Austin artists Aly Tadros & Alyse Black take their Debut Tour 2009 to my hometown of El Paso.  All my El Pasoans go and check them out.  Click on the flyer to get to Aly Tadros’ Official MySpace Page.


Vote “Best Local Blog”  in The Austin Chronicle’s 2009 Best Of poll here.
* * *
LRJuly 17, 2009

Name:  Lights Resolve
Genre:  Rock
Latest Release:  writing new record now
Release Date:  TBD
Previous Release:  CURRENCY  (Self-Released)
Release Date:  2008

This, That, or the Other
1. Underground OR Mainstream? Whichever lacks the suckage.
2. Maintain Artistic Integrity and Vision OR Make a lot of Money? (or both)?? Complete artistic integrity with food money.
3. Studio or Stage? Stage by far.
4. Spirituality or Hedonism? Don’t the two co-exist lovely together?
5. Make Love, Have Sex, OR %$*!? Love rules all.

Fill in the Blank
6. Music is my passion, downfall, victory.
7. I’m musically inspired by creepy baby commercials from the ’70s and Un Chien Andalou by Dali.
8. My favorite old school joint is “Allison in the Rain” by Jay Breaker House.
9. If I was a super hero I’d be Dave Coulier.
10. Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll should change to Work, Work, and More Work.

Short Answer
11. I make music because:   I want to inspire others by making them burn calories as they listen/watch.
12. We want our fans to:  Love us as much as we love them.  Done deal.
13. If I could share one thing about myself it would be:  You have to watch me eat a banana.
14. Wild Card!  Parkways/driveways — What’s the deal?
15. I want my musical legacy to be:  Playing honest music and putting on the best live show anyone has ever seen.

Listen to Lights Resolve’s “Dreaming of Love.”  Go to their MySpace Page for more.

Lights Resolve’s favorite old school joint!

Editor’s Note:  I couldn’t find a video for “Allison in the Rain” out there, so you get a live performance of “Gameface,” instead.  You can go to the Jay Breaker House MySpace Page if you want to hear the track, though.

I first Just Picked Up Bat For Lashes’ Two Suns here and then I reviewed “Daniel” here and “Pearl’s Dream” here.  Now, I’m reviewing the whole set.


 LTR (Long Term Review)
Full Release Review

all over the place

carries a tune


part of the chorus


featured soloist


conducting the choir


Bat For Lashes Two Suns
Released:  April 6, 2009

“Indie pop” sounds  like an oxymoron, but Bat For Lashes weaves a magical musical tapestry that defies any other description.  Not only is Two Suns indie pop, it’s a concept album that works in layers more than as a literal translation of  a linear story from track to track.  Though I’m calling it pop, it’s pregnant with  lush instrumentation that brings the songs to life.  

Exploring dualities in fable-song form, she presents an alter ego in the form of Pearl, who plays foil to her Bat For Lashes persona.  Two Suns takes you to a world of princesses and dragons and castles and large bodies of water between warring kingdoms.  You feel like one of Robin Hood’s Merry Men stopping in the forest to take in the Folk Fairie’s rave.

“Daniel”  hauntingly calls out to a soulmate-lover-savior and harkens back to the ’80s.  It’s a synth ice-cream-dream with a juxtaposition of beats in foreground and background that commingle flawlessly.  “Pearl’s Dream” is a mesmerizing ode with a funky beat.  It’s simple yet clever sing-song double-meaning lyrics make the song that much richer.  With synth and drum programming to die for, I picture gypsies with layers of kerchiefs flowing in the wind as they belly dance the night away next to tents on a beach lit by a bounty of bonfires.  And, just wait for that beat breakdown near the end.

Drums run through the tracks so much so that the songs could be interpreted by a drum circle from beginning to end.  New wave flourishes add a unique flavor.  Allusions to renaissance fairs and medieval reenactments aside,  Two Suns, is chic fairytale fare and not geek at all.  A masterful pop-parable that delivers. ♫♫

 Standout Track:  “Pearl’s Dream”
Check Out:  “Glass,” “Daniel,” and “Siren Song”

I attended the ¡Pachanga! Latino Music Festival last month and took pics of the three acts we featured in pop quizzes as a mini-countdown to the event.  This Maneja Beto show pic-olio is 1 of 3David Garza and Charanga Cakewalk will follow this Wednesday and Friday. Check out the Maneja Beto popolio pop quiz here, enjoy the pic-olio, and stay tuned for parts 2 and 3.










 As a mini-countdown to the ¡Pachanga! Latino Music Festival THIS SATURDAY popolio is featuring 3 ¡Pachanga! Artists in  pop quizzes today through Friday.

* * *
First up is, local favorite band, Maneja Beto.  Running the gamut from the romantic to the political, they create rock- and pop-tinged Latin/Mexican music  that they’ve branded “Indie en Español.”  Repping for the band tonight is Bobby Garza.   They play the Yerba Stage (at Fiesta Gardens) at 6PM.  Check the ¡Pachanga! Fest site here for more 411.

May 27, 2009

Name:   Bobby Garza [Maneja Beto percussion/keys/voz/loops]
Genre:   Indie en Español
Latest Release:  Maneja Beto untitled EP (Self-Released)
Release Date:   April 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)??? Is this, like, make-believe or one of those “Choose Your Own Destiny” books?  I’ve chosen to go left.  What does that mean?  Hold, please while I turn to page 47. 
3. Studio or Stage? Studio
4. Spirituality or Hedonism? Spiritual Hedonism
5. Make Love, Have Sex, OR %$*!? Spiritual Hedonism

Fill in the Blank
6. Music is my Yes, it is.
7. I’m musically inspired by It’s never one thing or the same thing…
8. My favorite old school joint is “Monk’s Mood” by Thelonious Monk.   That’s what it is lately, but it’s never the same.  It could anything from Sly to BBD to Serge Gainsbourg or Los Angeles Negros or the Ozark Mountain Daredevils, for that matter. 
9. If I was a super hero I’d be Are there fat super heroes?
10. Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll should change to Lone Star, Lone Star, and I’m sorry.  What was the question?

Short Answer
11. I make music because:  It’s not really a question of why.  It’s how and to what extent.
12. I want my fans to:  Fans?  Awesome.
13. If I could share one thing about myself it would be:  Besides my name?  That seems pretty important.
14. Wild Card!  Capybaras are fascinating and I’m told they’re also tasty.
15. I want my musical legacy to be:  That the music I make matters to people.

MBEPListen to “Campanera” from Maneja Beto’s latest untitled EP.  Find out more at their MySpace Page.

Bobby Garza’s favorite old school joint!

Introducing yet another NEW FEATURE this month in addition to LTR (Long Term Review) introduced last week.  This one’s called Questions for.  Could be 5, 10, 20…

It’s a nice alternative interview to our pop quiz.  Don’t ge me wrong, I love our pop quizzes and those will continue as well, but you gotta’ change up from time to time.  This one’s more individualized.  Gotta’ change the game, not let the game change you. 🙂

Right now I’m thinking of alternating them with the pop quizzes on Fridays, but we’ll see how that goes.  In celebration of the kick-off month, you’ll get 3.  A BONUS next Friday and another the following week.  The next pop quiz will still post as regularly scheduled.

Our debut artist for this feature is Miz Metro, a fairly new artist on the scene, who seems to have quite an impressive resume already.   She’s a New York hip-pop artist who participated in SXSW 2009, here in Austin, in March.  She ‘s releasing her debut album, Unlimited, next month.  She had a lot to say, so grab a snack, sit back, and enjoy.

* * *

1. For those who don’t know, who is Miz Metro? Laura Marie O’Reilly born July 20th 1986, conceived in a college dorm room on the east coast.  I’m a New York City girl raised in Manhattan and grew up playing street ball and watching my parents act.  I started acting when I was 8 years old and I started singing in Gospel choir when I was 12.

I’ve always loved singing and grew up listening to really good songwriters.  My Dad would always play me a wide range of music, he loved good lyrics —  a big Bruce Springsteen and Van Morrison fan.  He’s also an actor and taught me at a young age to have a respect for art and to work at developing a craft.

Miz Metro is my melting pot of media, music, and art; I’m a storyteller, an entertainer.  I wear many hats but the stage is my home and I’ve lived the life of a gypsy, I want to plant my roots all over the world.

2. Now, your look is definitely part of the package.  Are you going for an ‘80s vibe? I’m not really going for any one thing specifically —  I dress based on my mood.  I like to be comfortable, honestly, I’m a bit of a tomboy — up to me, I’d wear uptowns every day (usually I do), but I like getting all dolled up as well.  I’ve always loved to play dress up, to get into costume.

I was born in the ’80s, but I wouldn’t say I’m going for a straight up ’80s look, I’m very influenced by the ’60s, ’40s, and 1920s and the future, of course.  “I’m from the past and the future”(“Who’s that Girl?” from the Urban Gypsy Circus project I’m releasing in the fall).  I’m going to be going for a classic Hollywood music star vibe on some of the artwork for my upcoming debut album UNLIMITED which is being packaged and designed by COCO Black, which I’m super excited about  — she’s amazing.

3. You played SXSW in March — both performing at and hosting events.   How do the two compare?  And what did you think of SXSW overall? SXSW was an amazing experience!  Producing and hosting events is something I’ve been doing since I was 17 years old.  I started out throwing shows in Gardens on the lower eastside, and eventually went on to pack 5,000 sq foot lofts in Soho with my Urban Gypsy Circus parties.  I was a professional event producer and promoter at one time, before I decided to get my degree in New Media and Music Composition.

Now, I only have time to be a full time performer and student, but I still get an itch to produce an event every few months.  The HIP HOP HOWL Showcase we threw in Austin during SXSW was amazing because of the team of people I got to work with to help make it happen and the community of artists that came together to make it an amazing success. Crosby my co-presenter and I along with Cathleen (FelicaCruz) our stage manager managed to get 28 acts up and off the stage at LUCKY LOUNGE in 3 hours!  The show ran like a live mixtape and we handed out mixtapes mixed by MELO-X along with free pizza all night and give-away bags sponsored by VICE Magazine and IMEEM.

I really enjoyed co-hosting the event, I know when I’m performing there is nothing like having a great introduction before you go on — it helps amp the performance.  So, I like to try and give other performers a high energy introduction!  Hosting and performing aren’t that different, you have to command the stage doing both — I’d say a host has to work the hardest sometimes because they have to keep the audience engaged for the next act.  Overall, SXSW was an incredible experience, shout out’s to Eyeris, Yarah Bravo, Davey D, Mr. Lif, Blu, Lady Sov, The Beatards, and everyone else I met and ran around with!

4. Is your heart only with hip hop? Or do you see yourself as a Queen Latifah in 5, maybe 10 years earning Oscar nominations and releasing jazz standard CDs? Funny you say that, I love Queen Latifah — my aunt Bernedatte O’Reilly who’s a music business veteran always compares me to Queen Latifah.  If I’m anything at heart, it’s a jazz singer — that is what made me want to start singing and is what in my own renegade way I’ve studied for the past 6 years — not really reading music, but memorizing Dextor Gordon solos off GO (“Cheese Cake” is one of my all-time favorite songs).

I would like to have a career like Queen Latifah, I definitely am going to get back into acting in the near future, really I never stopped.  I went to Laguardia H.S. of the Performing Arts and was in the drama department there.  I’m sure to do a few student films every year to keep my feet wet, and continue to build my reel.  I want to graduate college and establish myself as a musical artist and personality right now before I take even more on to an already intensely full plate.  I have a deep respect for acting and it deserves my full attention. Sometimes you have to live, gain life experience —  acting is all I’ve known my whole life, music for me — in my family is rebellious.

5. Where will Miz Metro be in 5 years? Running an my Miz Metro Media company — which [will] includes the multi-media network Urban Gypsy Circus, selling millions of digital albums, with a hit TV show and a thriving non-4 profit “Project Playground” that helps revolutionize the public school system.

…in 10 years? I will be one of the highest grossing women in the history of the entertainment business.  My main focus will be to help heal the planet and create platforms for global communication through media and art.

We are what we think.
We are all
the debut album JUNE 2009
be on the look out!

Now, listen to Miz Metro perform, “Everyone Wants 2B on TV,” from the Hip Hop HOWL: SXSW 2009 Edition Mixtape.

It’s taken me a little while to post these.  Haydn Vitera did his thing at Maria Maria Restaurant both times I went.  This is a more mellow acoustic show since it is entertainment at a restaurant during folks’ dinner hours.  Haydn does rock out as frontman of his band, VITERA.  Have yet to see one of those shows, but I would like to check one out in the not too distant future.  Seems Mr. Vitera has a bunch of upcoming shows lined up.   Check out the listings at his MySpace Page here and go see him live. 
Maria Maria napkin at my table.

Profile Shot.


Representing Méjico.


Workin' it.


Doin' his thing. Dinner crowd is hard, y'all!




When:  Next Thursday, January 22, 2009
Where:  Maria Maria Restaurant 
415 Colorado (Downtown Austin)
Time:  7PM to 10PM

Haydn Vitera, who plays as VITERA as both a solo artist and with a band, was recommended to me by Millissa Salinas as a possible feature for popolio.  So, props to her for the connect. 

I went to check him out at what seems to be a somewhat regular gig at Maria Maria Restaurant here in Austin last Thursday,  January 8, 2009.  Not sure if it’s every other Thursday;  I’ll follow-up on this and report back.

For those of you who don’t know — these are Santana’s chain of Mexican food restaurants.  One opened in Austin some months ago.  I believe Haydn played at the opening as well, which Ms. Salinas attended.  The official site defines the cuisine as “nuevo Mexicano” and describes it as:

a regional exploration of Mexican dishes presented with a modern flair.

I had the duck taco appetizer and a tangerine mojito (that was a little strong) while I listened to Haydn’s acoustic set.  I had never had duck tacos before.  They were good.  But, I’m here to talk about  the music not the food.  The ambiance and setting were nice; the Mezo-contemporary murals/artwork that grace Santana’s CD covers were plastered all over the walls. 


Okay, okay — the music.  Back to the music.  But, it all kind of works together, though, doesn’t it?  A small little  black square stage against the wall held up Haydn and his compadre-in-arms as they played their guitars in the non-reservation area next to the bar.  

As they played a flat-screen TV floated above them against the wall as well.  This was the sports-barsy-TV-veiwing-area.  Collections of little black square ottoman like seating and tables at their centers huddled around a circular center-piece facing the stage and TV. 

Some football game or other was on.  I believe they played for some of it, so people could watch the game above their heads and just listen to their music if they wanted to.  Neither  musicians nor audience members/restaurant attendees seemed to mind this.  After each song their was enough engagement in the form of clapping, whistling, and hooting and hollering that I think more people were listening and watching the performers than were not.  But, it wasn’t just polite applause.  These folks were digging the musical entertainment.  

Though, after one break they did wait for a part of the game to finish as to not offend the Maria Maria denizens.  I thought that was nice of them as they did have the gig booked from 7PM to 10PM.  I figured it was their prerogative to play.  Just my opinion.

They played a nice mix of Spanish and English and standards and original material.  And, yes, Santana’s “Maria Maria” was included in the set list.   Are they required to play it every week?  That, I don’t know. 

Remember, this was a stripped down acoustic set.  So, if you want to enjoy some nice music with dinner, drinks, and, perhaps, some game-watching catch VITERA next Thursday, January 22, 2009, at Maria Maria Restaurant at 415 Colorado Street (Downtown) from 7pm to 10pm.  And, yes, it was nice music.  That, I do know.

NOTE:   He does play shows with a more rocked out band.  Go to his MySpace Page to find out more  about what Vitera has coined his “Rock AlterLatino.”

INTERESTING FACThv3:  Yes, he plays the violin and/or fiddle.

When:  Next Thursday, January 22, 2009
Where:  Maria Maria Restaurant 
415 Colorado (Downtown Austin)
Time:  7PM to 10PM