That’s entertainment

Movies, music, telly and anything else that might be deemed entertaining (possibly Tasers)

The missing link

Wondering where all the book reviews have gone? They now have their very own home at Books By George.

I’ll be tweaking the site over the next few weeks but don’t let that put you off.

Oh, and I’m thinking I might just give this site a wee makeover some time soon. Should the monkeys stay or go?


Do You Wanna … what?

I’m not a great fan of Glee I figure, which shouldn’t come as any great surprise since I’m probably 30 years too old to be in the show’s target audience range.

So for that reason, I won’t offer any sort of critique of the TV program in general because I have watched just two episodes since it hit our screens (and only then because a friend insisted it was the best thing she’d seen in a long time).

However, I do have an opinion I’d like to share over the decision to include a song by convicted paedophile Garry Glitter on the show: Dear Glee powers-that-be, you are morons.

Why the hell would a series that targets a young audience use a song that will put money in the pocket of a man who also targets a young audience but for very different reasons?

Gwyneth Paltrow did a stint on Glee and squeaked out a rendition of Do You Wanna Touch Me?

And yes,  I’m sure there are plenty of teenage boys out there who would happily give Ms Paltrow an affirmative answer.

But using the song was still a thoughtless move.

And I’m not including a link to the video because I disagree with the song being used. If you want to see it, go Google it yourself.



Where has the time gone

I remember so vividly hearing the news that John Lennon had been murdered that I almost can’t get my head around the fact that it’s been 30 years.

He wrote one of my two all-time favourite songs (Beautiful Boy).

A few years back, one of the younger members of our staff commented that his death must have been quite a big deal, “almost as big as Kurt Cobain dying.”

Hmmm, yes, I put her right. Cobain was a big deal for his generation, sure. But Lennon (like Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson) were much more than the sound of a generation: whether you were a fan or not, there’s no denying they still have a huge influence on music today.

More to the point, I miss John Lennon. He gave us amazing music and  incredible words during his far too short time … imagine what we missed out on.


Interview goes West


Not content with making something of a dick of himself at last year’s VMA, Kanye West has polished up his King of the Arrogant Morons crown in time for an interview on the Today show.

He was on the show to respond to George Bush’s claim that West calling him a racist was the worst moment of his presidency.

Needless to say, the interview didn’t go well. West bumbled his way through most of the questions, managing to give vague non-answers for all of them.

Then, the conversation turned to the moment he leapt on-stage at the VMA awards last year to steal Taylor Swift’s moment in the spotlight and tell the world that he thought Beyonce was more deserving, Matt Lauer raised the point that his actions that day were seen by many as also being racist. As that part of the interview was happening, the show’s technical-types played a clip of the now infamous event with the sound barely there.

West got a tad upset at that: “Don’t let that happen … it’s like ridiculous”.

Well, yes, his behaviour was ridiculous. Unfortunately, I don’t think that was what he meant.

Not surpisingly, reports are saying his new media trainer has now quit after less than a week in the job.

I suppose it’s hard to work for someone who only takes their foot out of their mouth to put the other one in.


It’s Closing Time …

Found some video on YouTube of the Leonard Cohen concert in Christchurch. The final song of the night. Am pleased to say we managed to get seats a little closer to the stage than this!


Updated: Just magic

I’d have posted this sooner but we didn’t get back to the hotel until late … and we’re no spring chickens now, are we?

Anyway, Leonard Cohen. What can I say except brilliant.

The concert was amazing, his voice, his band, his words and his pure  joy at doing what he does so well made it an event to remember.

Even a little microphone malfunction during Everybody Knows didn’t cause  any real dramas … the  band kept playing, the backing singers kept singing the chorus  and young Mr Cohen simply wandered towards another microphone to use around the same time as one of his crew ran across the front of the stage to fix his ailing mic. And that crew member received a well-deserved round of applause for his efforts.

I’d type more but am using an internet kiosk at the airport and the space bar isn’t working properly. Even worse, half the screen’s cut off so I’m not sure if what I’m typing is even readable!

And now that I’m back at home and not using an awful airport internet kiosk (and have fixed the various typos), let’s continue  …

There were some lovely touches during the concert. We all knew we’d cheer when he got to the “I was born with the gift of a golden voice” line in Tower of Song but there were also some unexpected little treats that made everyone smile, including the synchronised cartwheels of the Webb sisters during The Future and the great man himself thanking the crowd for staying when he returned to the stage for the second half.

All the expected songs were there — Hallelujah, Tower of Song, Suzanne, Bird on a Wire, The Anthem (probably my favourite Cohen song)  — along with some of the oldies that I wasn’t sure we’d hear, such as Sisters of Mercy and Chelsea Hotel #2, and quite appropriately, he ended the whole evening with Closing Time.

Then there was A Thousand Kisses Deep, recited as it was written, as a poem. There was complete silence as everyone was simply mesmerised by the words.

The other wee surprise was the energy level: he skipped on stage, skipped off again, was on his knees singing then back on his feet in one fluid movement time and time again and skipped back on to the stage with as much energy as a teenager for his two encores, which took in five songs.

In all, we got more than three hours of live Leonard Cohen during the the two parts of the main act. A big ask for many performers, not just a septuagenarian.

And let’s face it, there are few out there who could hold an audience spellbound for all that time without the gimmicks of pyrotechnics, a dance routine or some other bit of fluffy tat. Cohen and his incredibly talented band and backing singers had us all engrossed for the entire time, which flew by so fast I kept forgetting just how uncomfortable the seats were.

At around $200 a ticket it wasn’t a cheap night, especially when you add in airfares and accommodation. However, it was worth every cent.

I spent a good part of the flight home today “relistening” to some of the many Cohen tracks I have on my iPod and have to say that his voice has got even better with age. And that while I thought the Live in London CD and DVD (yes, I bought both)  from his last tour were as good as it could possibly get, I now know that isn’t the case: hearing him live was unbeatable.

Bic Runga was the opening act and provided just shy of half an hour of music, mixing some of her well-known tracks with songs from her not-yet-released album.

I haven’t got anything negative to say about the concert itself but do have a couple of gripes about some aspects of the venue and the ticketing. However, I’ve moved those to a separate post so they don’t detract from what was an amazing concert.


My favourite movie


My shit list gets a new entry


Congratulations TV3, you have made the grade. Again.

Yes, you suck. Like something really sucky.

I still haven’t forgiven you idiots for the whole Dexter debacle (you know, when they ran Dexter for just a few episodes in a non-primetime slot, decided it wasn’t rating well enough so pulled it). Now, we’ve got the Top Chef debacle. This is where they ran it for a few episodes, decided it wasn’t rating well enough so pulled it.

Um, is there an echo in here?

Three episodes? Three fecking episodes? And now I see they’ve announced on their website that it will be back on our screens from September 4. Will it be repeated from episode one? Will it be picked up from where it left off? Will they even play the whole damn series this time?

Who knows. All I know is they think repeats of Grand Designs will do as a replacement option and that I’m about ready to give up on TV3.

I’m one of those people who will avoid surfing sites that might have spoilers associated with whatever reality programme I’m interested in but this time around I decided to seek out the result on the official Top Chef site because TV3′s  programmers hadn’t decided when Top Chef would be back and I’d seen enough of the series to really want to know what happened. And now that I know, I doubt I’ll bother watching the series when it does return. That’s not a reflection on the winner, it’s a reflection on the stump the brains trust at TV3.

And you know what? Just to add to the “things I hate about TV3″ list, they cocked up tonight with Outrageous Fortune, cutting Pascalle off in mid-sentence before rolling the credits.

Way to go guys. I hope you all get a fungus in your dangly bits.


Sunday mashup: Knockout Eileen


I miss Sesame Street …



Jillian "George" Allison-Aitken

I live in the deep south of New Zealand, where smelly dairy cows are taking over from sheep in the livestock stakes. My hometown is the small but perfectly formed city of Invercargill, which is also the hometown of the original boy racer, Burt Munro. Find out more about me here.


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