A Closer Look At Music-Related Television This Week

Fine Tuning - Weekly column highlighting music on TV during the week of Aug. 18-24, 2003.

How about that blackout for ya? Well, the power's back on and the TV's glowing again, so life is getting back to normal. Now settle into that easy chair and look to the box for some musical nourishment.

Sure to be a highlight of the week is NBC's two-hour "Shania Twain: UP! Live From Chicago" special. Taped July 27 in the Windy City's Grant Park, the concert will see the country-turned-pop star reviewing her biggest hits and material from her latest album, "Up!" It's just a warm up for North American fans as Twain will be hitting the road in her native Canada and the U.S. come late September.

Looking for a star-studded affair? Well Saturday night's 2003 Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards will showcase some of the best that the ladies of R&B/hip-hop have to offer. The syndicated broadcast of the ceremony will be hosted by Tyrese, Heather Headley, Aisha Tyler and Arsenio Hall, so check local listings.

The WB's "Pepsi Smash" continues to pack in the hot artists. Tune in Wednesday to see performances by Dido, Lil' Mo, Ashanti, Yellowcard, Fabolous and the All-American Rejects. Catch more hot acts on VH1's "Inside Track Concert" the same night featuring Liz Phair, Maroon 5, Jason Mraz and the Thorns performing recently at New York's Roseland Ballroom.

Feelin' a bit more of a country itch than Shania can scratch? Check out Travis Tritt and Trace Adkins Thursday on PBS' "Soundstage" (check local listings), Brooks & Dunn Friday on "CMT Inside Fame" and Adkins, Del McCoury, Ronnie Milsap and Lorrie Morgan Saturday on "Grand Ole Opry Live," also on CMT.

On the third installment of the Sundance Channel's "Keeping Time: New Music From America's Roots," you'll be exposed to a lot of great music. Thursday night's third of four episodes is titled "Buy This Record" and spotlights a group of artists making original and exciting music that has its roots in this country's traditional music styles, including Waco Brothers, Kelly Hogan, T Model Ford, Shemekia Copeland and the Black Keys.

Warren ZevonNo matter what you do, don't miss the debut of VH1's "(inside)out" on Sunday night. Hosted by actor/musician Billy Bob Thornton, the series will follow the making of what will probably be Warren Zevon's final album, "The Wind" (Artemis). Dying of lung cancer, the legendary singer/songwriter allowed the music channel to document his fight and studio work with friends such as Jackson Browne, Mick Fleetwood and Stevie Nicks.

Aside from that, my personal pick of the week comes Tuesday night on cable/satellite channel Trio. The network will feature seminal modern rock act the Pixies on its "Trio On Tour" series. Along with performance footage of Black Francis and company, the episode will feature discussion of the band with its members, David Bowie, U2's Bono, Radiohead's Thom Yorke and Polly Jean Harvey.

Other nostalgia headed folks can look to VH1 for several episodes of the 10-part "I Love The 70's" series. Groovy. If more recent nostalgia is your bag, then tune into MTV and MTV2 all week for various shows spotlighting highlights of past MTV Video Music Awards ceremonies and winners, including "VMAs: Biggest Winners of All Time" Friday on MTV2 and "Diary Presents: VMA Superstars" Saturday on MTV. It's all early hoopla for this year's VMAs, which will take place Aug. 28 in New York.

It's hot out, so keep the AC hummin', but be responsible and conserve a little... Don't use up so much juice that it shuts the lights -- and the TV -- down again.