Credit Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum public programming producer Warren Zanes for setting up the musical blind date that spawned the new Robert Plant and Alison Krauss album, “Raising Sand.” The Led Zeppelin front man and the contemporary bluegrass diva first met and performed together at the Rock Hall’s American Music Master Series tribute to Lead Belly two years ago (“Led to Lead,” November 2004). Plant was the one who asked to get Krauss on the bill so they could perform together, according to Zanes. “They had been slated to do ‘Crossroads’ on [country music cable channel] CMT, but it had fallen through,” he recalls. Zanes got in touch with Krauss’ people, and she agreed to participate. “Something really clicked,” Zanes says of the duo’s rehearsals. “It gave everyone in the room chills, frankly.”
Get over it, cleveland. Anthony Bourdain isn’t the kind of guy who is going to sing the praises of our museums and stadiums (“Lights, Camera, Eat!,” August 2007). When the Cleveland episode of Bourdain’s “No Reservations” aired in August, it portrayed a gritty, decaying city — and some people got their feelings hurt. But we’re not better than places like Phoenix or Charlotte because we’re pretty. We’re better because we’ve got buildings that were built before Arizona was a state, because our people grew up here and because, as Bourdain put it, there is “a strange and melancholy splendor” to our streets. Did the camera zoom in on trash one too many times? Yes. But if you love Cleveland like Bourdain says he does, the grit is part of what makes us great. See for yourself: The episode is slated to repeat Oct. 22 at 10 p.m. on the Travel Channel.