Saturday, May 31, 2008

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

FBO: 'FBO Event Week, Throwing 'Throw Under the Bus' Saying Under the Bus'

When a former press secretary for a president writes a 'tell-all' book about the president,as Scott 'I'm a man, I'm 40' McClellan has done for W Bush's administration, it's not a betrayal. Or an expose. Or a 'tell-all.' Or a revelation. It's just 'throwing X under the bus.'

That saying is all over the place -- when Roger Clemens testitifies about his wife's steroid use, about Hope Solo calling out her coach (see yesterday's coach), when Obama notes how his grandmother has said racist comments -- it's automatically 'throwing them under the bus.'

--> Before 2004, utterances of the phrase were rare (about 40 per year anywhere in the country) and now top 46,000, according to some reports.

Cyndi Lauper fans may remember where the phrase came from, when, in 1984, she told the Washington Post 'In the rock ’n’ roll business, you are either on the bus or under it.' It's somehow struck a chord with this year's election -- being used left and right for political purposes of finding a scapegoat for errors or tongue-slips.

A few weeks ago Washington Post writer David Segal called it the 'cliche of the 2008 campaign.'

FBO Event #003: The FBO today will publicly ban this phrase from use for the next four months at 2pm in front of the Chicago 'corncob' buildings shown on the Wilco album cover for 'Yankee Hotel Foxtrot' album.

Note: Terry Waska may not attend.

FBO Admin
Mobile HQ -- Chicago, Illinois

FBO: 'FBO Event Week, Event #002'

Anyone catch the UEFA Champions League final in Moscow last week? Like the World Cup a couple years ago it came down to penalty kicks, and like the World Cup last year the team that played better (France/Chelsea) lost to an opportunistic team holding out in 120 minutes of 1-1 play for a chance with penalty kicks (Italy/Manchester United).

Soccer's had another big-game burp too. In last year's Women's World Cup, Hope Solo shut out the serious competition then was benched for the final in favor for an ageing goalie that blocked an overtime penalty kick for a World Cup win in 1999. But in 2007, she let four go by, and underdog Brazil romped past the USA. Hope Solo -- great name -- railed against the coach's decision after the game, and said she would have made the saves, and the team, suspended her from the third-place final, wouldn't eat with her and didn't allow her to fly back with the team! Because Solo hadn't acted out a bit against a teammate, they acted like she wasn't part of the team. 'Do not as we do, but as we say.'

Soccer's missing chances to make more of an impact on unimpressionable US sports minds -- when big games come, Americans see fouls, flopping and whining -- and few goals. Did anyone see that David Beckham kicked a 70-yard goal last week?, one wonders.

The FBO will hold a five-minute symposium to brainstorm potential improvements for soccer in two places at 2:15pm today: outside Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill in Bricktown, OKC, and outside the arrivals halls of Chicago's Midway Airport.

Note: Terry Waska may not attend either event.

The 70-yard goal:

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

Monday, May 26, 2008

FBO: 'Presenting FBO Event Week: Speaking Out Against Russian Communists & Indy Jones'

--> BY COINCIDENCE, the FBO announces a one-week plan of daily FBO Events that coincides with FBO member Terry Waska's two-week suspension from all FBO events...

This weekend marked the bad awakening of an old hero -- Indiana Jones -- in a somewhat exciting, yet flat makeover of an archeology professor victimized by the Red Scare in late '50s America and taking a tangent behind a kid that picks him out of train full of passengers to chase down El Dorado. It's making its millions despite a few key flaws -- and an ongoing FBO ban against remakes, sequels and bio-pics. And the film has infuriated the St Petersburg wing of the ongoing Russian Communist Party, who has decried stars Harrison Ford and Cate Blanchett, for mocking the US/Soviet relationship which defeated fascism in unity.

Certainly the movie is flawed and poor -- this factual information was gleaned from a two-hour, research-oriented suspension of the ongoing FBO ban of remakes/sequels/biopics -- and we appreciate that this Russian Communist Party branch has taken notice of the FBO ban such remakes, but in this case the energy taken against the film (as pictured above) misses the main point. Rather than take issue with a cartoon depiction of Soviets during the Cold War, the RCP would do more service to focus on the offenses:

* cynical remake to cash in on a career in crisis (H Ford)
* bizarre intro with car race in desert that has nothing to do with the film (easily worst Indy Jones opening)
* the gulag-trained Soviet soldiers allowing a feel-good reunion of Indiana and his old girlfriend in the Amazonian jungle (see Godfather III for why this doesn't work)
* on a couple occasions, Indy is enigmatically helpful with Soviets searching out 'the X' on the map
* Cate Blanchett portrays a Ukrainian psyche major with a sword with an Australian-German accent and a 1930s' Berlin haircut
* uneccessary triple-agent plot twists (just shoot the guy, like you did in Raiders)
* alien crystal skulls? really?

Thus, the FBO will hold a MOMENT OF CONFUSION by protesting the Russian Communist Party's, with banners, outside Toby Keith's I Love this Bar & Grill in Oklahoma City's Bricktown, and simultaneously encourage visitors to skip the Indiana Jones movie at the nearby Harkins Bricktown Cinemas 16 (150 East Reno).

It will occur from 2pm to 2:15pm Wednesday, May 28. Bring your own banners and handouts. Note: Terry Waska may not attend.

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

Sunday, May 25, 2008

FBO: 'FBO Suspends Terry Waska for Two Weeks'

The idea that Hear N Aid's jolting 'We're Stars' warrants a space in the FBO's ongoing 'best solo' list -- brought up publicly by FBO member Asylum's Terry Waska -- has prompted a shocking outcry from FBO observers, who demand by vote that Terry be 'suspended from the FBO' for two weeks.

--> This means Terry cannot attend FBO events until June 8.

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

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

FBO: 'Vote for Hear N Aid's 164-Second Solo'

The FBO has been bombarded with requests that the taped-together solo-after-solo in Hear N Aid's 'We're Stars' (1985/6) be included in the FBO's Top Five Guitar Solos.

You may have missed this the first time around, but Heavy Metal Nation was justifiably furious by the lack of metal representation in Band Aid and We Are the World songs in early 1985, and Ronnie James Dio spearheaded a humorless effort to up the ante with frizzy hair, leather pants and the occasional moustache. It was recorded in May, but -- hilariously -- contractual problems kept the song from being released until WAY after Live Aid and the sing-for-peace fad had faded: January 1, 1986. One month to the day later the space shuttle exploded, and many (not realizing that Hear N Aid came out earlier) criticized the song theme -- 'we're stars' -- as a rub at NASA.

See this video:

Using the tabs to the right, please vote on whether or not you think this solo deserves to be the FBO #3 Best Guitar Solo of all time. Symbolically the 2:44 solo vote ends on the 24th at 2:44pm.

Some FBO observers have suggested that the guitar solo, which begins at the 2:21 mark and runs 2:44 in length (an even 40% of the song), is merely one guitarist doing everything. Dio and company managed to get their hair right -- too bad no one was around to film the actual recordings of the solo. Here metal nuts like Neal Schon of Journey and Brad Gillis of Night Ranger play a little guitar to the camera, but many of the solos don't appear to be at all linked with the recording.

Also take special note of the pink outfit of Kevin DuBrow (Quiet Riot), that Dio doesn't let Ted Nugent or Vince Neil (Motley Crue) get any lead vocals, and the priceless still at the end of the 7:12 video (which includes heart-felt backups that these guys probably didn't record, yet cling one-ear to headphones as if this was The Take to change Africa).

It's also worth noting that FBO Contributor Robert Reid interviewed Ronnie James Dio from Russia's Far East in 2005. Dio was starting a Russian tour at the Theater of Musical Comedy in Khabarovsk (pictured, left). He is a humorless man. Read interview here.

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

Friday, May 16, 2008

FBO: 'Myanmar'

News of the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis' impact in Myanmar has faded from the news in recent days. FBO contributor Robert Reid, who visited the country a few months ago, has been in contact with local friends in Yangon, who are creating their own DIY relief groups, as many outside groups (including the UN) have been denied entry or visas by the ruling military.

Here's a small story on it by R Reid that appears on the Lonely Planet website.

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

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

FBO: 'Finds Tailor-Made Anthem, Makes Video Duet'

The Silver Jews, led by David Berman, have released a new song -- 'Strange Victory, Strange Defeat' -- that seems tailor-made to be an FBO Anthem. And now it is.

In the FBO studios, we 'collaborated' with the SJs (by adding vocals, hand claps, fake saxophones, whipperwill effects and a piano solo) to their song and made a video.


David Berman is about the best lyricist of anyone under 45. Little Americana songs with dry observations and (mostly) tangents you wish you thought of. This one follows a 'band of squirrels' that are 'imported from Connecticut' -- perhaps a comparison with all the 'handsome grandsons in the rock magazines' he later mentions. This is a slight reference, perhaps, to his friend Stephen Malkmus who made fun of the 'elegant bachelors' of the 'Stone Temple Pilots' in Pavement's 1994 song 'Range Life,' which picks along a similar path, soundwise.

--> Thanks to the Silver Jews for thinking of the FBO. You are welcome to attend the FBO Panhandle Show on July 14 in Guymon, OK.

(Note in the video that the orange heart is place on Guymon -- this is not an accident.)

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

Monday, May 12, 2008

FBO: 'Evaluating the Best Guitar Solos of All Time (#4)'


Why do we have guitar solos in the first place? Some of it is to prove the bravado of the lead guitarist, who wants to put himself ahead of the lead singer in the limelight for a sec. Others like solos to give the listener a little break FROM the singer -- so you don't have to listen to Accept's groany screams nonstop. Others go for less ball-buster melodies, ones that actually play off the song melody, for a tuneful twist. Eddie Van Halen had a fourth option: hatred for his fans.

The first single from Van Halen's 1984, which came out in late 1983, was the synth-dominated 'Jump.' The band likely feared it would be controversial -- that Van Halen, the playful hard rockers of SoCal/Holland would switch from the guitars -- but it quickly became the band's biggest-selling single.

In the video, famously made for something like $400 (a nod to the Stones' 'Start Me Up' in a sense), guitarist Eddie Van Halen 'plays possum' on his guitar, strumming along as his guitar-less song surrounds him (a bit of guitar comes in during the pre-chorus). Mid-way through (see the 2:15 mark) he holds up a finger, as if to say, 'Hold on, I'll throw something your way, kids,' then tears out the most cynical guitar solo of all time.

The solo to follow -- accompanied with Eddie's cheetah jacket and goofy-as-if-stoned grins that run along the whole video -- tries to fit as much crunch and 'tapping' finger-pulls as is possible in a mere 15 seconds. It's way too busy and fast for the simple pop song, and he's doing it only to get people pre-emptively 'off his back.'

--> 'Here's some guitar, as loud and fast as ever, so deal with the keys.'

What's more, expecting negative fall-out for the synths, he follows it with an actual keyboard solo -- the first time you see him playing the keyboards in the video -- as if to prove a point: this is music too.

This is cynicism and hatred. Not something easily accomplished by a 15-second guitar solo in a three-minute-plus #1 hit song. For that Eddie deserves credit.

What's funniest is there turned out to be little, or no, backlash for the 'sell out' move. The album was clearly Van Halen's most inspired album since their first in 1978, and it sold to equally rapturous fan bases on both sides of the gender line.

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

Thursday, May 08, 2008

FBO: 'Evaluates Five Best Guitar Solos of All Time (#5)'

The FBO debuts a rolling feature, not slave to any clear-cut time table, that will highlight the five best guitar solos of all time. In doing so, a few things will be considered:

a) melodic achievement
b) physical delivery of solo
c) tenacity
d) unexpectedness

The number-five slot easily merits inclusion in any short list for all four of these attributes. Our video presentation gives background on the choice as well as shows a snippet of the 23-year-old classic.

Spoiler alert: the Elvis grin is hard to see. Look at the 2:08 mark closely.

Stay tuned for more 'great solos of all time' in the weeks and months to come.

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

Monday, May 05, 2008

FBO: 'Rich Trott Narrowly Escapes With FBO Top Fan Status'

Clearly the voice of disdain over Rich Trott's careless comments regarding a potential ban of Mark Knopfler struck a chord amongst many FBO fans and FBO observers, as Rich Trott narrowly won an open vote on who should be deemed the FBO's 'Top Fan.'

The poll closed today, with Rich Trott scoring 21 votes, just 61% of the total.

A few curious results to consider:
* Mark Hardin of Tulsa, who apparently has never seen or heard of the FBO, in a late surge nearly overtook Trott's tally.
* Mr Ano Nymous, who called for Rich Trott to be banned from the site and was the recipient of a stern FBO reaction two months ago, garnered two votes.

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

Thursday, May 01, 2008

FBO: 'Needed: Rules about Naming Pets & Humans'


According to a San Francisco Chronicle story today, a San Francisco pet advocate doesn't 'get it.' She prefers continuing the cutification of pet names, despite the fact that that humans are getting cuter names -- and many pet names are getting the 'normal' ones like Steve. The FBO supports normal names -- Jeff, Scott, Pete -- for both humans and pets.

-> Real-time video response to this serious situation:

How can a dog named John be referential to human names, when humans no longer name their kids John?

FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY (a city not a name)