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FEATURE NEWS


Op-Ed: Dude, I'm Still Alive - By Bob Lefsetz
Posted: August 7, 2017
How could Sheryl Crow get it so wrong and then so right?

Earlier this year she released an album with old wave publicity in every print medium known to man and it went straight into the dumper, it's like it never even came out, which inspired Mr. Tuna Ketchup, @TunaCatsup, to tweet:

"Oh man, @SherylCrow must be rolling in her grave right now..."

This was in response to Sheryl's old duet partner Kid Rock announcing he was running for Senate.

And what did Crow say in response to the man with a grand total of 323 followers?

She tweeted:

"Dude. I'm still alive."

And then that was retweeted a hundred thousand times.

Funny how she's getting more attention for a knee-jerk reaction on Twitter than all of that old school publicity advertising her new album. She ain't old, she's not only reading on Twitter, she's posting! She's breaking the baby boomer rules, which are you must complain about your cheese being moved forevermore, hate Spotify, YouTube even more, and be consigned to the dustbin of history.

But then it gets better. Sheryl wrote a song about it!

Come on, how great is this? Rather than sticking to her hermetically sealed LP, playing by the rules, which are you release a bulletproof album every couple of years and nothing more, she instantly wrote a song, recorded it and posted it on YouTube. WAY TO GO GIRL!

You participate. You do until you get lucky. Or retire.

But the thing is you can never underestimate inspiration. It's the bedrock of creativity, the essence of art. It's when you're jolted alive with an idea and you've got to lay it down that you do your best work.

And I'd love to tell you this clip is genius, but it's a rough work in the studio with less than perfect recording, but...

Sheryl seems absolutely genuine. None of the fakery that she perpetrated in her press run. And when she picks that electric bass... She does more for the cause of women in the arts than any complaining about country playlists and glass ceilings. She's an inspiration to women.

But even better is the song.

"I certainly was confused
When I saw your tweet today
How when I see the headline
I'll be rolling in my grave"


This is the opposite of the Max Martin paradigm, where you create music in a vacuum, perfect it until it's shiny and inert and perfect, to the point where you can only admire it, where it doesn't breathe. And Sheryl's speaking to a specific person, as opposed to making the lyrics generic, like every other wanker out there.

"If Kid Rock runs for Senate
I wouldn't be surprised
But not over my dead body
Cause Dude I'm still alive"


She's sticking to the theme. That she ain't dead, while interweaving the inspiration for the tweet, Rock's run.

"Dude I'm still alive
Dude I'm still alive
I'm like Gloria Gaynor
You know I will survive
No matter what's online
Fake news or lies
Dude I'm still alive"


We love musical references in conversation and music. And Crow is not living in the past, she's online, like the rest of society, unlike too many classic rockers.

"Maybe Mr. Ritchie
Can fix some things for us
Like making sure Detroit is set
To make an electric bus"


A viewpoint. Rock is conservative. The right wingers can't stop bitching about electric vehicle subsidies when in the rest of the world, the march to electricity is heating up.

"At least the guy's not 90
In his 32nd term
But a pole in the Lincoln bedroom
Is bound to make people squirm"


We hate the aged out of touch running our government. And you've got to love someone with a sense of humor.

"I like a President who's smart
And handles women with respect
Who doesn't tweet on the toilet
But perhaps from the Reagan desk"


Whew! She has a viewpoint, she's taking a stand, in a world where knee-jerk Republicans will attack anyone with a contrary viewpoint. But Sheryl knows if you're not creating, if you're not being honest, you might as well be dead.

"I'm sorry for Jeff Sessions
Seems they're dropping like flies
As for Comey, Sean and Reince
Dude, at least you're still alive"


A twist on the concept, she's not the only one facing death, surviving.

You've got to love it.

Now she just needs to keep doing this.

All you perfectionist heritage acts, afraid to fart in public, afraid of getting it wrong, afraid of riling any potential customer, you're nearly dead. I thought you were a musician. Doesn't it pain you to play the same damn tracks to an aged audience? Sure, you're getting paid, but money isn't everything.

There's a ton of inspiration in this world. Participate and you'll experience it.

And maybe you'll get lucky, like Sheryl Crow. Maybe you'll make a dent in the universe.

"Dude, I'm Still Alive!" (posted on Twitter no less!): https://twitter.com/i/web/status/891112633809723392

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