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



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. 

10/18/08 UPDATE:  It’s on!
10/12/08 UPDATE:  Okay, looks like the comeback show was canceled also.  So, now I don’t know if I will get to see JJ in Dallas after all.  I’ll wait and see how things go.
10/10/08 UPDATE:  Good news for Janet and me.  Seems like Janet is feeling better and will be getting back on the road again.  So, looks like I will be able to see her on schedule after all.

So, I’ve hesitated to blog about the Janet Rock Witchu Tour and Janet’s recent illness.  Those of you that have been following our popolio R&R podcasts know that  Janet and Madonna are my 2 big shows this year.  I’ve liked both women since I was a child and seeing both live would be the fulfillment of 2 life-long dreams.

The other part of it is that as I said in my inaugural Editor’s Letter I think of popolio more as a music magazine than a blog, so I want to write these masterpieces and make sure everything is just perfect before I publish them.  But, I have a day job and a lot of the time I can only blog on weekends.  And some of that time is spent booking forthcoming posts to satiate the hunger for content out there.

I need to get over that.  I think I’m missing out on the spirit of blogging.  What’s different about this over magazines is that it is in the moment and it is “alive” and that it is fluid.

So, I’m supposed to see Ms. Jackson If You’re Nasty in Dallas in a couple of weeks.  But, if you have been keeping up she has suddenly fallen ill and has post-poned and canceled all kinds of shows. 

At first, I thought maybe it was her age.  But, she’s only in her 40s.  And Madonna does it and she’s older, but she doesn’t dance as hard as Janet or as long as reports are saying she does in this show.  From what I’ve read, it sounds like it’s pretty much beginning to end.  I remember Madonna passing out a couple of tours back, but that show still went on, though.

I read JJ recently partied with JD for his latest birthday and that he hurled in her lap on the cab ride home.  Not sure if this is true, but, initially, I thought maybe she partied too hard, too, and maybe that’s why there was the first cancellation.  But, then there were more.

The other rumor permeating the internet is that she may be with child.  Not sure if that one’s true.  That would make sense.  Working that hard and being newly pregnant does seem like it could knock someone for a loop.

As a fan I do hope it’s nothing too serious and that she gets well soon.  As a fan I also want her to get well by the Dallas date, be in tip-top shape by then, and be able to give me the Janet show of my dreams.  Is that selfish? 

The other thing is that I’ve already bought my plane tickets and you know how that goes.  That would just really suck.  I have the time off from work and have already ordered my tour tee online (after she fell ill; wishful ordering on my part).  So, I’m ready to get “Nasty.”  Cross your fingers for me that the show will go on and that I’ll get to take a jaunt to Planet Janet.

freddie beat
popolio editor

Saturday, September 13, 2008
1:30 PM

To Whom It May Concern:

Well, I sit here attempting to write this letter for the second time.  I’ve been putting it off.  It’s the weekend of Hurricane Ike in Texas and I’m in Austin.   popolio kicks off on Monday, September 15, 2008, and, though the hurricane puts things into perspective and my heart goes out to those involved, I’m still excited about popolio.  I think things like hurricanes, unexpected occurrences, and Acts of God (or whatever you personally attribute them to) are reasons to pursue your goals, live your lives, and ignite your passions even harder, deeper, and brighter.

I have laundry going in the washers downstairs from my apartment and the last track of Erykah Badu’s New Amerykah just finished.  I hit “Honey” again because it’s my favorite track.  This is my first Letter from the Editor and I don’t really know what to say.  I don’t know what I want to communicate or how I want to come across.

I know I love music.  I love music and the entertainment/art fields, in general.  Some people separate entertainment and art and I realize a lot of times there are fine differences, but I think a lot of things become intertwined.  For the most part, we call them music artists, not entertainers (though I don’t have a problem with entertainers, either), no matter at what level or of what genre.  Most would admit entertainment is part of the job.  Others would say it’s not a job, it’s a passion.  At the end of the day, it’s music, and it moves us.

Who doesn’t love music?  Movies you can watch anywhere, but you need translation.   People don’t mind listening to music in other languages without translation.  All kinds of people love to dance to salsa, there are hip hop heads in Japan who rock the gear and know all the rap lyrics, and pop stars travel the world and have their songs recited back to them on their tours.  Do all salseros speak Spanish or all Japanese hip hoppers English?  No.  Music is the true universal language that makes the world go round.  What I love about music is that it can make you shake your ass at the same time that it can truly inspire change in the world.

pause…I need to go put my laundry in the dryers…back…Now I’m putting in Janet’s Discipline.

So, what is popoliopopolio is a music blog that will feature pop music and artists in Austin, Dallas, Texas, and more.  I hesitate to use the word “pop” because I think it gets a bad rap.  I’m using pop in the most general sense of the word.  I’m thinking more along the lines of pop culture, though it is strictly a music entertainment site.  

I want to cover local and regional up-and-coming and established artists.  Give them an opportunity for a little shine.  Doesn’t mean I won’t be covering more mainstream acts as well.  Most of what I listen to is more Top 40 R&B and pop.   Growing up, I developed an affinity for black and urban music and culture — especially the R&B/hip hop and new Jack and Jill swing of the 1990s.  Doesn’t mean I’m not open to stuff I haven’t listened to before.  That’s the magic of pop — it can draw on so many genres and styles and any song could become a pop hit if it connects with the masses.  It’s just a classification and I like what I like — just like all of you.

I’m excited to be working on popolio with J.W. Richard, who’s based in Dallas.  He brings many years of podcasting experience and know-how, through his own Mandrake Arts & Media.   Check out his websites at: and  They’re a little different than what we’ll be offering on popolio, but variety is the spice of life.   I’m new to both the worlds of blogging and podcasting.  I’m thinking of popolio more as an online music magazine than an actual blog.  It will be exciting to see where this journey takes us and what popolio becomes.

Let me tell you about myself.  I am of Panamanian descent, born in Panama and raised in El Paso, Texas.  I grew up Northeast El Paso to be exact.  I started my Bachelors at UTEP (University of Texas at El Paso for those of you who don’t know) and transferred to UT-Austin (you all should know) and earned a BS in Radio-TV-Film with aspirations of directing music videos, which I haven’t done yet.  I went back to EP for two-and-a-half years and returned to Austin to earn an MA in Advertising from UT again. 

Though I haven’t gotten to use either of my degrees in my real-day-job-life, I pursue interests like these in my fantasy-after hours/own time-life.   I’m left-handed, my favorite group of all-time is TLC, I love super hero comics, and in a former life I founded and ran a poetry organization that hosted open mics and slams in my hometown.

September is the kick-off of popolio and our new features.  Look for a pop quiz and popolio podcast interview with Austin artists, Cheryl Hill and Phil Dutra, respectively.  Check out MY TOP 10, a daily countdown by yours truly.  We’ll bring you a snapshot of new releases on Tuesdays.   There will be music and show reviews.   J. Dub and I hope to bring you our regular music conversations on Richard & Rodriguez podcasts.

This is just the beginning.  There will be a lot more.  I hope you check it out, come again, and stick around.  Welcome to popolio

2:54 PM

Freddie Rodriguez aka freddie beat
popolio editor

I’m looking forward to discussing pop music and culture with Freddie here on popolio.  Of course, along the the line of the other Mandrake family of podcasts, we will bring you the popolio podcast so stay tuned for that.  We love your comments and we want them all.  Thanks for joining us!