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Monitor Picks

'Crash' course

Crash is a gritty - and we mean gritty - urban drama about race relations, hypocrisy, and the possibilities for personal redemption in everyday life. Set in Los Angeles, it interweaves multiple stories in a cinematic meditation on the interconnectedness of human lives in the face of seemingly random acts of little consequence. Sandra Bullock and Matt Dillon star, but the DVD is worth checking out for the subtle and affecting performance by Terrence Howard, the star of "Hustle and Flow."

Rocking relief

Saturday night, MTV, VH1, and CMT will broadcast a concert to benefit victims of hurricane Katrina. Performances in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Nashville feature Ludacris, Green Day, Gretchen Wilson, Usher, Alicia Keys, John Mellencamp, and the Dave Matthews Band. Proceeds will go to the American Red Cross (8 p.m. ET).

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Magnificent feet

For all those parents having trouble getting their kids to go to the cotillion, tune into So You Think You Can Dance? (Wednesdays on Fox). Strictly ballroom it's not. In the reality TV competition, young hip-hoppers try quickstep; swing couples attempt modern jazz routines. No square dancing here.

Cray O.K.

When the world's great guitarslingers gathered at Eric Clapton's Crossroads Festival in 2004, Robert Cray blew the field away with his original and passionate approach to contemporary blues. His 14th album, entitled "Twenty" brims with the kind of gospel fervor and deep blues commitment his fans had stopped expecting since his first two discs made such a righteous noise 20 (!) years ago. Stirring stuff.

American dreams

The rumors of the death of American men's tennis have been greatly exaggerated. In the wee hours of the US Open Thursday, Andre Agassi came back from two sets down to beat this year's cinderella man, James Blake. Agassi's return to the semifinals guarantees an American will vie for the title Sunday (on CBS). He plays unseeded Robby Ginepri from Marietta, Ga., who also lost his glass slipper on the way to this year's tennis ball.


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