The Tenth Doctor’s last words were “I don’t want to go.” Nobody ever wants to, but sometimes fate takes you in directions that you have no choice but to follow. It’s a painful process, but sometimes it’s for the best. Rather than cling on to the past, you must move forward and grow into a new person. With the announcement of Tennant and Piper’s return for...
I try to fill the void in my life by buying things. Whenever I think of something new I want, I get really excited for when I will get to buy it. And once I do, I am fairly pleased for a short while. The novelty soon wears off, though, and I’m empty again. Money doesn’t buy happiness, but it does buy distractions. I’m still unfulfilled, but at least I have things to play with. ...
School's out for summer. School's out forever.
I’m not too ashamed that once I got home from work tonight, I started to get a little choked up about the end of the school year. All day I’ve been mostly unperturbed about the kids leaving, but at the end of it all I do feel a bit sad. I have a feeling I’ll be seeing most these kids again next year, but I won’t be interacting with them on the same day-to-day basis. And...
Iron May-den Epilogue: Always Look on the Bright...
A little known fact about Iron Maiden shows is that they always end with Always Look on the Bright Side by Monty Python. After the band leaves the stage and the venue lights turn back on, they play this song over the PA system. Die-hard fans know it’s coming and will tend to sing along as they’re on the way out. You’re riding on a euphoric high after an amazing concert and this...
Iron May-den Day 31: Iron Maiden
We’ve reached the end of the month, and the best way I can think to close out this exercise is by focusing on the self-titled track from the self-titled album; Iron Maiden, on Iron Maiden, by Iron Maiden. Kind of a ridiculous naming convention, but so be it. As it’s from the first album, it fits the description I’ve use for most of these early songs. It’s simple and...
Iron May-den Day 30: Wasted Years
As the month draws to a close, it’s important to not only reflect on the past, but also consider the future. I can think of no song better for that than Wasted Years. As someone who feels like he’s wasted a lot of time in his life, this track sticks with me in a meaningful way. It’s a reminder not to dwell on things past, but to always keep looking forward. So understand....
Iron May-den Day 29: Coming Home
If you’re not a die-hard fan of Iron Maiden, here’s something you might not know: Bruce is a commercial airline pilot. In fact, he even flies the band’s personal 757, Ed Force One. Coming Home is a song he wrote to describe his feelings flying back to England after a long tour. It’s a touching that expresses both his love of flying and his homeland. While I’m...
Iron May-den Day 28: These Colours Don't Run
Today is Memorial Day and I can’t think of a better song than These Colours Don’t Run. It explores the experience of serving in the military and what’s it’s like to be a soldier. Sometimes it seems hopeless and you may end up paying the ultimate price, but you do what you’re told in order to protect your homeland. While you might expect this song to come off as...
Iron May-den Day 27: Brave New World
While Brave New World shares the title and themes of the Aldous Huxley novel, it doesn’t follow the story exactly. The motif of the futuristic dystopia is there, but many of the images are original to the song. The opening lyric of the dying swan, for example, is made up. Bruce Dickinson himself had this to say: I don’t recall there being any dying swans in Brave New World the...
Iron May-den Day 26: Phantom of the Opera
I’ve mentioned a few times how Maiden’s first two albums with Paul Di’anno tend to come across as less mature than their future catalog. Songs like Prowler, Running Free, Wrathchild, and even the eponymous Iron Maiden have a different kind of vibe without as much emotional depth. They’re simple and aggressive, while later songs would become more lyrical and introspective....
Iron May-den Day 25: Dance of Death
I’m a huge sucker for songs that follow a narrative instead of the typical verse/chorus composition. Iron Maiden has a number of these and I’ve covered a few already (Rime of the Ancient Mariner, When the Wild Wind Blows). I like feeling that I’m listening to more than just a song, but a story with a distinct beginning, middle, and end. Dance of Death fits this bill perfect. It...
Iron May-den Day 24: Powerslave
I immediately liked the imagery of Powerslave because I’ve always been interested in ancient Egypt. My class studied the subject extensively when I was in the sixth grade and ever since then I’ve been fascinated by mummies, pyramids, Egyptian gods, and all that stuff. Whenever I visit a history museum, my favorite exhibits are always the dinosaur fossils and Egyptian artifacts (which...
Iron May-den Day 23: Wrathchild
Here’s another song from the early Maiden catalog that is screams of their youth. Wrathchild is about being young, restless, and angry. Like I said about Running Free last week, it comes off as juvenile when put next to some of their later work. But I don’t mean that as a pejorative in the least. That kind of exuberance and pent up frustration only really exists during a certain age...
Iron May-den Day 22: Moonchild
Seven deadly sins Seven ways to win Seven holy paths to hell And your trip begins Seven downward slopes Seven bloodied hopes Seven are your burning fires Seven your desires… So begins Iron Maiden’s only proper concept album, Seventh Son of a Seventh Son. While many of their albums focus on a recurring theme, this one is the only one to follow a linear narrative. In mystic folklore,...
Iron May-den Day 21: Run to the Hills
The Native Americans sure did get a crap deal throughout history. They’re just minding their own business when these uppity Europeans come over and start screwing with everything. It was bad enough that they (mostly accidentally) brought foreign germs and diseases with them, but then they turned into huge assholes and starting killing them on purpose too. Operating under some ill-conceived...
Iron May-den Day 20: Wasting Love
If you were a rock band in the 80’s or 90’s, you recorded a power ballad. That’s just how it was done. Iron Maiden was no exception, with Wasting Love from Fear of the Dark. But while most power ballads (especially ones with the word “love” in the title) are sappy marketing ploys, Wasting Love one goes in a slightly different direction. It’s about a man that...
Iron May-den Day 19: Journeyman
Dance of Death is an album that tends to fall through the cracks for me. It’s got a lot of great songs that I really love, but for some reason my mind tends to skip over it. I spent a lot of time listening to Brave New World and A Matter of Life and Death, and didn’t begin to truly appreciate Dance of Death until later. It might have something to do with that atrocious album art, I...
Iron May-den Day 18: The Number of the Beast
For some people, the only reason they know about Iron Maiden because of The Number of the Beast and they automatically assume the band is a bunch of Satan worshipers. I mean, metal is the chosen genre of the occult, isn’t it? And just listen to that opening quote: Woe to you, oh Earth and Sea, for the Devil sends the beast with wrath, because he knows the time is short. Let him who hath...
Iron May-den Day 17: Fear of the Dark
I don’t know how much I have to say about Fear of the Dark, other than it’s a damn good song. It starts off with a killer riff, slows down into a haunting ambiance, then kicks back up again. When you listen to it you do get a vibe about what it’s like to be afraid in the dark. You’re scared at first, but then you get kind of used to it and the mood settles. But then...
Iron May-den Bonus: Spotify Playlist
If you’ve been enjoying this blog, you can listen to all of my picks in one handy Spotify playlist. That’s a lot easier (and probably more legal) than Youtube links. I’ll be updating it with the new songs each day, so feel free to come back to it. Iron May-den
Iron May-den Day 16: Where Eagles Dare
There’s an interesting thing about the Piece of Mind album; nearly half the songs on it are based on other literary or film works. The Trooper was inspired by “Charge of the Light Brigade” by Alfred Tennyson. The Flight of Icarus is based on the Greek myth. To Tame a Land is based on Dune by Frank Herbert (which was only a book at the time, the movie wouldn’t come out for...
Iron May-den Day 15: Aces High
We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender… ...
Iron May-den Day 14: The Wicker Man
It’s weird how you can trick yourself into thinking about something as “new,” even though it’s been out for over a decade. That’s how I feel about Brave New World, which marks the beginning of the current era of Iron Maiden. A little bit of backstory: Longtime guitarist, Adrian Smith, had left the band in 1988, after Seventh Son of a Seventh Son. Iconic vocalist...
Iron May-den Day 13: Children of the Damned
I mentioned in my first entry that the first full Maiden album I listened to was Number of the Beast. The song that immediately caught my attention that first night was Children of the Damned. It’s just so… creepy. The interlude in the middle is especially unnerving in its vivid imagery. Now it’s burning his hands, he’s turning to laugh. Smiles as the flame sears his...
Iron May-den Bonus: The Number of the Beast...
If you have been enjoying this blog and have a Netflix account, it would behoove you to check out the Classic Albums documentary on The Number of the Beast. Classic Albums is a documentary series that explores the back story of (as the name implies) classic albums in rock and roll history. I’d seen this once a few years ago on video on demand, and it’s a well put-together doc featuring...
Iron May-den Day 12: Running Free
In direct opposition to yesterday’s post about the intellectualism of Iron Maiden, today I’m taking a look at the band’s staple “party song.” It’s another Di’Anno era song, written by him and Steve Harris. Running Free is about the exuberance of youth and having the freedom to do whatever you want. Being such an early song in the band’s history,...
Iron May-den Day 11: Rime of the Ancient Mariner
I mentioned before how Iron Maiden have written a number of songs based on literature, and Rime of the Ancient Mariner is probably the best example of that. Based on the epic poem by Samuel Coolridge Taylor, this song doesn’t get a lot of exposure simply because of it’s length; it’s nearly 14 minutes long. The song is a faithful recount of the tale, with some lyrics taken...
Iron May-den Day 10: The Evil That Men Do
For a long time, this was my number one favorite Maiden song. I’m not exactly sure why, but it may have something to do with the (misquoted) line from Julius Ceaser that Bruce uses to intro the song on the Rock in Rio live album: “The good that men do is oft interred with their bones. But the evil that men do lives on.” It’s so cynically poignant. We have a tendency to...
Iron May-den Day 9: 2 Minutes to Midnight
It occurs to me that in my effort to bring some attention to some of the lesser-known Maiden songs, I’m completely leaving out the seminal classics. So today we go back to our roots with 2 Minutes to Midnight (or as I’ll sometimes refer to it, Dos Minutos para la Medianoche). The title of this song refers to the Doomsday Clock, which makes this the perfect thing to listen to while...
Iron May-den Day 8: Dream of Mirrors
When I got home from work this morning I was feeling really tired and decided to take a short nap. I wasn’t asleep for long, but I had a rather vivid nightmare. It was terrifying, not in a scary horror kind of way, but it dealt with a lot of repressed emotions that I didn’t want to think about. The dream preyed on the inevitability of one of my deepest fears and left me a quivering...
Iron May-den Day 7: Remember Tomorrow
This is our first song of the month (and one of very few) to not feature Bruce Dickinson on vocals. Even though Bruce is definitely the signature voice of Maiden, the first two albums had an entirely different singer, Paul Di’Anno. While Bruce’s style was iconic of the new wave of British heavy metal (or NWOBHM for those in the know), Paul’s was a lot closer to punk rock and...
Iron May-den Day 6: The Reincarnation of Benjamin...
This song has my name in it, how could I not love it? I suppose it also helps that it’s just a great song in the first place. Like I mentioned the other day, I love the songs that start off really slow and melodic and then get heavy. Once those guitars kick in, you know shits on. I always really liked the lyrics, especially the lines: “Demons are trapped all inside of my head. My...
Iron May-den Day 5: El Dorado
When trying to think of a song to pick today I realized it was Cinco de Mayo. I tried to remember if there were any Maiden songs that had to do with Mexico and the closest I got was El Dorado. Not exactly a fit, but close enough. Strangely, El Dorado was the only song from The Final Frontier that the band played on the North American leg of their tour to promote the album. The album...
Iron May-den Day 4: Out of the Silent Planet
This is another underrated gem of the Iron Maiden catalog. I first discovered it during a road trip to San Francisco (a drive that takes about 8 hours). I had the entire Maiden discography on shuffle when it popped on. The opening riff grabbed my attention and the rest of the song didn’t disappoint. It’s actually based on a CS Lewis novel of the same name. This is a recurring theme...
Iron May-den Day 3: When the Wild Wind Blows
This is where I change things up a bit and pick a Maiden song that’s not so well known. When the Wild Wind Blows is the last track off of Maiden’s most recent album, The Final Frontier, and is easily my favorite. It’s really got two things going for it: I’ve always been into those songs with a mellow beginning before shifting into overdrive (See also: Ghost of the...
Iron May-den Day 2: Hallowed Be Thy Name (Live at...
As with yesterday, this is another iconic Maiden song that is personally important for other reasons. I’ve specifically chosen this particularly live version because I actually attended this show. Being at a live Iron Maiden show is always amazing, but this one was even more so for me because I was there with my absolute favorite person in the world, Jessamine. It was a combination of the...
Iron May-den Day 1: The Trooper
This is a little writing experiment I’ve been meaning to start for a while. I want write more often and I figured I’d kickstart it with my greatest passion in life. So everyday for the month of May I’m going to pick an Iron Maiden song and talk about it. Let’s see if I can keep it up… In any case, this first entry seems like an obvious choice: The Trooper. Not...
Anonymous asked: Y U NO POST?
X-post from r/AskReddit
I wrote this as a reply to someone else on reddit. Seems like a waste to let it just languish deep in some comment thread that nobody will probably ever read, so I’ll post it again here (where still, nobody will ever read). You’ve reminded me of something I haven’t thought about in a while. I grew up in a similar situation. My mom would always “borrow” my...
Sticking it to the man
In solitude with all the sites blacking out in protest of SOPA today, I pledge not to post any interesting content. In other words, business as usual on this front.
"Going on tour..."
It’s been three years today that we last said goodbye. Every day I grow more and more afraid that we’ll never see each other again. After all this time, it still hasn’t gotten any easier.
Don't believe the hype.
I’m not a good person. You might be thinking, “No, that’s not true! You’re great!” Oh, but it is. I’m petty and vindictive. I’m angry and malevolent. I’m pessimistic and irrational. My most familiar emotion is loathing, both for everyone else and myself. But don’t be confused, being a bad person doesn’t preclude one from being fucking...
Nothing to see here
I began 2011 hopeful and optimistic. I do not enter 2012 with that same kind of enthusiasm. Maybe it’ll work out and be a good year. Maybe it won’t. Maybe the world will end. Maybe it will be the same as every year. Who knows. Who cares. I don’t.
They say that drinking is an inappropriate way to overcome your sorrows. Fuck them, what do they know. This bottle of pinot noir is the only friend I have left.
Back, despite nobody noticing I was gone
I changed domain registrars a while ago and during the transfer my site got borked. You couldn’t even get to it through tumblr so this place was offline for over a month. But that’s all fixed now. … I should probably start writing again.
One more year of boredom
I just renewed this domain. Not that I’ve written anything since July. I guess it’s a vanity thing.
On Independence Day, birthrights, and American...
It was the 4th of July the other day and a thought struck me. One of those infectious thoughts that won’t go away until I put it on paper—or the Internet, as the case may be. I don’t feel like I have any place being “proud to be an American.” Pride implies I’ve done something to achieve honor. The only reason I’m a citizen is by accident of birth. It was just...
I never quite know what to call this day
I suppose it’s an anniversary of sorts, but that term doesn’t quite seem to do it. I could say it was the day my life changed forever, but nothing really happened that day; everything of real note came afterwards. Technically it was the day we met, but we didn’t say much to each other. I remember making some lame joke to try to impress her. For some reason I really wanted her to...