Click on the flyer to go to the 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! 

(creative, yet self- explanatory name), Austin all-girl indie pop band, play the Summer Sizzle fashion show TONIGHT at Antone’s.  More info on Summer Sizzle here.

Get to know them a little bit in our 5 Questions for before getting to see them live tonight.   

Listen to “My Guest List” to get a taste of Tribella and check out their MySpace Page for more. 

* * *
1.  How did you get tapped for Summer Sizzle? We imagine that someone, somewhere, thought it would be a good idea.  We are really looking forward to playing during the Sizzle.

2. Have you played a fashion show before?  If so, how is the energy different from a regular show?  If not, how do you anticipate the energy will be different? This will be Tribella’s first fashion show.  We expect that because people will be exposed to different art forms, it will elicit a broader interpretation of art and a more universal energy.

 3.  Why do you think that historically there’s such synergy between music and fashion? One aspect of music is the live performance and performers have frequently been given more leeway by society to push the envelope when it comes to clothing, hair, behavior, etc. 

Musicians have to create their own brand based on their music, a particular fashion style, and an attitude.  Music and fashion go hand-in-hand.

4. How would you describe Tribella’s personal style? Sexy/Urban/Femme/Quirky.  Rock ‘N’ Roll with a friendly edge.
5. What will your particular brand of music bring to Summer Sizzle in
 terms of atmosphere, tone, and mood? Our music should provide a fun, energetic, intense, and sincere endcap to the evening.

Phil Dutra

Phil Dutra

Our inaugural podcast interview (of an ongoing popolio series) features Austin-based singer/songwriter, Phil Dutra.  Freddie asks Phil about his songwriting accolades including having his music remixed by award-winning producer, Michael Lloyd, and why Phil’s giving his music away!  Featured tracks by Phil Dutra are “(Let Me Be Your) Superman” and “She Walks Away (Michael Lloyd Remix).”

Thanks for listening and leaving your comments.