Music fans should be flocking to the web, DISH and nearest SiriusXM receptor for some super shows happening in the next few days.
Amnesty International's "The Secret Policeman's Ball," a British tradition of live comedy and song that sparked the whole mega-charity concert movement, lands in the U.S. tonight (Sunday) for the first time ever, as AI turns 50. You can join the Radio City Music Hall audience, starting at 7 p.m. on the Epix video channel (available on DISH satellite and Roku internet boxes) or by tapping into the live stream of EpixHD.com. (iPad users can enjoy a "second screen" experience with the EpixHD app.)
Coldplay and Mumford & Sons are the hot musical attractions. (Will both play acoustic, an SPB trademark?) Laughs should rise from Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Eddie Izzard, Russell Brand, Sarah Silverman and SNL's Fred Armisen, Andy Samberg and Kristen Whig.
Bruce Springsteen is the mega-draw for SiriusXM's tenth birthday bash next Friday (geez, it's my b-day, too) with a show at New York's Apollo Theater. The satellite (and internet) radio service's dedicated E Street Radio channel carries the concert live. Expect lots from the "Wrecking Ball" album out Tuesday, a themed set of recession-era originals with that heartening, we-shall-overcome vibe we know and love from The Boss. The album's use of a gospel choir, brass section and female rapper make the Apollo setting apt.
Over on NPR's newly launched music site, Springsteen is likely to push an activist theme as keynote speaker for the SXSW Music conference. You can catch the address live at NPRmusic.com on Thursday, March 15th at 1 p.m. Eastern (that's high noon, Austin, TX. time.) The all-music website also shares live SXSW showcases the night before from Andrew Bird, Alabama Shakes (wailing cool!), Dan Deacon and Sharon Van Etten, then later on the 15th from The Magnetic Fields, Lower Dens, Polica, Sugar Tongue Slim and La Video Boheme. WXPN (88.5 FM) also feeds these shows and more from South By Southwest.