The Grammy nominations concert returns this week

Live performances scheduled as nominees are announced.

Call me crazy, but I don't really like the whole Grammy nominations announcement concert. This started a few years ago, and I think it's rather lame. That being said, if you do like this sort of thing, get ready, because this year's big show is set for Wednesday, December 5, 2012. In terms of rock acts, I'm a bit disappointed in the lineup.

Am I the only one who thinks the Grammy noms show is silly? I much prefer the way they do the Oscars: Just tell me the nominees, show me a picture or let me see a quick clip and then move on. If I want more, I'll seek it out online.

Now, who exactly will perform during The GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live? The show, which will be broadcast live from Bridgestone Arena in downtown Nashville, Tennessee, not surprisingly has a rather strong country flavor. Artists like Taylor Swift, The Band Perry and Hunter Hayes are all set to perform. Rock music-wise, the biggest act by far is The Who.

The Who made a smart move doing this Grammy nominations show, in my opinion. The band is on tour right now, and this can only help ticket sales. In terms of other rock acts, the only other one that stands out at all to me is Maroon 5, and I'd call them straight-up pop.

With regard to rock music nominations, which albums and/or artists do you think deserve recognition this year? Personally, my two favorite rock albums of the year were Wrecking Ball by Bruce Springsteen (this shouldn't surprise any of you, knowing my obsession with all the Bard of New Jersey) and Tempest by Bob Dylan. I expect both will garner at least one nomination each, possibly more. I'll be shocked if they don't.

Anyway, back to the lame Grammy nominations show that only includes one actual rock music act: The one-hour special will air on CBS on December 5 at 10 p.m. EST. Will you be watching?

The Rolling Stones give a rousing first concert in London

Show kicked off in London, travels to the U.S. next.

When tickets for the big new Rolling Stones tour were first announced, I was over the moon! Then I realized that I don't live in London, Newark or Brooklyn, so I knew I'd be eagerly reading as many post-show reviews as possible and watching videos from the shows until my eyeballs melted.

I'm happy to say my eyeballs are still intact, though they did bug out just a bit at the incredible set list from the Stones' first show at London's O2 Arena on Sunday night. For fans that could afford to be there (tickets were crazy high), they were treated to several hours of amazing, classic Rolling Stones songs.

Yes, I'm insanely jealous of anyone who was there. I am a huge fan, so missing out on a mini-tour of this magnitude is kind of killing me. Let's just say that the set list ranged from the band's most iconic hits ("Sympathy for the Devil," "Honky Tonk Woman," "It's Only Rock 'N' Roll" and "Brown Sugar," among them), but it also included some earlier Stones' tunes. The band opened up the show, for instance, with 1963's "I Wanna Be Your Man."

The Rolling Stones - I Wanna Be Your Man - The O2 Arena - Live in London - November 25 2012

Thank you, Rolling Stones fans, for posting the videos so the rest of us all over the world can see clearly that Mick Jagger and the boys are still in rare form, all these years later.

I know that at the moment there are only five total shows in the Rolling Stones' "50 and Counting Tour," but I am hoping they add additional dates soon. This show was long, comprehensive and apparently really entertaining. I might have to work crazy long hours to afford the ticket...but I'm going if I can!

Check out the Gaslight Anthem's new video for "National Anthem"

Music video captures devastation from Sandy in band's home state.

I've been a fan of the Gaslight Anthem for quite some time now, having been introduced to the New Jersey rockers via fellow Bruce Springsteen fans. I've followed their career, purchased all of the albums and hoped to see them live at some point. Now, I absolutely love them. Why?

Because the Gaslight Anthem put out a brand new video for the song "National Anthem." The video is incredible, and incredibly tragic, as it highlights so much of the devastation wrought by Superstorm Sandy last month.

Just when I thought I'd seen all of the worst images I could see in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, along comes the Gaslight Anthem "National Anthem" video to remind me that I haven't. The images are poignant and they remind me of just how devastating it is to see such widespread destruction and suffering. Here is the Gaslight Anthem video for Hurricane Sandy relief, "National Anthem:"

The Gaslight Anthem/Hurricane Sandy Relief video

It's a beautiful tribute and a fitting song, isn't it?

My heart goes out to everyone affected by Sandy, especially the residents along the New Jersey Shore. Seeing the scope of the destruction is truly mind-boggling, and help is still very much needed. It will take years, not weeks or even months, for this area to be fully recovered. Hats off to all of the wonderful musicians who are coming together right now to aid with Sandy relief, including the Gaslight Anthem.

If you'd like to help, you can visit Punk Cares to make a donation and to learn more about the ongoing recovery efforts to help those most affected by Sandy.

The Who perform 'Quadrophenia' straight through

Lucky concert goers heard the entire legendary album during Brooklyn concert

Anyone who was fortunate enough to be in the Barclays Center on Wednesday night should count themselves among the most fortunate rock music fans ever. Why? The Who performed their renowned, revered rock opera Quadrophenia in it's entirety. Anyone curious about how it sounded? Apparently, awesome, start to finish.

I found at least one pretty solid video that gives us a good idea of what the show was like. Behold, The Who performing "5:15":

The Who - 515 Live 11/14/12 Barclays Center Brooklyn New York Quadrophenia Tour Complete Hd Show

Wow. Just wow. I can only hope that we'll all get to see The Who tour this time out.

The decision to play Quadrophenia was made, at least in part, to celebrate The Who's 48th anniversary. And last year, a special deluxe addition of the album was released. In case you were wondering, according to Rolling Stone, The Who reproduced Quadrophenia exactly, right down to the sound effects.

Apparently The Who decided to forego the over-the-top drama that marred similar performances twice before (1973 and 1997). Good for them for realizing that sometimes, a truly outstanding opus needs to stand on it's own, without all the gobbledy gook. Quadrophenia is amazing, and I'm heartened to hear that the third attempt was the charm.

Quadrophenia is probably one of my top 10 favorite rock albums ever, so the very idea that maybe, just maybe, I'll get to see this performed on the upcoming Who tour blows my mind. The band is playing a lot of U.S. cities, so be sure to check and see if they're coming your way. At the moment, I'm not sure I'll be able to travel to see the band, but you can bet I'm going to try!

Bruce Springsteen, Roger Waters among the performers at this year's Stand Up for Heroes benefit

Event raises money for wounded veterans.

Friends, I feel that I have failed you. I didn't find out until tonight that this year's big Stand Up for Heroes benefit was going to be streamed live. For that, I apologize profusely. Had I known ahead of time (and it's my own fault for being too preoccupied with other matters), I would have immediately told you all where to go to watch.

Why? Because the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Roger Waters were on stage as part of the Bob Woodruff Foundation's annual benefit. And it was a grand event, to be sure. Now, for the time being, you can watch the entire show, so no excuses!

LIVE STREAM: Stand Up for Heroes 11/8/2012

John Mayer also performed at the 2012 Stand Up for Heroes show this year. It was held, as in years past, at the Beacon Theater in New York City. When I say benefit, I mean it: Proceeds benefit all of the wonderful, brave American service men and women who were injured fighting for our country. I can't think of a more worthy cause: our remarkable wounded warriors.

Mayer's performance was pretty solid (he sang a Beatles tune), but wow, Roger Waters is something else. Waters' set with a group of military veterans is astounding to see. FYI: Waters' set begins about one hour into the show. Don't miss it. The man is incredible and the performance is so, so memorable.

Now, as in years past, Bruce Springsteen was on hand to wrap the evening up with an acoustic set. Bruce has performed at this benefit each year, and this year's set was as great as ever. If you're looking for just Bruce's four-song set, it starts at about the two hour mark.

Once again, I'm so sorry I didn't post that this year's Stand Up for Heroes show would be live streamed. I won't drop the ball on it next year. At least for now, we can all watch the show though.

For more information on The Bob Woodruff Foundation and the wonderful work the ABC reporter and his wife are doing, you can visit the organization's official website here.

Hurricane Sandy NBC benefit concert includes performances by rock icons

New Jersey native Bruce Springsteen and New York's Billy Joel will appear.

In the wake of the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy earlier this week, NBC has announced a major benefit concert for the American Red Cross. The show will air on Friday, November 2, 2012, on NBC and all of the network's other stations, including USA, E! and Bravo. The concert is a great idea; other similar efforts after Hurricane Katrina and the 9/11 terror attacks raised countless amounts.

Expect performances during Hurricane Sandy: Coming Together by two high-profile New Jersey rockers: Bruce Springsteen (the Bard of NJ) and Jon Bon Jovi. Springsteen's performance, in particular, will likely be incredibly moving.

If I had to guess, I think that Bruce Springsteen will perform his iconic song "My City of Ruins" during the NBC Sandy benefit concert. This song, included on Springsteen's 2002 album The Rising, was his choice during the 9/11 telethon. I still get very emotional watching this video, and you'll see why:

Bruce Springsteen - My City of Ruins (WTC Benefit)

This song is perfectly appropriate for the situation. Bruce Springsteen grew up and still lives near the New Jersey shore, which was absolutely pummeled by Sandy. It's only fitting that he's part of this Coming Together NBC special (which will also be streamed online at

Other performers for the big Hurricane Sandy NBC benefit show include New Yorker Billy Joel, Christina Aguilera and Sting. Again, the big thing here is that this is a benefit for the Red Cross. I can't say enough about the wonderful things the Red Cross does in times of disaster. I've seen it first-hand after Hurricane Katrina (which devastated my family's homes) and after a tornado in April 2012 destroyed whole parts of my hometown. You can't give to a better, more deserving charitable organization. The money will help the American Red Cross lend comfort and aid to those most affected by Sandy.

So come on, rise up!

Neil Young and Crazy Horse are still electrifying live

My first Neil Young show left me in awe.

After decades of fandom, I finally got the chance to see Neil Young live last night. Even better? The show was in my own hometown of Tuscaloosa! In short: Neil Young and Crazy Horse put on an amazing, blisteringly awesome two hour show that left me in total awe. And I have to also say that the opening act, the Alabama Shakes, should be on your radar, rock and blues fans.

I've got some videos I shot from the (so-called) cheap seats, and while they aren't quite as great as the clips I took at other recent shows (Avett Brothers, Gotye), you can definitely tell Neil Young is perfectly on point. Let's start with the song that nearly had me levitating with joy, "Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)":

Neil Young Hey Hey My My (Into the Black)

Amazing, even from the "way back" seats (as my spouse likes to call them). For months, I'd waited eagerly for this show, knowing that I would adore Neil Young and thanking my lucky stars that my first NY show would be with Crazy Horse. I wasn't disappointed! Neil and Co ripped through a ton of big hits ("Powderfinger" was a huge highlight for me, as was the Buffalo Springfield classic "Mr. Soul") and the Godfather of Punk also treated us to an acoustic set that featured "The Needle and the Damage Done," one of my favorites ever.

Neil Young The Needle and the Damage Done

Sorry it was so shaky in the beginning, but I was SO excited.

We also got a few new songs last night, including "Twisted Road," which I really liked. The song, by the way, is on the new Neil Young/Crazy Horse album, Psychedelic Pill. I'd highly recommend checking this tune out ASAP.

Other huge highlights for me included "Cinnamon Girl," delivered with typical, unimaginably awesome power. And guess what? I got that video too:

Neil Young Cinnamon Girl

I realize that I'm no professional videographer, but I'm sure you get the idea. Just, wow. At 66, Neil Young is absolutely still at the top of his game musically. His live show is an unforgettable experience!

Rolling Stones fans, rejoice: The band announces four new shows!

Will a major world tour follow?

For weeks, I've eagerly followed any and all news about the Rolling Stones. And yes, I'd heard rumors that the Stones were planning several shows to mark their 50th anniversary. Guess what? The rumors were true!

Today, the Rolling Stones made it official, announcing plans for four concerts: Two in London and two in New Jersey. Congratulations to anyone who lives in either area. Now, what about the rest of us? Will the Stones announce a bigger tour at some point?

First, let's get to the biggest news of the day in the rock world: After five years away, the Rolling Stones are finally going to return to the stage. The band announced via a video message that they will play two shows at the O2 Arena in London (November 25 and November 29, 2012), followed by two more shows at Newark's Prudential Center (December 13 and December 15, 2012). Here is the official video announcement:

The Rolling Stones Announce Live Shows!

Woo! Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and Charlie Watts, y'all! Sorry, I'm really, really excited about these shows, because I suspect that a bigger Rolling Stones 50 and Counting tour is in the works.

All the details on tickets can be found on the official Rolling Stones website. Special pre-sales are happening, and regular on-sale dates will begin on October 19 (for London) and October 26 (for Newark, New Jersey). Here's where I've got a bit of a problem: The Rolling Stones ticket prices, in my opinion, are ridiculously high. I checked the prices via Ticketmaster for the New Jersey shows, and prices range from $95 (the cheapest ticket) to a whopping $750. I'm not kidding, that's exactly what's listed right now. For that price, I'd expect Mick Jagger to serve me refreshments *during the show.*

Does anyone else think the Rolling Stones concert ticket prices are excessive?

The Avett Brothers are an excellent live band

North Carolina-based folk rockers were a delight.

I'm a lucky girl. In the past week, I've seen two amazing live concerts -- both right in my own backyard, or close to it. Our little Tuscaloosa Amphitheater is doing really well, bringing tons of outstanding rock acts to town. Last night's show featured indie/folk rockers The Avett Brothers, with Grace Potter and the Nocturnals opening.

I can't say enough about how incredible the Avetts are live. The energy at an Avett Brothers show is simply off the charts, and the band gives everything they've got to keep the momentum going throughout. If you like a great folk/indie rock band show, see The Avett Brothers if they come to your area.

Unlike last week's Gotye show, The Avett Brothers packed the venue. Tuscaloosa absolutely loves this band. They've been coming around for years now, even before they became popular elsewhere. People are loyal to bands that put on great live shows (see: Cowboy Mouth) and it showed last night.

I mentioned last week that I've got a fancy new phone and I'm still learning how to shoot great photos and videos with it. Here is my latest attempt, a video of The Avett Brothers singing "I and Love and You" from the show last night:

Avett Brothers Tuscaloosa I and Love and you

As you can clearly see, the crowd was crazy energetic and totally into the music. So energetic, in fact, that I decided to stand a bit farther in the back. The show was fantastic, though. We got a lot of big Avett Brothers hits (including "Head Full of Doubt, Road Full of Promise" and "Kick Drum Heart") and some new songs from the band's latest album, The Carpenter ("Live and Die," in particular, was amazing, as was a stripped down "Winter in My Heart").

I can't say enough about how great The Avett Brothers are live. Anyone else think they're one of the best indie and folk rocking bands around right now? And by the way, my next show: Neil Young and Crazy Horse with the Alabama Shakes. See? I'm really, really lucky!

Indie rocker Gotye puts on a fantastic live show

Talented musician certainly deserves your attention.

I think I've mentioned before that my relatively small city has a brand new, beautiful new amphitheater, correct? The shows we're getting are high-caliber and incredibly diverse, especially for this area. Last night, I had the pleasure of seeing indie/alternative rocker Gotye live, and I have to confess, I was skeptical going in. Yes, we all know that one song, but what else?

In a word: Wow. Gotye's live show was one of the best I've ever seen. If you can, try to catch one of these shows. You'll thank me.Bear with me here, because I just got a fancy new iPhone and I'm still learning how to take photos and videos (the photo here is one of mine). Even with the fancy features, taking pics at concerts is still really tricky. I refuse to be one of those people who stands there the whole time watching a live show through my phone, but at the same time, I also wanted and needed to see what I could do.

This is my first-ever attempt at video, so try not to laugh. And yes, it's Gotye performing "Somebody That I Used to Know." I know we're all sick and tired of hearing it constantly, but it's a brilliant song that I think will be up for a Grammy Award or two.

Gotye Tuscaloosa

Gotye, aka Wouter "Wally" DeBecker is phenomenally talented. The setlist included a lot of songs from his latest album, Making Mirrors, along with some older fan favorites. What struck me was the diversity of sounds: This guy is not afraid to put himself out there and experiment, and the result is usually tremendous.

If I absolutely had to compare Gotye to someone, I'd agree with others who've said Peter Gabriel. Maybe a David Byrne? If that gives you the idea, good, because I believe he's got that kind of talent. Sadly, he played to a really small crowd, but those who came were totally into the show. Props as well to the brilliant Missy Higgins, who opened.

Gotye's wrapping up his U.S. tour right now, but if you do have the opportunity to see one of the remaining shows, I highly recommend it. You're welcome!