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Nov 28th
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Battle of the Teen Bands

almost chaosSanta Cruz teens qualify for national battle of the bands competition

The four local teens who make up Almost Chaos will get their second chance to take home the gold at this weekend’s SchoolJam USA Battle of Bands competition. The band will travel with their families to Disneyland to participate in the annual competition for the second time since 2010. Almost Chaos beat out thousands of other entrants to secure a place as one of only eight bands selected to perform at this weekend’s event.

SchoolJam USA is a national competition that aims to recognize unsigned teenage musicians. In addition to playing at the Battle of Bands, each of the eight bands receive prize money for their school’s music program. The winning band will receive additional funds for their school, as well as $1,000 to purchase new equipment. The winners will also receive a private music video recording session on the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus and a trip to Frankfurt, Germany to perform at the original SchoolJam festival.   

Almost Choas made it to the competition’s semi-finals last November. They were selected as one of 110 bands out of more than 5,000 original entrants. Once in the semi-finals, a combination of public votes and judges’ scores catapulted them into the final eight.

With only a few days left until the competition, Almost Chaos is working furiously to get ready for their big performance. The band plans to perform three original songs during the allotted 15-minute performance period.

“We’ve been practicing almost every day,” says Jose Picazo Jr., the bands 15-year-old guitarist and lead singer. “Every time we practice, we’ve just been going over those three songs and perfecting every single little detail.”

Almost Chaos was formed when the then 11-year-old Picazo met Derek Mather, the band’s guitarist and Mack Hesson, the band’s drummer, at a music class called “Be in your own Band,” offered by Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation. Liam Gillespie became the band’s fourth and final member when he joined as their bassist.

The band has high hopes for this weekend’s event. They have evolved musically since their 2010 performance and are confident that their new material will impress the judges.

“Two years ago when we made it, we were still kind of young,” says Picazo. “I think we’re more experienced now. We have more songs than we did last time. We’re playing some newer songs, so hopefully it goes well.”

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Giving Thanks: The Thought-Form of Solution

We are in the time and under the influence of Sagittarius, sign of the wanderer, good food, good music, and the joy (Jupiter as ruler) that occurs from giving to others while simultaneously giving thanks from our hearts. Having the Thanksgiving holiday during the month of Sag is not a mistake. No other sign understands joy (an aspect of the Soul) as Sag (except Pisces when not in despair). “Sag is a beam of directed and focused light. The beam reveals a greater light ahead, illuminating the Way to the center of the Light,” emitting the Ray of Joyfulness. Thanksgiving is a time for gratitude; in the form of prayers, thoughts, feelings, wishes, hopes and greetings. Gratitude is something we still need to learn. Gratitude creates goodwill. Together, gratitude and goodwill create the “thought-form of solution” for humanity and our world’s problems. Gratitude and goodwill are the prerequisites for the reappearance of the Christ, the Aquarian World Teacher. In Ancient Wisdom texts it is written, “being grateful is the hallmark of one who is enlightened.” Gratitude comes from the Soul—the characteristics of which are love and wisdom (Ray 2). Gratitude is scientifically and occultly (mental, not emotional) a releasing agent. Gratitude liberates us and everything around us. Also a service to others, gratitude is deeply scientific in nature, releasing us from the past and laying open our future path leading to the new culture and civilization, the new laws and principles, the rising light of Aquarian, the Age of Friendship and Equality. The Hierarchy lays much emphasis upon gratitude. Let us be grateful this year and this season together. And so now the days of light illuminating the darkness begin (December’s festivals and feast days). Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I am grateful for all of you, my readers.

 

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