FINAL Letter from the Editor

Sunday, November 27, 2011
11:12 AM

~I didn’t quite meet my deadline for totally shutting down THE REAL popolio, but here it is, my FINAL POST, better late than never~

To Whom It May Concern:

Just like my very first Letter from the Editor, I have put this final one off.  And, just like then, I don’t know what to say.  I thought going into a long diatribe and hitting all the major highlights of THE REAL popolio’s 3 year history would be the way to go.  Then, I thought short, sweet, and to-the-point would be better.

I probably will lean toward the diatribe because this is my LAST EVER Letter from the Editor.  Instead of hitting all the highlights, though, I think I’ll just share why and how I started this in the first place and what I got out of it.  Maybe, that’s the way to go.

I had come from founding a poetry organization where I hosted open mics and slam competitions.  I don’t like to repeat myself if I can help it, some time had passed, and I was itching to do the next thing.  I knew I liked live venues and wanted to expand on just introducing people to the stage; I wanted to move into live music events where the artist plays, but where I also get to sit down and chit chat with them a bit.  Interview them before their sets.

I envisioned something like Bravo’s Inside The Actors Studio, not where I necessarily have a set list of questions, but where the audience gets to ask a few questions in addition to mine.  A music-based talk show for all intents and purposes.  Something more interactive in a different way than the usual music show.  More in-depth than the usual music interview.  Keeping it short, because obviously, it’s all about the music and that’s what people really want to see.  I still haven’t been able to find a way to manifest this, but I hope this is my next step; my next evolution.

Anyway, I had met my former creative partner on THE REAL popolio and we had been getting to know each other as friends.  I learned that he was an experienced podcaster and had been doing it for years.  I did want to collaborate with him in some way.  As when I meet any creative that I’m intrigued by and being as big on collaboration as I am, I asked if we could work together on something.

I knew nothing of the worlds of podcasting and blogging and that isn’t even necessarily what I thought we’d work on.  I didn’t know what we’d end up doing.  Normally, people don’t take me up on my collaboration suggestions.  He did.  I intimated to him the desire to do the live music/interview shows.  He suggested creating a blog and building a network from that blog and then moving to offline events based on the blog’s branding and that pre-established network.

Though I did a few popolio events, it didn’t quite pan out the way either of us envisioned.  The blog itself is a full-time job as would be organizing any live event.  So, I decided to tackle this thing called blogging and approached my site as an online music magazine ala’ Rolling Stone, MTV, or Vibe.

I’ve always thought of my projects in terms of Studio 54.  Not for the drug use, but for the mix of different classes and types of people.  My poetry group was open to all levels and styles and I think that’s what we got.  Similarly, I wanted to feature established, known, and/or major artists as well as up-and-coming, unknown, and/or underground/indie artists all under my very loosely-defined “pop” umbrella.  I think I achieved that as well.

I wanted to have as many features as I could plug original content into.  I really wanted to have as much original content as possible. Commenting on major music stories relevant to the site was fine, but what’s the point of repeating what everyone else is saying?  I know it means hits and potential advertisers, but I wasn’t really interested in that.

I don’t think you can reinvent the wheel.  Obviously, I wasn’t the first pop music blogger ever in the world, but you can put your own spin on it.  Make it your own.  So, I tried to make my features original, creative, and fun.  For the most part I thought of them in terms of a romantic relationship.  That’s why I had features called Just Picked Up, LTR (Long Term Review), R&R, Single and Listening, and Tuesday Tease.  Then there were the ones that played on “pop,” “pop music,” and “popolio” like the pop quiz interview and the pic-olio.   I even created my own rating scale for the review features. 

I knew my reach would be global on the internet, but where I’m from and where I’ve been has always been important to me.  I think places help shape who you are and who you become.  So, I made a conscious decision to highlight an artist when they were local or regional.   That was done as simply as adding the name of the city the artist is from, lives, or is associated with with a dash to the title of the post featuring them.

So that’s how things got rolling, not so much in a nutshell.  I’d like to close things by sharing my overall regrets and highlights regarding THE REAL popolio.  You can’t have yin without yang, so here goes.

My regrets:   I think when you’re starting you’re so passionate that you bite off more than you can chew and you over-promise. I hate to come off flaky, but there are things I just didn’t get to or where the communication just fell off either on my side or the other.  If I could go back I’d promise less and do everything I set out to do.

I intended to finish pending things off (complete things I hadn’t gotten around to) as I got closer to my self-imposed shut-down date, but then I did those massive end-of-site countdowns and those took a lot of time and effort.  I did that because I feel that most of the time you’re going to have to document and celebrate yourself because no one is going to do it for you.  Not unless you’re considered part of the upper echelons and who decides, that, really?  That’s a whole ‘nother conversation, but I’d been doing it for 3 years, so I felt it deserved a fitting conclusion.  You do this sort of thing partly for yourself but you hope some someones are following you along for the ride.

Yet, on the other hand, at a certain point, you just have to decide that you’re finishing and you get done what you get done and what you don’t you just have to let go of.  You throw it on the wall, see what sticks, and move on to the next thing.

I would have done more full album reviews.  I always felt like I was judging artists and, ultimately, feel music is art and not being a musician, myself, who am I to judge?  So, I would avoid them like the plague and when I was supposed to do one, I’d procrastinate like crazy.  I preferred interviews.  Those are more personal and intimate and made me feel like I really connected with an artist in a special way.

I’d get my act together on live events and not only would I have done more of them, but I would have figured out how to promote them better and get more butts in the seats, if you will, or feet on the floor.  That was always the tricky part.  Putting all this work into something and then not getting the turnout you quite would have hoped for.

My highlights:  I’ve been exposed to so many artists, music, and genres that I otherwise would not have been exposed to that I really enjoy.  I’ve gotten to interview artists I grew up with and that I consider myself a huge fan of.   I’ve met and interacted with so many cool and interesting artists, music reps, and industry people.

I learned so much about blogging, podcasting, Facebooking, and tweeting.  And the promotion (including giveaways and cross-promotions) and professional interactions that come along with all of it.  I have also written for other sites because of my experience with my own and that has just been invaluable to my personal growth as a blogger/music writer.  Though, there is always more to learn.

To the artists:  I hope to have gotten you at least one new fan or listener, but really, more than just the one.  I hope I got you tons of new fans!

To the reps:  It’s been nice working with you.  Thanks for bringing such great artists and neat stuff to my attention and allowing THE REAL popolio to be one of the regular outlets for your artists and their music.

A special SHOUT OUT to those who I developed ongoing relationships with.  I enjoyed the back-and-forth and the continuing collaboration.  Actually, that goes to the artists I developed ongoing relationships with, too!

To the other sites, blogs, and organizations:  Any cross-promotion or collaboration was fun and a learning experience.

To the visitors, listeners, and viewers:  I hope you enjoyed the ride.  Thanks for visiting and reading, listening to, and/or viewing any of our content.  I hope,   that like myself, you were exposed to artists and music you were not familiar with and grew to love.

Check for me at Twitter.  ‘Nuff said.

12:45 PM

peace, love & all that jazz,
Freddie Rodriguez aka freddie beat
THE REAL popolio creator and editor


MY TOP 30: Year 3 Posts of ALL-TIME! 13. Sariah 10Q

MY TOP 30: Year 3 Posts of ALL-TIME!

13. Sariah 10Q
The Year 3 Number 13
spot goes to Sariah.  Pretty impressive for an interview that just posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2011.  Maybe it helped that she has “sex” in the title of her song.  I jest, I jest.

With a couple of Billboard dance hits under her belt, I’m not surprised that this interview received enough hits to make the countdown.  Calling her the “Queen of Hearts,” she’s definitely carving out her own lane in the pop/dance arena.

See the original post here — 10Q for Sariah.  It includes the video for her latest single, “All About Sex.”

See all 17 Year 3 Questions for interviews here.

10Q for Sariah

Sariah is a dance-genue who calls herself “the Queen of Hearts.”  She set things off with her first single, “Deep N Luv,” in 2010.   In 2011, she kept it going with the follow-up, “All About Sex.”  Both tracks have charted on the Billboard Dance Charts.  Not too shabby for someone fresh out the box.  Read what Sariah has to say about her two dance hits, sex anthems, and more in this EXCLUSIVE 10Q interview.

Watch the official “All About Sex” video.

Click the pic to go to Sariah’s official site and the “All About Sex” single cover at the end of the interview, to get to her Facebook Page.


1. Tell us about the new single, “All About Sex.” “All About Sex” is a record with a message allowing women to feel free to have what ever kind of relationship THEY want to.  Women are always judged so much in every angle and men get away with SO much!  Well, not anymore.  I had the power in this specific relationship “All About Sex” discusses and I decided when it was over, too.

2. Why was this chosen as the next single? It was chosen because of the strong lyrical content and the very strong production!  It was my favorite as well.

3. How is it different than your first single, “Deep N Luv?” “Deep N Luv” is one of my favorite records, too.  It brings the hip hop and pop world together!  I think it’s a darker record than “All About Sex.”  It discusses more of getting into nightlife and all of its fabulous opportunities.

4. Congrats on “Deep N Luv” and “All About Sex”charting on the Billboard Dance Charts. How does that make you feel? Thank you SO much!  It excites me so much that I just want to create more and more and more records!  I am just so happy that my music has had a positive influence on my fans, DJs, and the radio!  I am very happy to be back in the studio in hopes to create more hits for my hearts.  🙂

5. What are some of your favorite sex anthems of the past?That’s a great question!  Madonna, Britney, and Christina Aguilera have some of my favorite  sex anthems for sure.  They are all sexy and beautiful women and have showed that through their music!

6. Do you consider yourself a role model? I do consider myself a role model.  No matter what I do, I always work hard to have class and style along with personality and passion.  I think being a role model is being someone who others can look up to and learn from.  I truly hope I am that to others.

I really work hard to stay connected via Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace to reach out to my fans, other artists, and keep in touch with all of my good friends.  My family will always come first, too.  I am constantly learning from my surroundings and hope to always be a role model for young artists throughout the world.

7. That said, what are your thoughts on songs like your own, which are sexual in nature, but may be considered controversial or viewed as inappropriate for young girls?  Especially those by pop stars who seem to court this young female audience. Sexuality stirring controversy in pop is nothing new…Elvis and Marilyn Monroe were considered risqué for their time.  Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” made waves in the eighties as did Cher in the nineties.  Pop has never shied from pushing sexual buttons.

8. What are you trying to bring to your dance music that hasn’t been brought before?
I am bringing power, sexiness, passion, royalty, and a strong show to the dance world. 

9. Where do you see yourself in five years? In five years, I will be on tour with my full band wearing all of my own designed clothing!  I will be working on raising money towards foundations that my family are a part of: The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the Patricia Cronin Foundation.  I will also be cast in a movie. 🙂

10. Any last words or anything you want to say, clarify, set the record straight on, or put out there to your fans via THE REAL popolio? First, I just want to thank you for taking the time to listen to my music and enjoying it!  Thank you also for having me and for your great questions! 

I am SO thankful for all of these incredible opportunities and cannot wait to come and perform in a city near you all, my hearts!  Also, stay positive, encouraged, and inspired!

Your Queen of Hearts

Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes Remembered – 9 Years Later

"No Scrubs" video still from junior release, FanMail

Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes (May 27, 1971 — April 25, 2002).

Those who know me know that Grammy Winners TLC are my favorite group of all-time.    They also  know that when Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes died I took it very hard.

When I first kicked off this blog about three years ago, I sought and landed a popolio podcast interview with Left Eye’s brother, Ron Lopes.  The family was releasing her first posthumous release, Eye Legacy, and that’s what we talked about.

I also did a MY TOP 10:  Left Eye Videos countdown, reviewed the first single, “Let’s Just Do It,” featuring TLC (T-Boz and Chilli), and a few other things.

So, though I have no new Left Eye content, I’d like to re-present that content in memory of  Ms. Lopes.

Remember, these posts are at our first location on the web,  Now, I’m at   I know it can get confusing, but I had to remember Left Eye.  Especially since I didn’t do anything official last year.

ALSO!  Glee will be featuring a TLC song on TOMORROW’S all-new episode.   It will be “Unpretty” mashed up with “I Feel Pretty” from West Side Story.

I’ve had a campaign going on Facebook for Glee to feature an all-TLC episode, that, candidly speaking, hasn’t really gained much traction.  I also proposed an all-girl group episode if a TLC one was more than what they were willing to do.  Now, Lady Gaga has gotten two as this is the Born This Way episode.  And, TLC just the one song, but it’s a start.  Hopefully, more TLC to come on Glee.  Join the Facebook group, In Support of Glee Making a TLC Episode!

Check out THE REAL popolio Year 1 Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes content!

+Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes Remembered  – 7 Years Later
+popolio podcast with Ron Lopes
+MY TOP 10:  Left Eye Videos — intro, ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, twoone, and outro.
+Single and Listening (includes review of “Let’s Just Do It” featuring TLC)
+Tuesday Tease (includes listing of Eye Legacy)