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Nicole Hanratty brings you entertainment news at Life of a Rock Star where new music happens and things get charitable.

Top 10 mistakes new musicians make
Top 10 mistakes new musicians make really starts with the basics of promotion and getting your message across clearly to the right people. I see a lot of new music releases. Most of it is not worth listening to once much less passing on to my readers. Why? Musicians today are in a hurry to keep up with the fast paced internet world and want to keep their fans gratified constantly. But they miss the mark when they think that it is new songs and tracks that need to be released to satisfy the insatiable need for more. READ MORE

LOAR Best Concerts in LA This Week (January 26, 2015)
If you love new music on your playlist then be sure to get out and support the artists you love! LOAR contributor Jake Castillo brings you his picks this week for top shows and live music by
Major League, Shwayze, Nothing with Tony Molina, Bush, The Aggrolites, G-Eazy, Citizen Cope and Hozier.

Asher Monroe responds to Johnny Depp finding actors making music
Asher Monroe responds to Johnny Depp finding actors making music "sickening" and drops On My Way Part 2
Asher Monroe whom says vulnerability and emotion drives the authenticity of his music responded this week to Johnny Depp's disdain for actors who push music careers with their on-camera celebrity. In an interview with Nicole Hanratty for Life of a Rock Star at the brand new stunning and expansive Swing House Studios Atwater location, Asher Monroe chats about his transition from acting to music. Best known for his role in the recent remake of the major motion picture Fame and his roles on network TV shows Parenthood and The Mentalist, Monroe has just released Part 2 of his On My Way EP. With new music featuring Chris Brown, Sean Kingston and One Republic's Ryan Tedder, it's clear Monore is well on his way yet he says his journey is just beginning. WATCH

(Photo via YouTube Olivia Cella Taylor Swift
13 Year Old Olivia Cella's cover of Taylor Swift "Blank Space" gives the mega hit theatrical sass
Olivia Cella's "Blank Space" Taylor Swift cover music video is by far the best we've seen yet. It grabs you with her sweet innocent young smile then hooks you with her shockingly powerful voice. At just 13 years old, Olivia Cella owns this cover bringing her own theatrical sass to the mega pop hit. All dressed up in the bathtub donning a tiara, Olivia Cella is an irresistible force tearing up magazines of tabloid news and relationships with boys that have gone down in flames. WATCH


The Griswolds continue to "Be Impressive" with "If You Wanna Stay" and announce tour dates with Walk The Moon
It's not just the way the door to their song "
If You Wanna Stay" swings open with a welcoming hook, it's the way The Griswolds hold your attention with their integrated 80's and current day alternative pop sound. "If You Wanna Stay" [listen below] is like sipping an ice cold shake on a hot day through a thick straw; it's sweet, rich, and feels good all the way down. One listen to The Griswolds—heading out on tour with Walk The Moon this Spring—and you will want to drink more.

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Top 5 Music Videos This Week (January 26, 2015)
Looking for
new music? LOAR brings you hot videos we've got our eye on. Watch the Top 5 Music Videos This Week (January 26, 2015) compiled by our own Life of a Rock Star contributor Jake Castillo. Check out Jake's picks of his favorite music videos this week from bands Chris Farren, Luke Christopher, Eminem, Galvanized Souls, and AWOLNATION.

Life of a Rock Star highlights new music setting trends, not following them.

Freddy & Francine reunite at Hotel Cafe residency Jan 17, 24, & 31
In the vein of Ray Lamontagne, Civil Wars, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, Freddy & Francine belt out soulful folk rock this month during a three date residency at Hotel Cafe. Check out this beautifully blended indie music duo's song "The Telegram" that will make you crave the one you miss with Freddy & Francine's longing voices that conjure up equal parts love and pain. LISTEN HERE

(photo above: Sam Smith live at 2014 MTV Music Awards, photo credit Nicole Hanratty for Life of a Rock Star)
Sam Smith, Charli XCX, Jessie J And Bleachers Added To Rock in Rio USA lineup in Las Vegas
Rock in Rio, the legendary music festival celebrating its 30(th) anniversary, has announced additional artists for the lineup of its first stateside edition, taking place May 8-9 and May 15-16 in Las Vegas. Over four days, the City of Rock, an open air venue located on The Las Vegas Strip, will welcome some of the biggest names in music including Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars, Metallica, Linkin Park, No Doubt, Mana, Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran and Jessie J, among others. Tickets for the festival go on sale January 20. GET DETAILS

The Decemberists
The Decemberists "What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World" out January 20, 2015
The Decemberists
—who will perform live on Jimmy Kimmel on January 22nd— have premiered their new album What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World with an iTunes First Play exclusive album stream. Listen to the album in its entirety for a limited time at iTunesRadio.com/TheDecemberists. Customers who pre-order the album at iTunes.com/thedecemberists will instantly receive four tracks including “A Beginning Song” which was released today and can also be heard via a new lyric video. WATCH HERE

Jack Garratt
Jack Garratt "Remnants" cures your craving for organic raw sound
Life of a Rock Star can't close out 2014 without bringing you recently released Jack Garratt "Remnants" EP. Soulful enough to stop you in your tracks yet indie rock enough to cure your craving for organic raw sound, "Remnants" is four tracks that will transform your playlist. On the heels of this recent release, the alternative singer songwriter releases a new song this month via Interscope Records "The Love You’re Given,” which stirs up the soul while spooning down the funk in a brilliant infectious beat. LISTEN HERE