Remember Eduardo Fajardo?  His band was The Executive Lifepopolio was at their debut show back in January which featured guest musician Arthur Yoria.  See the popolio pic-olios for that show here, here, and here.   They also did a pop quiz for us in April here.

Well, alas, The Executive Life is no more.  But, don’t shed too many a tear, Señor Fajardo has teamed up with Señor Yoria and these two Colombianos are now Monoceja.  They have a show next Wednesday right here in downtown ATX’s Beso Cantina.  Click the flyer to go to the so fresh, so clean Monocejo MySpace Page.  

MNCO flyer


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.


Contact:  Freddie Rodriguez

August 10, 2009 hosts One Year Anniversary Mixer
An evening of celebration and networking
with live music, appetizers, and wine


AUSTIN, TX, which sits under the umbrella organization of Dallas-based Mandrake Arts & Media that started with, announces its One Year Anniversary Mixer.  The Austin-based pop music blog,, which debuted on September 15, 2008, features a hodgepodge of local, regional, national, and international content.  The free event takes place on Friday, September 18, 2009, at Phara’s Mediterranean Cuisine at 111 East N. Loop from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM. The venue is BYOB and, therefore, only those 21 years of age and/or older may attend.  In conjunction, Mandrake Society Radio will be celebrating its Four Year Anniversary the next day in Dallas.  More details will be provided as they become available.

Special Guest, local power pop musician, Phil Dutra, will perform a short acoustic set. Though an open event, guests are asked to RSVP for a headcount.  Appetizers, wine, and cake will be provided.  Guests may order dinner on their own.  A limited amount of goodie boxes including the CDs of Featured Artists and other items will be gifted to first attendees.

The evening is set to be an intimate, low-key, informal networking event not only for fans but for all Austin-area blog and music enthusiasts and creators.  Background music will set the tone, but conversation will take the forefront.  Mostly, guests are asked to help celebrate’s one year existence and anticipate its second year. kicked off last year presenting itself as an online music magazine more than a blog. The blog set itself apart from other pop blogs by dedicating itself to original entertainment content and not gossip and operating on the underground, independent, and mainstream levels.  Creating its own definition for “pop music, ” embraces multiple genres such as Latin, R&B, and hip hop as well as pop.  Its features include online and podcast artist interviews, show pictures, streamed songs, music reviews, and music video countdowns highlighting Austin- and Texas-based content.

SXSW, ¡Pachanga! Latino Music Festival, and, more recently, Premios Texas 2009 Artists have been featured on pop quiz interviews. These artists include Austin and Texas artists David Garza, Vallejo, Maneja Beto, Los Bad Apples, and Bobby Pulido.  On the national level, Grammy Winner Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes’ posthumous release, Eye Legacy, was featured with a podcast interview with her brother, Ron Lopes, and a MY TOP 10:  Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes Video Countdown.  Maryland-based SXSW Artist and 2009 Grammy Nominee Wayna’s Higher Ground featured with pop quiz and podcast interviews with the artist.  Canadian Jennie Laws and London-based Welsh artist, Bright Light Bright Light (formerly SXSW Artist Rod Thomas) have also been featured.

Singer-Songwriter Phil Dutra was the first artist to be interviewed for the popolio podcast feature at on September 24, 2008, at  According to his MySpace Page and Official Site, “Phil sounds like the love child of REM and Barenaked Ladies on a hit of XTC.”  His song “Let Me Be Your Superman” from his latest EP release, Right Behind the Rain, was chosen “Track of the Day” at the influential web site and “She Walks Away,” another song from the same set, won the National Michael Lloyd Song Contest at the TAXI Road Rally held in Hollywood, California.

For more information or to ask questions please contact Freddie Rodriguez at or 512.945.1376.

About Mandrake Arts & Media
Consists of blogs and

History, poetry, and epiphany about building community.

For more information, visit


The Ugly Beats are an Austin band that I first featured in a 5 Questions for interview at the beginning of the month.  We had some technical difficulties with the song featured in that post, so I’m re-presenting it below this post.  That means that you get a double doze of  “ugly” with two songs and a music video to boot.  With their 1960s flavor I just have to say, “Right On.”

June 19, 2009

Name:   The Ugly Beats
Genre:   Rock and Roll Music
Latest Release:  Take a Stand with The Ugly Beats (GET HIP Records)
Release Date:   2006

This, That, or the Other
1. Underground OR Mainstream? Underground
2. Maintain Artistic Integrity and Vision OR Make a lot of Money? (or both)?? Maintain Artistic Integrity
3. Studio or Stage? STAGE – Have fun and make the people have fun.
4. Spirituality or Hedonism? Spirituality, Love
5. Make Love, Have Sex, OR %$*!? Make Love

Fill in the Blank
6. Music is my family.  The Beats are.
7. I’m musically inspired by living and playing with great musicians.
8. My favorite old school joint is “Bernadette” by The Four Tops.
9. If I was a super hero I’d be Super Buff.
10. Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll should change to Sex (is good), Wine, and Tasty Tortillas.

Short Answer
11. I make music because:  It keeps us sane and it’s a lot of fun to go places and eat their food and drink their wine.
12. I want my fans to:  Have a sweaty good time and yell at us.
13. If I could share one thing about myself it would be:  The Ugly Beats are nicer.
14. Wild Card!  Editor’s Note:  No Answer
15. I want my musical legacy to be:  Some kids covering our songs in the year 2525 and getting royalty checks for $300 every other day.   

UB_TASListen to “Light Comes On” from Take a Stand with The Ugly Beats.  Check out their MySpace Page for more.

The Ugly Beats favorite old school joint!

UB_TASJune 19, 2009 UPDATE:   Due to some issues with the audio file I’m re-posting this today in addition to the new The Ugly Beats pop quiz above.


Originally posted Monday, June 1, 2009.
The Ugly Beats are a local band that played SXSW this year.  They have a ’60s vibe going on, don’t take themselves too seriously, and have built a reputation around their live shows.  They’re currently working on their upcoming third release.
They have a couple of Austin shows coming up, too, at Beerland.
June 27, 2009  10PM
–July 12, 2009   8PM
Listen to “Take a Stand” from Take a Stand with The Ugly Beats.  Go to their MySpace Page for more.

* * *
1. What is “The Ugly Beats sound?” And why “ugly?” A little folk, a little garage, a little rock and roll, a little 60’s punk…put some lovely harmonies, fuzz guitar, acetone organ, hollow bass, and monster drums into a blender and there you go.

Ugly ‘cuz we’re not spit-shined into American Idol perfection. It lowers people’s expectations and then they say, “Y’all ain’t that ugly”; it’s perfect.

 2. You participated in SXSW in March.  How do you think the experience is different for a local band vs. a national or international band? It’s a hell of a lot cheaper.  We get to use our own backline (for the most part), which makes a big difference having your true sound and not borrowed equipment.  We know where to get the best tacos.  It’s kind of like having a vacation in your hometown!

3. One woman, four men.  Not a new model for bands.  Describe how that dynamic plays out for The Ugly Beats. Jeanine is pretty much one of the guys.  The coversations in the van or airplane would peel paint.   It’s one big happy family, though.  Everyone gets along really well and stuff.

4. You get the chance to work with any producer (that you haven’t worked with before) of your choice to “interpret” The Ugly Beats sound.  Who would it be and why? Not sure since we’ve been happy with how things turn out thus far in recordings.  We are going into the studio this month [in April] and some in the summer so we can make a new record for GET HIP.  This time we want to capture the LIVE energy that make people have fun at the show….

5. Not sure how long you’ve been in Austin, but, is there something about the Austin music scene you find enriching? Why here instead of anywhere else? The music “scene” here tends to be pretty open and not cut-throat.  Everyone we hang out with is generous and friendly to others.  Not a lot of back-stabbing or drama.  When you do see a band who obviouslly doesn’t get this and it’s clear that they’re into it for silly reasons, we say fuck ’em.

It’s mostly postive here though — with different genres [that] aren’t afraid to put on shows together, though we have yet to be asked onto an Austin Symphony concert…Plus, there’s millions of bands, so we’ve made many friends across the board.  Feels like one giant family! 

GAT5Charles Ferraro is one-half of GAT5, a unique Austin arts collective, that he founded with his brother, James Ferraro, in 2003.  They’re kicking off the GAT5 textiles branch of their operation with Summer Sizzle tomorrow night at 8PM.

It’s a fashion show at Antone’s that features local fashions to the music of local girl band, Tribella, and Austin DJ, PREPMODE.  (5 Questions for with both artists will post tomorrow in anticipation of the event later on in the evening.  So, check back for those interviews and  to listen to songs from each to get a taste of what’s to come!)

More 411 on GAT5 here.                            
More 411 on Summer Sizzle here

We now continue with our regularly scheduled program of 5Q&A for GAT5.

* * *

1. What is GAT5 textiles?  Talk about the umbrella of GAT5 industries and how GAT5 textiles fits into it. GAT5 is a name I use for various creative endeavors.  It is an ongoing visual arts collaboration with my brother James, a Chicago-based illustrator and sculptor. 

It is a production company specializing in the production of interdisciplinary art events and, now, GAT5 textiles is a line of t-shirts.  Shepard Fairey and Obey inspired textiles in large part.  Fairey, amongst other contemporary artists, have embraced Tees as a legitimate way of offering an affordable and accessible version of their art and designs to a larger audience. 


Tuba T

2. Tell us about Summer Sizzle.  Has it happened before?  What are you trying to achieve with this event?  GAT5 has produced many events in a similar vain.  The ultimate goal is simply to showcase talented members of Austin’s creative class and, hopefully, give them exposure to a new audience. 

3. This is a music blog, so what’s your take on the connection between music and fashion?  And which one, do you think, comes first and why? There is a strong connection between the two.  Rock ‘N’ Roll has always had a significant visual and style component.  From the stage show to magazine spreads to album art, it creates an obvious union.   As far as which comes first, I’m not sure if it’s the captain hat or the yacht rock.

4. Speaking of music, local all-girl band, Tribella, and DJ, PREPMODE, are providing the music for Summer Sizzle.  Why were they chosen to be part of this event?  They’re both great acts with some edge and an all-girl rock band seemed to be a perfect fit for a fashion event.

5. Why should folks attend Summer Sizzle? Great clothing, pretty people, an all-girl rock band, cool DJs, live screen printing, legendary local live music venue, cheap drinks….

Monday, April 20, 2009 9:15 PM

To Whom It May Concern:

Well, it’s that time again.  Boy, do the days go by fast.  I think I’m going to try to keep it short and sweet this month.  What’s been nice about April has been that I’ve been doing this long enough now that we can re-feature artists we’ve featured before.  It’s a nice feeling to go back to someone you’ve already featured and feature them in a different way.  Don’t get me wrong, I always want to bring artists we haven’t covered before to you, too.  So, don’t worry about that.  I’ll keep trying to provide a nice mix.

Once they’ve been featured a few times I kind of consider them popolio artists.  I don’t want to tell them that, though, because I don’t want them to think they owe us something or vice-versa.  What it really is is that I’m just happy to have them be part of the blog and excited to have them come back. 

Some of April’s familiar faces are VITERA (April 2009’s already-posted first pop quiz), Wayna (a popolio podcast — look for it in two days!), and The Executive Life (this Friday’s pop quiz).  VITERA and The Executive Life are local artists.  Featuring local talent always feels good in a little bit of a different way.  It’s like a fizzle in your tummy or a buzz in your cortex.  Something like that.  Or not.  Can’t explain it.  It’s just a little extra special.

Anyway, enjoy the rest of April and I’d like to pose a challenge to all of you this month.   I want you to listen to one artist that you otherwise would not have ever listened to.  Burst your genre-bubble!  Comment on here or email me and let me know who the artist was, what CD you listened to, and what you thought about it.

9:28 PM

peace, love, and all that jazz
Freddie Rodriguez aka freddie beat 
popolio creator/editor