Archive for the ‘Louisiana’ Category

Earlier this week, I posted something about the right kerfuffle involving Warner Bros., Daniel Radcliffe, and the Broadway production of How to Succeed….

The theatre's a small world, isn't it?

Well, according to Playbill.com, the Warners won.


Victory calls for Comic Sans.

Actually, this isn’t that big a deal.  I understand it’s just business.  (Or maybe it is a big deal:  Is this equivalent to the film saying theatre doesn’t matter?)   But two things stick with me.  The first is that selling out three nights of a Broadway show is about $500,000, which isn’t a huge amount of money and yet still covers about a half a week’s salary for lot of actors, technicians, ushers, etc., plus running costs, royalties, and all that good stuff.  The second is that, in the film industry, that same $500,000 is a nuisance.  It’s mind-boggling.  You could probably add all the budgets of all the shows I’ve ever done, and it still wouldn’t add up to $500,000.  In this case, it’s just an obstacle to getting a star to do some press.

But I digress.  This post isn’t about How to Succeed…, Broadway, or even the Harry Potter franchise.  It’s about the Warner Brothers.  And their sister Dot.


The theme of today's puzzle.

It’s Yakko’s world.  We just live in it:

Not to be outdone, Wakko rules the country (and he starts with my favorite capital city):

And Dot’s cute:

So, if How to Succeed… is dark those nights, then WHO’S ON STAGE?

Hahaha!  I love that show. 🙂


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This makes me extraordinarily happy.



She’s Sweet Emma Barrett, she’s old-school New Orleans, and she will make your day.

The real deal.



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Too far from New Orleans to see the parades in person this year? Never been to Mardi Gras? From someplace where “parade” means a bunch of people walking and waving? Now you can watch the Uptown parades from a nice spot on St. Charles, live on your li’l computer! Yay! Throw me somethin’, mister!

UPDATE:  Oh, and here’s a link to the schedule, which also includes links to other parade cams!  Thanks, Nola.com!  Y’all check it out and pass y’all a good time.

UPDATE #2:  My friend Ricky just pointed out to me that that’s Fat Harry’s!  And wouldn’t you know it, Nola.com has a FAQ page that proves him right!  Click on the pic below!

Fat Harry's Parade Cam!

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News from New Orleans is that an autistic woman has had her “service monkeys” illegally confiscated.  Favorite quote:

You see all kinds of things on Bourbon Street during Carnival, including drag queens in costume, but what you don’t typically see is a woman in a pirate costume with four live monkeys, also dressed in pirate costumes.

“We were dressing up for the Mardi Gras and we dress up as pirates,” said James Poole, caretaker for Newberger.

Click the link.  Read the article.  Watch the video.  No, seriously.  Watch the video.

Did you watch it?

Am I a bad person because this story makes me think of the Bathroom Monkey from SNL?  (Watch that one, too.)

Bathroom Monkey. That funky monkey. Arr, matey.


CORRECTED:  Both links were going directly to Ebaumsworld.  Now you can see the actual news item from WWLTV.com, too.  Sorry about that.  Monkey hate proofreading.

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About a week ago, I posted that I would be back on track, fulfilling the promise I made to myself to post every day.  Well, I was a filthy liar.

I'm still cute, though, right?

Unfortunately for the blog, the past week has been a veritable swarm of deadlines for other projects and of obligations that kept me far away from a computer, and I had to do some cruel prioritizing.  Sometimes, when I get really busy, the days melt into each other, and I lose a meaningful sense of time.

Hello, Dali!

Call it what you will: laser focus, single-mindedness, obsession, pathology….whatever.  The good news is that all of the projects are now significantly further along, so yay!  I earned myself the right to post today without impunity.

And it’s appropriate, because today really is melting!  (Well, kind of.)  Up here in NYC, the temperature has reached a positively spring-like 55 degrees, and the mounds of gray snow and hard-pack ice are finally disappearing.  (Well, a little.)  Which is a damn good thing, pardon my French, because let me tell you what happened yesterday.

Well, hello again, Dali.

Cammie had to be to work in armpit of New Jersey (no offense) for about 10:00.  I had to be to work at the High Line for 11:00.  She was taking the car, and since the drive was about an hour, she left the apartment shortly before 9:00.  I stayed in bed while she got ready, so I’d be out of her way, and I got up about 10 minutes before she left.  I was just settling down with a cup of coffee when she calls me:

ME:  Hey, what’d you forget?

HER:  I’m stuck.

ME:  What?

HER:  I’m stuck.  In ice.  I can’t get out.

ME: (Exasperated but helpful sigh)  Where are you?

HER:  Down the block.

I throw on  pants and a sweatshirt, and because I think I’m going to be out there just long enough to drive the car out of the spot, a pair of flip-flops.  Now, we haven’t had snow in a couple of weeks, but the streets haven’t really been cleaned since Christmas.  A week ago, however, NYC reinstated alternate-side parking rules to facilitate the long-overdue cleaning.

The broom in the Ghostbusters symbol suggests cleaning will be done. This is only a suggestion.

In Park Slope, we’re lucky that we only have alternate-side rules twice a week, as opposed to four times a week, as they do in other parts of the city.  But I digress.  The point is, Cammie was parked in a Thursday zone, which meant that it should have been cleaned the previous Thursday, between the hours of 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.  That’s the time for that particular zone; and during that time, no one should be parked on that side, and the CITY SHOULD COME THROUGH AND DO ITS JOB.

That’s how it’s supposed to work.  But that’s not what happened.  They ticketed people for not moving cars that were still snowed or iced in, but then they didn’t clean the streets.  (Honestly, I’ve managed to dig our car out after every storm.  I didn’t expect anyone to do that for us.  But this clearing the snow off the streets is not something the average person can do.)  Maybe Manhattan got cleaned up, but Brooklyn’s still a mess.  So, the snow has been slushing and refreezing in a vicious cycle for weeks now, no one’s doing anything to remove any of it, and thereby hangs the tale.

When Cammie parked the car Saturday night, the area around her spot was still a little slushy.  Now, the weather, as I said earlier, has been nicer the past couple of days, and the ice packs of recent weeks are finally beginning to disintegrate.  But this particular patch must have frozen again overnight, because by Sunday morning, her car was parked on a sheet of futhermuckin’ ice, and there was no going anywhere.

She has to be to work for 10:00 am.  I have to be to work for 11:00 am.  It’s right about 9:00 am.  There is time to save us both.

This is what it was like in my head.

This is what it was like in real life, but in a hoodie and flip-flops.

I jump into the situation in an appropriately male way and attempt the very same thing Cammie’s already been trying for the past ten minutes.  No luck.  The wheels just keep spinning.  Then I rip open a recycling bag in the snowbank on the curb and pull out some newspaper.  I wedge the newspaper around the wheels, thinking that it will provide the much-needed traction to get the car out.  Sadly, it did not provide such traction.  What it provided instead was a wet, pulpy blanket on which the wheels could continue to spin in futility and the car could continue its frozen immobility.

I realize we’re not going anywhere until I break up some of this ice, and I grab the first thing I see in the car that could be remotely useful: a removable headrest from the fold-down backseat.  It looks like this:

Not intended for ice removal.

I figured the prongs would be effective for chipping away at the ice.  Again, I was wrong.  They were, however, incredibly effective at chipping away at my sanity.  Cammie, smartly observing this devolution, offers to go get a hammer from our apartment.  Brilliant.  Yes.  Please.  She goes.  I continue to struggle with a headrest and wet newspaper.

Yes, I'm aware of that. Thank you.

By now, it’s about 9:30.  Cammie’s already late, but if I leave by 10:00, I’m still safe.  I’m convinced I can get the car out in time, and I fall into a little system of chipping ice with the headrest, wedging some newspaper, and hopping behind the wheel of the car to check my progress.  And every time, I’d manage to get the car up the crest of the ice pack, only to feel it slide right back down as I tried to turn the wheel.

Cammie comes back with a hammer and a snow shovel.  I start beating the ice mound with the hammer, and within minutes, I’m covered in a spray of gray ice chips.  But the ice won’t break up.  I’m barely scratching the surface of this thing.

Shut up. Don't mock me.

Another few minutes of this – it’s like 9:45-ish now – and this delivery guy comes over.  He had parked up the street from us at about 9:20, and he was watching the struggle.  He says we have to push it out, and he offers to help us do it.  That takes another 10 minutes or so of us pushing, and Cammie cutting the wheel and applying the brake.  And miraculously, right before the stroke of 10:00, after almost a solid hour of tribulation, the car is freed.  Cammie’s finally on her way, and there’s a slim chance I can still make it to work on time.   I rush home, hop in the shower, get dressed, and I’m out the door in about 15 minutes.  When I get to my subway stop, though, I’m greeted with this:

Can you believe this shit?

Who knows why?  But I have to walk another 11 blocks to the Pacific Street stop, which ensures that I am LAAAAAAAATE.  And the whole time, negotiating piles of alternately crunchy and slippery frozen stuff, I’m fuming, thinking, and sometimes actually muttering, “WHY DO PEOPLE LIVE THIS WAY?”

I have to pause for reflection after experiences like that, and I’ve had a lot of experiences like that lately.

Look, maybe it’s residual Katrina bitterness that gets me so worked up because, God knows, I am full of that.  When Cammie and I were in Seattle in October 2007, two years after Katrina, we were small-talking with a woman while waiting for an elevator.  When we told her we were from New Orleans, she was a little incredulous.  “Why,” she asked, “does anybody live there?”  We stepped into the elevator, and we saw one of these:


I simply said to her, “Well, you have an earthquake button in your elevator.  We’ve never seen that before.  Why do you live here?”  We rode to our respective floors in silence.

She was referring, of course, to the fact that New Orleans is below sea level, that we get hit with hurricanes all the time, that we don’t have the infrastructure to cope with natural disaster when it strikes.  I understand that.  I don’t agree – I think Katrina was extraordinary, and we generally cope pretty well – but I understand.

But there are very few places that don’t live with some kind of threat from nature.  In the West, it’s earthquakes.  In the South and Southeast, it’s hurricanes.  In the Plains, it’s tornados.  Or drought.

Fun, huh?

We’ve all got something. (Okay, maybe Wyoming doesn’t.)  And we all have ways of coping with those things, or if not, we get the hell out of the way.

Unless you’re New York, where you get snow all the time and can’t figure out an efficient way to manage it.  Hey, even flood water drains, right?  It was 55 degrees today, and THERE IS STILL SNOW AND ICE ON THE GROUND EVERY-FRIGGIN-WHERE.  How does that happen?  Why is that?  And why does it bother me so much?

The risk of natural disaster is the price we pay for the beauty of the places we choose.  Sure, New Orleans gets hurricanes, but it is a gorgeous place, so green and lush that you can feel yourself growing with it.  It also has Mardi Gras, and I have yet to see anything, anywhere that even comes close to bringing a community together the way Mardi Gras does.

To be fair, New York has a spring that is truly breathtaking.  The temperature is PERFECT, and I almost wept the first time I saw the cherry blossoms bloom in my neighborhood.  (Although they did make me homesick for the azaleas and crepe myrtles of New Orleans.)

Every location has its pluses and minuses, the things you love and the things you loathe.  And if you’re lucky, the good outweighs the bad.  If not, you soldier on until the scale tips back in the other direction.  And so I will.

But I still don’t understand how people deal with this goddamned snow every year.  That is all.

Oh, and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Yeah, you right.

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Before Hurricane Katrina, I used to go to Walmart with embarrassing frequency. My suburban sensibilities are comforted by stores that are open twenty-four hours a day, and pre-K Greater New Orleans had two or three Super Walmarts where you could get your shop on whenever you felt like it.

Of course, after the storm, and for a long time after the storm, you were lucky to find a gas station open all night, and Walmart was no exception.  In fact, five years on, there still isn’t a New Orleans Walmart that’s open past 11:59 p.m.

Truth in advertising, New Orleans edition.

I didn’t realize when I made an emergency Walmart toiletries run during part of our evacuation in Lafayette, Louisiana, that that trip would be my last for a long time. Sure, over time, the reduced hours in NOLA had something to do with it, but I also had a growing awareness of lousy business practices, and an urge to buy locally, and of course, a desperate aversion to acquiring more cheap crap that we didn’t need. So, I stopped going. I went about five years without so much as setting a foot in a Walmart. And I was cocky about it, too, and in that very self-righteous/other-contemptuous way that’s so popular nowadays.

It was really easy to do that once we moved to New York, because there are no Walmarts here.  Out of sight, out of mind.  This summer, though, I was in New Orleans for a few months, and I started seeing Walmart again.

At first, it was just random drive-bys, here and there, going from this place to that:  “Oh, look, Walmart. I haven’t seen her in a while.  She looks the same.”

Then, she was surprisingly near wherever I happened to be staying: “Wow, she’s really close by. Huh. That’s convenient.”

I’d have to drive past her on my way to rehearsal: “Isn’t it funny, Walmart?  I went years without thinking about you, and now I see you everyday.”

It happened like this. Tchoupitoulas Street. I'm just innocently driving along. See how she's taunting me, calling me like the Sirens called Odysseus? Do you see? Now imagine that EVERY DAY.

And then, one day, I got out of a rehearsal late, and I was hungry and tired, and I guess, weak, and well, she was RIGHT THERE.  It was almost midnight, and I knew she’d be closing soon (I still hated her for that, but I respected her tenacity all the same), and I pulled into the parking lot. I told myself that I would run in for a second, say hi, get something to eat, some deodorant (so I’d look like I had a purpose), and maybe some gum (so I’d look casual and carefree).  And I went in.

And Walmart?  Well, Walmart just acted nonchalant, barely even registering my presence.  I say “acted,” because Walmart totally knew I was there, let’s not pretend otherwise.  She’s got cameras everywhere, right?  No matter how you feel about her, I think we can all agree she’s just a leetle obsessive. I mean, greeters? Receipt checks? What’s next? Going through my texts and hacking my Facebook page? But I digress. I got what I needed, went to the register, paid, and left.  It took maybe eight or ten minutes.  No drama.

But I swear I heard her whisper, just as I was leaving, “I knew you’d come back.”

The rest of the time I was in New Orleans, I’d stop in and visit her a couple of times a week (sometimes more) and always secretly. Always alone. It always ended the same way, with me getting something — anything — and paying for it with my dignity. By the end of it, I was so ready to come back to New York, where I knew I’d never run into her at all, much less accidentally. Back to New York, where my wife was. New York, where a different kind of convenience holds sway. New York, where I could go to the Associated, or the Key Foods (two locations in walking distance), or the C-Town, or the Pathmark, or any number of places that wouldn’t make me feel as dirty as you-know-who. I’d even be able to hit her classier cousin Target (or Tar-JAY), although we all know it’s not the same. Target can be pretend she’s better, but it’s so obvious what she’s trying to do, who she’s trying to be, and it’s a little sad.

Yeah, you can dial down the cuteness, because we know what you're doing, and it won't work. Well, not all the time, anyway.

When I got back to New York, I confessed to Cammie what I had done.  She knows Walmart all too well in her own right.  (Walmart doesn’t discriminate, and we like to think we’re progressive.) Cammie didn’t shame me, as I half-expected her to do. No, instead, she said something like, “I miss her, too. I’ve been wanting to see her again. You know, she’s got a place in Jersey now. We should go.”

So now, Cammie and I drive over to Jersey every couple of weeks and do our thing. We don’t make a big deal out of it. Sure, we still go out in the neighborhood. Associated is so close, Key Foods has variety, and C-Town is low-class but a pleaser. Pathmark is a hot urban mess, but she does some stuff the other ones don’t do, and sometimes you need that. But they all pale compared to WM. She does everything they do, and a whole lot more. Hey, Associated, will you do a little TV and video?  No.  Key Foods, how about a bed, a couch, or a kitchen table? Not a chance. C-Town, how about some garden stuff, like outside, where people might see? Nope, sorry, that little rack of greenery by the front door’s not gonna cut it. And Pathmark, you don’t do any of that either, so quit the huffing and puffing, and besides, I already told you, the little selection of scrubs and socks you have does NOT count as clothes, so don’t even try to pull that crap again, okay? Oh, and ALL OF Y’ALL ARE CLOSED BY MIDNIGHT, while Wally World is open two-four-seven. I can hit her up whenever I want, whenever I need to. (Yes, she may not do it in NOLA anymore, but she still does it in Jersey, and I am not complaining.)

Oh, let me count the ways...

Now, look. I know she’s a problem for a lot of people. She doesn’t treat everybody as well as she could, I admit that. She’s unfair and nowhere near as civically, socially, or ecologically responsible as she could be. But I like to think she’s working on it. I could be deluding myself, though. There are lies we tell ourselves just to make it through the day, and this could be one of them. That’s okay. I have to do something to assuage this self-loathing.

And let’s face it, sometimes, she’s just unforgivably ugly.

She does this on purpose.

Now she wants to come to New York, and everyone’s up in arms about it. Some people object just on principle. They’ve heard about her, they know what she’s like, and they are not cool with it. Some are curious. They’ve heard about her, too, and they want to see if she lives up to her reputation. And then there are those of us who know her. We know that she might take advantage of us, teasing us with ample size and low price, offering us so many things we never even thought we wanted or liked. We may walk out of there with more than we intended, but damn, if it wasn’t a bargain.  (And besides, it’s not like New York hasn’t embraced IKEA and Whole Foods; it’s just that those brands are cool.)

The New York Post has a piece today about a price comparison between Walmart and Key Foods. The New York Times has done a few pieces recently, one about her plans to put down roots here, one about her skipping a public hearing about her community worthiness, and one about a healthy makeover she’s trying to get people to think better of her.  She’s even started her own website specifically targeted (no pun intended) to New Yorkers.

I think it’s just a matter of time before she’s here, and that could be a good thing. I don’t mind trekking from Brooklyn to Jersey, and I love that we can go any hour of the day or night.   It saves us money, even enough to cover the $8.00 toll on the George Washington bridge and the Holland Tunnel. But I hate the toll on principle, and if she were close enough that I could walk to her, well, that could be a game-changer.

I see you.

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Yesterday, Cammie and I took a roadtrip up to Connecticut for a job interview (don’t ask).  For a long leg of that trip, we listened to Muse on the iPod, and it got me to thinking: If this new James Bond movie happens, Muse would be a great choice to write the feem toon, sing the feem toon.  Apparently, they’d be down for it. Check out “Undisclosed Desires” and see if it doesn’t feel like a Bond song to you.  (Sorry about the ad.  Buy something from Target!)



Even more than I love James Bond movies – which is a lot, especially the older ones – I love James Bond theme songs.  Well, more accurately, I love the idea of James Bond theme songs.  Not all of the them are worthy, and some of them are even wretched.  But when they’re good, they’re exquisite.  I’ll get to the good ones in a minute, but for now…



5. “Another Way to Die” – Alicia Keys & Jack White, Quantum of Solace (2008)

I really want to like this one.  I do.  Keys and White are great artists, individually.  Here, they seem to be competing with each other, however, and all the disparate elements of the song fail to coalesce into a coherent whole.  The traditional Bond brass section is out of place here, seeming like an afterthought attempt to associate the song more clearly with the series.  The title sequence is edited fairly well, though, and it follows in the footsteps of the fabulous Casino Royale title sequence, giving the new entries in the Bond series a distinct feel.  But this song?  Fail.



4.  “Thunderball” – Tom Jones, Thunderball (1965)

This one has a curious gestation.  Originally, the opening theme was to have been “Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,” after James Bond’s overseas nickname.  You should check out versions of that theme by Shirley Bassey (huge, amazing, and a little scary)Dionne Warwick (sexy, classy, replaced Bassey and was to have been the official version), and Ann-Margret (an album track, kittenish, playful, but Vegas-y).  That song was written by John Barry and Leslie Bricusse, following their earlier success on the Goldfinger theme (more on that later).  Producer Cubby Broccoli, however, decided the theme song needed the title in the song, so Barry teamed instead with lyricist Don Black and singer Tom Jones.  The horns are magnificent, the last note Jones sings is a stunner, but the song lands as a overblown parody of what had gone before:


For another take entirely, check out Johnny Cash’s submission.  It’s pretty great.


3.  “The Living Daylights” – A-Ha, The Living Daylights (1987)

Duran Duran had a huge hit with “A View to a Kill,” so why not get another European pop band to give it a go?  Well, A-Ha is no Duran Duran, and “The Living Daylights” is no “View to a Kill.”  It feels ripped from the soundtrack of a straight-to-video ’80s thriller.  Boring, repetitive, and minor.  You probably won’t make it to the end.


2. “Die Another Day” – Madonna, Die Another Day (2002)

This song was the most successful Bond theme since the 1980s.  It spent 11 weeks on Billboard’s singles chart, was the fifth most popular dance song of the decade, and earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Song.  And it sucks ass.


1. “Tomorrow Never Dies” – Sheryl Crow, Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)

Sheryl Crow bleats, whines, and strains over a badly-executed title sequence.  Her take on this song is so bad, in fact, that it makes you wonder how she ever had a career in the first place.  Painful on every level.  Why didn’t anyone stop this from happening?


What makes it even worse?  Wait’ll you hear the song that plays over the closing credits.  Keep reading.



5. “We Have All the Time in the World” – Louis Armstrong, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)

Usually, the song we associate with a Bond film is the song that plays over the opening credits, but occasionally the secondary theme song  from the end titles is more than worthy of inclusion in the canon.  That’s the case here.

HERE BE SPOILERS.  After You Only Live Twice, the fifth Bond film, Sean Connery bowed out of the series, and Bond was played here, for the first and only time, by George Lazenby.  The film is a polarizing one, considered by many to be among the best in the series and dismissed by detractors as a film that suffers enormously from Connery’s absence.  Either way, OHMSS certainly goes the furthest in developing Bond as a character, for it’s here where he falls in love (with Diana Rigg!), gets married, and (SPOILER ALERT!) becomes a widower.  Right after his wife Tracy is shot and killed, Bond utters the title of the song as the last line of the film, and John Barry’s gorgeous string version plays over the closing credits.  But it’s full song, recorded for the film but never used, with lyrics by Hal David and vocals by Louis Armstrong, that’s really memorable.  Armstrong, quite old here and too ill to play the trumpet, is so simple and honest, it’s heartbreaking.  Bittersweet and beautiful.


4.  “A View to a Kill” – Duran Duran, A View to a Kill (1985)

Oh, yeah, it’s big ’80s.  But it’s awesome big ’80s!  Duran frigging Duran!  And the titles themselves are great, too!   Black light and fluorescents!  Fire!  Frozen skeletons!   The second best Bond theme of the Roger Moore era.


3. “Live and Let Die” – Paul McCartney and Wings, Live and Let Die (1973)

And this one’s the best of the Moore era.  It’s also the second entry on here to have a Louisiana connection (Louis Armstong’s the other one), as the film was partly shot on location in New Orleans and the bayous of Southeast Louisiana.  And, as with “A View to a Kill,” this title sequence has flames and skeletons, effectively and disturbingly evoking the voodoo that will figure so prominently into the plot.  The song has become a classic in its own right, and deservedly so.


2. “GoldenEye” – Tina Turner, GoldenEye (1995)

The best of the latter-day opening themes, written by Bono and the Edge.  Tina Turner knows exactly what to do here, and she does it, baby.  You can watch the opening title sequence here, or you can watch the music video for the song.  (I suggest B.  Tina Turner is almost 60 years old in it.  And still hot.)


1. “Goldfinger” – Shirley Bassey, Goldfinger

Okay, I’m the first one to call this an obvious choice, but it is the only song in the canon to become so iconic that even people who’ve never seen the movie can recognize it as a Bond theme.  John Barry, Leslie Bricusse, and Anthony Newley crafted a song that perfectly blends pop and theatricality, and Shirley Bassey puts it over the top, doing so much to create the villain Goldfinger in our imaginations that all actor Gert Frobe had to do was show up and say the lines.  Shirley Bassey, by the way, holds the record for the most Bond themes: this one, “Diamonds Are Forever” (a personal favorite of mine), “Moonraker” in both its traditional opening version and its disco end credits, and “Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.”  Goldfinger defines everything we come to expect from a Bond theme song, and even from a Bond opening title sequence.


1B.  “Surrender” – k.d. lang, Tomorrow Never Dies

Wait.  1B?  Well, that’s my apartment number, so I’m doing it.  And with good reason.  You just heard Goldfinger,” right?  Now, go back and consider for a moment that simmering piece of Sheryl Crow crap, “Tomorrow Never Dies.”  Nowhere near the same league, right?  Now, listen to this brilliant, BRILLIANT song that played over the closing credits for the same film.  It was supposed to be the title song, but it was switched out at the last minute because Crow was a bigger name than lang.  Huge mistake.  This thing is flawless.


What do y’all think?  Am I crazy?  Do I need better ways to occupy my time?  Take a minute to comment, and please vote in the poll!



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