Tuesday, December 04, 2007

FBO: 'Alerting the Public'

TO BURMA!, a mission
FBO Admin will be on a press-garnering trip of Myanmar from Dec 4 through mid January. It may be difficult or impossible to post FBO missives whilst on the road. Check here, or at www.reidontravel.blogspot.com for some Myanmar-related what-not.

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

Monday, December 03, 2007

FBO: 'Is it OK to Watch the Dylan Bio-Pic?'

FBO's new feature solves the morality issue on key leisure planning questions.

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

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

FBO: 'Adopts Jake Plummer for Promoting FBO's Newly Adopted Sport: Handball'

This year when Denver Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer learned he was being traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- by the way, both teams who sold out 'sissy' uniforms (Bucs' tangerine, Bronc's orange for 'tougher' charcoal/navy blue unis -- Jake said 'nah, I'm retiring instead.' With years of leg under him, it shocked many.

News came out today of Jake's new profession -- and one that the Failed Bands of Oklahoma heartedly promotes: handball.

Handball was brought to the United States from Irish immigrants. One, Phil Casey, built the first US handball court in 1882, and by the early 1900s south Brooklyn -- where the FBO offices are semi-permanently based -- became the HQ. Today, you say many handball courts around New York, and surprisingly they're usually in use.

Jake told the Denver Post that 'he got out [of the world's most successful sports league' because I wanted to play handball and I wanted to do other things.'

Handball is a game that involves slapping a ball with your hand against a free-standing wall.

Jake Plummer is formally adopted as the FBO Choice Athlete of 2007-2008.

Handball is formally adopted as the FBO Sport.

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

Monday, November 26, 2007

FBO: 'Loser of the Week Dies'

One of the FBO's key prodigal sons - BleacherBloggers.com - is dying out, falling to the bulk of sports-related sites out there. The last Loser of the Week column may or may not appear there, so we're publishing it here for your enjoyment.


Seeing a #1 Tigers fall and another Tigers vault to #1 got me to thinking. Why do 'rebel states' have such a fondness for sharing mascots? The SEC is the only conference with matching team names, happening not twice, but four times: Georgia and Miss State Bulldogs, Auburn and LSU Tigers. Tigers, meanwhile, are also found playing in Johnny Reb locales of Memphis and Missouri. Funny, considering no where else in this division-one nation went with 'tiger' when mascot-browsing. And then little Lousiana Tech, hoping to dig out a cult fan base in an already football-flooded south, up and decided 'Bulldogs' was a winner. Sacre bleu!

Considering everyone's furious at the BCS, and that 'Bama coach Nick Saban is likening the gridiron woes to terrorist attacks and WWII bombing disasters, maybe next year college football should just go ahead and re-stage the football-equivalent of the Civil War? We could draw up teams into three massive conferences:

* Union Forces Conference (UFC)
* Confederate States of America Conference (CSAC)
* Other Teams Conference (OTC)

UFC teams would be from states that fought to preserve the union, CSAC former Confederate states, and the rest grouped in their own also-ran mega-conference. Hence: West Virginia, Penn State, UConn, Ohio State, Notre Dame and Rutgers are UFC teams; LSU, Missouri, Clemson, Texas and Middle Tennessee State are CSAC teams; USC, Oklahoma, Boise State, UNLV and BYU are OTC teams.

Teams would play their exisiting schedules — in terms of existing conferences — but seasons would end with a four-team playoff within each conference, as determined by a BCS-stolen computer/human ratings system. The respective Union and Confederate champions would play alternately in Richmond or DC for the ugly Sears crystal national championship. The OTC would have no shot at a 'national championship.'

It's an idea anyway.

Meanwhile, alas, more bad coaching has sent the Loser of the Week (LoW) offices into another rage. The result is the print-out cheat sheet above: the LoW How-to-Run-Out-the-Clock Guidebook.

The culprit this time is the now-resigned Texas A&M coach* Dennis Franchione. Sure he went out a 'winner' -- topping Mack 'Mr Football' Brown's Texas Longhorns for the second-year-in-a-row. But lost in the knee-deep hoopla, and the near fourth-quarter rally by Texas, was some damn dumb coaching. Up by eight points at midfield with 2:00 remaining, Texas A&M had a 1st and 10, and Texas had no timeouts. Instead of running out the clock (safely), Fran picked up-the-middle running plays with unnecessary hand-offs to the Javorskie 'Water Boy Hater' Lane and QB-keepers charging head-first up the helmet-clanging middle. The game was already over, Fran just didn't know it. The call gave Texas defensive lineman several swats of the ball to get the ball and play for OT. Didn't happen, but don't think it can't: Texas got ahead of mighty UCF earlier in the season with a late-game fumble, not to mention that wild 'Bama fumble that gave LSU the final lead a couple weeks ago.

The overdue 'guidebook' above tells how much time you can kill just by kneeling, assuming time outs remaining by the opponent -- and that the quarterback doesn't kneel the ball out of bounds. I've estimated (very conservatively) that each down is worth 0:33 minimum (with 0:25 on the play clock about eight seconds for the play and for refs to set the ball). Again, minimum. (Hesitating in the backfield, or getting up slowly to delay the refs from setting the ball can easily milk 0:45 per play.)

Now on to actual losing.

Remember that part of Citizen Kane, after accepting his parties bid for governor, Charles Foster Kane left the theater with wife in arm and posed smiling for photographers? That photo marked the peak of his life. In the car afterwards, his wife leaves him, and a sex scandal leaked to the press hours later ends his campaign (snarkily using that glory-moment photo). All the promise, hope and glory, in the end, led to failure. That's a bit how the crazy 2007 season is for a host of overachievers, I fear. Teams that we should feel good about, even if they came up short: Connecticut, South Florida, Kansas, Rutgers, Virginia, Boston College, Hawaii (they'll lose next week, I bet), Kentucky...

Kansas were outmatched by an impressive Missouri, who -- by the way -- is historically the greatest underachiever state school in football (as determined by a ratio of lack of championship/contender performance, plus proximous metropolitan cities to recruit -- St Louis and Kansas City — and no fellow in-state rival to worry about). But Kansas didn't quit -- that is, other than the final kick-off (see Penalty Box). QB Reesing seemed 'starstruck' to borrow Brent Musberger's words for much of the game, yet still the team managed to keep Missouri's potent O out of the end zone their last two possessions, and racked up their 28 points in the final 20 minutes to come close to a shocking come-back. Instead of celebrating a 11-1 Kansas regular season, many fans yelled 'exposed!' to the Mangino Upstarts who staged, by far, the most successful Kansas football team history we'll ever see.

Often overlooked in the group of 2007 Overachievers, Virginia got lost under the radar all year after losing their first game to flip-offing Wyoming. Imagine that they hadn't lost that one till the last of the season? They would have been a top five team falling a couple weeks ago to lowly North Carolina State. Still in the BCS hunt on Saturday, Virginia fell to Virginia Tech.

These teams have made college football even more interesting. And they play with the spirit that is everything we at the Loser of the Week side of the stands cherish.

Kansas coaches. A noble season, yet Kansas' coaching staff get a week in the penalty box for not kicking an onside kick with 0:12 remaining and down by eight, right after Missouri tackled Reesing in the endzone for a safety. Mucus-o-phile Chase Daniel raised a lone finger from his nose to the crowd, but it was not over. The only difference, per the rules, of a 'free kick' after a safety and a regular 'free kick' at the start of a half or after a score is position on the field. Kansas had a chance for a last possession, and a 75-yard heave-ho, lateral-aganza. Why didn't they do it? (Nothing in the rules forbids an onsides kick after a safety; I checked.) Mangino, we love you, but welcome to the box.

Notre Dame/Stanford refs.
When are we going to protect college players from helmet-to-helmet collisions, like the one that knocked the Stanford QB out of the game? As called for here a week ago, stricter penalties (eg ejections) would cut back on these sorts of plays.

* and resigned newsletter publisher (D Franchione)

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

Friday, November 16, 2007

Thursday, November 15, 2007

FBO: 'Bans Nielsen Ratings & Puts Polls on Watchlist'

A recent article in the New Yorker by Malcolm Gladwell discussed how some criminal cases turn to detectives who look at the aspects of a crime scene -- or in the case of serial killers, any messages left behind (notes, defecation) -- and 'profile' the criminal based on a few identifiers. It recounts a brilliant job one profile made to locate the 'Con Edison bomber' of the 1940s and 1950s, then knocked the legs from under it by mentioning 'about 2%' of these profiles turn up accurate. And in the end most of the profilings are akin to the same hokey-pokey readings you might get from a Fortune Teller.

This leads to Nielsen Ratings. Advertising revenues, and the existence of TV programs like the critically loved Arrested Development, depend on this enigmatic, mysterious rating system. Did you know that, currently, Nielsen ranks TV shows based on just 12,000 homes in (only) the ten biggest cities nationwide, representing 35,000 people? Meaning that one 'Nielsen viewer' has 8600 Americans on their back -- quite a burden.

The ratings are based on tabulations by 'people meters' (on TVs without TiVo, missing a huge new way people watch TV) and supposedly are consistent with ethnic breakdowns in population percentages. By 2011, Nielsen is hoping to expand to 37,000 homes.

Considering there are 109 million households with TVs in the USA, is even 37,000 enough -- particularly when concentrated in the most urban locations?

No. Nothing takes in account of regional differences, it would seem. Take a show like Friday Night Lights, which triumphs accented small-town football players in West Texas -- something that might make a dent on TVs in Dallas, but less so in New York, Chicago or Los Angeles. Critics love the show, but audiences don't seem to be showing up -- or are they?

Twenty percent of Americans live outside cities -- not a lot. But America's top ten cities account for about 8% of the national population. Life in a city of two million is a LOT different than life in Birmingham -- does Nielsen cover that? What if, oh, NASCAR appeals to rural areas, the south, and many cities under the population of 250,000 -- will that be missed completely by Niel's little list?

What's more, if you try to find out such -- even the list of cities with people's meters, it's hard to find. Articles in places like The New York Times, even, don't list the top-heavy cities with a voice.

Questions to be answered.

Meanwhile, the FBO bans the Nielsen Ratings system, and puts all national polls -- far more important as an influencer in elections -- on the FBO watch list.

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

* Affluent neighborhood of north Chicago

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

FBO: 'FBO-induced column attacks the hypocrisy'

College football's hate-filled flaws told to BleacherBloggers.com

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

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

FBO: 'Writers are mad -- Should we care?'

The FAILED BANDS OF OKLAHOMA has long held a ban on movie sequels, movie bio-pics and movie remakes -- as the cynical reasoning in Hollywood is that the public can stomach a more expensive slice of the familiar than just the polite nibblings of something new, more creative and original.

Inspired by the FBO ban, writers in Hollywood are taking to the streets to protest payment for network shows -- mostly affecting soap operas and late-night shows like David Letterman.

Problem is they're missing the target. Movie studios are watching it all in protected isolation, as if from an air-conditioned press box with free gin-and-tonics and vegan casseroles.

We ask the striking writers to re-direct their efforts to studio execs who are churing out remakes (eg 3:10 to Yuma), sequels (Saw 4, Fantastic Four) and bio-pics (upcoming Mandella starring Morgo Freeman, Dali starring Alvin Pacino).

Meanwhile, note this strike has nothing to do with the NBC writer's union, which includes the show The Office, a remake of a BBC original. Fans may have noticed how the US version was slow-to-start this season, with awkward/forced misfiring jokes (eg the fictional animal Michael Scott imagines in a drawn-out joke in the opener). The FBO has no inside information on this (yet), but privately wonders whether new lesser-paid writers are trying to replicate the success of past seasons -- but not 'getting the job done' to quote Tony Banks, keyboardist of Genesis, who recently regrouped to stage a Tour of the Familiar.

We'll keep an eye out -- and weigh potential bans -- on NBC and television in general. So far, FBO's ban does not affect television OTHER than the show Lost, which still owes us an apology.

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

Monday, November 05, 2007

FBO: 'Announcing Panhandle Marathon/Concert'


When you watch a marathon, as a viewer, it's one of the rare events where the very best comes quick, and the long, drawn-out race gets worse and worse in quality the longer you watch. In other words the bulk of the event is dedicated to losers. The FBO likes that. Yesterday at the New York City Marathon, along residential streets of Fort Greene, Brooklyn, we saw bands and DJs set up alongside leafy residential streets of Fort Greene to cheer on runners in 'Italy uniforms,' wearing mascots, wigs and regular ol' running gear. Many of the spectators got into the act, holding flags for their national brethren, pom-poms or signs that say things like 'McCurty To the Limit.'

The FBO, thus, is revising its Failed Bands of Oklahoma Panhandle Concert plans as the Failed Bands of Oklahoma Oklahoma Panhandle Marathon Concert. It will start two miles south of Hooker, Oklahoma, head 16 miles southwest into Guymon, then continue 10 more miles to Panhandle State University campus in Goodwell.

Marathon road-side events planned:

Mile 1: Rich Trott & Palace Family Steakhouse
Mile 7: Cinder Biscuits/The Cant
Mile 12: Tall Tales
Mile 16: Soul Shaker
Mile 22: Asylum
Mile 26: Magic Show at Panhandle State University Campus

More photographic evidence of musicians alongside the NYC Marathon:

The marathon is tentatively schedule for mid May.

In other news, the FBO-induced blog 'Loser of the Week' tackles Florida's university naming scheme on BeacherBloggers.com today.

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

Thursday, November 01, 2007

FBO: 'FBO Member #001 Flashback'

TALL TALES made a few videos in its earliest incarnation. This whipsnap -- directed and edited and posted by Jim March 22 Gibbons of Oklahoma City -- dates from the fabled third album Crime in a Bucket (1990).

It starts with a 'slowed down' version (a bit over the top to be honest) of 'Viking,' a song from the TT's first album Tall Tales then goes into 'Hell-Bound & Tied,' a song that was soon discarded from live sets for reasons unknown. The band offers no apologies, even still, for the costume changes.

Other Tall Tales' videos include 'This Song's Not About Love' and 'Ways to Stay' by award-winning Jenks native Mike Lynch, and a hilarious jumpsuit take of 'Suicidal Muppets.'

A video for 'UFO', from the recent album Pot Pie, is in the works.

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

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

FBO: 'Hepburn, Family Banned.. Until Apology Made to State of Oklahoma'

"I think most of the people involved in any art always secretly wonder whether they are really there because they're good -- or because they're lucky."
-- Katharine Hepburn

--> Tssk! --> Hypocrisy!! -->Bullcrap!!!

THROW OUT your DVD copy of The Philadelphia Story, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? and On Golden Pond. Do it now.

Actress Katharine Hepburn (who died in 2003 at 96) hated Oklahoma and Oklahoma failed bands with a schoolgirls' foot-stomping passion, as testified in The New York Times today. A story on notes from her largely failed career in theater included this chestnut:

"If I ever found an Oklahoma car in Connecticut, I would flatten all the tires."

Why? Because driving from Tulsa to Wichita she was pulled over for speeding (which is against the law). A celebrity all her life -- and rich before that -- Hepburn apparently believes she has different rules than anyone else. The police officer involved was called a "moron" to a judge in Blackwell, Oklahoma.

I've been pulled over a few times in Oklahoma. Once was on a drive through the panhandle to New Mexico. I was driving maybe 70 in a 55. The officer was looking at my driver's license when his walkie talkie belted out 'there's a hound lose near the Wilson's.' He politely excused himself, asked me to slow down and let me go.

Kath was fine to protest her ticket (and arrest) if she felt she was justified. But to lash out at Oklahomans -- say a Dust Bowl emigre searching for work -- for her indiscretion is like the FBO BANNING ALL KATHARINE HEPBURN FAMILY MEMBERS FROM USING THIS SITE.


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

Monday, October 29, 2007

FBO: 'What Becomes England the Most?'

The NFL staged the first-ever regular season game out of these continental United States yesterday. The 0-8 Miami Dolphins 'hosted' the New York Giants in a sludgy game where players slipped on the muddy Wembley Stadium pitch as if it were covered in ice. The Giants won 13-10 in an unthrilling game for fans in assorted football jerseys. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the game could have 'sold out nine times over,' based on demand. Perhaps the 26-foot Jason Taylor robot in Trafalgar Square helped.

What disturbed the Failed Bands of Oklahoma is how little the NFL let the game be a 'two-way': the UK getting to watch a NFL game first hand, and NFL viewers seeing more about their friends across the Atlantic. So little of the game was devoted to London -- live shots of a Tube sign, the Parliament building, the Eye (ferris wheel) on the Thames. There were no in-game interviews with accented NFL fans, or clueless locals outside making comical questions about football. Missed opportunity.

Also, Fox, who broadcast the game, accented some of the commercial breaks with 'local flavor,' some songs by English performers. Their soundtrack of choice is generally questionable:

1. Wang Chung, 'Dance Hall Days' * What?
2. Rod Stewart, 'Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?' ** Scot born footballer recorded this in LA.
3. The Jam, 'Start!' ***** shocking choice, very British
4. Madness, 'One Step Beyond' *** The video was so English, but a bit obvious.
5. Warren Zevon, 'Werewolves in London' * Chicagoan, but hey he says London in it
6. Pretenders, 'Middle of the Road' * C Hynde got the band together with Londonies, but she's Ohio all the way.
7. Police, 'Every Little Thing She Does is Magic' ** Remember the video shot in the Caribbean?
8. The Jam, 'Town Called Malice' *****

Huge oversights by the Fox pundits:

1. The Clash, 'London Calling' - It's obvious and very London.
2. The Kinks -- anything.
3. Oasis, 'Wonderwall' -- yes they get mocked, but the Brit attitude and accent is all over it.
4. Sex Pistols, 'God Save the Queen'
5. Paul McCartney 'Mull of Kintyre' or get a deal with him for payola to play new single
6. The Who, 'Substitute'
7. Rolling Stones, 'Under My Thumb' or 'She's Like a Rainbow'

The FBO invites your suggestions for overlooked English/British bands/performers that Fox SHOULD HAVE USED for their game broadcast. The submission will be sent -- with an angry tone -- to Fox in a few days.


In other football-related news, the FBO-inspired blog Loser of the Week at BleacherBloggers.com released a 'guidebook' to determining when to make two-point conversion attempts. See it here.

Failed Bands of Oklahoma
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY

Friday, October 26, 2007

FBO: 'Friday's Thought on Failure'


AT&T's Deepak Seethi believes failure predicates succeess. He says, "If you give people freedom to innovate, the freedom to experiment, the freedom to succeed, then you must also give them the freedom to fail. The organization of tomorrow will demand mistakes and failures. It is only by trying lots of initiatives that we can improve our chances that one of them will be a star."


Read full article here.

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

Thursday, October 25, 2007

FBO: 'Sax Project with The Who'


Following the massive outpouring of interest of the FBO's launch of 'Sax Solo of the Week,' FBO HQ received a call from Kenney Jessejames Jones, ex-drummer of the Who, to collaborate on a single with the Who -- a version of the 1980 classic 'You Better You Bet' with saxophones.

The Failed Bands of Oklahoma triumph such collaborations -- between the highly successful and the unsuccessful. Though the FBO would prefer creating new songs -- as opposed to rehashing the familiar (as with movie sequels, bio-pics and remakes -- all of which are banned by the FBO), but will grant the public a few songs as a 'transition' towards successful/failed collaborations of new, original projects in coming months.

Click below to listen to The Failed Bands of Oklahoma (Featuring the Who)'s version of 'You Better You Bet.'

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

Monday, October 22, 2007

FBO: 'Sax Solo of the Week: True'

Some songs only earn their 99-cent worthiness for the sax solo. The Failed Bands of Oklahoma tribute the best.

New Romantics with aggressively side-parted haircuts, fringed flannel shirts or pastel suits, England's Spandau Ballet were named for Nazi war criminals' jerking bodies after being hanged in Spandau, a Berlin borough. The opening 'uhh huh huh uhh' back-ups of their biggest hit 'True' may very well be the sissiest moment of any of the 'English wimp bands' of the early MTV generation, as Ted Nugent called them.

The protagonist of the song -- which was written by the band's guitarist -- finds it hard to 'write the next line.' And, like Meatloaf's 'I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That'), what exactly IS 'true' is never really said. Most curiously, the singer is 'listening to Marvin (all night long)' and likens the Motown king (Marvin Gaye) to the 'sound of my soul.' That takes guts for a couple stiff musicians with money from England.

Actually there's little soul in a song like this. With overly careful guitar flicks striping the beats like wafts of air-conditioning over the already chilled. The song, however, does make a step forward as the sax comes in, peppering the beat with a patient, faintly Stonesy grace, backed with more unconvincing lite funk guitars and fake orchestration that may have had Lou Reed's 'Walk on the Wild Side' in mind.

The sax solo comes in at the three-minute mark.

Have a listen to FBO's Sax Solo of the Week: Spandau Ballet's award-winning 'True'

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

Thursday, October 18, 2007

FBO: 'Free USA Today mp3 Download of the Week'


FBO fans near Nogales already know the story, but the rest can click the following link to hear the FBO's 76-second USA Today mp3: NTSB Finds Operator Errors in Drone Crash.

Or read the article.

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

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

FBO: 'The City that Hates You (Part One); aka Stern Warning to New York City's Airports for Self-Absorbed Ground Transport Fares'

Seeking out cultural diversions, and trying to garner press coverage for failed bands, has led the Failed Bands of Oklahoma semi-permanent headquarters to be moved to the middle of the media-world: New York City. But press trips, on behalf of failed bands, is starting to add up. And the FBO has sighted the problem: extortionate and unfair ground transport fares to reach NYC's three airports -- JFK and La Guardia in Queens, and particularly in Newark in New Jersey.

No major city on earth charges worse fares to reach their airports than Newark charges New Yorkers to reach its airport.

A dozen miles west of Midtown, the AirTrain link charges $15 per person for the 20-minute trip. It's priced to punish airport goers. If you get off at the station before the airport, it's only $4 one way; if you exit one station after the airport it's $5.50. Clearly the pricing punishes Manhattanites wanting to give a little tax money to their neighbor New Jersey by flying out of Newark.


JFK, the international airport in Jamaica, Queens, is not much better. Until a highly costly 'improvemnent,' of adding an AirTransit train between the airport's eight terminals, it was possible to subway from Manhattan to the airport for $2. Now subway riders -- taking the heart-breaking 75-minute ride to the airport parking lot, must shell out another $5 to transfer to the free airport transport to reach their gate.

Like Moscow, La Guardia -- also in Queens -- has no direct rail/subway link with the airport, despite being closer to Manhattan than any airport!


How does this compare with world airports? Not well. In Tokyo, passengers can make the 40-mile trip to Narita on a Keikyu train for $4. In London, just how on the tube for the 15-mile trip to Heathrow ($8 one way). Paris' commuter train -- the RER -- charges $11.50 for the trip. Moscow's airport is severed from Red Square by any rail/subway links, but you can bus to the nearby subway then subway in for about $5. San Francisco's airport is reached directly by its BART commuter train -- about $5.

Unless New York City revisits this problem, the FBO will consider relocating its semi-permanent headquarters.

FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ

Monday, October 15, 2007

Thursday, October 11, 2007

FBO: 'Offers New Service: USA Today MP3 Downloads'


This week the Failed Bands of Oklahoma (FBO) have launched a new free service for its website: free mp3 downloads of selected USA Today articles to hear on iPods or on car stereos.

The first 'trial' offer is Boeing Delays Delivery of 787, by staff writer Marilyn Adams.

Download the USA Today MP3.

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

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

FBO: 'Working for the Sushi Line'

"Everyone's hoping it'll all work out
Everyone's waiting, they're holding out
---Mike Reno, Loverboy (1980)

FBO member Robert Reid's following theory has been quoted on the blog Killing Batteries:

“I have a theory that all humans are born with the right to live at or above ‘the sushi line,’ meaning you have the means to go and get sushi whenever the desire arises. Not every day. But when the occasion comes up, you don’t have to count pennies. Just go, eat, enjoy, get the green-tea ice cream. Write a poem, relax. Next day ramen will be fine.” --R Reid

To quote Pete Townshend, this is true. Speaking in terms of the USA, but eyeing all nations, no human willing to work 40 hours a week should live under this. Meaning, no human should walk past a sushi place, wide-eyed and full of envy, but not consider going in.

A good sushi meal costs about $50 to $80 per person.

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

Monday, October 08, 2007

FBO: 'Two Heats Beat as One, and Other U2 Songs for the Bolivian Political Heart'

Lost in the news the past few weeks is that thousands of Bolivians are engaged in a tense fight over what city in their country is capital. Currently split, on paper, between La Paz (the world's highest capital; a city of a million in the mountains) and Sucre (the traditional capital, which lost the executive and legislative duties following a civil war in 1899) in the central plains.

Bolivia, one of two South American land-locked countries, also has a navy.

As tempting as it is to laugh at Bolivia's current woes, the situation is potentially serious. According to The New York Times, a million have protested vehemently in La Paz against Sucre's cause to shift everything gradually back from La Paz. And tens of thousands of protestors marched into Sucre, where thousands more engaged in hunger strikes to get the courts (still located in Sucre) to hear their plea. Embedded in the tension is race -- the newby Bolivian president is, famously, an Indian llama herder, and Sucre's mayor depicts him outside his office as a Nazi officer.

The FBO has an idea: follow the Netherlands.

While the Hague is home to the Dutch government, the nation refers to Amsterdam as its capital. It's confusing a bit, but so is Bolivia. Why not allow La Paz to keep the bulk of the government and president and embassies, but uniformly call Sucre the 'capital' (as a sign already reads in its airport 'Welcome to the Capital of Bolivia')? And who says capital = government anyway?

Sucre gets the lone star on the map, La Paz keeps the government function in a cash-poor nation without the means to move suit-and-ties half way across the plains anyway. No one gets hurt, and La Paz can soften the sting by knowing that Sucre will look a bit babyish to many outsiders.

Until the situation simmers down, the FBO cannot consider adopting Sucre, but privately very much wants to.

--> Meanwhile, go HERE to see the FBO-inspired column 'Loser of the Week.'

FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY (the capital of New York City)

Thursday, October 04, 2007

FBO: 'Rock Hall of Fame -- Not Getting It'

Following the FBO's call for certain bands to be included in Cleveland's Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame 2008 list, which farms off induction ceremonies to New York. The list includes Madonna, the Beastie Boys and FBO-endorsed John Mellencamp (thanks for listening to the FBO), as well as Leonard Cohen, Chic (who had about four songs), Afrika Bambaataa, the Ventures (who had about three songs), Donna Summer (who's homophobic and had four songs) and Dave Clark (who had two songs, neither good).

Previously the FBO didn't criticize the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame for missing the most glaring omission of this band, as this year is the first they were elgible to join: SONIC YOUTH, whose first full-length record came out 25 years ago next year.

The 'Sonic Youth sound' -- a mix of dissonant tunings and feedback -- is instantly recognized and has never dated, unlike REM, Madonna or 'Harlem Shuffle.' Of all the bands above, only Madonna or the Boys could be potentially more influential. And none as creative or consistent. No 'alt rock' band worth any merit can't put at least a pie-slice chunk of their due to SY albums like Daydream Nation.

The Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame is banned for the next six months.

They will be contacted.

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

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

FBO: 'Caveman Is/Isn't Funny'

With more sequels coming to movie theaters near you, the FBO HQ was intrigued with the Geico 'Caveman' commercial moved over to an ABC series. That it is rambling at 3mph out of the gate -- and will surely see its expiry date come by week three at the latest -- doesn't take away from the intriguing commercial.


The commercial is brilliant because of the portrayal of the principal ever-miffed caveman by Kansan John Lehr (pictured), AND because of the proxy racism/bigotry/homophobia he endures from self-righteous 'sapes' (homo sapiens) at therapy sessions, apology luncheons or TV forums. Despite his neanderthal make-up, Lehr plays it straight, with world-weary, jaded exasperation. Something missed, it seems, on the ABC series, which debuted an hour ago.

On the show, Lehr is relegated to a cameo role, as squash-player Maurice. Instead the show follows three roommate cavemen who live metrosexual, yuppie lives. One uses Wikipedia to research a dissertation and mocks a cafe for all the 'pretensious losers' there, another buys a Wii to get over a failed relationship and is prone to self-pitying soundtrack of James Blunt. We are invited to laugh at the irony of neanderthals living the hum-drum urban hipster-with-trust-fund life. So far it's not funny. Something is missing.

The ad was funny because it played so well against the political correctness. Similarly, in the beef-jerky Sasquatch commercials running now, 30-year-old friends-since-childhood re-stage practical jokes on the mythical Bigfoot. That they get their come-uppance with slapped fish on the face or a forest-toss is mildly humorous. More so is their initial reaction to finding something different, new, unique, historic -- they mock it. It's immediately fodder for high-fives and pranks.

Though the FBO emphasize with the mocked and overlooked, it cannot endorse the show. Feel free to watch -- it is not banned, but it not adopted either.

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

Monday, October 01, 2007

FBO: 'Loser of the Week'

Something that can be read is here.

Friday, September 28, 2007

FBO: 'Thoughts on Myanmar'


It's tragic watching the peaceful demonstrations in Myanmar turn violent. Turning on CNN, you see diplomats half a world away with carefully worded speeches and carefully combed hairstyles declare 'support' for the peaceful protests. I'm sure that means very little to the locals, scores of which have likely died.

During the FBO visit in 2004, several people in the impoverished country run by a military dictatorship since 1962 spoke of hope. 'George Bush says he supports movements for peace -- if we protest he will come, like he did in Iraq,' one person said. That worried me then, and more so now. You wonder how many people are expecting US to invade in their behalf now that protests are on the streets of Yangon, Mandalay and Sitwe?

Politicians should be careful of the things they promise.

Though it won't happen, there would be more cause to go into Myanmar. Unlike Iraq, there is a democratic party in place, and perhaps 99% of the locals would welcome a new government. After similar demonstrations in 1988 led to a national election, the National League for Democracy won it hands-down. But the military never transferred power. One NLD leader Aung San Suu Ky has been under house arrest for approximately 16 of the past 19 years. A few years ago, they even moved the country to a remote town: a defensive stronghold in the mountains.

Some argue stricter economic sanctions could help. But they can't. The catch is China, who backs the military for economic purposes (Myanmar has oil) and recently blocked a UN measure to basically say 'hey Myanmar, the violence isn't good.'

Getting tough on China (or India and Russia -- both of which are friendly with the Myanmar generals) might be a start.

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

Monday, September 24, 2007

FBO: 'Loser of the Week'

More FBO-specific features are, to quote Queen, coming soon (a song from their award-winning 1980 effort The Game). Meanwhile, have a look at this week's FBO-inspired LOSER OF THE WEEK piece.

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

Thursday, September 20, 2007

FBO: 'FBO-spinoff Blog Finds New Home'


The Failed Bands of Oklahoma are finding more fans outside the realm of bands, failed musicians and symposia in Delaware. A colorful sports blog in New York -- BLEACHER BLOGGERS -- has asked Robert Reid of the Failed Bands of Oklahoma to contribute an FBO-inspired weekly column called "THE LOSER OF THE WEEK," which for the time being focuses on college football. Its debut came last week on these very blog-pages.

The first entry is up today.

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

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

FBO: 'Football Story'

FBO's Robert Reid wrote a 'Touchdown Travel', a five-part story on football for Lonely Planet, including a real-live video (shown below).

Thursday, September 13, 2007

FBO: 'Mobile HQ in Nikolaevsk-na-Amure (Video)'

The white-building featured in this press-garnering trip to Russia's Far East served as the mobile headquarters for the Failed Bands of Oklahoma for several days.

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

Monday, September 10, 2007

FBO: 'Loser of the Week: Navy football'

In line with the FBO creed, the FBO would like to introduce a new weekly feature, 'The Loser of the Week' -- designed to highlight admirable performance and verve during performances that fail.

Last Thursday, the Navy Midshipmen played football at Rutgers and surprised many of the Scarlet Knights with an actual game. Rutgers, presently overrated in the teens of the AP poll, pulled away in the fourth quarter. Not used to winning or ranking (or football, for many of the fans), Rutgers has done a lot to promote its (overrated) running back Ray Rice, by actively campaigning for the Heisman Trophy, given to the year's most outstanding player. A video reel is shown at Times Square, for instance.

When the game was out of reach, Rutgers kept Rice in. He had a hard day versus Navy, fighting for every two or three yard run, which often ended with a golden Navy helmet hitting him in the chest. Particularly towards the end. He was kept in for a last-second meaningless TD to pad his statistics. Navy coach said, "I was hoping he wouldn't get hurt in the last four or five minutes with them up 14 points."

Fans -- apparently clueless that their 'star' runner was needlessly in a physical game -- then booed Navy who, down by 17, called time outs with seconds left to try to get more points. That's losing right.

We applaud Navy for showing no quit, even when the game's over.

Rutgers fans are banned from FBO activities, including use of this website.

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

Friday, September 07, 2007

FBO: 'Promotional Video from Transylvania'

This promo video was shot in June 2006 in Deva, Hunedoara and Sibiel -- three Transylvanian towns with a fondness for music in all its forms.

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

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

FBO: 'September is Video Month!'

FBO Reaches the Black Sea: February 2006

Some Kansan doubters have speculated that the Failed Bands of Oklahoma publicity trips to places like Siberia, Romania, Bulgaria, Mexico, Vietnam and Delaware have been rigged. Not so.

This month, the FBO will roll out short videos documenting publicity work in various locales.

This one-minute short comes from a winter trip to Varna, Bulgaria -- a city fond of its Black Sea coastline, even during in February's snows. Enjoy:

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

Monday, August 27, 2007

FBO: 'Shape Talk'

This November, Oklahoma turns 100. As the state readies itself for an overblown 'gala' in downtown OKC and first capital Guthrie stages little dances and costumed walk-arounds, it's worth looking at how STUPID the United States of America LOOKED during is under-/over-grown days of awkward adolescence...

...which ended when Oklahoma became a state in 1907.

Note this map, circa 1900:

Now focus JUST on the red parts. That's your country a century ago. Can't really brag at international symposia with a shape like that.

(However, if Arizona, New Mexico and Oklahoma -- all US territories at the time -- had broke off to become their own nation, 'Mexican Oklazona,' it would easily be the best nation shape in the world.)

--> The Failed Bands of Oklahoma would like to thank Oklahoma for contributing to the United States of America's more logical shape.

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

Thursday, August 23, 2007

FBO: 'Dissecting Iowa State's New Helmets'

The Iowa State Cyclones, a football team searching out an identity, is bringing back its retro '70s cardinal colors and putting up three options for its 2007 helmets for fans to choose. Neat idea. But then again, looking at the choices, does it really matter? Three iffy choices -- why not see what the fans will like, that way maybe they'll buy more merch and go to games?

Well, we'll play along.

All three helmets go with simple white -- a very retro call in the ever-growing trend toward charcoal, black or ultra-reflective helmets to stress how macho the team is. THE FBO ENDORSES THE DECISION. The three styles are all from the same ilk -- simple gold and cardinal logos with 'ISU,' 'I-State' or a cursive 'Cyclones.' The latter is a no-go. Cursive works only for 'Cal' and 'Ucla' -- Florida's 'Gators' cursive helmet looks like a slow child of the athletic director in 1966 drew it, and Tulsa's cursive 'Tulsa' is a 'Ucla' rip-off. 'I-State' is dumb, so that leaves us with 'ISU.' It's easier to read from a distance and doesn't try to be too cute.

But here's a question, why not 'IS'? Drop the 'U' for university, and go with the new slogan to sell season tickets. 'TO BE OR NOT TO BE A CYCLONE FAN? YOU KNOW YOU IS!' With the 'IS' part using the logo of the helmet.

Another interesting alternative would be to simply write 'TEAM' on the helmet.

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

Monday, August 20, 2007

FBO: 'Is Soccer Ever Going to Hit?'


A decade or so ago, I attended the first-ever MLS game at New Jersey's Meadowlands, where the New York/New Jersey MetroStars -- the worst named team in the history of professional athletics -- hosted the New England Revolution, with that World Cup guy who looked like the lead singer of the Spin Doctors. It was a full crowd, and many Central and South Americans standing atop the backs of seats and jumping in mass with songs and banners. Once the game started, everyone sat to watch in relative silence. American soccer was back! The game that followed, however, was a dreary, sloppy effort, with New England 'winning' 0-1 in the 92nd minute by an own goal by a MetroStar defender. We filed out in numbed shock. American soccer would have to wait.

Attendance this season for the New York Red Bulls -- wearing their sponsor on their jerseys, but wisely dropping the 'New Jersey' from their name -- is averaging 11,000 in massive Giants Stadium. Some teams, like the Columbus Crew (good name, good logo), have created 'soccer-sized stadiums,' with more intimate seats in realistically sized stadiums (say maximum capacity 25,000 rather than 90,000). They seem to understand that soccer will take a while to ever compete with the NBA, NFL or MLB -- and may never compete.

As a representative to the Failed Bands of Oklahoma,
I attended the much-heralded Red Bulls/LA Galaxy game Saturday night
, and for once the Red Bulls needed the seats. Present were 66,000 fans and at least 8000 'Beckham' jerseys on. Beforehand, tailgaters held up 'Arsenal' banners or 'Germany' or 'England' national team banners or wore Brazil soccer jerseys. Three goals lit up the back of the nets in the first ten minutes. The age-old criticism that Americans can't deal with defense-minded sport seem answered. In the end, the home team won huge cheers for a game-winning goal in the 88th minute, 5-4. Beckham said afterward, 'I haven't played in a game like this since I was eight years old.' ESPN said it was the best MLS game in its history.

It was exciting. Too bad no one saw it.

Some observations:

* The bulk of European criticism of Beckham is 'soft play' in the midfield. He lines up for kicks, but does less to contest balls. He certainly wasn't very active on Saturday night, outside goal-assisting crosses and near goal-assisting passes. But it may be because of his injury.
* Merch stands were doing brisk business of $90 -- yes $90 -- Beckham jerseys, yet his corners and free kicks were met with a chorus of boos.
* The $4 hot dog at Giants' Stadium is awful. You have to wait a long time to get fries.
* Why in the world wasn't this game on TV? On every set in the USA? Instead of Little League, NFL pre-season, baseball and boring tennis and golf?
* The 'wave' never died, it just moved to Jersey. Fans had that thing rolling around the stadium most of the game.

Meanwhile, willMLS's multi-million dollar gamble that Beckham's star power -- and he looks a little like a cross of Brett Favre and Sting -- can bring the masses to soccer. His lingering ankle injury has unfortunately kept him from playing in the all-important window of summer when baseball's daily dose didn't matter much and football hadn't started. That's now over. But play of his team and opponents seem to be rising to the occasion when he steps onto the field. When he visited the NY Yankee lockerroom in Toronto, one Yankee said 'He just has this aura about him.' Maybe it can work?

But you have to wonder about the MLS. Last year, during the World Cup, the MLS ran a mere four ads during the multi-week event, missing the chance for exposure when people cared about the sport. This year, the MLS should do WHATEVER IT TAKES to get every Beckham game on TV across America for the rest of the season.

If there's another game like the 5-4 one Saturday night, then America might finally have the soccer it's been waiting for.

A Beckham corner:

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

Thursday, August 16, 2007

FBO: 'Updated Adopted Zones Map'

For those keeping track -- or making t-shirts -- of the Failed Bands of Oklahoma's ever-growing/diminishing map of Adopted Zones, here is the latest following the highly successful symposium with North & East Delaware.

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

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

FBO: 'Get a Good Mattress'

If you think about it, we spend about 40% of our lives on our mattress. If you have 35 more years, that's 14 years total -- on that dumpy mattress of yours. Back problems aside, there's plain comfort. The FBO believes in not skimping when it comes to mattress purchase.

Here are some tips:

* Lots of different mattress companies create the same thing, using slightly different variations of coil spring and pillow-top features, and 'plush' and 'ultra plush' and 'firm cushion' names -- all to confuse you, don't worry too much: just pick what's comfortable
* Don't buy a mattress on the Internet, only try one out in person
* When you try one out, lie down on the mattress for 15 minutes in the position you normally sleep
* Expect to spent $1000 to $1500, maybe more. Too much? If you're going to spend 14 years on it, that works out to $1.37 per week of use in 14 years (if you spend $1000).

Looking out for the welfare of failed bands and fans of failed bands,

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

Thursday, August 09, 2007

FBO: 'The Delaware Trilogy (Part III): Cancelled'

The FBO regrets to announce that the third part of the Delaware Trilogy, concocted after a wildly successful North & East Delaware/Failed Bands of Oklahoma cultural symposium a week ago, has been cancelled.


Originally plans for the third, and final, installment of the trilogy was a three-part play entitled 'REVERANCE FOR THE RODNEY RIDE.' The wart-faced hero of Delaware is a legend in the 'first state,' though largely unknown once you cross the Delaware River. Delaware's commemorative quarter features Caesar riding on his horse -- to Philadelphia, in a frenzy, to sign the Declaration of Independence. Statues and testimonials of Mr Rodney's achievement -- without him, it's possible, Delaware wouldn't even be the 'first state'-- are everywhere in Delaware.

The FBO finds it curious that his ride to Philadelphia is so concretely linked with his horse. Surely his penmanship, his conviction are more important? Do we celebrate an Indianapolis Colts Super Bowl victory by waving flags showing the likeness of the team bus? No. But one wonders if it isn't in response to the popularity and lore and legend Massachusetts resident Paul Revere has received for his, likely exaggerated, ride to warn 'the British are coming, the British are coming!' in the wake of the Revolutionary War. 'Hey,' Delawarean historians seem to say, but a bit too late, 'We rode a horse quick too!'

The three-part play would explore the relationship between these two men, much of it would be fictional. The play -- and resultant film -- would star Will Arnett as Paul Revere and Will Ferrell as Caesar Rodney, who'd cry at one pitiful public soliloquy, 'But I rode a horse, I rode a horse too!'

After careful consideration, and discussions heard at the symposium, the FBO now considers Rodney's frantic horse ride made with US independence in mind,as more historically important than that 'Masshole' Paul Revere's. It also happened first. Hence:

--> The FBO bans Paul Revere re-enactors -- and descendants -- from using this site.

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

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

FBO: 'San Francisco Band Needs Help Naming Record'

San Francisco's TENDER FEW -- a band featuring previously failed musicians -- is making a record. And needs help naming it.

Please, if you have time, take a look at their plea.

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

Monday, August 06, 2007

FBO: 'Will Attempt to Procure the Turtle'

Philip Duke Riley -- called a 'Brooklyn art boob' by today's New York Post, and a 'Sub Moron' by that paper this weekend -- created a wooden replica of a Revolutionary War 'submarine' called the 'Turtle.' Last Friday he floated it in the East River -- he had no means to 'drive it' on his own. The NY Times said it drifted by condoms and dead rats. His goal: the Queen Elizabeth 2 ship, where he wanted to get a photograph of himself drinking a beer next to it. He was detained by terror-alert authorities and his submarine hauled away. One policeman laughed, 'I don't know what we are going to do with it.'

The FBO does not know if this is actually 'art,' as Riley maintains. But the FBO likes the effort.

ACTION POINT: The FBO will contact authorities about purchasing the submarine...

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

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

FBO: 'The Delaware Trilogy (Part II)'


There are at least half a dozen reasons why one should spend a good hour looking at the following state shape, and stop, and consider, and reflect. Please do so:

For the moment the FBO is interested in just one aspect: EAST DELAWARE (shown in orange), which was the destination of a short field-trip as part of the recent NORTH & EAST DELAWARE/FAILED BANDS OF OKLAHOMA INAUGURAL TWO-DAY SYMPOSIUM.

In the years before Delaware became a state -- the first state -- the Duke of York and Will Penn grew a hatred for each other that transcends the irrational, normally reserved for SEC football fans. Much of their hatred was over the patch of land that is now Delaware. Designed as a 17th-century yielding of land as defined by a 12-mile arc around New Castle, including up to the opposite bank of the Delaware River in today's New Jersey. By 'accident' it includes this peninsular bit of land that lies both west of the east opposite bank of the Delaware River, yet on New Jersey 'mainland soil.' New Jersey has never been happy about it -- the most recent legislation to claim East Delaware dates from 2006.

FBO Representative visited. A New Jersey man with a ponytail and a fist-broken nose pumped gas and fielded a few questions, including the following:

FBO: I hear there's a piece of land near here that's actually part of Delaware?
NJ MAN: Yeah, whatever.

The area is guarded, so to speak, by New Jersey's Fort Mott State Park, a non-uninteresting, largely neglected state park with fortifications facing the water, and a pier that -- if the 12-Mile Arc is to be adhered to stricly -- should technically be in Delaware. Just north of the state park is Finn's Point National Cemetery, a walled compound with a memorial for 2400 Confederate soldiers who perished at nearby Fort Delaware during the Civil War.

A caretaker, carefully planting Confederate flags at the memorial ('today is Garrison Day,' he explained), noted that the wall that rimmed the cemetery -- which also includes a handful of German POWs from WWII -- is actually the border with Delaware.

NJ MAN2: We have an agreement with Delaware that New Jersey polices it -- easier that way.
FBO: What do they police?
NJ MAN2: Not much. Some locals like to go out and drink beer. Other than that, there's nothing there.
FBO: Think New Jersey will ever claim it?
NJ MAN2: No. Doesn't matter. That's just politicians talk.

FBO Fan Rich Trott has proposed East Delaware be the site of an upcoming FBO Performance -- perhaps the sequel to the Panhandle Show. Meanwhile the FBO adopts East Delaware.

Photographic evidence of the East Delaware/FBO Symposium:

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