Wednesday, May 30, 2007

FBO: 'In Anguish, Postpones FBO Panhandle Concert; In Hope, FBO Publicity Tour Kicks Off'

Due to a variety of reasons -- including lack of commitments from FBO's Top Fan as well as all FBO members -- the Panhandle Concert (previously scheduled for this October) has been postponed. 'The possibility of a panhandle show seems a bit diminished,' said Robert Reid Wednesday at a multi-tasking conference that also announced the start of a 'publicity tour' of the FBO in the Socialist Democratic Republic of Vietnam.

FBO will be touting its efforts -- and trying to garner press coverage for failed bands -- beginning in Hanoi on Friday, and then around the country.

Check back here for updates from the Vietnam tour.

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

Saturday, May 26, 2007

FBO: 'Keith Richards' Performance'

How hard is it to make a good pirate movie, one wonders? With reluctance and a sense of being schmazzled by a timeshare pusher, FBO Admin broke the FBO ban of sequels and remakes to 'take in' Keith Richards' acting stint in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.

The movie, needlessly complex and needless near three hours in length, brought in side stories and curses and supernatural crews throughout the trilogy -- I couldn't be bothered to care when I didn't exactly follow a story line. (It would be a lot better if the pirates didn't constantly die and come back to life, or ride in ghost ships... Where's a movie about real pirates, we must still ask?) The reason we're here is to see a big-screen version of the 'yo ho ho' ride from Disney World, and to see Jack Sparrow: Johnny Depp's best character, even if it is in one of his worst movies.

Looming late in the film (like the inevitable Kurtz figure perhaps), Keith -- who plays 'Mr Teague' and the knife-throwing keeper of the 'code' -- finally appears to bring in the huge codex book to settle a pirate dispute, shows Johnny the shrunken head of his mother, strums an acoustic till he breaks a string as pirates seem to forget the code again. In a memorable line, he says to Depp (his son in the film), 'It's not about how to live forever, but how to live with yourself.' Or something. He didn't exaggerate expressions to make a point, or smirk at the irony of his inclusion. Actually he seemed natural on screen (far more so than Mick Jagger -- who never seems comfortable in his skin unless he sees the 100,000 sets of eyes watching him). Depp, apparently, called him 'two-take Keith' on set, as he got everything quick. In the end, we all wanted more Keith. And it's too bad they didn't figure out a way to get him in there more.

Ratings (out of five peg legs):

The movie: one peg leg
Johnny Depp: four peg legs
Keith Richards: four peg legs

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

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

FBO: 'Soccer's Case for US Hearts?'

The UEFA Champions Cup played today in Athens, with a relatively unsatisfying 2-1 victory of AC Milan over Liverpool. The FBO, who noted the flaws of the World Cup coverage last year (see here), would like to comment:

Last year the biggest loser of the 2006 World Cup was the USA's struggling MLS soccer league, who only piggybacked on the big event with a sparing ad or two. This year, following FBO's advice last year (July 11), the MLS ran ads during the Champions Cup halftime period. Good thinking, guys. Even if it's a year late.

The FBO could get into trouble for this, but it's hard to refute that Italy, taken generally, may have the most racist soccer fans in the world. Who can forget the Nazi swastika signs and 'monkey' banners shown to opposing black players in recent years*? Hoping for a small sense of justice, the FBO rooted against Italy in the World Cup -- though Italy got a phantom penalty kick to beat Australia, and beat France on penalty kicks in the final to win. Similarly this year, AC Milan -- enveloped in a match-fixing scandal last year -- shook off a potential inelgibility in this year's Champion Cup to win it. We know the players aren't guilty (though should solve it; see *), but is there really any justice in sports?

AC Milan's first goal bounced off a shoulder -- generally considered 'hands.' In the final minutes, with Liverpool vainly trying to rally for an equalizing goal, the refs announced three minutes of stoppage time, then called the game -- after at least 60 seconds of bonus time stopped for injury, substitutions -- after only 2:45 played. Come again? At least a minute remains unplayed. One wonders if Liverpool would've cashed in if the legitimate time had played on.

The FBO remains a huge barracker of soccer/football as a sport, but it's sad that two of the biggest displays to woo American audiences have been blemished a bit. Maybe the MLS -- with Beckham around the corner -- will do the trick.

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

* The Full-Proof FBO Plan to Stop Racist Fans: Want these displays to stop? It can be done in 20 minutes. Arsenal/France player Thierry Henry started an awareness campaign on this -- putting the burden on fellow fans -- which is nice and applaudable, but can never work. Let the players solve it. Any home game where racist displays or chants are evident, have the home team forfeit. Simple as that. That'll get the good fans ONTO the bad ones quickly. Games CANNOT and should never be played with displays like the one pictured above (at a game in Italy).

Monday, May 21, 2007

FBO: 'Seeks Fun at No Fun'


The New York Times ventured to Brooklyn's noise-music No Fun Festival this weekend and peppered Monday readers with apt descriptions of the four days of electronic-induced feedback as 'resembling the roar of pummeling surf from an underwater perspective' and 'relentless hissing sludge.' FBO Admin, invited by FBO #2 Fan Tom C-- of Connecticut, attended the opening on Thursday and continues the report to Failed Bands of Oklahoma fans.

Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon, playing with the Boredoms' drummer Yoshimi, had by far the most conventional set -- three improvised songs, with odd chords and moaned vocals lines, even touching on MoJo R-- with 'this is the end my friend' at the end. The rest of it -- including the 40-minute screeching end of monotonous feedback by 'Pain Jerk', a guy who looked like the lead guitarist of Cinderella circa 1987 and who had a guy pointing to him onstage, occasionally flipping off the crowd with both hands -- was a little noiser.

What caught FBO's eye is the pumping middle fingers and 'devil signs' -- a la Ronnie James Dio -- that saluted the three-piece Hair Police, a band of questionable haircuts and displaced rage, with a Jack Black-bodied bass player furiously yelling repeated words with fist pumps at odds with the screeching, nearly formless music. What drives us to acknowledge the devil, or our heavy metal hearts, with something distorted or unexplainable happens? Anyway, it wasn't bad.

Earlier, Hive Mind + Damion Romero played a low, 20-minute buzz, their faces barely visible between long locks of black hair and two large devices that looked, afar, like a 1950s operators' switchboard. On occasion, the guy with the longer hair and a beard rocked his head backward and took long, well-deserved sips from a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon that set atop the device. That was good. Something to look at.

Outside, in a common area in the back, a seated woman -- a local in the gritty waterfront neighborhood with limited public transport --- asked 20-somethings (mostly) to get off the exit ramp ('stay off the ramp, honey'), and flirters and 'noise nerds' (to quote Kim Gordon) ate sausages, drank beer and flirted between sets by the basement CD/tape/record displays below. The ID checker up front noted Tom C-- and I were both part of the '68 club' (born in 1968), as he was. After the show, they ushered people to the van to get to the 'train.'


Reporting from Red Hook, our civic duty fulfilled.

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

Thursday, May 17, 2007

FBO: 'Billy Squier Begins the Begin'


Whilst living in London, this American occasionally got a ribbing at how much better British pop and rock stands up against American pop and rock. If you think about it, they have a point -- many many many of the biggies in this world (Beatles, Stones, Zeppelin, Who, Clash, Duran Duran, Wings, Adam Ant) are from the northerly isles off France. The USA has Velvet Underground, Dylan, the Ramones and the Outfield, and not a whole lot more than can stack up with the legends of All Time.

In the post-punk '80s, we may recall, the great race for respectability and un-solo-ed anthems set out between Ireland's U2 and Georgia's REM, with it too close to call by the time REM went major and jumped from IRS records to Warner Brothers. Then it all fell apart. REM's last two decades -- basically anything since 'Document' other than a few non-singles from 'Green' and maybe 'Lost My Religion' or throw-away 'Me in Honey' -- ranks up with the Stones' last couple decades for longest span of time with the least-inspired music. REM joined the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame this year, but they've flat-out sucked for a very very long time. U2 meanwhile has risen, with at least a single worth hearing every couple years.

Is the fight over?

No, says Billy Squier apparently. In yesterday's New York Times, the priceless story came out that fellow residents of the lux San Remo in Manhattan's Upper West Side are fighting over smoke rising from a handful of fireplaces in the building onto Bono's private terrace, where he and and his family occasionally drop water balloons -- Willis and Arnold-style -- onto sidewalk passerby way below.

Apparently fireplace-havers -- which include Billy Squier -- don't believe the smoke is entering Bono's living quarters. Bono does. The FBO is neutral on the fight here, but does have an issue with the New York Time writer who says Billy hasn't had a hit since 1984's 'Rock Me Tonight.' Who can forget the synth-spiked 'rocker' 'Don't Say You Love Me' from 1986, with the refrain 'don't say you love me, just say...HUHHHHH'?

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

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

FBO: 'Non-Failed Band Records Album'

San Francisco's TENDER FEW -- featuring members of failed bands, including Robert Reid of Tall Tales, and Chip Dalby of Censored and TW-in-87 -- are busy finishing up a three-year project for a still-unnamed, dozen-tracked LP. FBO's 'Top Fan' -- Richard Jessejamese Trott -- previously played bass and Cars-like synth with the T-Few. The T-Few have considered playing the Oklahoma panhandle as part of a FBO performance. Be ready for the album, out this September.

See Rich Turgeon's drum-technician skills at
Hear a song at

FBO Admin
Mobile HQ -- San Francisco, California

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

FBO: 'Celebrating Global Warming & the Beatles (III)'

This is the third installment of a three- or four-part series of the FBO ‘celebrating global warming’ by listening to the Beatles and Wings...


1) If you could have one Paul McCartney Beatles song, what would it be?
FBO believes many of Paul McCartney's songs are way overrated -- eg 'Let it Be' -- but enjoys several. If we at FBO HQ could have one, we'd go with 'Back in the USSR' -- about as subversive of a song that banged Paul ever dared. Borrowing (slightly dated already at the time) Beach Boys melodies -- and a Chuck Berry title ('Back in the USA') -- Paul puts it inexplicably in the Soviet bloc.

2) If you could have one Wings song, what would it be?

Guns'n'Roses already ruined 'Live and Let Die' -- not the best anyway -- and taking 'Band in the Run' would leave little Wings with very little. So FBO Admin goes, less damaging, with 'With a Little Luck.' In the FBO version, it'd be shortened to about three-and-a-half minutes, but keep the sissy synth all over it.

3) If you could have one John Lennon Beatles song, what would it be?
Here decisions are tougher. Many of the classics -- 'A Day in the Life,' 'In My Life,' even 'Come Together' -- are too firmly stuck in Beatlesness to be culled. Altruistically, FBO plucks the less-assuming 'I'm So Tired' from the so-called 'White Album.' It's 2:05 and goes from soft verses to explosive chorus in a Pixies-like flash.

4) If you could have one John Lennon solo song, what would it be?

'Mother' is the best -- a skeletal version of a song, with piano chords atop steady drums by Ringo and a little bass, is perfect for John's melodic 'I-I-I-I's and primal therapy that ends it (I might argue it's better than any Beatles song). But there's no way the song could be taken from him. Similarly songs like 'Cold Turkey' is too personal (he introduces the eight-minute version live: 'this song is about pain' and ends with minutes of screaming). Hokey, rousing 'Freeda People' -- from 'Mind Games' -- is tempting, but we'll go with 'Nobody Told Me There'd Be Days Like These, Strange Days Indeed, Most Peculiar Mama' -- it's not that good, and considering it didn't come out till after his death, taking it won't dent his solo career.

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

Monday, May 07, 2007

FBO: 'Hominy Indians World Champs of 1927'

This week author Sally Jenkins is releasing a new book called The Real All-Americans: The Team That Changed a Game, A People, A Nation -- about the Carlise Indian college, in Pennsylvania, where Jim Thorpe studied and all-Indian football teams regularly pummelled the top Ivy-league schools on the gridiron pitch of the day. This was surprising to many, as the players had no football experience and rarely broke 150 pounds. The team used reverses and misdirections and long passes to trick opponents. In a 1903 Harvard game, one player snuck the ball in an inside pocket of his jersey and raced undetected down the sideline. By 1912, the New York Times callled Carlisle 'the most perfect brand of football ever seen in America.'

Things changed by December 26, 1927 though. That year, the 'world champion' New York Giants visited Oklahoma and played the Hominy Indians -- a team led of players of various tribes, including the great John Levi, who Jim Thorpe called 'the best athlete' he'd ever seen. Playing in Pawhuska, Hominy won 13-7.

There was talk of the Indians moving to Tulsa and joining the NFL, but -- alas -- the Great Depression soon slowed down the football crazy of the '20s, and the team folded in 1932.

Carlisle never beat an NFL team. Only Hominy did.

Get a PDF of a 1967 Oklahoma Today article by Arthur Shoemaker on the Indians.

--> The FBO salutes the Hominy Indians

FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ

Friday, May 04, 2007

FBO: 'Support for Theorem Rampant in Golden State'

You catch the Golden State game? FBO's theory that people do NOT necessarily like underdogs, but only underdogs who win, was backed up in a star-fangled furor last night, as non-North Californian stars poured into the likely win for Golden State over Dallas. Snoop Dogg -- who has cheered on USC and the Lakers in the past -- came upstate for court-side seats, as did Texan-born expats Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson, plus SoCal's own Kate Hudson. Bandwagoning in sport has never seen such a shameless display.

The FBO is, nevertheless, happy about Golden State's series win over the NBA's best team of the regular season. But the FBO has always been a Golden State fan. Why?

--> Because Golden State is the only pro team not named for a city, state or region. It's named for a nickname.

This is worth noting. Can you imagine the NY Giants changing their name to the Empire State Cougars? The Steelers becoming the Keystone State Bulldogs? The KC Chiefs becoming the Show-Me State Riddlers?

The FBO also applauds Golden State for its baffling throw-back jersey -- the retro uniform emblazoned with 'The City' from the team's days in San Francisco. This is priceless for a variety of reasons -- the tenacity of San Francisco calling itself 'THE City' is super, not to mention a team named for a STATE nickname calling itself 'The CITY.' And, Golden State, we support you.

But we were supporting you when you were losing. Let's see how many stars are on your sideline if and when you're down 0-3 against Houston or Utah or Phoenix or San Antonio or Detroit and playing to avoid elimination... We, and the Temps, wish we could be there.

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