A new beginning for John Michael Rouchell came about in early 2007, when he decided to write, record and release a song a week for all of 2008.


With Jesse on the Road, It’s Ladies’ Choice for Erica… You Go, Girl!
(www.myspace.com/mynameisjohnmichael): A new beginning for John Michael Rouchell came about in early 2007, when he decided to write, record and release a song a week for all of 2008. What began as a solo project quickly gained momentum, and with the addition of new members by the middle of 2008, the six-piece MyNameIsJohnMichael was formed. Those 52 songs in 52 weeks gave this New Orleans indie-rock outfit a newly established fan base that is quickly expanding. They draw on influences from Tears for Fears to Prince, but personalize their musical trajectory with catchy, radio-ready tunes, rousing four-part harmonies and instruments that you might not expect to find on stage with a rock band. They’ve already got a booking agent and are managed by Erin Frankenheimer, who also produces and hosts her own radio show, Face the Music, and is the director of youth programs for the Tipitina's Foundation. The band was recently named Best Emerging Artist at the Big Easy Awards, and the album just became available on iTunes this week. So what are you waiting for? Jump on the MNIJM train and get your copy now.

Rob Michaels (www.myspace.com/robmichaels): Rob just might be one of the hardest-working young musicians in the business today. He picked up a Spanish guitar at a very young age and was determined to teach himself to play, though he could barely even tune it. At 12, he hooked up with Marino de Silva, who would prove to be a great influence and mentor; after just six months of proper lessons, Rob had written the title track for a film called Angel’s Freeway. By 13, he had played every major venue in L.A., sharing the stage with Toto, John Waite, Steve Lukather and Carlos Santana. His determination has only grown since that fast start, and with a full band in tow, Rob is now tearing it up like the stars rock was built on. His experience as a session musician, combined with years spent on the road in various bands, has made for a mature and focused body of work that shines through in songs like “I’m Back” and “Close Your Eyes.” His most recent album, Fiction in my Arms, will be available on iTunes May 26. We suggest you grab a copy and head to the next show.

Laura Raia
(www.myspace.com/lauraraia) is a star in the making who’s building a buzz with the sounds of acoustic soul. She draws on influences from Stevie Wonder to Lauryn Hill and has been described as a female cross between Justin Nozuka and James Morrison. At just 19, Laura has a long list of accomplishments and is living and breathing her art every day. She has studied guitar, piano and ballet and is currently enrolled in the jazz program at Columbia University. Her debut EP is on its way, but in the meantime, you can familiarize yourself with her live acoustic recording “Don’t Break My Heart,” streaming on her MySpace page.

(www.myspace.com/aranda) have hit the charts! This week, their single “Still in the Dark” is #38 on the Mainstream Rock Monitor. We told you about this band months ago; don’t get left in the dark!

Courtenay Green
is playing LA this weekend! Don’t miss her this Sunday (4/26) at the L.A. Times Festival of Books at noon.

Lawyer Ben does it again: Phoenix-based melodic/hardcore band The Word Alive (www.myspace.com/thewordalive) have signed to Fearless Records.