In the wake of the unfathomable disaster in Japan, musicians are showing their support through benefit shows, merch and other creative endeavors, rallying fans to help the country. Their efforts can make a real impact--Gaga's Japan-relief wristbands raised $250,000 in just 48 hours.
Here's what some artists are doing and how you can listen, watch and shop for a good cause.
Mark Hoppus of Blink-182 put up a bunch of one-of-a-kind band memorabilia on eBay, with all sales going toward relief efforts. "So sad for what's happening in Japan. Gonna dig in the bins & find some old Blink-182 items to auction for the Red Cross," he announced on Twitter. Items up for sale include the original handwritten lyrics sheet for the group's 2001 hit single, "Rock Show" (the current bid is more than $20,000!), used backstage passes, the band's dressing-room sign from the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards and the orange sweater Hoppus wore in the "Dammit" video.
Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda designed two striking T-shirts--one featuring a white-paper butterfly, and the other with the words "Not Alone." Both are $25, and all proceeds will be donated to Music for Relief to help survivors of the disaster. And there may be more help coming from the band. Yesterday, Shinoda tweeted: Does anyone want a new @LinkinPark instrumental song, to benefit MFR Japan relief?
A week before the devastating earthquake and tsunami, the Black Eyed Peas traveled to Tokyo to film their new video, "Just Can't Get Enough," which premiered yesterday. A message at the end of the video urges fans to donate to the Red Cross. "Our heart goes out to all of the Japanese people who have been affected by this natural disaster," Fergie says on the group's website.
Montreal's Simple Plan is selling a special-edition T-shirt for $20, with all proceeds going to Red Cross Japan. The band posted on their website: "It absolutely breaks our hearts to watch the horrible images and videos of the devastation that has hit Japan following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. We had the privilege to visit Japan many times over the past 10 years, and It's one of the most amazing places in the world."
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Yoshiki of legendary power metal band X Japan is auctioning off his favorite "crystal" (plexiglass) piano to raise funds for disaster victims. The LA-based drummer, pianist and songwriter was in Tokyo at the time of the quake. "I am praying for the people here who are still trying to locate their family and friends," he said in a statement.
Simon Cowell announced he's assembling a supergroup of pop stars--Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Britney Spears and others--to produce a benefit song.
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club is auctioning off an autographed cymbal used on tour, as well as a collection of vinyl, including the out-of-print "BRMC," "Take Them On, On Your Own" and "Howl." Proceeds will benefit the American Red Cross.
LA-based Low End Theory is hosting a Japan benefit at the Echoplex on March 31 at 9 p.m. The event features Daddy Kev, Nobody, The Gaslamp Killer, D-Styles, Nocando and "very special guests" yet to be announced. Entrance is $10, with all proceeds going toward relief efforts.