So, after a crazy couple weeks in late night, most the talkies are on vacation to begin this new post-Coco* world. Thankfully, there's still enough music this week to placate a hungry DVR, including the season finale to Spectacle, the second hour of the two-part love-fest between Bruce Springsteen and Elvis Costello.
*At least until Conan surfaces on another network in seven months.
While it's best to see both parts, either episode works surprisingly well as standalone, and the interplay between Costello and Springsteen finds both artists uncommonly warm. The set list was impressive as well (Playlist: Spectacle - Episode 2.06-2.07), including a creative mashup of Springsteen's "Radio Nowhere" and Costello's "Radio, Radio," which starts off this second part. Too early to know whether this is a season or series finale, but given Costello's wishy-washy desire to be a host at all, I wouldn't be surprised if this was the end. Which is too bad, as there is still a long list of artists who I need to see given the Spectacle treatment, including living legends like Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Ray Davies, Pete Townshend and Stevie Wonder along with R.E.M., Prince, and... List. Goes. On.
One talk show host not going on vacation this week is The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and this week, Ferguson welcomes Wilco on Thursday. The Jeff Tweedy-led outfit was just nominated for a grammy for their 2009 self-titled release, and are in the news this week for offering free downloads of recent shows to benefit the victims of Haiti. Fans can download albums from their site asking only in return that they make a minimum $15 donation to either OXFAM or Doctors Without Borders. And while we're talking about roots-rockers, it's imperative to mention that influential singer/songwriters Steve Earle and Kris Kristofferson will be on this week's Austin City Limits (as always, check local listings).
Finally, the annual music industry back-slap known as the Grammys is this Sunday, and promises at least a couple of memorable musical performances in the form of neo-soul singer Maxwell and whatever Lady Gaga chooses to wear. Novelties this year include an opportunity for the audience to pick which song Bon Jovi will ape on stage, and a special 3-D tribute to Michael Jackson, who picks up some posthumous hardware in the form of the non-ironic Lifetime Achievement Award.
Playlist: Picks for the week
Monday, January 25
FUEL: The Daily Habit: The Soft Pack
NBC: Late Night With Jimmy Fallon: Shwayze (REPEAT)
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: Franz Ferdinand (REPEAT)
Tuesday, January 26
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: Silversun Pickups (REPEAT)
CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: The Low Anthem (REPEAT)
FUEL: The Daily Habit: Motion City Soundtrack
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: Snoop Dogg (REPEAT)
Wednesday, January 27
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: Mayer Hawthorne
CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: Findlay Brown (REPEAT)
CURRENT: Embedded: Common, Silversun Pickups (REPEAT)
FOX: Lopez Tonight: Cheech & Chong
FUEL: The Daily Habit: Warpaint
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: Cold War Kids (REPEAT)
SUNDANCE: Spectacle: Elvis Costello With...: Elvis Costello, Bruce Springsteen (part 2)
Thursday, January 28
CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: The Hotrats (REPEAT)
CBS: Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson: Wilco
NBC: Late Night With Jimmy Fallon: Ringo Starr (REPEAT)
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: Lily Allen (REPEAT)
Friday, January 29
CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: Julian Casablancas (REPEAT)
NBC: Late Night With Jimmy Fallon: Ke$ha (REPEAT)
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: Phoenix (REPEAT)
Saturday, January 30
PBS: Austin City Limits: Steve Earle, Kris Kristofferson
Sunday, January 31
CBS: The 52nd Annual Grammy Awards: Rihanna, Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Maxwell, Black Eyed Peas