A Playlist for Tonight's Hurricane Sandy Telethon

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The music business was hardly spared the effects of Hurricane Sandy. As reported by our New York sister blog, Sound of the City, dozens of shows in the New York-New Jersey area were postponed or canceled; the resulting travel snafu has scuttled touring plans as far away as tonight's (former) Houston show by rapper Rakim. The Brooklyn warehouse of garage-rock/rarities label Norton Records took on four feet of floodwater.

Tonight at 7 p.m., NBC and several cable networks will broadcast Hurricane Sandy: Coming Together, a one-hour telethon to raise money to help the Eastern Seaboard recover from the effects of Sandy, now estimated to be the second most destructive storm to strike the U.S. behind Hurricane Katrina. Much like our own Ike in 2008, it could be months or maybe years before the region fully returns to normal. (Have we, yet? What is "normal," anyway?)

Scheduled to appear on Coming Together are Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Bon Jovi, Sting, Christina Aguilera and Jimmy Fallon, and no doubt a few special guests TBA. Since it's only an hour long, they will all be forced to choose their songs very carefully. We decided to offer a few suggestions, because don't people in that part of the country have enough on their minds right now?

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Bruce Springsteen, "Atlantic City": The popular New Jersey resort/East Coast playground took a direct hit from Sandy. Although this 1982 song is about a mobbed-up loser most likely headed to his death, it's still hard to imagine Springsteen not playing it tonight. He can make a rallying cry out of almost anything, especially a song that includes the line "maybe everything that dies someday comes back."


Bruce Springsteen, "Badlands": Much better. "Badlands" is an anthem from the get-go, the epitome of the mid-'70s Springsteen who was determined to transcend his lumpen surroundings with only the sweat of his brow and the indominatable E Street Band. Other songs of its ilk, "Jungleland," "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out," "Racing In the Streets" and so forth, are too long to fit into an hour-long broadcast.


Billy Joel, "Allentown": It hasn't been in the news as much as points further east, but Allentown, Pennsylvania's third-largest city nestled deep in the Lehigh Valley, has taken a hit just the same. According to Friday's The Morning Call, about 30 percent of the area's main power company's customers are still without electricity (approx. 95,000), gas is growing scarce, and tempers are getting short.


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