Fine Tuning - Weekly column highlighting music on TV (March 7-13, 2005).
GET ON BOARD THE SOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUUL TRAIN... AWARDS: You don't need no ticket to ride the Soul Train, just an appreciation for what's going on right now in R&B and hip-hop. For years, Don Cornelius' syndicated show has been turning folks on to some of the brightest lights in music and the 19th annual Soul Train Music Awards were recently staged to honor the best of the past year.
Although you may already know who won what, it's no reason not to tune in to see Usher and Alicia Keys pick up their many honors. And like any good awards show these days, there are plenty of performances to keep you watching, with the whole shebang hosted by Brian McKnight, Fantasia, Nick Cannon and Nicole Richie.
Check local listings for the syndicated broadcast in your market.
THE OTHER ELVIS: PBS' "Austin City Limits" has often been celebrated in this column and gets attention again this week with a full hour episode featuring one of my favorite artists, Elvis Costello. The episode will feature the artist and his band, the Imposters, ripping through stuff from his latest, "The Delivery Man" and a handful of favorites, just like they're doing on tour right now.
Same deal here, check your local PBS affiliate's schedule for an exact airdate and time.
'IDOL' ROLLS ON: Keep up the good work "American Idol" viewers, you're certainly weeding out the fields well so far. There's no great loss as the Fox competition waved g'bye to Aloha Mischeaux, Celena Rae, David Brown and Joseph Murena last week... But there's still some work to do!
This week another four get axed from the field to produce the 12 finalists -- six males and six females. It wouldn't be right for me to tell you how to cast your votes, so I'll sit back and see what Wednesday night's results show brings following performance bids by the boys on Monday and girls on Tuesday. Then I'll commend or berate you in next week's column as I see fit!
Starting next week, we get into the thick of things, with 11 weeks of stiff competition, improvement and failure and, I'm sure, a bunch of ill-advised Fox "Idol" specials that have little to do with the competition beyond getting you to watch the network on the series' off nights.
'BUT, WHAT ELSE SHOULD I WATCH?' Don't whine. Here's something special for each day of your week:
Monday: If you're not into Brazilian Girls, there's seriously something wrong with you. Remedy this by watching them on ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live."
Tuesday: Solomon Burke is so great and he's still proving it more than five decades into his career. Catch him on NBC's "Late Night With Conan O'Brien."
Wednesday: Brian McKnight guest stars on NBC's period drama "American Dreams," which makes its official move from Sundays to Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT this week.
Thursday: Interestingly, the place where you're going to hear a preview of the new Beck album, "Guero," will be on Fox's "The O.C." This week's episode will feature the sounds of first single "E-Pro," as well as "Que Onda Guero," "Scarecrow," "Missing" and "Girl."
Friday: Get up early and say "Good Morning America" to Mario, who will be performing on the ABC wake-up show.
Saturday: You want more than the Soul Train Awards and Costello on "Austin City Limits?" OK, OK... how about some singer/songwriters? In the a.m., check out Ani DiFranco on CBS' "The Saturday Early Show" and much later, Jack Johnson on NBC's "Saturday Night Live" (with former cast member David Spade returning to host).
Sunday: Tom Petty, Trace Adkins and Mac Davis (yep! Mac freakin' Davis) will add their voices to Fox's "King of the Hill," as will "Taxi" and "Back to the Future" vet Christopher Lloyd. Yee-ha!