Friday, February 29, 2008

FBO: 'Releases Second Promotional Video for FBO Show in the Panhandle this July'


It's February 29! And to celebrate a date that comes only once every four years -- that's twice less often than an Olympics game -- the FBO is happy to provide a video, conceptualized as a 'pep rally' towards the oncoming show in the panhandle:


Guymon is the new phase, new stage
For all the Oklahoma bands that sadly failed
Gonna garner us press
Make props, no less
FBO flags will fly across the state

An accountant in Tulsa was laughing at our site
Said 'it's just pathetic' to see the failed with plight
And the OK Gazette
Said 'no chance,' yet
Here we are banded, not swayed by their slight

The first promotional video was released on February 8.

We remind readers that the FBO is a collective of, presently, four failed bands -- Tall Tales, Soul Shaker, Asylum and the Cant/Cinderbiscuits. In our two years, we've created an FBO-sponsored three-song 'fake live' EP -- Tall Tales' LIVE IN OKLAHOMA -- and scheduled/cancelled a failed-bands show in the first geographical adoption of the FBO: the Oklahoma Panhandle.

It's tentatively scheduled for July 14, 2008. We hope the show will include all four bands, plus Top Fan Rich Trott's San Francisco wonder -- The Palace Family Steakhouse -- as well as a failed magician.

If you know any failed bands, let us know.

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

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

FBO: 'Photo Corner: The World's Newest City'

The Failed Bands of Oklahoma took these photos on a recent trip to Myanmar's new, in-progress capital city Nay Pyi Taw. Very very few outsiders have visited this city, founded in 2005 by the military junta that runs the country. Unlike the rest of the country, electricity runs all hours, for its eight-lane highways with pedestrians walking great distances. Some of the housing areas are only 10% full, of the shopping zone, only five of 183 shops are in use.

Monday, February 25, 2008

FBO: 'Bans Charles Schwab'

Everyone knows this truth of life: a blockbuster movie that fails in all the wrong blockbuster ways is far LESS offensive than an 'art-house movie' that fails in smaller, more smug ways -- like overly didactic messages, overly written scenes, or too-cute soundtracks and sets.

With this in mind...


Their 'Talk to Chuck' campaign has bugged us since it began in September 2005. The 30-second commercials feature the same rotoscoping animation technique from Richard Linklater's films Waking Life or A Scanner Darkly and Ah Ha's 'Take On Me' video.

But it's not the animation that gets us.

Chuck Schwab has long fancied itself as the upstart, 'irreverent' -- to use an overused word that never means what it claims -- financial services corporations, whose ads campaigns in this past have used humor to take shots at the big-boy brokers like Morgan Stanley and the like. They switched to these ads, featuring talking heads of -- to use Schwab's website's words -- 'pain points' of individual investors who are upset with the rhetoric at other companies.

But their subjects -- unlikeable, dismissive, outright angry, and most importantly more occupied by day-to-day tasks (getting meats at a deli, playing golf, barbecuing imported Argentine steaks in their backyard). They may be upset at other broker companies, but it feels like THEY DON'T LIKE US!

They are also rich. Schwab's target audience, per their website, is 35 to 45-year-olds with $100,000 to invest -- not exactly the click you end up talking with much at the company picnic.

Why ban it? For improper marketing technique.

In each ad, it feels like the character is as dismissive with us (the viewer) as Schwab's hidden competition. They use an artful technique, perhaps to be hip and modern, perhaps to keep the focus on what they're SAYING some have unsatisfactorily argued.

Per a USA Today article, Chuck Schwab vice president of brand strategy/advertising (for the time period) Ben Stuart, explains the ads are about 'being candid and real.' The ads try to tell investors, he claims, 'you can talk, and we're here to listen.'

Then why the disdain towards us?

For his credit, the animator Bob Sabiston (who worked on Linklater's films) isn't 100% happy with it. He told USA Today 'I hate ads, but I owed my artists employment.'

Let's keep it clean, Chuck.

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

Friday, February 22, 2008

FBO: 'Panhandle News from Melnik, Bulgaria'

This message about the panhandle was recorded during an FBO press trip to Bulgaria in 2006. The music featured is from Central Iowa's 'Roze Band.' The song, a new FBO theme, will be covered by The Cant/Cinderbiscuits at the 'panhandle show' on July 14.

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

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

FBO: 'Adopts Quit Members of Central Iowa's Thunder Teaz'


Critics doubt the merit of linking musical bands -- be they failed or non-failed -- with regions. One only has to look at the wonderful site STARS 4 IOWA, devoted to 'Central Iowa Bands,' to find compelling back up.


Whilst on a scouting trip for the feasibility of the Failed Bands of Oklahoma project in 2001, and simultaneously researching an (ultimately failed) project on heavy metal bands of the Central Time Zone, I stopped in Des Moines for a couple days, had some tasty tacos at a place called Tasty Tacos, and dropped by the only state capitol in the country to smell like fried chicken. I also made a call to Randy Van Hosen, leader of Des Moines' non-failed band THE ROZE BAND (listed on the site above), whom I had read about online previously. I spoke with Randy for an hour about their band, a heavy metalish band that has been playing over 20 years, and about what it was like when Ozzy bit off the head of a bat in Des Moines. 'I was there. We thought it was fake.'

Another band featured on our newly adopted site is THUNDER TEAZ, which includes a lengthy page of past members who've left the band.


Previous members have left the band to become a pro golfer, computer software designer, a printer, a comic book artist, satellite dish sales, a chef, a Burlington Coat Factory clerk, a youth minister. Note that Kelly Starrett, an ex-member and founder of Monkey Finger, is a lead-singing drummer 'performing all over the rural areas of Iowa.'

All present members of Thunder Teaz have nicknames including Axe Man, Master of the Stratocaster, Seven, and Murftone.

The FBO applauds the state of Iowa's efforts -- compiling lists of quit members, grouping non-failed bands with a regional identity, performing rural areas (and snubbing urban ones) -- and will be looking ways to work with Iowa and Iowan bands in the future.

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

Monday, February 18, 2008

FBO: 'Multiple Bans Regarding Nostalgic Auto Race Enthusiasts'


Yesterday Ryan 'I Love FLA' Newman won the 2008 Daytona 500, aka the 'Great American Race.' Pre-race hype likened the event to the 'Super Bowl of auto racing.' The FBO has neutral feelings towards the 'sport,' but would like to point out that the Daytona 500, or Indy 500, or whatever race you can think of, has serious competition with a certain, overblown 100-year-old race known as the 'Greatest Auto Race on Earth.' This 22,000-mile race lasted 169 days in a trans-global, testo-and-gas-fuelled crusade from New York, through Siberia, to Paris.


In this week's predictably over-exaggerated praise of an event that featured a half-dozen auto-makers trying to show off their products, it should be noted that the winner -- the American Thomas Flyer -- finished second in real time, then won in a technicality. (The Germans cheated.)

What offends FBO and FBO fans is the snub the Thomas Flyer gave towards the USA's new state, Oklahoma. Oklahoma became the 46th state three months before the race set off -- yet the car (crossing winter roadways with no windshield or top) carried a 45-star flag the whole way.

--> Please take a moment to compare the differences between the 45-star flag (above left) with the 46-star flag (above right).

It's been explained, rather unconvincingly, that the Automobile Association of America provided the flag and copies of the new 46-star flags 'were not yet available.' Come again? It takes 90 days to make a flag? Talk to Ross about it, geniuses. Purportedly, Betsy Ross needed a month at the most to make hers. BY HAND. One website explains: "According to Betsy Ross's dates and sequence of events, in May [1776] the Congressional Committee called upon her at her shop. She finished the flag either in late May or early June 1776."

--> It should be noted that Betsy lost TWO husbands during the Revolutionary War!? And that New Jersian Francis Hopkinson -- who had invoices to prove the point -- maintains he created the first US flag! More on this key issue, and a possible Betsy Ross ban, to come...

As the centennial moment of the race start-date -- Feb 12, 1908 -- came this week, overly piano-syruped, self-congratulatory reports showered on an automobile-centric nation. Note the video below when Kerrie Long, the video's producer, says 'Man, machine, geography, distance, time - had all come together in this one terrific story.' Terrific as in bigoted, disrespectful and non-inclusive? Nice try Kerrie.


Meanwhile, the National Automobile Museum in Reno, Nevada, is celebrating the event with their ongoing exhibit through January 2009.


Read about the event in the New York Times, whose author Jerry Garrett neglects to mention that the 45-star flag snubs Oklahoma.


Lastly, online gift shops -- and surely the Reno museum -- are selling copies of the Thomas Flyer as a memorabilia keepsake. For $120! The description proudly touts -- without mention of Oklahoma -- that it flies a 45-star flag. See it here.


The FBO awaits apologies and explanations from key figures in this anti-Oklahoma celebration. Moreover the FBO holds out hope for a nation and world where everyone treats each others equally. With respect, people!

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

Friday, February 15, 2008

FBO: 'It's Panhandle Day (at the Capitol)!'

The (tentative) date of the FBO's show in Guymon, Oklahoma, on July 14 is coming soon. But the FBO encourages its Oklahoma City-based members and fans to get a 'head start' in its cultural exchange with the folks of Oklahoma's western-most extremity, by joining a visiting group from Guymon at the PANHANDLE DAY AT THE CAPITOL, in Oklahoma City February 24 and 25.

Members of the Guymon Chamber of Commerce and the Guymon branch of Leadership Oklahoma have staged this two-day 'Panhandle Day' event for 16 years to "demonstrate their appreciation for members of the Oklahoma State Legislature."

Lt Governor Jari Askins will be speaking at the Senate/House Champbers at 1:30pm on Feb 25. (Apparently she likes children and the elderly -- see video below.)

Dinner at Bricktown Brewery on Feb 24 is $16 per plate, lunch at Faculty House is $12 per plate, dinner at Woodward is $14 per plate.

VOLUNTEERING OPPORTUNITY: FBO needs a representative to attend the 'Panhandle Day' speech in Oklahoma City on Feb 24. Would like someone to shake a few hands, get Guymon info, take photos of the event and see about potential venues for the after-show party in Guymon.

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

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

FBO: 'Contemplating a Roughneck Adoption'


The Southern Hemisphere's Supermercado Project (blog) has painstakingly made sense of the best and worst sports logos of all time this week. Though the Tulsa Roughnecks made the worst-logo list, if you look at it again, it's easy to see where the SupPro is coming from. The FBO adopts this post.

One thing the NASL -- the North American Soccer League -- got right in the late 1970s that the MSL seems to miss on is how propaganda can help sell tickets. When the Roughnecks surprisingly showed up in Tulsa -- guys with long hair and accents -- the kids paid attention. I was at Stevenson Elementary when one player in uniform and a coach showed up at school to plug the game. Soon our first grade in a small school had TWO teams' worth of players (the Dallas Cowboy Tornadoes, and the Detroit Lions Hurricanes). I played for the latter, which was doomed from the start. You only have to look at the name -- Hurricanes -- to see this was made of the leftovers. Tornadoes tear up the region, the last hurricane to hit Oklahoma was when prehistoric seas ebbed south from Canada into present-day Kansas. How about Pirates?, as we were a Stevenson team? I played fullback where the worst kids were sent. I remember once in Bixby swatting a ball with my hand in front of the goal; they scored on the penalty kick.

The Roughnecks played at the University of Tulsa's Skelly Stadium from 1978 to 1984, winning the Soccer Bowl against Toronto in Vancouver in their second-to-last season. I like the beauty of championship to bankruptcy over a single year. Most of our games there was spent sliding down the hill on refrigerator boxes that someone had been wise enough to bring. Then we did laps around the outside of the stadium. I don't recall seeing a goal ever made.

Two goals:

The FBO is considering adopting the Roughnecks.

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

Monday, February 11, 2008

FBO: 'What's So Funny about Creating a Weekly Schedule?'



Shea Stadium would hold about as much nostalgia to New Yorkers as a cleaned-up garbage heap if the Beatles hadn't played a horrible show at the Queens ballpark in 1965. As the Baseball Mets get ready for their last season at Shea (a new stadium, with a new corporate name, is being built next door: Citi Field), Bronx-born Billy Joel put on a non-Bronx Bomber hat and decided to play the last show ever there, called 'From Beatles to Billy,' on July 16 -- just two days after the FBO will tentatively play its show in the Oklahoma panhandle. From the Beatles to Billy? Really? When I first heard it, I though 'cool, Billy Idol's back,' but then all things went sour.

Mr Joel has done this sort of deal before. In the late days of the Soviet Union, Billy impressed himself with shows in Moscow in 1987 -- apparently kicking over a keyboard over a lighting issue in a nation not used to real rock concerts, and more used to censorship -- and finished up the shows with a cover of the Beatles' 'Back in the USSR.'

His misdirected tension may have an explanation: false sense of worth. Mr Joel -- who has maimed trees all over Long Island with his drunken escapades behind the wheel -- has been bitter ever since MTV revealed what a chump the Dylan-wannabe is (see him dodge his discomfort with videos). Though we applaud his laughable 'We Didn't Start the Fire' -- a riff on Dylan's 'Subterranean Homesick Blues' and REM's 'It's the End of the World' -- it's hard to stomach the man himself. He has increasingly grown furious over why anthems, like the oversung and overwritten 'Scenes from an Italian Restaurant' ('a bottle of red, a bottle of white-uh, whatever suits your ap--pe--tite'), didn't automatically qualify him for critic love.

His '80s-and-on strategy has been clear: link himself with greater artists so their iconic legend will rub off -- like it did for Tomothy Petty when he buddied up with George Harrison and Bob Dylan in the late '80s. In the Russian broadcast of his Moscow show, note how Mr Joel added George Gershwin (a la critically loved Woody Allen's score in 'Manhattan'). Then see how Mr Joel earnestly links himself with the Beatles and the Stones in a priceless 1986 video at the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame (go to the 3:15 mark). Later, Mr Joel toured with Elton John to ebb up both of their sagging, post-80s careers. It worked. Nationwide sheep fans bought in, but we didn't. And we aren't now.

This July, the FBO encourages all fans to be either recovering from the Guymon blow-out, or watching the Yankees, as Bill Joel -- the Bronx Kid -- should be.

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

Friday, February 08, 2008

FBO: 'Special Announcement Regarding FBO NIGHT with Tall Tales, Asylum, The Cant/Cinder Biscuits, Soul Shaker & FBO's Top Fan Rich Trott'

A SPECIAL DAY: Tentatively pegged with a leading French holiday...

Please click on the following for an IMPORTANT announcement regarding all FBO members and the long-awaited 'FBO Night in the Panhandle: A Celebration of Failure':

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

* Lyric sheet:
Let's go play Guymon, OK
Everyone's welcome as long as they failed
Panhandle State has a remarkable stage
We'll take Alan's mics and van, if that's OK

FBO night! A series of songs
Relive our dead dreams once again
FBO night! Forget what went wrong
Success never came, but we can pretend...

Thursday, February 07, 2008

FBO: 'Photo Corner in Sofia, Bulgaria'

The FBO is seriously considering opening a semi-permanent headquarters in Sofia, the capital of the EU's newest member, Bulgaria. It's interesting, though not a particularly historic city -- a few churches date centuries, but most of what you see on the tram-clanking streets dates from the early 20th century times or communist-era dorms.

A few things to the FBO representatives saw during a press-garnering trip in winter 2007:

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

FBO: 'AP on Probation for Two Weeks'

The Associated Press' wire and online services are hit by FBO probation for the following premature report falsely declaring Hillary Clinton the winner of Missouri. Writer David A Lieb is banned from the FBO site and FBO events for two years, and the AP is asked to not exist until Feb 20.

Barack Obama of course won Missouri, with a late surge, proving -- like the NY Giants -- that a race isn't over until it's over.

The offending story has now been corrected; the original, hastily made version is below:

Clinton wins in Missouri; GOP race close

By DAVID A. LIEB, Associated Press Writer

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Propelled largely by rural voters, Democrat Hillary Clinton won the important presidential testing ground of Missouri on Tuesday. Republicans Mike Huckabee and John McCain were in a tight battle for a rich delegate reward.

Clinton had about 50 percent of the vote compared with about 47 percent for rival Barack Obama, with 88 percent of Missouri's precincts reporting. The Associated Press declared the New York senator the winner based on a review of actual vote results, exit polling and an analysis of outstanding precincts.

Clinton carried most of the state, doubling and even tripling the Illinois senator's vote totals in some rural, predominantly white counties. Obama kept the race close by racking up leads in the St. Louis and Kansas City areas, home to many of Missouri's black voters and among the last areas to report results.

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

Monday, February 04, 2008

FBO: 'Tom Petty on Three-Week Probation'


Anyone who watched Super Bowl 42 was far less swayed by the exciting finish or the lackluster commercials were supposed to be woo-ed by but never are. What stood out -- and it's redundant to mention it, as you all are surely aware -- is how disrespectful and hateful Tom Petty was toward his band, The Heartbreakers.

Never the same since Stan Lynch (drummer) was fired (or left the band), Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers were another installment of a nostalgic, 'safe' act in the post-Janet Jackson Super Bowl era. Beforehand, it would appear, University of Arizona State students were given downloads of four songs to learn the lyrics to so they could sing along during live feeds.

Who would expect that a bearded, possibly toked up, Petty would snub his band, relegating them to a Vegas 'back up band,' like a late Elvis playing novelty hits for an easy-to-please crowd?

THREE OF THE SONGS PLAYED WERE NOT TOM PETTY & THE HEARTBREAKERS SONGS , but songs from Tom Petty's rather overrated, 1989 'solo' album Full Moon Fever: 'Free Fallin,' 'I Won't Back Down' and 'Runnin Down a Dream.'

This is the equivalent of the Rolling Stones playing four songs: 'Start Me Up,' REO's 'Take it on the Run,' Journey's 'Anyway You Want It' and the Fixx's 'One Thing Leads to Another.' It's EXACTLY as if ZZ Top played 'Tush,' then the Eagles 'Get Over It,' Glenn Fry's 'Smuggler's Blues' and Don Henley's 'All She Wants to Do is Dance.'


For his slight to a band that's been all too happy to play the charisma-free back-up to the charisma-free Tom Petty for a few decades, Tom Petty (and his fans) are NOT ALLOWED to use this site -- or attend FBO functions -- until Feb 26.

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

Sunday, February 03, 2008

FBO: 'The FBO Endorses Obama'

One thing you can't say about George W Bush is that he doesn't sway in his convictions. He's 'authentic' in the sense that you know exactly what you're getting. Sometimes that's a good thing in a person, but not when there's reckless disregard with outside opinion. His eight years will be remembered for leading the nation into a false war (and is there anything possibly worse?), the death of an American city (New Orleans) and sitting in a bunker for hours on the first day in our lives when we actually needed visible leadership (9/11/01).

Those worn out with cynicism over politicians' fake smiles and posed photos and calculated opinions on issues that will help with the ratings should find something refreshing about Barack Obama, who is simply unlike any presidential candidate we've seen. One only needs to re-watch the Hillary Clinton/Obama debate the other night on mute and compare how each candidate 'laughs' or composes themselves or walk onto the stage to see who is more genuine.

Does that matter? The FBO thinks so. Recently a FBO representative attended a writer's workshop of a major travel publishing company. The CEO led it. Her informal, positive, open tone has clearly filtered down through the ranks, with publishers and offices' general managers and editors showing the same in a company that was led by awkward, even plotting leaders only a few years ago, which resulted into political gaming, bitterness and average work quality. The world pretty much mocks the USA, and the FBO finds a candidate saying he's willing to talk with anyone -- putting diplomacy first -- as a important change in tone.

This is a moment. More people are talking about Super Tuesday than the Super Bowl. If the vote tips towards Clinton, the FBO believes the country will have missed a major opportunity at breaking the 'same wine/different bottle' cycle.

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

Friday, February 01, 2008

Top Three Fan Turns 40

Forty years ago today the North Vietnamese troops kicked off the Vietnamese New Year's with a surprise attack against US troops at various points in the slender country of Southeast Asia. A world away Mr Bronc, a top-three FBO fan, entered the world. Happy birthday to Mr Bronc.

A year ago on this day, a Miss Oklahoma picked up the Miss American championship cup for the second year in a row. This year, Miss Oklahoma (pictured) failed to 'go for turkey,' and giving Oklahoma a three-in-a-row sweep.

This shouldn't take away from the birthday celebrations.

FBO Admin
Mobile HQ -- San Francisco, CA