Hanson Host 12-Hour Japan Benefit Live Stream at SXSW; R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe Stops By (Updated)
Rock band Hanson hosted a 12-hour live stream from South By Southwest to raise money for Japan. The band was headquartered in Austin's Bubble Studios and invited fellow musicians to stop by and perform or be interviewed.
Among their guests: R.E.M. singer Michael Stipe, who told the several thousand web viewers streaming via Facebook or the SXSW4Japan site, "There's no script, but what music and art offers is heart."
Stipe made note of the countless musicians who've toured in Japan, and, looking directly into the livestream camera, conveyed to victims of the recent earthquake and tsunami disasters, "Our prayers and thoughts are with you. We love you and we're here to help."
Said Taylor Hanson of the more than 30 guests who stopped by, which included Ben Folds, Cary Brothers and North Mississippi Allstars: "Everyone on this show has chosen to not do something else to show up."
The effort raised over $98,000.
"This is about creating a united effort powered by the amazing convergence of artists and resources at SXSW," Taylor Hanson tells THR. "We came into Austin feeling overwhelmed with the tragedy in Japan, but realized there was a huge call to action here. The live stream's success so far is credited to the artists who have come together to be the soundtrack to action."
Update: Many of the songs from Hanson's Japan webethon will be available as part of a digital compilation album, to be released soon. A full list of the artists who participated is below:
Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr
Drawn From Bees
Jojo / Widespread Panic
Michael Stipe / REM
North Mississippi Allstars
River City Extension
Taylor Locke and the Roughs
The Boxer Rebellion