Upcoming Hurricane Sandy Benefits Shows From Aziz Ansari, Neil Young, Grizzly Bear, and More

If you still want to help out East Coasters affected by Hurricane Sandy and do so in an environment with adult beverages and high-caliber entertainment, this week, a couple more enticing Sandy benefits have been announced. So if you’re looking for something to do next week and live in the greater New York, Atlantic City, or Los Angeles areas, here you go.

Neil Young and Crazy Horse will perform in Atlantic City on December 6th at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, with proceeds going to the Red Cross.

On December 10th, a group of comedians you might recognize are getting together for “We Hate Hurricanes,” a night of comedy to benefit the victims of Hurricane Sandy at L.A.’s Nokia Theater. The venerable Jon Hamm is emceeing the event, with headliners Aziz Ansari, Will Ferrell, Sarah Silverman, and music from Beck along with even more acts. All proceeds from the show will go to AmeriCares, and pre-sale tickets go on sale today; general sale starts tomorrow.

One of the biggest announced shows is the 12/12/12 benefit gig for the Robin Hood Relief Fund, on December 12th at Madison Square Garden. The headliners play like an all-star Super Bowl halftime show: Kanye West, Alicia Keys, Paul McCartney, Bon Jovi, Billy Joel, The Who, Eddie Vedder, Dave Grohl, and, of course, Bruce Springsteen. If you still want to help out and rock out but the idea of a Bon Jovi show at the Garden sounds a bit too overwhelming, New York’s Terminal 5 is hosting a “4Artists1Cause” benefit on December 14th, featuring performances from Grizzly Bear, Sleigh Bells, Antlers, and Cults. More acts will be announced soon. Tickets are $40, with proceeds going to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City

Don’t Worry: We Will Get That Hurricane Sandy Benefit Concert We Deserve

What’s a national tragedy without an overlong, saccharine television program full of famous people looking sad about people less fortunate than them? While the lower half of Manhattan is still without power, parts of Staten Island and Queens are disaster areas, and the Jersey Shore is nearly washed away, there’s only one thing that will bring joy to the hearts of those affected by Hurricane Sandy: BILLY JOEL SINGING LIVE ON CAMERA. 

Everyone’s favorite frequent drunk-driving piano man will be just part of the celeb-heavy bill, produced by the good folks at NBC. Per the New York Times:

NBC Universal said on Thursday morning that it would show a one-hour telethon and concert on its broadcast network and cable television stations on Friday night to benefit Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. The telethon, “Hurricane Sandy: Coming Together,” will be held at NBC’s Rockefeller Plaza studios and hosted by Matt Lauer, the co-host of “Today.” Among the musicians who are scheduled to perform on the telethon are Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Jon Bon Jovi, Sting and Christina Aguilera; Jimmy Fallon, the host of NBC’s “Late Night,” and Brian Williams, the anchor of “NBC Nightly News,” will also appear.

The telethon will be shown simultaneously on NBC, Bravo, CNBC, E!, G4, MSNBC, Style, Syfy and USA, and streamed live on the NBC.com Web site. It will be broadcast live from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern time for the East Coast and on a tape delay for the West Coast. NBC said that money collected from the telethon would be donated to the American Red Cross.

Yes, that’s right: if you tune in to Syfy you can still see someone famous sing "God Bless America" while, I dunno, you could be lucky enough to pledge a donation to Julia Roberts on phone duty. EVERYTHING IS SUDDENLY BETTER. I guess it’s a bummer for the regular Syfy audience who’d rather see Tiffany and Deborah Gibson battle a mutant shark or something.

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Afternoon Links: Amber Heard Is ‘Red Sonja,’ Ryan Gosling to Remake ‘Logan’s Run’

● Elton John went on the Today show to discuss his harsh comments about Billy Joel’s drinking habits. And that’s the sound of Billy’s bottle of Jack shattering against his TV. [Rolling Stone] ● Proud lesbian Amber Heard is being tapped to star in the planned remake of Red Sonja, and proud teenage boys are being tapped to have their heads explode. [/Film via Empire] ● Chris Elliot took a page from the Howard Stern Manual for Talk Show Appearances when he went on Conan and took some jabs at Jay Leno. [Gawker.TV]

● Lady Gaga tells Anderson Cooper that she prefers being called Stefani in bed. There goes kooky Gaga, thinking her pillows talk to her again! [ONTD] ● In other remake news, it was just announced that Nicolas Winding Refn will reunite with his Drive star Ryan Gosling to modernize Logan’s Run. [Deadline] ● Kanye West and Jay-Z have been recording their album Watch the Throne on a floor of Soho’s Mercer hotel this week. [Page Six]

What Would a World Without Alexa Ray Joel Look Like?

Frankly, I don’t know. Few of us noticed her before, so this sort of glib question really has no non-bitchy answers. Also, I can barely muster the journalistic integrity necessary to comb through the thickets of Alexa Ray Joel news items to shake the useful from the useless. Turns out Alexa Ray is a genetic experiment concocted from the loins of Billy Joel, with considerable help from supermodel Christie Brinkley. She had some sort of singing career as many daughters of singers tend to these days, what with nepotism ruling showbiz with an iron fist and all. And as common with the troubled spawn of the glitterati, ARJ self-medicated following a rough break-up and was rushed to the hospital post-haste. So what would a world without Alexa Ray Joel look like, then?

Turns out: mildly gloomy for a little bit with some sun to follow. Not exactly The Reckoning now, is it? Still, there’s a major problem when a precedent set most notably the holy trinity in 2007 keeps persisting, through starlets plagued by hubris. Reactions to the star’s crisis, by way of a totally unscientific cross-section of tweets, sloppily edited Google news headlines, and other miscellany reveal just how (in?)significant her place in the showbiz landscape is.

Some tweets try the same spillage of crocodile tears that came gushing out upon news of Anna Nicole Smith’s passing:

Is praying for Alexa Ray Joel to get better and he hopes she realizes how beautiful and talented she is.

…while others try to take Billy Joel to task for negligent parenting with dubious claims:


A catty, but anonymous Greek chorus reveals that many people have a rather unflattering take on ARJ’s physical appearances.

Finally, here’s ARJ performing “Invisible” on The Wendy Williams Show. The yen for a musical career means some crooked accusations from Perez Hilton about this being a publicity stunt shouldn’t be far behind.

Links: E. John Has E. Coli, Roman Polanski Posting Bail

● Brad Pitt (dressed as Lance Rock of Yo Gabba Gabba) and Angelina Jolie (zombie) took Maddox, Zahara, and Shiloh for some Halloween fun in L.A on Saturday. [Radar] ● Edward Norton was one of many that participated in the New York City Marathon yesterday, finishing in 3 hours, 48 minutes, and 1 second; he was running to raise awareness for the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust. [E!] ● Elton John’s tour with Billy Joel is being put off after John contracted a case of E. coli and has been ordered by doctors not to perform. [CBC]

● Scott Foley will be Courtney Cox’s latest prey on ABC’s Cougar Town. [EW] ● Thandie Newton thought Oliver Stone was crazy when he cast her as Condoleezza Rice in his film W, and now the former Secretary of State is signed to the same talent agency (William Morris) as Newton. [DailyMail] ● Roman Polanski is still trying to get out of jail, this time offering to post a serious amount of cash for bail. Well, it’s not like he’s a flight risk or anything. [TMZ]