Saturday, March 19, 2011

Hanson Host 12-Hour Japan Benefit Live Stream at SXSW; R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe Stops By (Watch)

"Everyone here has chosen to not do something else to show up," said Taylor Hanson of his band's impromptu concert-telethon.

Rock band Hanson is hosting a 12-hour live stream from South By Southwest to raise money for Japan. The band has been headquartered in Austin's Bubble Studios and have 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 Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Cary Brothers and Locksley: "Everyone on this show has chosen to not do something else to show up."

As of 7:00pm CST, seven hours into the webethon, the band had raised over $92,000.

"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."

Watch the livestream below.

Watch live streaming video from sxsw4japan at

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