Neighborhood Jams: KCR College Radio

This is it everyone – my last and final post for KCR College Radio. I am officially graduating from San Diego State University TODAY, but don’t you worry, I will be walking in the graduation ceremony in May. This post is completely dedicated to my true love because without this drive and passion, I wouldn’t know who I am today.  This one is for you, KCR.

I first joined KCR College Radio in August of 2015 and the next month I became the Music Submissions Director.  I still remember the day that I found out I was selected – it was more than just a director position. It was a major stepping stone into my future career in radio. In February of 2016 we went to New York City and accepted the award from Intercollegiate Broadcasting System for Best Station in the Nation. I personally represented the station as I received the award for Best Blog as well.  Together are two memories that I will hold dear forever. The twenty KCR representatives filled the room with Aztec cheer, and I couldn’t have been more proud to be an Aztec and a KCR director.

In the summer of 2016 I was able to personally represent KCR College Radio at the yearly Vans Warped Tour where I was able to be centimeters away from headlining bands and musicians.  It was a teenage dream that finally came true – all because of KCR. I might have been dehydrated, sunburned, and exhausted at the end of the day, but given the opportunity I would snatch it up again. Below are some of my personal photographs from Vans Warped Tour:


State Champs


We the Kings


Mayday Parade



In the fall of 2016 I unexpectedly found out that I could graduate an entire semester earlier than planned, and my first thought was KCR. I didn’t want to leave the studio.  I didn’t want to leave the dream team (aka management). I was not ready to hang up my headphones. I was able to succeed this past semester because of the support system at KCR College Radio. I am the person I am today because of KCR College Radio. It is way more than a student-runned organization, it is home.

I want to give a huge thank you to General Manager, Matt Hoffman for believing in me and taking a chance on me.  I was always on my feet and ready to help out in anyway possible.  You constantly believed that I could do more, and you gave me confidence in pursuing my dream.  Another huge thank you to Social Media Director, Kelsey Donahue for being my first KCR friend and the best co-host ever.  Together we were able to discuss Blink-182 drama and Buzzfeed quizzes early in the morning – it was a pure dream come true.  Lastly a shout out to KCR Management for the great memories.  The endless meetings to better the best station in the nation; the constant talk of improving every aspect possible; I loved it, and I am going to miss it. Thank you, team, for believing in me and being a wonderful support system.

I love you, KCR College Radio. When I think back to my days at San Diego State University I will be instantly reminded of my time in the studio. I have high, HIGH hopes of working in radio in the near future, but I will always remember my first show here. Good luck out there, KCR, and I wish you the best at the IBS Awards next March. Go win some gold microphones, Aztecs!


-Brianna Avalos

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: Temple of the Dog

It’s been a quick minute KCR readers, but Neighborhood Jams is back for another great blog post.  I am super excited to review this band – they are the founding fathers of grunge in the 90’s along with all the plaid, combat boots, long hair, and deep meaningful lyrics.  Let’s get into it…

Temple of the Dog is an American rock band formed in the great year of 1990 in Seattle, Washington.  Chris Cornell is the mastermind behind this band, and he started it up in honor of his late friend and roommate Andrew Wood, lead singer of the then up and coming band Mother Love Bone. Cornell joined forces with some Pearl Jam members including Stone Gossard on guitar, Jeff Ament on bass, Mike McCready on lead guitar, and lastly Matt Cameron on drums.  Pearl Jam’s lead singer Eddie Vedder was Cornell’s backup vocals on their one single. Interesting fact, Gossard and Ament were members of Wood’s band Mother Love Bone – so Temple of the Dog was a true tribute to Wood’s life and passion of grunge rock ‘n roll.

In the months of November and December of 1990 Temple of the Dog recorded their first and only album together.  Their self-titled album was recognized by the underground crowd and critics, but it never made it to the tops of the charts – at least not until 1992 when Pearl Jam got their big break. Fans loved the music because it showed a different side of grunge rock ‘n roll than they were used to. Songs were slower and deeper. From the album Temple of the Dog the biggest recognizable song was definitely Hunger Strike. It is almost hauntingly beautiful how well Cornell and Vedder’s vocals sync up with one another.

Even though the band only had one album before continuing their musical journey with Pearl Jam and Soundgarden they still opened for lots of amazing bands including Alice in Chains and playing at secret shows all over Seattle. From there the songs have been covered by Pearl Jam endlessly, and Cornell even started a solo career where he, too, covered his own songs.

Now, 25 years later Temple of the Dog is doing something they have never done before – go on an actual tour. In this reunion tour they only scheduled to visit five different cities for this 8-night tour. Cities include Philadelphia, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and their hometown Seattle. Of course tickets sold out within minutes of being released. All of the bands listed above, especially Temple of the Dog, all have such a giant impact on what the music scene was like in the early 90’s in Seattle. They are the reason rock ‘n roll is what it is today so please give them all a listen. It’s absolutely amazing how all of their stories and careers intertwine with one another.

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