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

Happy Turkey Day 2011!

Happy Turkey Day from THE REAL popolio and your friendly neighborhood creator and editor, Freddie Rodriguez aka freddie beat!

Courtesy of Google

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.

 

MY TOP 30: Year 3 Posts of ALL-TIME! Links – INTRO & 30-16

INTRO

30.BRAIDS pop quiz
25. Kaydean pop quiz
 
20. Quiet Company pop quiz
29. Girl in a Coma 5Q
24. The Shondes Call
19. She’s a Tease pop quiz
28. BB Gun Johnny pop quiz
& Feedback LOTTO

 
23. The Jezabels pop quiz

18. Jon Sandler pop quiz

27. Larissa Ness pop quiz

22. TsuShiMaMiRe 10Q
& Elephant Sky pop quiz
17. Neon Desert Music Festival
El Paso Week
 
26. Medicine Park pop quiz
21. Peelander-Z pop quiz
 
16. Stefani Vara 20Q Part 1

 

MY TOP 30: Year 1 Posts of ALL-TIME! Links – INTRO & 30-16

INTRO

30. Michael Jackson
“Liberian Girl”
 
25. TLC
“Waterfalls”

 
20. Public Enemy
“Fight the Power”
29. Brian Kent pop quiz

24. Scissors For Lefty
[Bryan Garza] pop quiz
 
19. Wayna pop quiz &
BMSR [Tobacco] 5Q

28. Stevie Wonder &
Michael Jackson “Get It”
23. Paula Abdul
“Straight Up”

 
 
18. popolio is…

 

 
27. Los Bad Apples
[Anita Benner] pop quiz
22. George Michael
“Freedom! 90”

 
17. Scissors For Lefty
[Steve Garza] pop quiz
26. Birds Barbershop
[Michael Portman] 20Q Part 1
 
21. TLC
“No Scrubs”

16. Levi Kreis pop quiz

MY TOP 30: Year 1 & Year 3 Posts of ALL-TIME! – OUTRO

MY TOP 30: Year 1 & Year 3 Posts of ALL-TIME! – OUTRO

Courtesy of Google

As I stated in the INTRO, the point of this was to document the 3 years of popolio from September 15, 2008 to September 15, 2011.  I think it’s important to document and celebrate yourself (in a venture or project like this) especially since in a lot of cases no one is going to do it for you.  I’ve put a lot of time, passion, and fire into this, so I wanted to do these countdowns for myself most of all.  That said, I do hope people were keeping up with, reading, viewing, and revisiting these posts with me.   You don’t do a blog to read it to yourself.  Or at least I don’t.  

I think 3 years is a good place to stop and is a good bulk of work that can speak for itself.  popolio has seen some form or iteration since 2008, so the concept has existed for 3 years and I’ve steadily been working on it all that time.  The first version exists at http://popolio.wordpress.com/, which is still a live site and is where I pulled the posts for the Year 1 countdown from.  Feel free to check out all the other Year 1 posts that were not on the countdown there.

As I also said in the INTRO: 

In Year 2 the site moved to a new server.  I was working with someone through Year 2, but then we hit a wall and experienced some creative differences.  Hence, I have no way to document Year 2.

Because of those creative differences, I created the current site at  https://realpopolio.wordpress.com/  and renamed it THE REAL popolio, for obvious reasons.

So, apologies to all the artists that were featured during Year 2 that would have shown up on a Year 2 countdown.  I do think there is something magical about only focusing on the first year and the last year; the beginning and the end.  There’s some synergy there, I think.  Let me reiterate that rankings were based on internal WordPress.com stats for the popolio sites.  It was about how many hits (visits) each post received; not my personal choices.  

Felt like I bit off more than I could chew with 2 concurrent countdowns and 30 posts each (plus INTRO and OUTRO), but we got through.  Seems like Year 1 was dominated by music videos from the monthly MY TOP 10 countdowns and Year 3 was more about interviews (pop quiz and Questions for features).  In Year 3, I did stop doing the MY TOP 10 feature and did focus more on interviews, so it makes sense.  Austin, El Paso, Texas, and the world were all well-represented.  As were pop, hip hop, R&B, Latin, and dance.  That’s how I like it.  If you go to the about tab, popolio is…, you’ll see popolio was always meant to be a hodgepodge.  Mission accomplished.

Courtesy of Google

Hope you enjoyed.  There it went!  ‘Nuff said.

freddie beat aka Freddie Rodriguez
THE REAL popolio creator/editor

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?

Previous Older Entries