Teen Pop Punkers Offer High-Pitched War Cry Against Texting While Driving at Text Kills K-Jam 2012

Categories: Benefit Concert
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Crown Valley Parkway

You wanna find out the issues that are on kid's minds these days, look for a local benefit concert. A decade ago, the hot causes might've involved organizations like Plea for Peace or Fuck Cancer. Today, straight-laced, pop punk-loving teens and tweens are standing together against a new cause: Texting while driving. You've seen the commercials. The fried egg "This is your brain on drugs" spots are now replaced by PSAs like these.

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Christian Dasilva's Benefit Show Featuring Starpool and The Aquabats! - Chain Reaction - 7/23/12

Categories: Benefit Concert
Priscella Vega
The Aquabats and a few junior members on stage at the Christian Dasilva benefit show

Starpool & The Aquabats!
Chain Reaction

Word spread quickly in the ska community following the death of Chain Reaction sound man Christian Dasilva in Huntington Beach. As a result, Starpool and The Aquabats!--two seminal OC ska bands-- joined forces to put together a last-minute benefit show this past Monday for their friend with all proceeds going toward the Dasilva family. 

By the day of the show, tickets had sold out, and by 6:30 p.m. a long line had formed outside the Chain Reaction in Anaheim. Close to the entrance of the venue, a memorial was set up for Dasilva while inside there were shirts, stickers, and baked goods for sale. 

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Aquabats To Play Christian Dasilva Benefit Concert Next Monday

By now, many have heard the sad news that Christian Dasilva, the sound guy who was as much of a part of the fabric at Chain Reaction in Anaheim as the bands that play there,, died after his motorcycle collided with a Lexus sedan. The outpouring of condolences for the 40-year-old's new and pregnant wife Emma and his two daughters, Caidyn and Chloe, has spread onto social networking sites and as far to as bands like The Ataris and Glass House owner Jon Halperin.More »

Julian Porte Memorializes Kelly Thomas in Song

Categories: Benefit Concert
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Christopher Diers
All for Kelly

While others held protest signs outside the Fullerton Police Department last summer, Julian Porte came with a guitar, a harmonica and a song. Small crowds assembled around the Santa Fe Springs-based musician as he sang "The Ballad of Kelly Thomas," about the homeless, schizophrenic man fatally beaten at the hands of officers one year ago this month. Bullhorns were lent to amplify Porte's voice, and after performing, the singer opened his backpack and passed out CDs to anyone along Commonwealth Avenue willing to take one.

Porte first learned about the Thomas tragedy from a Fullerton friend of his who posted about it on Facebook. "Later that day, I was at another friend's studio," he recounts. "We were sitting around, talking about it, how messed up it was and the injustice of it all. I started messing around with some chords and a harmonica riff." Thinking he was onto something, Porte went home to transform the sudden inspiration into a song. It was recorded the next day, then passed along to his friend in Fullerton, who handed out copies at protests.

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UCI's 'Artistic Beats' Takes Islamic Culture to the Club

Categories: Benefit Concert
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UC Irvine student Hannah Said combines her passions for helping youth, giving back to her community and her faith of Islam to put on a benefit concert called "Artistic Beats" at the university's Crystal Cove Auditorium tonight from 6-9:30 p.m. The concert line-up is an eclectic mix of spoken word poets, acoustic musicians, a West African break dance. Looking to get your rave on? The event even promises a techno light show. 

Ticket sales and proceeds from the evening's art auction will be donated to the Child Abuse Services Team (CAST) in Orange County, where Said has interned for the past two months.

"Every dime is going to CAST," she says; the social services group who teams up with doctors, nurses, therapists, police and attorneys to conduct child sexual abuse investigation.

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Mike McCready Flight to Mars Pearl Jam

Categories: Benefit Concert

Anna Knowlden
For the past 21 years, Mike McCready has provided the flair to Pearl Jam's sound. Blending elements of classic rock, blues and metal, McCready is responsible for two of Guitar World's 100 Greatest Guitar Solos (Pearl Jam classics "Alive" and "Yellow Ledbetter"), while Rolling Stone named him and fellow riffmeister Stone Gossard to its list of Top 20 New Guitar Gods.

In 2003, McCready and a few friends formed Flight to Mars, a tribute to '70s hard rockers UFO. Having been a fan of UFO since his days in his first outfit, Shadow, it made sense to honor the British quartet. "We all loved UFO growing up here in Seattle," McCready says. "I gravitated toward [lead guitarist] Michael Schenker, who I thought was a killer player."

Each year, Flight to Mars raise cash and awareness for Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA). At 21, McCready was diagnosed with Crohn's disease, an intestinal condition that causes abdominal pain, diarrhea (which may be bloody if inflammation is at its worst), vomiting (which can be continuous) and weight loss. One of the most frustrating aspects of Crohn's is that it's impossible to predict embarrassing flare-ups, which is one of the reasons the guitarist didn't go public with his condition until 2002.

For the past decade, the 46-year-old McCready, the only person who has been on the cover of both Rolling Stone and Crohn's Advocate, has embraced being the famous face of the disease. He's active in the northwest chapter of the CCFA, donating both time and funds to the nonprofit foundation, which provides education to millions who suffer from the ailments and has raised more than $150 million for Crohn's and colitis research.

With the Seattle gigs selling out for the past nine years, McCready decided to honor the band's 10-year anniversary by embarking on their first tour.

"The goal is for this tour to raise some awareness for Crohn's and colitis," he says. "Lots of times, people don't realize they have it or why they have pain. Twenty-five years ago, people weren't talking about it."

Performing on the West Coast in smaller venues such as the Observatory in Santa Ana and the Troubadour in Los Angeles allows McCready to introduce Flight to Mars to new audiences while also giving Pearl Jam fans the opportunity to see him in an intimate setting. While you shouldn't expect the group to play Pearl Jam songs, that doesn't mean he won't invite some of his famous friends to jam with the group, especially in Southern California. "I have a lot of friends here, so there will be a few surprises," he says.

McCready says he is surprised but not shocked that the project, which started out as a few friends jamming together, is going strong. The idea of eventually recording a proper UFO tribute album has been kicked around, which McCready hasn't ruled out, but for now, the only way for fans outside Seattle to see the band is to check them out on this upcoming tour.

Looking back, McCready says, none of this would have happened without the support of his wife, Ashley.

"She pushed me to start talking about it, and we looked for an organization that [deals] with Crohn's," he says. "I've found that it's been incredibly healing to meet and talk to people who have this. I feel like I'm at a point in my life where I can be proactive and solution-oriented."

With Pearl Jam heading to Europe this summer and, at latest word, with two southeastern festival dates slated for the U.S. (in addition to the band's other members working on solo or other projects), the timing couldn't have worked out better for a Flight to Mars tour.

"Be ready for a great '70s rock show," he says. "It's going to be fun. There's going to be good energy, so come out and don't be afraid to enjoy yourself."

Flight to Mars perform tonight at Constellation Room at the Observatory in Santa Ana.

The Ultimate Bearhug Play at Cocktails for a Cause: 'Our plan is to always be involved with benefit shows.'

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The Ultimate Bearhug
OC Weekly and Music for a Cure team up this Thursday for Cocktails for a Cause, a monthly fundraiser/mixer that brings various people throughout Orange County together to support a local charity. Hosted by the gracious folks of The Observatory, this month's Cocktails is presumed to be quite the production featuring performances by The Make and sultry local duo, The Ultimate Bearhug. I caught up with Barrett Johnson and Doll Knight to get an update on their anticipated debut album, and their thoughts on the importance of music and giving back to the community.

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Detroit Bar Benefit for Rebecca Willis Tomorrow Night

Categories: Benefit Concert
Detroit Bar is hosting a benefit tomorrow night for Rebecca Willis, a 22-year-old Newport Beach resident. While crossing Newport Blvd. in Costa Mesa early last Saturday morning, Willis was hit by a car. The Register says "Willis broke bones throughout her body and is in an induced coma."

Family and friends described Willis as a warm-hearted and loving; she worked with a nonprofit called Invisible Children to raise awareness about Ugandan child soldiers and hosted many travelers at her home she shared with roommates via couchsurfing.org.

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John Sirmon Cancer Benefit To Be Held At Copper Door

Categories: Benefit Concert
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John Sirman
A string of benefit events are being held locally to benefit John Sirmon, a local skater and skateboard industry worker. Sirmon was recently diagnosed with colon cancer, according to the website made in the honor of Sirmon, savesirmon.org

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Benefit Concert for G.I. Joe Search and Rescue, Featuring Andrew Figueroa Chiang, Tony T. Nguyen and Peachy Keene

Categories: Benefit Concert
Last month, the Weekly published a cover story on G.I. Joe Search and Rescue, an OC group that treks through canyons, creeks, rivers and forests to look for those who've gone missing. By tying themselves to ropes and poking around in the water, these volunteers helped recover the bodies of 20-year-old Joe Le in the San Gabriel River, and 22-year-old Scott Neacato and 25-year-old Minh Tu Nguyen in the upper Kern River. "To a family, it's not just a body," says Victoria Le, the sister of Joe and founder of the organization. "It's a son, a daughter, a mother, a father. No one deserves to feel that pain."     

To help raise funds for training and equipment, the organization is hosting a benefit concert next Saturday, Aug. 20, at Access Group Media in Fountain Valley.

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