A Closer Look At Music On Television This Week

Fine Tuning - Weekly column highlighting music on TV (July 26-Aug. 1, 2004).

HEY PORTER, CHECKIT, AIII? The anomaly that is "Da Ali G Show" -- which rides the fine line between hysterical and thoroughly annoying -- will feature an appearance by veteran country music artist Porter Wagoner on Sunday's ninth episode of the show's second season on HBO. Watch as Borat Sagdiyev heads to Nashville to "learn to be country star," according to the show's episode guide and imparts some Kazakhstan style to a group of line dancers.

Even more interesting should be Ali G's "autobiography" or President George W. Bush.

THE 'BACKSTAGE PASS': Summer has always brought an onslaught of concerts, and instead of heading out into the heat, this week MTV2 is bringing a slew of shows right into your home. Under the "Backstage Pass" banner, the cable music channel has collected live shows from various MTV properties worldwide, along with footage stemming from concert DVDs. The result is a week of live music and, in some cases, a peek behind the scenes with bands on the road.

Among the bands on display will be Blink-182 (Monday), the Roots (Tuesday), Linkin Park (Wednesday), the Darkness (Thursday) and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs (Friday). Also among the offerings is footage of the May VP Records 25th Anniversary reggae concert in Miami, which boasted Buju Banton, Beenie Man, Capleton, Beres Hammond, Wayne Wonder, Elephant Man and others.

LATE IN THE EVENING: It's summer and it's hot. So this week, I suggest staying up late to bask in the relative cool of, in the words of Bruce Springsteen, "late night tellyvision" to catch:

Monday: Garage rock act Jet on "The Late Late Show With Craig Kilborn" (CBS).

Tuesday: Inspirational oddball troupe the Polyphonic Spree on "The Late Late Show With Craig Kilborn" (CBS).

Wednesday: Superstar rap group 213 (Snoop Dogg, Warren G, Nate Dogg) on "Late Night With David Letterman" (CBS)

Thursday: Ambulance Ltd. Thursday on "Late Night With David Letterman" (CBS).

Friday: Alanis Morissette Friday on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" (NBC).

Saturday: A rerun of "Saturday Night Live" (NBC) featuring Pink (plus some hilarity with host Rev. Al Sharpton).

Sunday: "Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry" on HBO, which this week will feature Doug E. Fresh, Kid Capri, KRS-One and Mos Def.