Here's the Scoop: Feb. 11, 2009

Changing tastes
Well, we survived another Grammy Awards show. I missed it. One can only take so much cleavage on the Red Carpet, I guess. As far as awards shows go, the Grammys are an odd mix to me. I’ve never heard of many of the performers and would never think of buying most of the music.
Too often, this show seems to be about stoking the bottom line of record companies by picking truly undeserving “winners.” The good news is that with the onset of music downloading from the Internet, record companies don’t really matter all that much anymore. This is good news because the world can only use so much bad music.
On the bright side, some of the Grammy nominees this year were groups and people with whom I’m familiar. My musical tastes are not really mainstream, so these award shows often frustrate me for honoring, what’s the word: crap.
But Radiohead took home a trophy this year. That’s a good thing.
Of course, most of the talk before and after the show center around the pairing of Robert Plant and Alison Kraus. Nearly all critics predicted that this duo’s album “Raising Sand” would earn a bunch of trophies. It did.
This was good news.
“Raising Sand” is another one of the nominated albums that I own. It’s a nice piece of music.

A little louder, please
Those of you who didn’t grow up cranking Led Zeppelin tunes out of your attic bedroom may not have fond memories of Robert Plant. Sure, I was partial to Jimmy Page’s soaring guitar work, but Plant’s vocals are among the most recognizable in the history of rock music.
It may be hard to believe now, but I enjoyed way more than my share of “Loud” Zeppelin during my formative years. Some folks might say the effects have lingered.
I still have a few LZ disks in the cupboard, but I must admit that I don’t play them often. It’s not that I don’t like them, but I admit to having mellowed a bit. I’m guessing that’s why many others enjoyed “Raising Sand.”
This album paired the boisterous, legendary rock star with the angelic singer with a bluegrass/country background. It worked like peanut butter and jelly (the kind that doesn’t cause salmonella).
And, so it followed that the Plant/Kraus pairing took home five Grammys. Good for them.
A boyhood hero makes good with a perfect pairing. One of these days, I’m going to pull out some LZ discs and crank them up…quickly followed by a playing of “Raising Sand.”
There’s been a lot of talk of Plant “selling out” to make this record. He says it merely sounded like a good idea. It also was good music to the ears to millions of album buyers.
I’m guessing there are a lot of folks of a “certain age” who felt a tinge of guilt by enjoying this relatively mellow record by one of the foremost rocker on the planet. Count me among this crowd. However, upon first listen, I was all ears for this collaboration. And, fortunately, they weren’t ringing.