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by Jason Gross

4 Dec 2008

With news that the news biz is laying off more and more people, I can’t work up enthusiasm for the Grammy nominations right now, even if Lil Wayne bagged a bunch of them (which had to happen anyway since he’s got the best-selling album of the year).  A bunch of friends I know already lost their jobs at Viacom and many others are wondering if they’ll still have their jobs in 2009.

That’s why I’m encouraged by the bits of synergy that I’m starting to see happen more and more.  It’s hard to gauge how far these things can be taken but they might show some promise about the way to go in the Web 2.0.1.0 world.

- Facebook Connect seems like an interesting idea, letting you hook up your Facebook items to your own site.  Publications could do the same, harnessing the power of this popular social networking service onto their site.

- Carnegie Hall is auditioning musicians by YouTube submissions.  This might sound like a gimmick but renowned conductor Michael Tilson Thomas is involved and like the Facebook idea, it also involves harnessing a popular web service for this event.  It’s already done it’s job as it’s gotten the interest of several publications who are covering the event.

- NY Post is posting Wall Street Journal material.  Makes sense since Rupert Murdoch owns both now and why not share resources, especially if there’s less staff to cover everything at each publication?

- Pitchfork and Fader are joining forces in an ad partnership, which will include “print, online, festivals, events and unique content exchanges.”  Not exactly like the NYP/WSJ combo but it’s the same kind of idea of pooling resources.

by Sarah Zupko

4 Dec 2008

Just more proof that the vinyl renaissance is in full swing, the majors are active again in the vinyl arena. Capitol/EMI is on a campaign to re-issue some of the most popular releases from their vast catalogue in 180-gram audiophile quality with the original LP artwork and packaging in limited edition form. These albums are gorgeous and remind those of us who grew up in the pre-MP3 age of the vital role the physicality and artistic presentation of a new record played in learning to love the music itself. Recent releases in this series include such can’t miss titles as John Lennon’s Imagine, Radiohead’s The Bends/OK Computer/Kid A, the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds, the Band’s Music from the Big Pink/The Band, Jimi Hendrix’s Hendrix, and many more.

Imagine

by Mike Schiller

4 Dec 2008

It’s hard to make the argument that Rayman Raving Rabbids: TV Party is really any better than any other Rayman Raving Rabbids game—its inclusion in this gift guide is really something of a lifetime achievement award for the series.  The first Rayman Raving Rabbids title may well be responsible for the capital-G-Glut of minigame compilations on the Wii, but despite the ignominy that comes with such a description, there’s no arguing that it was one of the most fun Wii experiences to be had at the time of the machine’s launch. TV Party is no different, and if anything, it’s better.  Ubisoft has honed the combination of surreal humor and easy-to-grasp functionality to a science, the game is an appropriately chaotic multiplayer experience, and some of the new games are hilarious (one where you shoot rabbids dressed as chickens comes immediately to mind).  Add to this formula balance board functionality and the continued presence of a drumming minigame that outdoes anything you could do in Wii Music in terms of pure fun, and you have a Wii game that may never be hailed as one of the classics, but might just be unbeatable this holiday season in terms of pure, stupid fun.

AMAZON

by Karen Zarker

4 Dec 2008

Guided by voices, images, moods, and impressions of contemporary life, the prolific Robert Pollard’s songs are captured in images and poetry in this artsy book. Pop art collage, ruminations dark, satirical and humorous, fans of the musician and art students alike will enjoy this volume. I rather like it for the ‘thousand words’ the best images invoke. Gaze at it to Pollard’s tunes, or merely let your head provide the soundtrack. Either way, for either kind of reader, it works.

AMAZON

by Karen Zarker

4 Dec 2008

When we gaze into our doggy’s liquid brown eyes, our kitty’s crystal green eyes and wonder, “What is Ralphi/Raphael thinking?” and they gaze back at us, which prompts us to begin a conversation with them, a conversation of a kind that can only take place between dog and human or cat and human, are we, the humans, anthropomorphizing? projecting? communicating? And by turn, what is Ralph/Raphael doing with us? Does their gaze really just come down to imploring us for a treat? Animal lovers know better—there’s love in those eyes. They also know that the human/animal companion conundrum is one that may never be solved, and ultimately, as we love and delight in our animal friends, we can only really understand ourselves. These books satisfy that perpetual human itch to know thyself—and to love others. Be assured your animal lover’s furry friend will lay by her side for an occasional pet, as she reads.

AMAZON

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Call For Papers: Celebrating Star Trek's 50th Anniversary

// Announcements

"To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the hit franchise, PopMatters seeks submissions about Star Trek, including: the TV series, from The Original Series (TOS) to the highly anticipated 2017 new installment; the films, both the originals and the J.J. Abrams reboot; and ancillary materials such as novelizations, comic books, videogames, etc.

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