Wir Machen Sie Content: Top Whatever List of Whatever We're Thinking About Right Now, and Then You Won't Believe Whatever Happens Next (Nothing Happens Whatsoever)

on Aug 4, 2014
This half of Dear Jerks doesn't get a vacation this summer, because this half is eagerly awaiting the impending arrival of a stork which will drop a little bundle of joy down the chimney, or however that whole thing works (this half is still working his way through the childbirth book he should have finished by now...don't tell him how it ends!).

The upshot: more time than usual to stumble across odd news-ish items and/or follow our random thoughts where they take us. And, obviously, more time to sit in front of Netflix...

The Bronze Age of Television:  The Last Episode of the New Season of The Killing

Seattle's other famous crime fighter, Speed Walker
In particular, the last five minutes, though the episode definitely lost us earlier, as soon as Brad Pitt's wife from World War Z pointed her gun at Swedish RoboCop. It's really too bad, because the other five episodes before it were quality. But then came the start of a romance that no one (should have) wanted. Heck, when we took to our outrage machine (Twitter) to unleash our outrage, the damn show itself immediately showed up to 'favorite' us in solidarity, because it knew it had effed up big time. We do appreciate how this final season made more of an effort to show actual external shots of Seattle, instead of Vancouver, B.C., where the show is filmed, but: also in those last five minutes, in a driving montage, Sarah Linden goes from heading southwest on 6th Ave N. past the Seattle Center north of downtown, to driving northbound on 4th Ave S. heading (back?) into the city from south of downtown, and then ends up on what appears to be I-99, heading south again. Though maybe that was the point, that she was completely lost without Holder, like Scully without Mulder...

X-Philes:  A Guy Who Used to Play Drums in Megadeth Saw a UFO

You won't catch Megadeth at a peace sale!
Nick Menza, who was the drummer for Megadeth during what is considered a golden age for the band (Countdown to Extinction and whatnot) by many who enjoy the band's music, got some footage of a UFO on his phone (a Samsung Galaxy 4 he points out, because of sponsorship?) a couple of weeks ago. Menza, who we had to look up on Wikipedia, has a neato background, and also subsequently seems to have had some hard times in and out of Mega-douche Dave Mustaine's heavy shredding zoo. Now, because of his new YouTube clip (which, yeah, we'll agree that it's Real Deal Holyfield, why not?), he will now probably be on the radar of UFO believers everywhere, and will subsequently appear on some of their podcasts. There's probably a "take me to your leader" joke we could make about Mustaine right here... Oh! How about this:

Aliens: "Meep. We come in peace."

Dave Mustaine: "Oh yeah? Peace sells...but who's buying?"

Aliens: "Oh, for fuck's sake...."

Mandatory '90s Nostalgie:  That one band, Ammonia, that had that one song, "Drugs."

OMMFG the '90s! Epic! Underrated/best you've never heard of! Grunge was angry and sad because the Internet was soooo slowwww and didn't have many animal pictures! Like everyone else, we never tire of reflecting on The Greatest Generation X and The Last Decade That Mattered. It was the only era where we were old enough to earn money, but young enough not have to spend it on utility bills. So, yeah, Arcade Fire weren't even a band yet, but Ammonia were totally a band. This song has a mere fifteen words in the lyrics, and it was all over the radio for a few months, much like Dig's "Believe," and Dandelion's "Weird Out," and other songs that had videos of slackers hanging out in or around some random house in the 'burbs. Since we're on the subject...

Nice One, Geezer:  Did the Singer for Dandelion Think He Was in a Britpop Band?

"This clobber is top, mate. Sorted."

Dandelion were from Philly, but, as you can see in these stills from the "Weird Out" video, singer/guitarist Kevin Morpurgo clearly had an affinity for the fashion and haircuts that were all the rage with the lads on the other side of the pond. It's especially noticeable in the video because the rest of the band are all dressed in the least stylish short sleeve shirts they could find, making dude's jacket  -- which we're pretty damn sure is the same one Mark Morris wore when the Bluetones played "Slight Return" on the Jools Holland show -- look all the more forced. Morpurgo apparently later moved to London in 2000 to form a different band. That should be no surprise.

Don't Forget the '80s!:  The Reference to Marillion in the New-ish Alan Partridge Movie

Speaking of the Britpop era, last year Steve Coogan finally reprised his portrayal of BBC presenter Alan Partridge in feature length style with the film Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa. We somehow missed this when it was released, so it finally just came to our attention via (yes) Netflix. Coogan, if you're reading this: we would not be mad if you made a few more of these films. One of many fine moments comes when an older, scholarly looking DJ (the movie takes place in a radio station) mentions to his colleagues that he was the drummer in the world famous '80s prog rock band Marillion, which comes as a pleasant surprise to everyone. Here's Partridge back in the '90s, grilling Simon Pegg and Noel Gallagher...

In the Area!:  Mancunian Interview Style

If you think Noel Gallagher seemed brief and unforthcoming in the end of that clip, think again! That's just how rock stars from Manchester have always handled their interviews. Witness this classic gabfest with Ian Brown and John Squire of the Stone Roses, done around the time of the height of the band's powers...
You're probably wondering: "Dear Jerks, why is this random ancient interview something you claim to be thinking about right now?" Fair question! It is because the half of us that is writing this has read two books on the Stone Roses in the past couple of months. That's right: the Stone Roses required at least two entire books to tell their tale. This is because one of them spends roughly 3/4's of its time unleashing a tidal wave of superlatives in the pursuit of infinitely repeating that the band were brilliant renaissance men who could make Jesus wish he looked better in flared trousers. Thus, another book was needed to fill in some stray details. Neither book, sadly, reaches the riveting 'highs' of some of the other Madchester memoirs (yes, it's totally a genre) that we've read -- notably (Happy Mondays singer) Shaun Ryder's crack smoking anecdotes, or Tim Burgess of the Charlatans admitting how his band did cocaine together (spoiler alert: butt). Speaking of alerts...

Cute Animal Alert!:  Raccoons in Japan Edition.

"I hear Broken Social Scene is playing tonight!"
Seriously though: Raccoons, alert! They will kill you in Japan!
In the 1970's, a cartoon named Rascal the Raccoon was quite a hit in Japan. At the height of the cartoon's popularity, the country was importing around 1,500 raccoons a year from North America to be sold as pets. At the end of the cartoon series, Rascal was released into the wild, because that's where raccoons prefer to kick it. You can probably guess what happened next to all those pet raccoons with easily impressionable and fickle owners. If you want to read a whole mess of words about how Japan is now crawling with raccoons (which are trapped and killed by the thousands), be our guest. But life is busy, so if you'd rather just see the opening sequence of the Italian version of the Japanese cartoon, with killer Italian lounge music, you're welcome. Also: there's hella raccoons in Toronto, too, and they're evolving so fast there's nothing you can do about it, so you might as well give up all hope now...