Thursday, November 27, 2008

FBO: 'How to Make a Pilgrim Hat'

Over the years, some stories in our world histories get exaggerated and amended beyond any recognition to the truth of the tale. One example that has NOT been changed is the fact that the first American pilgrims wore very interesting hats. Solid-gold or solid-silver, or some cheap proxy thereof, buckle in front of a gallon-top black-felt hat.

To tribute these heroes, the FBO recommends -- this Thanksgiving -- to make and wear a hat.

Here's how:


* 10x13" black construction paper
* 9x12" gray construction paper
* some tape, some glue


1. Cut a big oval out of the black construction paper.
2. Cut a strip of paper to make a band to put around the boy's head, tape it. Put that circle (slightly oval) on the paper to trace the inner circle. Then draw a circle around it. Leave about a 2" brim on 3 sides and about 4" on the "front".
3. Draw the trapezoid, and cut out the gray parts. (see photo)
4. Cut out a band and band and buckle out of gray paper.
5. Glue the hat band on the hat and then the buckle on top of the band.
6. Bend the hat piece up and try on the child.
7. You may need to adjust the opening to fit the individual child's head.
8. On the underneath side, apply tape to the two points where the hat bends. This will help reinforce the stress point, and hopefully prevent tearing.

Directions courtesy of

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

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

FBO: 'Failed Bands of Oklahoma to Form Band'

The Failed Bands of Oklahoma seeks four to 12 potential bandmembers to join a short-term Brooklyn-based project to create a double B-side single for the FBO's 2009 thematic composition 'Be In a Band' -- which will be part of the FBO's 2009 campaign to foster the formation of 125 bands worldwide in 2009.

If you are in the area December and January and interested in joining, let us know.

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

Friday, November 21, 2008

FBO: 'Tall Tales Takes Tip from Doors'

The Doors recently re-mixed and re-did their albums -- Ray Manzarek needed the money -- and have done, Tall Tales' Dan Fallis reports, an amazing job and uncovering lost things in the old mixes, like backups and more tolerable keyboard parts from the spectacled Mr Manzarek.

FBO Member #001 Tall Tales, perhaps, may follow suit.

37-1/2 MINUTES?
In its earlier pre-failed incarnation, the band released four 'albums' on cassette only -- Tall Tales, Your Analysis, Crime in a Bucket and Damn Kat (the latter using a discarded artwork of a cat defecating, found at a Tulsa Kinko's) -- then topping it off with a lone CD, the 66-minute, 25-track 69 Minutes in 1993.

As it was the first time in a real studio (ie one with more than an eight-track recorder), TT mixed up the songs; 11 were re-done songs from the cassette albums, the rest new songs or old ones never recorded. Ambitious, but in the end, one could argue, it lost a little cohesion for casual listeners in the expanded 66-minute format. (Before downloads destroyed the idea of albums, CDs in general watered them down by expanding the length from a more manageable, listener-friendly 44 minutes to 60-plus; por ejemplo compare the Stones' Tattoo You with the rambling, awful Steel Wheels or Bridges to Babylon or A Bigger Bang.)

The FBO recommends for 69 Minutes' 16th anniversary next spring to re-package the CD as a download to focus on at-the-time fresh material only. The suggested new song order is:

3. 2nd NEW SONG
11. TIME*

* 'Time' previously appeared on Tall Tales, but the FBO allows one re-hash, and this one has a fully extended outro that qualifies it for inclusion.

--> The new name of the album could either be 37-1/2 Minutes, or Skip the Rock, or Tall Tales Won't Try.

It's possible to download, or hear snippets, of 69 Minutes here.

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

Thursday, November 20, 2008

FBO: 'Chip Dalby's Size Queens Releases LP'

The trans-national band Size Queens - once chiefly in San Francisco - are very good. Graduates of Glasstown, a remarkable failed band which at least one FBO member contributed to by forming the first fan club band in behalf of (during the premier .com bubble), Size Queens' new album Magic Dollar Shoppe is available in cheat 30-second snippets at their myspace page, or downloaded in full from CD Baby.

Former Oklahoman Chip Dalby plays drums.

A video snippet:

You can also hear some songs at Our Literal Speed.

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

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

FBO: 'OKC Flag Exhibit Lacks Professionalism'


There are three great dreams in life, the opportunity to:

* design a sports team name, logo, uniform
* name a band and design an album cover
* make a flag

The 'Thunder' recently offered Oklahoma a chance to chip in on a new sports franchise -- and dropped the ball figuratively with font-less uniforms, then later literally with the team's roaring 1-8 start. Meanwhile, apparently trying to fix the unbroke, the City Arts Center in Oklahoma City recently asked 46 artists to re-create the single best flag of all time: the Oklahoma flag.

The exhibit, '46 Flags,' is on exhibit through December 20, and is free to see (9am to 10pm Mon-Thu, 9am-5pm Fri & Sat). All spin off the 1925 original, a winning flag from a 1925 competition as designed by Louise Fluke -- possibly the best flag-making name of all time as well.

We'd love to endorse the exhibit, but there are some problems.

--> First of all the City Arts Center makes no mention of this interesting exhibit on its website. 'It's been handled with our community outreach department, so it definitely wouldn't be on the website,' a museum employee explained. Instead the website plugs remarkably uninteresting exhibits, such as Oklahoma artists painting Oklahoma City neighborhoods and holiday pottery.

--> Secondly, according to an article in Oklahoma Today, it began when gallery curator Hugh Meade moved to Oklahoma and made his own Oklahoma flag with a single star for the state's independent spirit, black accents for petroleum and green to highlight the landscapes.

Hugh Meade, who apparently is related to Betsy Ross (an overrated flag-maker), appears to know nothing about making flags himself. To quote Michael Stipe, consider this:

* the flag ignores the state's Native American roots; the present flag -- the one he thought wasn't good enough -- is essentially the only state flag that incorporates Native American symbols in its flag (though sadly not its quarter)
* petroleum is NOT black
* over half the state is NOT green

The FBO issues a stern warning to color-blind Hugh Meade regarding flag-making. Perhaps in the future, keep it to the professionals.

--> The above improved 'USA flag' was designed by the FBO in April 2007; look here.

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

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

FBO: 'The Coldplay Bass Player (Pts 2 & 3)


The FBO has learned that Guy Berryman, bass player of Coldplay, has a bit of a following, as seen from this ridiculous website. Hence, Berryman is unfit for further discussion in this forum.

--> Parts 2 and 3 of the previously planned three-part series have been cancelled.

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

Thursday, November 13, 2008

FBO: 'The Coldplay Bass Player (Pt 1 of 3)

The Failed Bands of Oklahoma holds a special affection for the overplaying bass player -- those who put a bit too much energy into the act of performing mere quarter notes normally used as the backbone for harmless mid-range pop songs, such as the entire Smithereens catalog. It's even better, in our view, when no one knows they exist.

On recent cultural symposia tours overseas, the FBO noticed something surprising: Coldplay actually has band members, including the Coldplay Bass Player (Guy Berryman). In a tender track, 'The Hardest Part,' with a video made that you're invited to laugh at -- it shows a 75-year-old woman dancing for a third-tier cable network -- Berryman's excess energy at the 2:45 mark stood out.

--> See it here:

The first couple Coldplay videos -- you remember 'Yellow' don't you?, 'The Scientist'? -- were distinctive for showing only the nice-but-you-still-kind-of-want-to-punch-him leader singer Christian Martin. No band members. So when they started making an appearance -- as if they really were party of the 'band' -- it felt strange.

The FBO bans Christian Martin from using this site for three weeks. And we urge all bands to show a more fair, representative breakdown of band members in their videos. Though a key player can break away to 'act' a part of the video -- as occurs in Quarterflash's 'Harden My Heart' or in Tommy Shaw songs from Styx's 'Kilroy Was Here' vehicle.

--> If you know of other bands who've made videos that need to be banned, please let us know.

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

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

FBO: 'More Talk about the Election'

Oklahoma got a knock on the 'will you vote for a black man?' storyline this week, but it's worth noting how the US is way ahead of the supposedly more progressive places in Western Europe. The New York Times -- doggedly chasing the race issue -- followed up the story with a revealing knock on the south as a whole yesterday, then added a more fascinating comparison with Europe today.

I'm reminded of my days in a fraternity in college -- a not-altogether worthless experiment, I should add (impromptu football games any day of the week are hard to knock) -- and of one of the more embarrassing moments that sticks out from the experience: rush.

In my first year as a 'brother,' I sat out most of the goings-on of the next year's ugly 'rush' process, where incoming Freshman were judged by shoes, haircuts and sporting successes -- or likelihood of scoring at various functions. It was ugly, and I knew it.

Everyone admitted, though, that rush there was one incoming 18-year-old who clearly stood out above all the others. The sharpest, most engaging of the several hundred pouring through the doors -- no one doubted the fact. But our rush-team crew refused to even ask him back for the second phase of rush. He was black. Not sure whatever happened with him -- but our house sure could have used him.

You'd think when you're faced with such situations, you'd rise -- like Al Pacino's spout offs in the blind-guy movie against Ivy League hypocrits. I didn't. Perhaps because I was still a bit unsure of myself, having just joined a house of intimidating older guys who had hazed us all the previous year. But I did say things to friends in-house at the time. Too bad I didn't stand up and say more.

Here's for change.

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

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

FBO: 'Tall Tales Played a Show'

FBO spoke with members of FBO #001 Tall Tales about their Saturday night show in Norman. Here's what was gleaned:

* Norman's Deli, while atmospheric, doesn't 'go for' sound checks, so the TTs rushed off with practice amps to have a two-song warmup at drummer Alan Hiserodt's business offices nearby (the music school).
* Alan, meanwhile, was supposedly suffering early on from a chili burrito of sorts.
* TTs played till nearly 1am.
* TTs threw in a surprise rendition of John Cash's 'Folsom Prison Blues' at one point -- spurred on by singer Danny Fallis (to give his windpipes a break).
* Some CDs of the TTs 'Pot Pie' record were given away.
* One song, 'Tables & Chairs,' began with drums.
* Several members of FBO's Soul Shaker were in attendance.

We're looking forward to hearing more about the FBO-induced performance, as well as posting any mp3s, videos or photos from the show.

If you were there, we'd like to hear about it.

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

Monday, November 10, 2008

FBO: 'How Oklahoma is Perceived'

Oklahoma gets in the news for three things:

* football
* tornadoes
* embarrassing things like book burnings or elected officials saying 'gay people' are more of a threat to our country than terrorists (then getting re-elected)

Last Tuesday, the divide between red and blue votes was as wide as any place in the nation. This could be partly due to the fact that the Democrats didn't spend time/energy/money campaigning in Oklahoma. But the New York Times highlighted a few other reasons in a rather unflattring article Saturday.

It's probably worth reading.


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

Thursday, November 06, 2008

FBO: 'Tall Tales Bracing for Livehouse, More Shows Possible'

Danny Fallis says of this Saturday's show:
"We are really excited to be playing for the first time in 14 years. I only wish that Rob Reid and his Rickenbacker were going to be joining us on stage Saturday night. The other members of the band and myself have been working overtime to try and make up for his absence. We look forward to being able to play with him in the future"

R Reid adds:
"There is always the FBO Panhandle Show!" (tenatively scheduled for May 2009)

Meanwhile, a Tall Tales video flashback with fake live footage, courtesy of Oklahoma's Jim Gibbons:

FBO Admin
Mobile HQ -- Bogota, Colomba

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

FBO: 'FBO Member #001 TALL TALES Takes Stage for First Time in 14 Years'

It's been 14 years since Tall Tales has pressed a distortion pedal, hit a tom drum, or skatted in a livehouse. No burned stuffed animals at nuclear-waste-awareness shows in Oklahoma towns with a population of 7000. No 9-string 12-string guitars plucked out of tune. No tripped Chip Dalbys over Stillwater monitors. No hand-out programs with interviews of bass player Mitch Newlin. No choreographed jumps on songs about whaling. No matching orange-plaid jackets. No fake country songs, no impromptu U2 covers. No mullets or moustaches. No 'Dry Paint.' No betwixt-song banter lasting as long or longer as the songs themselves. That changes this Saturday night.

Drummer Alan Hiserodt (not pictured) offered a few sneak previews of what may or may not happen:

* The hit single 'Station' now features a middle drum/Danny hip-hop break.
* The first song may involve trompe l'entendre (trick hearing).
* The final song could include male nudity.

Also, the show will not include songs from the following EP 'LIVE from a Place in Oklahoma' (2006), Tall Tales' most recent release:

The show is around 9pm at THE DELI, Saturday, November 8. Locust Avenue -- featured Todd Walker -- will open.

FBO Admin
Mobile HQ -- Bogota, Colombia

Saturday, November 01, 2008

FBO: 'Yet Again Rush Creates Love'

REM's barnburning tour across South America will likely be a hit, and a lot of fun for the three-piece with bad hair, but in no way will it compare with another gringo three-piece band's success down here: RUSH.

The top progressive rock band of all time, according to a recent FBO poll, pulled out peppy classics like 'By Tor & the Snow Dog' to delight over 100,000 mostly 20-year-olds in Rio for a triple-live album. If you don't believe that model-looking young women and men can't go ga-ga for Rush, watch this priceless video of 'YYZ':

I mean, really.

Today in a north Bogota hotel's breakfast area, FBO overheard a young Venezuelan/American couple -- maybe 21 or 22 -- chatting over eggs. The Venezuelan guy suddenly broke into this, copied into the FBO diaries in real time:

'In Canada there's this progressive rock band with an unreal drummer. Some drummers just sound like drum machines [simulating a 10-tom fill], but this band Rush's drummer is different. Neil Peart. I don't have any of their music on my iPod, but I have some songs from my old band like that I can play for you. Our drummer was like that too. It's amazing.

The Colorado blonde countered:
'Sounds cool.'

For REM, everybody hurts. But only Rush fosters young love, young international love.


FBO Admin
Mobile HQ -- Bogota, Colombia

* More evidence of how well Rush translates to the southern America: