I suspect the code is wrong.
I've never used FastSPI: https://code.google.com/p/fastspi/
OTOH I noticed that near the bottom of the front page it says:
Note for people using sparkfun's ws2801 led strips - you need to call FastSPI_LED.setDataRate(1) before calling init/start. The library defaults to a data rate of 0 for ws2801 strips, which is valid for the chips on the 12v strips, but not on the 5v strips (or, at least, the 12v strips that I have here) - it's too fast and you get weird random flashing occuring.
They are dancing mad now! I should have known to include FastSPI_LED.setDataRate(1), I saw that in one of KirAsh4's other posts but didn't think to add it.
Thanks a ton for the help, my next steps are going to be to learn to control each one individually then hook up the ethernet to start addressing them from there
I'm sure I'll have lots of questions along the way so I'll keep you informed of the progress.