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  • For decades, Austin City Limits was a charming, well-kept PBS secret mostly among fiercely loyal Texans who loved seeing no-commercials, no-frills performances from musicians who usually looked thrilled to be a part of the ACL performers club started by Willie Nelson about 30 years ago. The inspiration for the popular live-music festival in Austin every fall, ACL received probably its greatest attention a few years ago for hosting Coldplay (check out its Guest Appearances page and you too will wonder what in the heck a megapopular British band was doing in the small, casual Austin City Limits performance studio), but it hasn't meant a permanent turn away from the usual blues, country, folk, and rock acts for whom this hour-long show is a really big deal. Tune in when you get a chance -- as Coldplay's Chris Martin said while talking to a kid sitting in the front row of the audience, "This is a pretty cool place to be when you're 11, isn't it?" Actually, whether you're in the studio or watching the broadcast, it's a pretty good place to be at any age.