A Week of Miracles

miracle week

Aztec Dance Marathon is one of hundreds of Children’s Miracle Network Dance Marathon events that take place across the country (and Canada). Each of these dance marathon efforts benefit a local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, this one being Rady Children’s of San Diego. The year long initiative comes to fruition at the overnight dance marathon where participants or,”dancers” are on their feet for 15 hours in honor of and celebration for the kids who cannot. They have raised over $120,000 for the hospital in just two years on campus, making them the highest fundraising philanthropic organization at SDSU.

miracle week

SDSU’s Aztec Dance Marathon celebrates a week of astonishing achievements as the highest fundraising philanthropic organization on campus

While the third annual official event is scheduled for February 2017, this week offered a series of events on campus promoting their mission, values, purpose, and encouraging students to join the movement. Miracle Week can be closely compared to a homecoming week of sorts. It was presented as a time to unify students under one cause. The week began with an inspiration day where members of ADM wore and distributed gold ribbons to celebrate awareness for childhood illness. With an initial goal of registering 250 new dancers and raising $10,000 throughout the entire week, they astonished the campus as the organization went above and beyond all expectations. On recruitment day the group managed to oversee over 1,000 participants who created an online fundraising page, pledging their commitment to collect funds and participate in the event this spring. Education day was a time to really get down to the core of dance marathon and the patients it serves. Members of the organization hosted an event in the Aztec Student Union with giveaways, music, and an opportunity for anyone interested to learn more information.

miracle week thermometer

This is the final thermometer posted from the Aztec Dance Marathon social media pages, although I’m sure a new total will be revealed at the end of the 24 hour mark.

With the fourth day of Miracle Week: Fundraising Day rapidly approaching, fundraising chair Mackenzie Kahl was nervous about maintaining the momentum of the week throughout this “Push Day.” She confessed that the burden of reaching such an ambitious goal of “Five K in One Day” was weighing heavily on her, but she had faith in her team and the dancers they recruited. In one day alone…and really just about 12 hours, the organization raised an overwhelming $13,000. These thermometer posts were revealed throughout the day, keeping followers updated on the stance of their efforts. The overall goal of dance marathon is $101,000 and the final fundraising total will be revealed in the final hour of the overnight event on the morning of February 25th. There is still another day left in Miracle Week, focused on offering recognition and appreciation to registered dancers and everyone who has contributed to the cause. For more information about Aztec Dance Marathon, or if you want to contribute to the cause, feel free to visit their Facebook page or any of their other social media accounts.

Neighborhood Jams: Copeland

You know those days when you wake up and the sense of autumn is rising just as that early sun is? So you put on your fluffy socks, sip on a warm holiday-themed coffee, and walk outside to feel the crisp morning air* – all of these early morning activities are perfectly matched with this week’s Neighborhood Jam band.

Copeland was formed in 2001 in Lakeland, Florida.  The band currently consists of Aaron Marsh, Bryan Lawrenson, and Stephen Laurenson.  If you had to label their music it would be a combination of Death Cab for Cutie and Young the Giant. Copeland’s songs are slow and powerful accompanied with beautiful string melodies and easygoing guitar riffs. My personal favorite song is I Can Make You Feel Young Again from their latest album Ixora Twin.  I love the solo bass in the beginning, and Marsh’s vocals are deep and soothing.  I also really enjoy the music video that is post below.  The visuals are beautiful from the early morning sunrise, to the underwater scenes with the mermaid. Yes, the mermaid – but trust me, it’s not corny. It actually leaves you with a combination of feelings at the end.

Copeland was recently in San Diego on Wednesday, November 16th, and they played a show at the Irenic with special guest Rae Cassidy for an intimate show with a nearly sold out crowd.  The tour is called “Now | Then” and it is in celebration of playing music for over 13 years. In order to celebrate properly they invited a live string section to join their performance of their songs to the fullest potential.  The band also celebrated by playing songs from all of their albums ranging from their first album Beneath Medicine Tree (2003), to my personal favorite album Eat, Sleep, Repeat (2006), to their latest album from last year Ixora Twin.  This tour is one for the long-time fans, and Copeland is absolutely killin’ it right now.  Fans love hearing singles from all of their favorite albums.

Be sure to give them a listen and definitely check out the music video above.  And give them a like on their Facebook page so you can stay in the know with their current tour.

 

*Yes, I know we live in San Diego, and there is a new heatwave every week. Instead of socks we wear flip flops; instead of hot coffee it’s always iced.  But let’s pretend it’s actually the middle of November and the leaves are changing colors.

 

 

 

Neighborhood Jams: Sum 41

Yes, it’s only the middle of the week. And, yes, I am already looking forward to the weekend, and you should be, too! On this week’s Neighborhood Jams I am remembering the well-known band Sum 41 who will be stopping by San Diego Saturday, November 5th.  It should be a great show, and it is the perfect antidote for our long work/school weeks upon us.  You can never go wrong with some alternative punk rock in my opinion.

Sum 41 was formed in the late nineties – 1996 – up in Ontario, Canada.  They had first decided on the name Kaspir but then changed the name to Sum 41 because they played a Supernova show on the 41st day of summer that ultimately changed their lives.  The band currently consists of: lead vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Deryck “Bizzy D” Whibley, guitarist/backup vocalist Dave “Brownsound” Baksh, guitarist/keyboardist/backup vocalist Tom “Brown Tom” Thacker, bassist/backing vocalist Jason “Cone” McCaslin and drummer Frank Zummo. Before we get any deeper in this article, why does Frank not have a wacky nickname? Is it because his last name is the perfect kind of name to yell from the audience during his drumming solo? …just a thought.

The band has always had a passion for touring since 1996.  They have been known to perform about 300 shows a year! There has been multiple world tours, most of which lasting well over a year.  They have also been nominated for many, many awards including a Grammy for Best Hard Rock.

Even though band members have left and rejoined, the band is still continuing to make music.  Just two weeks ago, October 7th, the band released their latest and highly anticipated album 13 Voices which can be heard on their current tour “Don’t Call it a Sumback Tour.” I hope to hear some oldies but goodies tracks at the show including my personal favorite “Fatlip” which is also one of their first singles when they hit it big back in 2002.

This song takes me right back to middle school and trying to be a punk and a rebel – I didn’t do a very good job, but I did have a great soundtrack to my life.  You can buy tickets for Saturday, November 5th’s show here, and you better hurry – THEY ARE ALMOST SOLD OUT! The show will be at the House of Blues downtown – can’t wait to see you there!

Photo Credit: Hopeless Records

 

Neighborhood Jams: Young the Giant

While waking up for my Tuesday 8:00 a.m. class today I was hit with a reminder that we are in the middle of the semester.  Nights are a little bit longer in the library; mornings are cold and come too soon; and midterms are creeping up faster than finals.  All of this can only mean one thing – we need to take some time for ourselves and our wild sides.  We need good music for our souls, and I know just the band. This week I am featuring a band that is playing two nights in San Diego this week – YES, TWO NIGHTS THIS WEEK! So between all the page flipping and essay cramming, we can definitely take a break – in the name of rock ‘n roll of course.

Young the Giant is an alternative, indie rock band formed in Irvine, CA back in 2004.  Before they decided on their current name they were formerly known as The Jakes back in the day. The band consists of: Sameer Gadhia on lead vocals, Jacob Tilley and Eric Cannata on guitar, Payam Doostzadeh on the bass, and lastly Francois Comtois on drums.  Together they have released three albums titled Young the Giant (2010), Mind Over Matter (2014), and Home of the Strange (2016).  In 2011 the band’s two singles “Cough Syrup” and “My Body” hit charts both reaching to the top five of America’s top alternative music. My personal favorite song is “Cough Syrup”  because when I first heard this five years ago, it was a sound that I was not familiar with.  They are happy and poppy without sounding like a cookie cutout of Top 40 pop.  Their lyrics are different yet meaningful.  For example, my favorite lines are:

“If I could find a way to see this straight
I’d run away
To some fortune that I, I should have found by now”

 

Two months ago Young the Giant released their latest album Home of the Strange on August 12th and have since been on tour selling out almost every single venue.  You guys can check them out tonight, October 18th, and tomorrow, October 19th, at the House of Blues downtown at 7:00 o’clock.  Tickets are sold out – but you are more than welcomed to stand on the corner and try to scalp some tickets with me tomorrow night.  Until then be sure to check out their Facebook page in order to stay up to date with tours, news, and all that jazz.

 

Photo Credit: Young the Giant