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GET THE PARTIES STARTED
Despite Gloom and Doom, Music Majors Ready for Industry's Biggest Night
Don’t worry, folks. The show—and the parties—must go on.

Despite the prevailing mood of gloom and doom that has plagued the record industry like a bad hangover, all the annual Grammy parties will still take place—but expect the festivities to be a trifle subdued this year.

•Grammy week will get under way Monday night (2/25) with NARAS’ 12th annual MusiCares benefit, this year honoring "Person of the Year" Billy Joel at the Century Plaza Hotel in Century City. Among those on hand will be Tony Bennett, Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, Garth Brooks, Diana Krall and Rob Thomas. Proceeds provide support for MusiCares’ financial assistant program, which ensures that music people have a place to turn in times of financial, medical and personal need, and helps defray the cost of Mike Greene’s annual tux rental fee.

•It’ll be Clive Davis vs. the politicos on the eve of the Awards ceremony, with the legendary record exec’s annual soiree at the Beverly Hills Hotel on Tuesday night (2/26) topping the list, featuring a who’s-who of performers, undoubtedly topped by multiple nominee Alicia Keys.

•In addition, the newly formed Recording Artist Coalition will stage three separate "Concerts for Artists Rights" on Grammy Eve. The Eagles, Billy Joel, John Fogerty, Stevie Nicks and Sheryl Crow will be at the Forum; Dixie Chicks, Trisha Yearwood, Dwight Yoakam and Emmylou Harris will perform at the Universal Amphitheatre; No Doubt, the Offspring and Weezer will appear at the Long Beach Arena; while Beck, Eddie Vedder and Mike Ness headline the Wiltern.

•The ninth annual "Rock the Vote" shindig at the House of Blues that same night will honor the Dave Matthews Band and Destiny’s Child with the Patrick Lippert Awards. The West Wing producer Aaron Sorkin will be presented with the "Rock the Nation Magic Mushroom" award and NARM’s Pam Horovitz will receive the org’s "Founders Award." Nelly Furtado, Goo Goo Dolls and Glenn Lewis will provide the entertainment.

•Three of the Big Five Grammy night parties are apparently off limits to the media. Sony’s exclusive post-awards show shindig will be held at Mortons, BMG’s soiree will be at the Argyle on Sunset, while Universal Music Group will gather at Cicada downtown, presumably far away from the ravenous members of the fourth estate.

•The EMI party will be at the Park Plaza hotel, while Warner Music Group is taking over Mondrian’s Skybar for a hoe-down partly underwritten by corporate partner Entertainment Weekly. Synergy is so cool, isn’t it?

•Finally, BMG North America’s Bob Jamieson is once more hosting a Grammy viewing party from 4:30 to 9 p.m. at the Chaya Brasserie in Beverly Hills.

Party-crashers, start your engines.

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