Beach-bound follow the Ramones to 'Rockaway Beach.' Hipster youth know NYC cops are 'not very smart' from the Strokes, or that NY is 'forever kitty' from the Sonic Youths.

Yes, LA gets its nods, Chicago a couple. But save from a Huey Lewis song or 'Route 66,' or a regretable song by the Eagles, the rock world tends to ignore about every other place else on earth.

In the hopes of improving rock listeners' geography, and spreading out the lyrical in a more even-handed manner, the FBO believes this should change. Simply naming a town (the Band's 'Look Out Cleveland!') is not enough. The rock world needs more below-the-surface references.

--> Tips:

* Write songs name-dropping everyday street intersections in your town, which will feel insidery and cool to those outside your town: 'You're a woman, I'm a male; let's go take PCP at 41st & Yale'

* Talk about geographic features near your home (note that Tom Waits has mentioned Lake Tenkiller): 'kids, children -- there's a lot of foes that will face ya; shrug'em off or throw 'em off the Black Mesa'

* Neighborhoods or counties are good too, or obscure highways -- 'Bye bye Ada, hello Atoka crack park; betwixt the two: heartbreak, Highway 3, 47 miles of tire marks' (Hwy 3 connects the two towns; apparently the author drives with the brakes on)

* Include local festivals: 'In jail. Refusing arrest. One too many. At Tulsa's Mayfest.'

* Don't mention generic 'mall' or 'store' or 'hospital' for settings, instead go for specific local convenience stores or mini-chains: 'Bad luck and angst. At the top of my bio. I broke my finger on the Zingo, I birthdayed at Taco Mayo'

**Note: If you use any lyrics included here (and please do), we will find you and ask for 40% profits of any sales.**

FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY

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