on and on forever

60 Minute IPA



60 Minute IPA brewed by Dogfish Head is the best of their IPAs in my opinion. Deliciously balanced in all the right ways.

I hope he does a cider soon.

Japan is Better than China

A leading expert, Gerald L. Curtis of Columbia University, correctly pointed out on a Council on Foreign Relations blog last year:

“If you think about living standards and the quality of the air you breathe, the water you drink and the food you eat, the health care and other social services you receive, and the number of years you can expect to live, the answer is obvious: better to live in ‘declining’ Japan than in rising China.”



I’EMI are proud to announce the highly anticipated release of the Double Disc DVD MAIDEN ENGLAND ‘88 on 25 March. Now available for the very first time on DVD, this live show was filmed across two sold-out nights at Birmingham N.E.C Arena, UK in November 1988 during the band’s “Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son World Tour”. 

The Maiden England ‘88 concert soundtrack will also be made available on 2CD album

Bought this at a Sam Goody in a suburban mall on VHS for $26.95 or some INSANE KID PRICE in 1989, before I owned any Maiden albums (or even a CD player).

But I liked Def Leppard and Metallica (“Sugar” and “One” were all over the MTV) and all the kids with older brothers or sisters seemed to think Maiden should be my next stop.

I watched this tape every day after school for a year. Or more.

I wish Maiden England was coming out on bluray, but I’ve already pre-ordered the dvd on Amazon

Up. The. Irons. : )

Saturday, January 11
My Last Deg Live
Part Three

Now playing:
Rude Awakening

Okay, details!

There were two ramps that came out, skirting the “A” blocks on the outside. The ramps got used quite a bit — all the guys definitely came out at least twice, plus a third time during the “wave goodbye and hug and crack open champagne and laugh and throw picks” bit at the end… but already i’m getting ahead of myself!

So we’re ten minutes into the show… the band is chugging through Ugly or one of the other Six Ugly tracks (so you should be playing the CD now, please! We want realism here!)

Everyone is bouncing, fist-in-the-air-ing, and singing along, but the only crowdsurfing to be had is in the front and center section, where you can see bodies being tossed along like ragdolls. And all the cameras are circling that section. Like sharks. Or better yet, spy satellites.

The first member onto the ramps is Toshiya, but he goes out on the left side, far from we. It looks, from where we’re standing, like he’s walking on water, only the water is dark and has red and yellow wigs floating on the surface, and outstretched arms of drowning swimmers reaching out to be rescued — help us toshiya pull us out we’re dying! And there’s sharks! But Toshiya’s only grinning. Not sharks, satellites, he says with his smile. MY satellites! Watching YOU! And you! And YOU!

Die visits our side shortly thereafter — during Umbrella (love that song!). The cameraman on the crane hovers over him like a protective angel as Die — with his red hair intact, the rumors of his shavedness having been greatly exaggerated — as he struts down the path toward the increasingly frenzifying hordes in block B1. Our block! Will the barriers hold?! Three camera crews rabidly converge upon the scene, violently swinging from one target to another, recording the craziness. People are jumping, people are shrieking. I begin to jump. (It’s Umbrella, it’s Die, it’s being captured on film, it’s bedlam everywhere, i’m extremely excited).

I’m hopping four feet above the heads of those around me — picture Michael Jordan on a pogo stick in a cornfield — and i get a look from Die. Nothing extraordinary, just a “hello” glance, but enough!

A handful of songs later, Kyo comes our way as well. This is the highlight of the night. He leaps off the ramp, runs across the buffer zone, and hops the fence of a little staff platform that is directly adjacent to the rear right corner of section A1. He is extremely close to us fans. He’s in danger, even, he’s so close to the fans.

A brigade of security guards rush over and swarm around him, he pushes a couple off angrily, and he’s not faking his rage — he’s angry at them for trying to separate him from his fans. He’s the boss, their expressions seem to say, so it’s hands off and they form a little phalanx around him. A hundred camera crews are running around like a war just broke out, the crane is swinging insanely around Kyo as he waves and makes crazy faces to everyone… and then he does this thing…

He stops. He puts his hand up as if he were saluting, blocking the glare of the lights. He scans the room. I’m still bouncing like Michael Jordan on a pogo stick, shouting along with everyone else over the music (is it a solo now? it must be).

Kyo stops scanning the crowd in front of him… my section… its like (I’m not saying it IS, just saying it’s LIKE) he’s found what he was looking for. And i think he’s looking at me!

He is! He is looking at me! And i know that because we’ve made eye contact, and then he POINTS AT ME. Just a brief “hey, i see ya there! I remember you!” kinda thing, it only last for a second… and twenty cameras are filming it!

Unfortunately, when he moved his hand from his eyes, i thought he was going to salute us, you know, like a general to his troops kind of thing. So i saluted him — and i’m still bouncing up and down like a kangaroo on acid, too — and when i salute him he LAUGHS! His (admittedly pretty cute) grin spreads into a friendly open-mouthed guffaw: oh my god, did you just SALUTE me? LOL!

And i’m laughing back like, yup, i’m afraid i did, sir! And still I’m bouncing.

And he turns to leave, and pray a quick prayer: PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let that be on the DVD!

After that memorable exchange, the other cool events of the evening take on a certain ho-hum-ish-ness — but still cool! Witness:

Toshiya comes over to our ramp. More craziness amongst the fans. Later, he returns to the ramp edge, leaps over it, and bolts headlong down the aisle between the A section and B section, a trail of camera guys and staff rushing after him, the winch operator on the crane camera frantically spinning wheels to pivot and get the shot.

You could feel the wind as Toshiya ran by — and the delight on his face was infectious! And if one or two less bodies been between me and the railing, i coulda reached out and grabbed him. (Not that I woulda!)

Kaoru also came to our side a couple times, doing his wrestler-esque fist-kinda-in-the-air “Fuck Yeah!” move and headbanging a lot. But he stuck around on the ramp for too long — 60 seconds maybe? — and the coolness of having him so close started to evaporate. Note to all famous musicians reading this: ramps are for brief visits only! Numerous is okay, lengthy is not.

Toshiya came back to our side a few more times — he’s the one who can be depended on to get as close to the crowd as humanly possible as often as possible, yanno (and not just by coming to the front edge of the stage and by using the ramps a lot — he’ll even squat down while he plays, or lean over a fence, just to get his face a couple inches closer to the fans, and he’s ALWAYS looking for specific eye contact to make.)

So on one of his romps along our ramp, he hopped a fence and went over to the wheelchair area, which was certainly a thrill to the half dozen girls there. (Also, i suspect, it was a relief for him as well — he didn’t have to worry about anyone leaping up and glomping him, so he could REALLY get in their faces; he was close to their heads as your head is from the computer screen right now. That’s close!)

Kaoru came over to the wheelchair area as well… my brain is now (two days after the fact) picturing him standing with Toshiya as they played whatever song it was, but i could be wrong — he may have come over separately. Either way, it’s still cool. (Kyo and Die came as well, during the ending let’s-wave-goodbye bit… i think… i was more concerned with catching sticks and picks and water bottles at that point though, I’m afraid…)

And lest i forget, let me mention now: Kyo’s polished chest and abs were in many many many of the shots that appeared on the TV screens (do i smell fish?!) So assumably, there will be no shortage of Kyo’s taut physique on the DVD, which i’m sure will thrill many of you to no end.

And speaking of tight physiques… after an hour or more of gazing longing at the crowdsurfing tumult that was section A2, it finally happened. Finally, with the beginning chords of Jessica, some fans in B1 (our section!) started crowdsurfing. It was a short distance, but i think that made it better; several girls who seemed a little scared to try gave it a shot, and then did it again, and again… and of course, the three schoolgirls in the gauze tops (just a few layers of gauze around their chests, their nice tight skinny bellies getting shown off… <tongue falls out> …ahhhh)

Where was i? Oh! So those gauze-top chicks did a lot of surfing, as did one guy, a couple lolitas, and one or two other girls. All light and birdlike, including the guy, thankfully (seeing as how i was the stepping stool half the time… and um, seeing as how i was the one turning around and doing “You going up? C’mon! Alright!” gestures to everyone behind me the other half of the time!)

And at one point, a camera came by, and we were all singing the words to whatever song was playing… the odds are it was Child Prey… and i was singing to the camera, pointed right at me from two feet away. (I think all the camera guys separately. thought, “ooh, i’ll get a shot of that crazy jumping gaijin,” not realizing that the twenty other guys with cameras probably had the same “brainstorm”… going through the footage, Shinya’s gonna be like, “Ah! I remember that guy! Oh, there he is again! Fuck, and again! God damn, how many fucking shots is that bastard IN?!”)

Anyway, so the camera’s got a shot of me, he’s moving slowly right-to left but staying trained on me, and i’m singing the “Kiss Me, Kill Me, Deadly!” lines into the camera as WHOMP!!! — this partially-dressed schoolgirl crashes right into my head, a lost airliner colliding into a fog-covered mountaintop. I half expect to see teeth flying out of my mouth like tic-tacs! But all the information my eyes and brain are registering is skin… skin… tight leather skirt… skin… legs! kicking legs! — duck! duck! dive!dive!dive!

So if i’m lucky, maybe that lovely crashing shot will make it into the final edit too.