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! 3. Roach Gigz pop quiz

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

3. Roach Gigz pop quiz
The SXSW 2011 popolio pop quiz interview domination on this countdown concludes. San Francisco-based hip hopper, Roach Gigz, takes the Year 3  Number 3 spot with his SXSW pop quiz.   This is the sixth overall and now highest and final SXSW 2011 pop quiz entry on this countdown.  Roach Gigz joins Canada’s BRAIDS at Number 30, Australia’s the Jezabels at Number 23, Japan’s Peelander-Z at Number 21, ATX’s own, Quiet Company, at Number 20, and Mexico’s She’s a Tease at Number 19

See the original Monday, March 7, 2011 post here — Roach Gigz pop quiz interview – SXSW Artist.  It includes his song “Hold Up” featuring J Stalin and Nas’ video for “Street Dreams.”

See all 10 2011 SXSW pop quiz interviews here.

Courtesy of Google

MY TOP 30: Year 3 Posts of ALL-TIME! 14. The Royalty 5Q

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

14. The Royalty 5Q
This is the third and highest entry from my special Neon Desert El Paso Week coverage.  The summary post for all the Neon Desert content took the  Number 17 spot and BB Gun Johnny’s pop quiz tied at Number 28 with Feedback’s LOTTO Interview.

El Paso is my hometown and I live in Austin, so I really did try to push this content.  So, I’m happy to see that some of the Neon Desert El Paso Week coverage has made the countdown.  Seems like the Royalty is the band with the strongest following or at the least the greatest social network presence.  Either way, they make a fine showing.

See the original Tuesday, April 19, 2011 post here — 5Q for The Royalty — Neon Desert Artist.  It includes their song, “All Alone.” 

See all 7 Neon Desert interviews and more here.

MY TOP 30: Year 3 Posts of ALL-TIME! 26. Medicine Park pop quiz

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

from popolio pic-olio posted on Tuesday, April 5th

26. Medicine Park pop quiz
ATX folk/pop artist, Medicine Park aka Clay Berkes, takes the Year 3 Number 26 spot with his Friday, January 14, 2011 pop quiz interview.  Not only did he kick off the month, he kicked off the new year.  The second January 2011 pop quiz posted on Friday, January 28, 2011, and featured the Garland/Dallas-area R&B artist, B-May.

Additionally, Medicine Park was the first artist I shot for the very first creative photo shoot for THE REAL popolio pic-olio feature.  I’m not a photog, but I like to dabble.  I’d been wanting to do creative, conceptual photo shoots with artists for awhile.  Like the old Rolling Stone covers by Annie Leibovitz  as well as David LaChapelle’s and Herb Ritts‘ stuff.  On a much smaller scale and with no budget, of course!  I’d tried to work with other artists for a few years off-and-on and it just never came together.

Then, with MP, it just all came together rather nicely and quickly.  I think we had great chemistry and, really, he was justa natural and a pro, so I didn’t have to direct him much.  He got my concepts and it was like he could read my mind.  I also tried to remain true to his vibe with my ideas.  It was fun.

You can see that pic-olio here and BONUS pic-olio featuring outtakes from that shoot here.  Last week, I posted the third (second shot by me) creative pic-olio with Lubbock-based, Austin-loving, acoustic rock duo, Lipstick Letters.  You can see that pic-olio here.

See the original post here — Medicine Park pop quiz interview – ATX.  It includes his song, “Daphne Wilkerson,” and a  The Buggles’ video for “Video Killed the Radio Star.”

See all 28 Year 3 pop quiz interviews here.

Courtesy of Google

MY TOP 30: Year 1 Posts of ALL-TIME! 27. Los Bad Apples [Anita Benner] pop quiz

MY TOP 30: Year 1 Posts of ALL-TIME!

Courtesy of Anita Benner's Facebook Page27. Los Bad Apples [Anita Benner] pop quiz
In June/July of 2009, I was reach out to to cover the, at the time, 5th Annual Univision Premios Texas, that took place on Thursday, August 13, 2009.   I featured pop quiz interviews with 4 of the nominees/performers.

The way I did it  this time around was to post one pop quiz a week as a 4-week countdown to the event.  Guess I had better time-management skills in the beginning.  Go figure!

This was also one of the first times I hosted a giveaway at popolio.  Like MY TOP 10 countdowns, I haven’t done any giveaways in many months, either.  At this time, I hosted not 1, but 2 trivia contests of 3 questions each, for 2 sets of tickets for each winner to attend Premios Texas 2009.

Though Anita Benner is no longer lead vocalist of ATX’s own, Los Bad Apples, and is now focused on her own career, she represented them well in this pop quiz interview that went live on Wednesday, August 5, 2009.  See the original post here — Los Bad Apples [Anita Benner] pop quiz — Premios Texas Artist.  It includes their song, “Pobre Corazon,” and Rob Base and DJ EZ-Rock’s video for “It Takes Two.”

See all 4 Premios Texas Artist pop quiz interviews here.

Courtesy of Google

Music Video: Red Hot Chili Peppers “The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie”

NOT directed by Kreayshawn as previously reported by various media outlets.  Flea had this to say on his Twitter account on Monday regarding the Marc Klasfeld-directed video that debuted instead on MTV yesterday.  “For those asking, the Kreayshawn vid just didn’t work out,  that happens sometimes, I think Kreayshawn is awesome and a great artist.”

Music Video: Best Coast “Our Deal”

Check out the new one from Best Coast directed by none other than Drew Barrymore, herself.  See the 1o-Minute Extended Version at MTV.

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