Saturday Morning Brain Drain [15/10/22]

What's going on?

Image via NPR

What I Watched: The Australian television series Jack Irish, which is very much Luther-esque, as far as “all the bad decisions all the time”. The noir-style series stars Guy Pearce (LA Confidential) as the titular character, and features Aaron Pedersen of Mystery Road fame and Marta Dusseldorp of Janet King fame. The series starts with three telemovies followed by three seasons; there are fully explored and developed characters, seasonal mysteries and crimes, and an over-arching crime tying it all together. Here is the start of the blurb from the Guardian:

There is a special place on the Australian TV landscape for Jack Irish (somewhere in a dark corner, near a liquor cabinet) – the down-in-the-mouth private investigator and debt collector whose whiskey-infused existence is spent unravelling criminal schemes and listening to shady men deliver warnings such as “tread carefully”. The endearing gumshoe is a sort of bad-arse bizarro Tintin or long-lost Australian descendant of Humphrey Bogart, played with understated noirish charm by Guy Pearce.

Season One Trailer

Season Two Trailer

Season Three Trailer

What I Read: Only Bad Options: A Galactic Bonds Book by Jennifer Estep. I hope that this kicks off the promised series, because I enjoyed the characters, world-building.  Here is the blurb from the website:

The Galactic Bonds series focuses on Vesper Quill, a seer and lab rat who works in the research and development lab of a corporation run by a powerful Regal family. When Vesper uncovers a deadly conspiracy, she crosses paths with Kyrion Caldaren, a psion and an Imperium Arrow who is one of the most notorious killers in the Archipelago Galaxy. The series is perfect for readers who like space operas, soul mates, and enemies-to-lovers stories. The Galactic Bonds series is a mix of science fiction and fantasy. There are psions — people with mental abilities like telekinesis, telepathy, and telempathy — along with seers, spelltechs, siphons, and other folks who can wield magic. The series also features spaceships, planets, blasters, and other technology.

Also Reads: A bunch of series continuations, including the Redmond and Haze set of books 7-9 by Irina Shapiro, book 36, Dark Whisper from Christeen Fehan’s Carpathians (complete with book trailer), and J.R. Wards spinoff of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, Prison Camp, book 3, The Viper. Oh, and I have been keeping up with Jezebel’s 2022 Scary Stories.

What I Listened To: Jadu Heart – I Shimmer; Bakermat – Joy (with Ann Nesby); Joy Division – Ceremony; NEIKED – “Sand & Lead” featuring Brolin; and Grandbrothers – Yonder.

Thank you for playing Brain Drain! How are you, dearest DeadSplinterites?

About Elliecoo 519 Articles
Four dogs, one partner. The dogs win.


  1. What I watched:  The Tomorrow War.  I was looking for something that would be entertaining without having to pay too much attention and this fit the bill.  Overall an interesting story idea.  The acting was fine, the writing not so much.  There was only one really, incredibly stupid scene which involved getting PhD-level advice on volcanoes from a fucking high school kid, so on the whole it’s a good movie to watch while you’re doing other things.

    What I read:  So, my Covid diagnosis gave me plenty of time to plow through the last 100 or so pages of Footfall by Niven and Pournelle.  This was probably one of their better works based on what I’ve read from their catalog so far.  It’s an alien invasion story, set in what would have been the present day at the time (late 1980’s), and the entire alien race concept is what really makes it so interesting.  Great book.  Would recommend.

    What I listened to:  Today’s stop on the best engineered albums of all time brings us to Sound & Color by Alabama Shakes.  Holy shit, what a great album.  There are bands that contrive to be “edgy” and “new”, and then there are bands which do it effortlessly because that’s actually what they are.  This is their 2nd, and final, album, and is quite different in tone and feel from their first album.  There are all kinds of influences in here, from blues, funk, punk, country, and Southern rock.  Released in 2015, it was engineered by Shawn Everett and mastered by the legendary Bob Ludwig, this album finds ways to meld fuzzy distortion and clean sounds in a way that actually makes sense.  With a solid bottom end, without sacrificing the high end, this album is one of the rare ones with a full frequency range and great dynamic range working together instead of against each other.  The singer is clearly very heavily influenced by Billie Holiday, which–interestingly enough–works very well in this more modern context.  This is one of the albums that I would count among the Audiophile category.  It’s great sound and great music–which is harder to do than One might imagine.


  2. I have been watching Red Dwarf. I wanted to watch it based on clips Jake has shared with me. It’s not really what I was expecting but it is hilarious. Rimmer is one of the funniest characters ever. I think Jake could play his role without having to do much acting (which is a compliment even though it might not seem like one).

    With no research, I’d have to guess that the show was syndicated in 1989 before its third season for which they did away with the original actor who played Holly (maybe he died or something?) and I still miss him even though I am on season 6.


  3. Guy Pearce is one of my longtime celebrity crushes so I will be checking this out. I’m feeling a little under the weather from my booster so I’ll listen to the tunes when my head stops throbbing.
    I watched Mr. Harrigan’s  Phone  (Netflix) It was a snooze. Not even the great Donald Sutherland could save it.
    I just started a new book, But’ll talk about it next week.
    Listening to quiet, pretty music

    Prom Queen – Can’t Seem To Cry







  4. Because my tastes are exquisite and the toppest of top drawer, I watched the only episode of 1960s teen sitcom Karen available on YouTube:

    This show only lasted one season but this is probably the best episode. First of all, the Beach Boys, who are still touring in some form and have never turned down a paycheck, did the opening and closing music. Second, we now know that Bonnie Franklin was an incredibly annoying actress and had been from childhood (RIP nonetheless.) Third, we see a fictional LA but one that incredibly reflected the reality of the times. In 1960 LA had just over 6 million people, and of those a little over 5.45 million people were white. In 1970 LA was described as the whitest large city in America and, somewhat amusingly, as the Midwest’s largest city outside the Midwest, given the postwar influx of white Midwesterners, and others, who flocked there. The 1965 Immigration and Naturalization Act changed that, but the results took a few more years to show up in the census. Now, a working knowledge of Spanish is no handicap, and in fact, to my mind, the best food to be had in LA is not in its trendiest or most traditional restaurants, but in its food trucks and hole-in-the-wall storefronts off the beaten track. Sadly, you could live in LA for a decade and drive thousands of miles a year and still not encounter a decent slice of pizza, but on the other hand you would have no need to resort to a Taco Bell or a Chipotle.

  5. One 3.5 hour flight down & now at CLT airport for 6 hours before a 4.5 hour flight home.  Wife went power walking while I hang out at Wicked Weed Brewing.  Pretty good beer but I tried them all during my 3 hour stop on the way to PR.  Listening to really bad pop music.  Watching random baseball highlights on bar tv.  Should be college football!  Reading:  House of Trump/ House of Putin.  Great book about Russian mob & Trumps connections to it.  May not read that at this airport or I may get in a fight!

    • @ManchuCandidate, I had to Google Valerian, as I was sure you weren’t talking about tea. Google agrees with you, “Reviews critiqued the leads for not having chemistry and called the story empty, with the impressive visuals being called out as the main positive selling point.

  6. I read “Wrong Place, Wrong Time” by Gillian McAllister. It is my pick for next month’s book club meeting so I had to read it. It’s a time travel murder mystery and it goes fast and is super engaging. I liked it a lot, and hope the group does too. It’s always dicey picking something out!


  7. Someone around here recommended the new Tears for Fears album. I picked it up on vinyl at Target of all places. They had a special Target only version that is baby blue vinyl and came with a bonus 45. Enjoying it!

    • For my birthday I asked for tickets to DePeche Mode, who are performing at Madison Square Garden in April. It’s their only East Coast appearance. The cheapest tickets are $300 each, going up to $1,100. For that I give them my own Personal Jesus-like Fuck You and urge them to Reach Out/Touch My Upraised Middle Finger. No. For $600 we’ll be going to my favorite restaurant, two Michelin stars, and who knows, in April it might be warm enough to sit in their enchanting patio garden. Better than that stinking crumbling hockey arena. $1,100 to see–I saw them in the early 80s when they were young and hot and my ticket was 50 Deutschmarks, which at the time was about $18.

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