Meat Loaf Heads Back to Hell

…In a Hand Basket.

Michael Lee Aday has a crazy streak that allows for originality and creativity beyond the reach of mere mortals, but he’s not screwing around with the album title this time, he’s welded his soul to the theme of travels to and from Lucifer’s domain.

The new album bears the moniker “Hell in a Hand Basket” and it appears it is being largely recorded in Rob Cavallo’s garage. Yep, The Rob Cavallo. It’s pretty cool that Meat Loaf’s current producer went back in time to help Green Day out.

Meanwhile, Paul Crook is taking care of a lot of business over there as well…maybe doing a lot of the work while Rob is flying around in his 1980s De Lorean.

There’s been not a peep of sound escaping from that garage, but certain celebs have been spotted furtively darting in and out of the place. The kind of celebs who have startling, mind-bending voices and awesome instrumental agility.

Despite attempts in years past that produced some stellar evergreen content but only a few moderate hits, Meat is once again doing a lot of the writing, words and music. It may be a fatal mistake, or Meat may have learned enough in the last 64 years to decipher the elusive alchemy that made his voice, charisma and Steinman’s notes and lyrics one of the fastest climbing, best selling albums of all time. When Meat Loaf last manned all the stations he ended up with “Midnight at the Lost and Found”, an album that has evolved into one of our all time favorites.

We believe “Midnight” was many, many years ahead of it’s time and it should be re-released today. It is lost, and desperately needs to be found.

He’s worked like a dog and got nothing to show for it but a collar and a fist full of nickles and dimes, especially this past 18 months with “Apprentice”, Team Backbone, busting his ass for the kids of “Painted Turtle”, and the mental drain of Gary Busy sucking the sanity out of every room he entered.

Not to mention the subdued character he makes us believe in “Beautiful Boy”.

Yet Meat Loaf is going to put more of the same out there; meaning the identical unique stuff he does that no one else has ever done before.

Paradox?

You’re damn right.

Do I have an inside view? Maybe…after all, The Baron did have his assistant send me a personal note after my last article reviewing his show at the House of Blues in Dallas on the “Hang Cool Teddy Bear” tour.

The man appreciates good press, but he’s never gonna pay for it.

I can lead you on, but I can’t go spilling beans. Here’s some non-beans to get your motor running: At least one never before heard song as a duet with that celestial hot Italian Patti Russo, and a couple of jammers from the mind of The Baron of Bombast with nary a change in notes or words by anyone but the man himself.

The money men have realized Meat could use a break. He’s a rock and roll grandpa now, after all, so look for smaller, more intimate venues and better chances to see the mad genius up close and personal.

For the present, Meat, Pearl, Ian, little tyke, Deborah; we thank you.

God bless Meat Loaf.

Now go to hell and bring us back some more of the tunes only you can make there.

Atlas Shrugged, Part 1 Review

We were anticipating meeting a number of local libertarian folks we’d only been acquainted with via facebook as we ate burgers at Snuffer’s in the Southlake Town Center. the meetup was set to encourage communication and attendance at the opening night of “Atlas Shrugged, Part 1” in the Harkins Theater across the street.

Atlas ShruggedRobin and I peered around the patio area, hoping to spot someone wearing a “Who is John Galt” tee shirt or one with a picture of Lysander Spooner on it. Alas, we were likely too early as the meetup was supposed to start at 7 PM and I had rushed us out the door to dinner precisely at 6 to ensure we got groceries down our necks and out of the way in plenty of time to score good front-and-center seats in the theater.

By the time we paid our check at 7:05 I was too eager to get ahead of the crowd to hang at Snuffer’s any longer and reckoned my unknown libertarian friends could survive without a face to face meeting until the next opportunity.

Robin complained teasingly about me rushing her out of the restaurant and over to the kiosk to retrieve the tickets I’d bought online the day they’d gone on sale. I hadn’t been this excited about a movie premiere since “Fellowship of the Ring”. Indeed, a chant was forming in my head, “One bracelet to rule them all, and in the darkness bind them…” (if you know nothing of Rearden Metal, you won’t get that bit of Libertarian-Tokienian punnery, just keep bowing before your reprint portrait of Jimmy Carter and pay no attention here).

As I shifted from foot to foot in the line outside theater nine and posted my location and activity on facebook, Robin sat patiently on a bench a few feet away and entered her commentary, “I’m married to such a nerd!”

When the cleaning crew finally exited and bid the crowd of tea-partiers, libertarians, and mega rich individual business owners and inverters enter, the polite crowd quietly filtered in to the auditorium with the giant 50 foot curved screen shining at the front.

The wait outside had been quite different from any I’ve ever experienced in line at a theater. Total strangers struck up conversations with each other about politics, government irresponsibility, and of course, Ayn Rand and the novel that is on it’s way to even greater popularity in the last couple of years during Obama’s crazed rule of robin hood government.

The nature of those conversations was one of people in violent agreement, friendly and outspoken, with obvious good will and comfort. Everyone of the individuals in that crowd seemed to be glowing with the confidence of people who wee convinced that they were in charge of their destinies. It was a vastly different group from the eclectic mixture you see at any other entertainment venue.

I stood there, wondering as I often did, what would these people think if they knew I had a .45 caliber 1911 legally strapped in a concealment holster on my side? And the answer came to mind immediately…heck, half the men and a few of the women in this crowd are probably packing heat the same as I. They obviously cherish liberty and intend to maintain it, other people and governments be damned.

It made me smile.

So we filed in, and the lady and her husband we sat next to exchanged pleasantries with us. Those of us who had read the book asked eah other “who is John Galt?” until Robin finally was exasperated enough to tell me she didn’t give a fig who John Galt was.

She hadn’t read the book.

After 45 minutes or so of typical movie trivia games and on-screen pleas for me to advertise my business on the theater screen because 136 million people go to the movies every year, the screen finally filled with the logo of a Greek demigod carrying the weight of the world upon his shoulders.

The excited crowd that filled almost every seat in that large theater burst out in spontaneousness applause.

The opening scenes were dark, foreboding, and momentarily disconcerting. I pessimistically wondered if this was going to be the template for the entire movie, as I have often read that low light shooting is often a producer’s trick to keep budgets in line and “cheap-out” on more expensive cinematography. But the picture soon brightened, and the story evolved with appropriate lighting for every scene and intended mood.

The musical score was well written, and did what movie scores should do; depressing and elevating the experience in harmony with the dialog and activity presented to the ear and eye without upstaging the story and characters.

I felt a connection with the average lovingness of the female lead, and it seemed so believable that a woman could be exactly that way and deal with the intricacies of running a billion dollar business with just that sort of attitude. I developed sympathy for the unappreciated wealthy hero, owner of Rearden Metals, who withstood the insulting flattery and disingenuous appreciation of his family and friends.

The villains were gregarious enough to make you see why the average joe could be taken in by them, and just poisonous enough that you logically anticipated them ruining everything for the heroine and hero. There was one character who remained a mystery as to whether he was scoundrel or misunderstood saint right to the very end of part I (shal we go so far as to say the beginning of part II?).

And they didn’t wear out the phrase, “Who is John Galt?” as we libertarians in the real world outside that projected image had done while awaiting the opening. It was peppered in the dialog at just the right places, just the exact amount of spice to make those who hadn’t read the book wonder and anticipate when they might find out and those who had read it smile and nod to themselves and each other in their shared secret knowledge.

Why were the movers and shakers of 2016 America disappearing? To what cult or alien place were they being spirited away? What could possibly be said to them that was making them accept this strange relocation?

Having read the book, I know, but I still want to know.

Having watched the movie, I still need to know.

I rate Atlas Shrugged two thumbs up. So did Robin, and she’s only frustrated now that she has to await Part II or read a 1,000 page book to discover…

…wait for it…

“Who is John Galt?”

Zombie Fodder

Zombie Fodder: The first individuals to be eaten in the coming Zombie Apocalypse. i.e: jerks, jack-asses, wimps, mama’s boys, social progressives, and those who do not understand common social politeness.

I met a piece of zombie fodder this morning. He was in line ahead of me at the Subway sandwich shop near my office. You know, the chain that has the glass counter behind which the employee custom builds your sandwich as you tell them exactly what and how much to put on it.

Zombie FodderThis guy, in his business casual attire, tells the gal how much of each item he wants on his little breakfast sandwich and watches her build it. Then he gets a coffee cup and while he’s paying, BEFORE he even pours himself a cup of their coffee, says loudly, “You guys should start getting your coffee from Starbucks instead of the crap you sell here.”

The gal at the register looked a little taken aback but she responded professionally and apologized for this dirtbag snob not liking the coffee.

I had the right to remain silent but did not have the ability.

“I happen to love your coffee. Please don’t change anything about it.” I said loudly to the girl at the register.

Zombie Fodder waddled to a table and plopped his pudgy ass in a chair to unwrap the sandwich which he had custom ordered and personally directed construction on. He bit into it and then set it back in the plastic basket and marched to the counter.

“Hey, put some more mayonnaise on this. You guys didn’t put enough on there. It’s too dry,” he whined to the girl behind the counter.

She apologized as if it were her fault and made the requested modification. Without so much as a ‘thank you’ Zombie Fodder returned to his table and began chewing on his sandwich as he pecked at his iPad.

A pair of road construction workers sitting at the table behind him were conversing loudly enough to be heard throughout the room, “Ya know, you gotta wonder if some customers are worth having. I think I can give the guy directions to Starbucks and he can carry his butt down there where he thinks the coffee is so much better.”

The conversation continued until Zombie Fodder could bear no more and finally picked up his partially eaten sandwich and “crap” coffee and walked out the door…evidently to find a place of solitude where other snobs who only drink coffee from beans extracted from the dung of Juan Valdez’ pride of exotic jungle cats gather.

That pasty, pudgy, conceited bovine of a man will definitely be one of the first to be eaten in the coming Zombie Apocalypse.

I’m looking forward to it.

Atlas Shrugged and the Movie that Defies the Establishment

Perhaps you’ve seen the bumper stickers or heard the phrase positing the question, “Who is John Galt?” You can find out by going to the movies this Friday.

“Atlas Shrugged” is the magnum opus novel of Ayn Rand, a Russian immigrant to the United States. Published in 1957, the novel is a fictional illustration of how the world despises those who innovate and pursue individual freedom and achievement and what a world might look like where those folks give up and cease to take part in the daily affairs of society.

The unique perspective Rand had as a former subject of the Soviet system gave “Atlas Shrugged” great accuracy in its portrayal of a collectivist socialistic society.

After numerous pitches and scripts have been rejected, tabled, or ignored by the movie houses since the novel’s rise to best seller status over the decades, “Atlas Shrugged” is finally coming to the silver screen in its first installment via what is being commonly billed as a “low budget” (30 million dollars is low budget?) production opening in “select” theaters this weekend.

Hollywood has long refused to make this film, and no one has proof of why. Some say it simply isn’t feasible to turn a thousand page novel into a movie, others say it’s because the liberals run Hollywood, and they don’t like the message in this story. Whatever the reason, it took a large personal investment to have it made, and the special effects are heavily reliant on CGI.

There are no quickly recognized stars, and the theaters are reluctant to screen it, citing that likely low attendance dictates the screen acreage will be more profitable if it is hosting one of the other films currently being released.

I am sincerely hoping the movie does well, especially if it stays true to the novel’s message and Rand’s intent, but even if it strays far from the libertarian spirit and intent of the novel, perhaps it will encourage many new audience members to read the book.

According to news sources, part two will only go into production if part one breaks even on it’s 30 million dollar production costs.

If you are a true conservative and/or libertarian, please find a theater showing this film and go see the movie. If it isn’t showing at any of your local screens, go to this link to find out what you can do to encourage your local theater to show it.