November 2008

November 30, 2008 UPDATE:  I’m re-presenting this popolio podcast because I don’t want this one slept on either (like yesterday’s R&R re-post). 

I wanted to add that I did go see their Sunday, October 5, 2008, show at Emo’s here in town.   There were other bands.  I saw part of one set of one band and then one other complete set, but even though there was yet another band behind The Shondes, they shone as a true pros.  (I talked to the violin-player after, but left shortly thereafter as I had to work the next day and I was there to see The Shondes.)

I really enjoyed their show.  Their were 20-plus people there.  Remember, this was a Sunday in Austin.  They played like it didn’t matter whether they where in their home borrough of New York or Austin or playing to a sell-out of hundreds or the 20-plus in Austin.  Their audience interaction was especially enjoyable.  They just talked to us, but I liked the way they did it.

In speaking to Elijah after the show, he intimated they some bands had dropped out and the venue was going to cancel the show initially, but that they, The Shondes, made sure the show went on by getting recommendations from the drop-out bands and doing some leg-work on MySpace. 

I found their drive, professionalism, sincerity on stage and off, and talent inspiring.  I mean they did all this work for a show at Emo’s on a Sunday in Austin.  To me, that showed their passion, that they like to play live, and that they just have the need to play.

Anyway, please check out the popolio podcast below, previously posted on Wednesday, October 22, 2008.


Freddie Beat speaks with Elijah Oberman, violinist/vocalist with the punk rock outfit, The Shondes.

Song snippets included in the show are “Let’s Go” and “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” from The Red Sea.  Listen to more music from the band at their MySpace Page.



November 29, 2008 UPDATE:  It has been recently reported that shows that were previously canceled on the US leg of Janet Jacksons’ Rockwitchu Tour will, ultimately, not be rescheduled.  As an aside, I am glad that I got to see her in Dallas. 

Prior speculation had been that the string of shows that were canceled had been due to low ticket sales and not because Janet was truly ill.  Don’t know if this lends credence to that theory or not.  There have been reports that new shows have been scheduled in Japan. 

Lastly, I don’t want folks to sleep on this podcast.   So, that’s why I’m re-presenting it.   I think it’s an entertaining conversation between J.W. Richard (J.Dub) and myself.  Check it out!

Originally posted on Wednesday, November 5, 2008.


Just hours after seeing Janet on stage for the first time, Freddie gushes about her stage performance and his favorite moments of the show. 

November 28, 2008Nhojj

Name:  Nhojj
Genre:  Fusion/Nu-Jazz/Neo-Soul
Latest Release:  Soul Comfort
Release Date:  January 1, 2008

This, That, or the Other

1. Underground OR Mainstream? Underground
2. Maintain Artistic Integrity and Vision OR Make a lot of Money? (or both)??? Both 🙂
3. Studio or Stage? Studio
4. Spirituality OR Hedonism? I find spirituality in my hedonism
5. Make Love, Have Sex, OR %$*!? Create Music

Fill in the Blank
6. Music is my life.
7. I’m musically inspired by my Truth.
8. My favorite old school joint is “Off the Wall” by Michael Jackson.
9. If I was a super hero I’d be Superman.
10. Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll should change to Sex, Love, and Creativity.

Short Answer
11. I make music because:  It seduces me.
12. I want my fans to: 
Be happy.
13. If I could share one thing about myself it would be:  For a long time I felt insecure about my talent and musical ability.
14. Wild Card!  This is the kewlest quiz I’ve ever taken.
15. I want my musical legacy to be:  Created some of the most beautiful music and inspired many to see the God within.


nhojjFrom Nhojj’s CD, Soul Comfort, here’s the track, “Love.”  Enjoy!

Check out his website at:

Nhojj’s favorite old school joint!

Thursday, November 27, 2008
8:16 AM

First and foremost, HAPPY TURKEY DAY!  Well, I want to try to get these out around the middle of the month, but this month has just been hectic.  I’ve been busy with my traveling, which is something I’ve mentioned before, on one of my posts this month.  I went to Dallas and Houston to see Janet Jackson and Madonna, respectively, for the first time.  Had some personal travel and work travel to do this month as well.  So, I haven’t been able to post as often and much as I would have liked to this month.

I want to devote this month’s letter to what I’m thankful for related to popolio since it is Thanksgiving Day and all.   I’ll do a MY TOP 10 things I’m thankful for.  How about that?  Before that, there are two items of business I want to discuss.

One — I’m getting a little flustered as we’re not getting much feedback in the way of comments.  I do enjoy working on this blog, but I want to know that we’re not doing it in a vacuum.  Hmm, I’m soliciting feedback on why we’re not getting feedback, so I don’t know if this is going to work too well.  But, I guess I want to know if people out there have ideas on a better way to communicate with us at popolio or if there’s something about the way our comments are set-up that is keeping folks from commenting. 

You do not have to “register” to post a comment.  I discussed this with J. Dub recently and we’ve made a change in the comment fields.  You do not have to write in your email address.  I believe that’s correct.  Let me say that, we are in the process of setting up an official popolio email address, which we haven’t had before (I know, shame on us).  Would you prefer to email comments to this address or to either of us directly?  Anyway, just some food for thought.

Secondly, I did want to highlight some of the items that did go up for November.  I counted down MY TOP 10 Madonna Videos, of course.  This was in commemoration of my attending her Hardy Candy stop in Houston.  J. Dub and I did have a final wrap-up about it and that will show up in the form of an R&R popolio podcast sometime next month.  We went back to 2 pop quizzes a month.  Earlier this month we featured Jennie Laws, a soulful Canadian songbird, and coming up is Nhojj, a jazz-infused soul-man out of New York.  I’ve reviewed some singles on my Single and Listening feature.  Tuesday Teases continue steadily.  Remember, they’re just snapshots of Tuesday Releases.  J. Dub and I did have a final thoughts R&R conversation on the Janet Show this month as well.  Please, feel free to check out all of our November offerings.

Now, MY TOP 10: things I’m thankful for regarding

10 – Our MP3s, audio streams, and videos.  I think we have a pretty entertaining selection of media for folks.  MP3s to download, featured artist music to listen to, and videos to watch.   
9 – Exposure to new artists and new types of music that I otherwise would not have been exposed to if I was not doing this blog.
8 – Learning new skills in relation to blogs and podcasts.  It’s a lot!  I’m still just at the tip of the iceberg.
7 – Getting to work on my interviewing skills.  I hope to interview artists in some kind of live format one day.  Fingers crossed.
6- Getting to write these Letters from the Editor once a month.  It’s nice to get my thoughts on virtual paper even if no one may be reading them. 😉
5 – Possibility and new horizons.  Who knows what can happen as we continue on this popolio ride?
4 – A reason to be creative.  It’s fun trying to come up with feature and content ideas.
3 – A forum to express myself in.  ‘Nuff said.
2 – Simply, the love and power of music.
1 – My creative partner, J. Dub.  It’s nice to have someone to work with and who has been instrumental in helping you achieve a goal and realize a vision.

Well, that’s all folks.  Enjoy your turkey or whatever it is you people consume on Thanksgiving Day.

9:17 AM

Freddie Rodriguez aka freddie beat
popolio editor

Single and Listening

Single Reviews by Release Date




all over the place

carries a tune

part of the chorus

featured soloist

conducting the choir

So, it’s been a little while since I posted one of these.  I apologize for that.  I usually hear about new songs that have been released, but haven’t heard about that many new ones of late.  I know Rihanna has a new one with JT.   Because my partner in crime, J. Dub, made such a big deal about David Cook, I’m going to review his first single even though it’s been out for a minute.  Because I’m a Rent-Head, I’m going to review Idina Menzel’s latest.  Lastly, I’ll throw in Tracy Chapman’s latest, to give you four solid reviews.

David Cook “Light On”
Released:  September 30, 2008
From Latest Release:  David Cook ♫♪

The song doesn’t stand out, though he has a strong singing voice (I didn’t keep up with Idol).  Seems to me, he needs a track that allows him to make more of statement and let his presence be known.  Not bad, just not great.  I’d expect more from the reigning American Idol.

Rihanna “Rehab” featuring Justin Timberlake Released:  October 7, 2008
From Latest Release: Good Girl Gone Bad ♫♪

Not to be mistaken with Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab.”  Not bad on first listen.  I actually like it.  On an aside, who agrees that JT needs to stop doing songs with everybody and their grandmother?  Nice groove, though.  Good sing-along quality. I’d want to hear it again, so that’s good enough for me.

Tracy Chapman “Sing For You” Released:  October 31, 2008  
From Latest Release:  Our Bright Future ♫♫

This I do like.  I do have one of Tracy Chapman’s albums, Telling Stories, I’ll admit.  When it works, it just works.  There’s no accounting for taste, I guess.  Or there is accounting for mine.  I don’t know.  All I know is that I like this ditty.  I feel the grit of her voice and the vibrations of the guitar strings in my gut.  And my gut tells me, “It is good.”

Idina Menzel “Hope” Released:  November 10, 2008
For:  Major League Baseball (MLB) Stand Up To Cancer Campaign ♫♪

This is for charity, but I don’t want to give it a good review just because of that.  I’ll try to be objective.  The piano is pretty and so is her voice, but this doesn’t move me the way I think a charity single should.  Again, not bad, just not great.  Technically, the piano and her voice are well-wielded instruments, just needs a little of that human vulnerability to shine through.  I let it play through on her MySpace Page to the next song, “I Stand,” and I like that one much better.

Wow!  Just finished writing these reviews.  Am I too harsh?  I just don’t want to give everything 4 musical notes as not everything is above average.  And I wasn’t really feeling today’s songs.

Maybe I’m depressed because Thanksgiving is coming up.  Don’t stats show more people get depressed during the holidays?  And I think suicide rates go up, too.  No, I’m not suicidal.  I am lonely, though.  But, I digress, TMI!  Trust me, I know, and I’ll try to be better about it in the future.

November 25, 2008

A popolio selection of today’s New Releases.

Coldplay Prospekt’s March (EP)
Jadiel Lo Mojer de Mi
The Killers Day & Age
Ludacris Theater of the Mind
Milk Soundtrack
Mos Def The Ecstatic
Scott Weiland Happy in Galoshes
KanYe West 808s & Heartbreak
Xtreme Chapter Dos

November 18, 2008

A popolio selection of today’s New Releases.

Ricardo Arjona

Quinto Piso


I Am… Sasha Fierce (Dual CD)

David Cook

David Cook


Safe Trip Home

Il Divo

The Promise

Ricky Martin

17 (Greatest Hits Compilation)


The New Game


Dark Horse




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