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


Shout Out to Goodie Boxers for REAL popolio 2nd Anniversary Dance Party!

This is has been a long time coming, but before COMPLETELY FULLY REALLY shutting down I wanted to make sure to get this post out there. This is the last 1 of 2 posts I will be writing for THE REAL popolio. Promise! 🙂

I intended to post this closer to the date of the event, but things came up and I never was able to get around to it.

These are all the artists and organizations that donated items (CDs, stickers, gift cards, and other goodies; hence the name) for the goodie boxes for THE REAL popolio’s 2nd Year Anniversary B&W Party featuring 1990s pop music by local DJ, HOT BRITCHES!, that went down on Saturday, September 11, 201o at local mediterranean restaurant, Phara’s.  

I made 2 versions of the flyer.  See them here and here at my personal Facebook Page

So a boisterous SHOUT OUT and gigantic THANK YOU to (in no particular order):

San Antonio indie band, LEDASWAN; NYC-based collaborative alternative musicians collective, PASSION PROJECT; long-time industry guy, RICH OVERTON and his RJO ARTIST RELATIONS & MANAGEMENT (sent us stuff from multiple artists he reps); Boston pop/R&B girl group, JADA, ATX’s own rockers; THE MIDGETMEN; Dallas musician of many hats, CLAY PENDERGRASS; LA-based singer-songwriter, BILL CURD; also LA-based dance rock diva, DEBBY HOLIDAY; ATX electro hip hoppers, ONE STEP PROGRAM; NYC indie pop/rock outfit, LOVE & LOGIC; Chicago pop rocker, SCOTT WESLEY; NYC-based folk rocker, JON SANDLER; ATX old school soulstress, LISA MARSHALL; ATX power popster, PHIL DUTRA; and local Chinese food restaurant at Dobie Mall, HOA HOA (for donating gift cards). 

Click on the logos, pics, and/or album covers BELOW to go to each of their official sites.

Better late than never.  I don’t think I’ve forgotten anyone, but if I have, you know who you are and an equally boisterous SHOUT OUT and gigantic THANK YOU to you as well!  ‘Nuff said.


Music Video: Boyz II Men “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday”

Music Video: JADA “This Party’s On Fire”

Check out Boston-based pop/R&B girl group, JADA’s, latest video, “This Party’s On Fire.”  It’s produced by Rio and directed by Vassili Shields. They have a history with THE REAL popolio as they’ve been featured on more than one occasion. 

They made MY TOP 30:   Year 3 Posts of ALL-TIME! with the Extras Call Out I posted for this very video at Number 9 tied with Dallas/Garland hip pop/R&B artist, B-May’s pop quiz interview.

They’re also the only act to give us a video B-Day SHOUT OUT for our September 15, 2011 3rd Year Anniversary.  See it here!

JADA REAL popolio 3rd Year Anniversary Shout Out!!!

THE REAL popolio turned 3 Years Old on September 15, 2011.  And, though we’re officially closing our doors TODAY, Boston-based pop/R&B girl group, JADA (that we’ve featured on many occasions through our collective 3 year history), were nice enough to give us our ONLY video B-Day SHOUT OUT at their September 18, 2011 Release Party for their latest video, “This Party’s On Fire.”

Thanks, ladies!!!  Don’t they look hot?

Scissors For Lefty pop quiz 2.0 interview

Welcome to the LAST EVER popolio pop quiz interview at THE REAL popolio.  It was nice synergy that the way the September pop quiz scheduling happened there were actually 3 and not the usual 2.  Nice synergy because we’re closing our doors at 3 years and as an aside, I feel 3 (and multiples of) is my lucky number.

That said, I’m very excited that it features San Francisco-based band, Scissors For Lefty, because they were there at the very beginning.  Made up of two sets of brothers and an uncle (that’s 2, 2, and 1), it’s all in the family for SFL, for what’s a fun and interesting indie pop outfit delivering the unexpected.

They were the first band (and second overall artist) to be featured with pop quizzes in the 3 year history of popolio.  popolio debuted in September 2008 and SFL were featured the very next month in October.

In fact, October 2008 was officially Scissors For Lefty Month at popolio with each member of the 5-member band featured with an individual pop quiz interview every Friday of that month.  It was a formula I hoped to exploit with other bands and groups, but I only ended up doing it with these guys.

Since I basically went back to the Year 1 pop quiz format for Year 3, I had the whole group do the Year 2 format that I called the 2.0 version.  Since they had already been there, done that; no need to beat a dead horse.

Two of the original Year 1 SFL pop quizzes made MY TOP 30: Year 1 Posts of  ALL-TIME! based on overall hits per post.  Vocalist, Bryan Garza, got the Number 24 spot and his just married (about a week or so ago to be more exact) bassist brother, Steve Garza, showed up at Number 17.  Nice extra treat — the first featured pic is from the wedding!

Congrats to Steve for his recent nuptials and a HUGE shout out SFL, collectively, for doing this!  I appreciate you being there at the hopeful beginning and popping back up for the bitter ending.  (I jest.  I jest.  I’m not bitter.  Okay, maybe I am, but that’s not what I mean.)  Seriously, guys, I won’t forget this!   Enjoy their collective Year 3 pop quiz 2.0 interview below.

See the original Year 1 SFL pop quizzes:

Bryan Garza (vocals) pop quiz
Steve Garza (bass) pop quiz
Robby Garza (guitar) pop quiz

James Krimmel (drums) pop quiz
Peter Krimmel (piano) pop quiz

September 30, 2011

Name:   Scissors For Lefty
Genre:  Alternative/Pop
Forthcoming Release:  Drugstore Perfume (TBD)
Release Date:  Early 2012

This, That, or the Other
1.Straight-Up Funk or Down-and-Dirty Punk? Hmmm, more like 1983 for Rough Trade Records?  Down-and-Purdy Punk?
2. Lyrics or Beats? Lyrics and Melodies
3. Fan-Favorite or Critics’ Darling? A Homemade Fan-Favorite
4. Closed Fist or Open Hand? It’ll slap you around on a few tracks…but, only, of course, if you’re into that kind of thing.
5. Wall Flower, Life of the Party, or Dancing Your @$$ off?  Life of the Party with a Few Easter Eggs

Fill in the Blank
6. Music keeps me close to my pals.
7. If I wasn’t a musical artist I’d be a good-natured transient.
8.  My favorite all-time music videos are “I Feel It All” by Feist and “Lust For Life” by Girls.
9. If I could have a super power it would be Band Van Transformer because apartment rent would magically appear in the band’s wallets each month.
10. Peace, Love, and Happiness should change to Get, A, and Job.

Short Answer
11. Musicianship means:  On tour, it means connecting with people, whether it be against the stage, at the hotel or at the truck stop.  Off tour, it means keeping vision for the darndest of rough ideas and seeing them through…
12. If I could convey one perfect thought or sentiment through one perfect song it would be:  Naked Mario Party to the Death, Bring It!!!
13. If I could change one thing about myself it would be:  My fear of letting other people drive the band van.
14. Wild Card!  You get me all bothered, cool, then, hot, then, hotter, I’m gonna’ blow midnight screening dollars cuz it’s empty in the back row of your movie adaptation…
15. The most important thing to me RIGHT NOW is:  Finishing the album and singing an Elvis cover song with my mom for my brother’s wedding.

Scissors For Lefty’s favorite all-time videos!

Since SFL is still currently working on their forthcoming release, they have no new stuff to share.  They did share these, though! Not one, but two, unreleased B-Sides, “Hard Times” and “‘Lil Airplane,” to tide you over until then.  Listen below and click on the pic to get to their recently created Facebook Page and ‘like’ it!

Music Video: Kat DeLuna “Drop It Low”

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