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Aging Rock Gods, Kilt Kanye, Sirvana Raised $50 Million for Sandy Relief

alexis krauss, sleigh bells, ira kaplan, yo la tengo

Hurricane Sandy slammed the East Coast almost two months ago, but musicians are still raking in money for various Sandy-related relief funds. The star-studded (and extremely memorable) 12-12-12 concert — which united Bruce Springsteen, the Rolling Stones, Kanye West, and a Paul McCartney-fronted Nirvana all under the same bill — raised roughly $50 million for victims of the historic storm, The New York Times reports. Producers of the super-showcase expect more money to come in over the next several weeks, thanks to additional donations and album and merchandise sales. David Saltzman, the executive director of the Robin Hood Relief Fund, said the multi-million bundle will be distributed to 140 organizations assisting people whose homes and businesses were destroyed by Sandy.

Even secondhand ticket-seller StubHub, which allowed users to demand up to nearly $60,000 for 12-12-12 tickets, contributed to the final tally. A spokesman for the website said StubHub donated $1 million from resale fees to Robin Hood Relief, but he also added that most of the profits from secondary sales appear to have lined the pockets of professional ticket brokers and individuals, and did not go towards the charity. Ah, that’s the holiday spirit.

About $30 million of 12-12-12’s haul came from initial sale of the event’s 13,500 tickets and donations from corporate sponsors, and the other $20 million came via merch sales and people offering money online and over the phone. A live album capturing several of the night’s performances is also available on iTunes and, as of this writing, sits atop the iTunes album chart. A physical release of the concert CD will drop in January via Columbia Records. All proceeds from the record’s sales go to the Robin Hood Relief Fund. Memorabilia from the charity gig is also currently up for auction. Among the biddable items: the drumsticks Dave Grohl used to pound through “Cut Me Some Slack” that night, along with a guitar autographed by Eddie Vedder, Bruce Springsteen, Michael Stipe, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, and more.

Other benefit shows haven’t pulled in such a dramatic payload, but that doesn’t mean the sentiment is any less generous. Grizzly Bear, Sleigh Bells, Cults, and the Antlers teamed up for the “4 Artists 1 Cause” concert at Terminal 5 on December 14, and, according to Fader (who supported the event), that lineup raised $300,000 for the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. Over in Brooklyn, Yeah Yeah Yeahs played to a sold-out crowd at Union Pool on behalf of Waves for Water. And across the Hudson River in New Jersey, indie rock stalwarts Yo La Tengo put all the money earned during their annual eight-night Hanukkah residency at Maxwell’s (which featured a sleepy duet with Real Estate’s Martin Courtney) towards Sandy-related charities, according to Matador Records.

The members of Yo La Tengo aren’t stopping there, either. As part of their holiday-themed shows, the trio made mix CDs of tracks culled from their personal record collections and sold them to fans. On Friday, December 21, the Fade rockers will sell downloads of those mixes through their website for $10 and give “every penny” to Brooklyn’s Norton Records, the punk, R&B, and garage rock-focused label which lost nearly all of its back catalog during Hurricane Sandy (via Village Voice). The YLT mixes will be available for 24 hours beginning at noon on December 21, as Matador notes.

Watch a video about the damage sustained and recovery efforts at Norton Records below.