Here's a smattering of recent music news concerning bands big and small:
* It's the mother of all Hurricane Sandy benefit shows: Bruce Springsteen, The Who, Paul McCartney, Kanye West, Bon Jovi, Alicia Keys, and others will play the "12-12-12" concert at Madison Square Garden on, you guessed it, December 12th. Info on tickets, prices, etc. to come soon.
* Yo La Tengo announced a bunch of tour dates this week. If you got shut out of their eight nights of Hanukkah at Maxwell's, check these out to see when they're coming near you. (They'll play Town Hall in NYC on February 16th; no ticket info as of this writing.) The band's new album, "Fade," will come out on January 15th.
* Here's an odd thing that popped up this week: a new video by R.E.M. (who broke more than a year ago), starring Lindsay Lohan (above). It's for the song "Blue" from the band's last album, 2011's "Collapse Into Now." Oh, and it's directed by actor James Franco. We're hoping this is a sign that maybe the boys from Athens are thinking of reuniting for at least a few shows sometime soon.
* NPR did a fine story this week on the 50th anniversary of A&M Records, co-founded by trumpeter Herb Alpert. For decades it was the musician's label, putting out music by a wide range of artists without placing typical sales-oriented, corporate pressure on them.
Although A&M is no longer independent (and sadly has a more corporate approach to music), the label was the home to many great albums by everyone from Alpert's Tijuana Brass to Suzanne Vega, The Police, Peter Frampton, and Joe Jackson.