Minor Rant

Raise your hand if, when you think NASCAR, you think of Sheryl Crow.

Right. So why in the hell is she headlining a Dale Earnhardt Tribute Concert?

The best thought I can come up with is that she and Dale Jr. were chasing each other around in the video for “Steve McQueen,” and they got to be friend. It could also have something to do with her increasing celebrity whoredom.

I’ve been a big Sheryl Crow fan for years, but I’ve been increasingly disappointed with her lately. Her last album was a big disappointment to me (especially considering how good the two before it were), and her public persona seems to be getting dumber by the second.

She does seem to be a fairly intelligent person, but every interview I read with her, she just sounds more and more vapid. I joke sometimes that they must have accidentally removed a chunk of her brain when she got a facelift, though that’s not necessarily fair.

I don’t know that she got a facelift, although the fact that she looks significantly younger now than she did three years ago cannot be entirely attributed to airbrushing and wearing more revealing clothes.

The thing is, as much as this frustrates me, it also makes me feel a bit guilty, because I’m acting like a) I actually have control over her actions and b) I, as a fan, should have some say in the way she presents herself, and have a piece of some collective ownership of her image.

Because when I identify myself as a huge Sheryl Crow fan, people look to her current album to see what I admire, not the brilliant work she’s done in the past, which is what I actually do admire.

And it makes me sad that what used to stand for artistry and great songwriting now stands for Jeep commercials and frolicing on the beach in booty shorts.

One of the reasons I was drawn to Crow in the first place is that she seems like the type of person who likes to do her own thing. And so help me, if dressing up the exterior and dumbing down what people can see of the interior is what she wants to do, so be it.

As long as it’s her decision.

The thing that bothers me about this recent change is that it seems like she’s doing it, either because her record company asked her to or because she decided to do it before they did, to prevent herself from becoming irrelevant.

I couldn’t think of a quicker path to irrelevance than making more pandering, half-ass albums like C’mon C’mon instead of the brilliant work she did on The Globe Sessions and her self-titled album, and then cashing in for millions on the songs that don’t completely suck.

I don’t know. I guess C’mon C’mon jumped the shark for me when I hit “You’re An Original,” recorded with none other than Lenny Kravitz, the Least Original Man In Rock And Roll (Including John Tesh). Shit like that really bugs the hell out of me.

Bah. I guess I didn’t really realize how pissed I was about all this until I vented. I do apologize to anyone who’s not a music fan, but if your favorite band has ever done something that really honks you off, you know how I feel.

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