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  • The Last 5 Years (2002 Off-Broadway Cast)

    • 10 out of 10
    • Jason Robert Brown
    • The soundtrack to this moving off-broadway musical is heart moving. The lyrics follow a couple in a relationship for five years, one point of view going forward in time, and the other tracing time fr
  • One Word Extinguisher

    • 8 out of 10
    • Prefuse 73
    • It's an album about a breakup, done with beats instead of mopey lyrics. But the beats are raw, and the emotions are there, even if there aren't many words on top of it. While possibly not Scott Herren
  • Rock Spectacle

    • 8 out of 10
    • Barenaked Ladies
    • These guys know how to put on a live show, and whomever recorded this knows how to capture one. Rock Spectacle is one of the warmest-sounding recordings I've ever heard, and totally fills a room at a
  • Rift

    • 8 out of 10
    • Phish
    • This quasi-concept album (the only of its kind) from these Vermonters finally showcased their ability to convey a message with a studio album, whereas previously they only succeeded in doing so live.
  • With Teeth

    • 4 out of 10
    • Nine Inch Nails
    • In the sprawling post-A&R rock and roll world, there are two camps: the Beatles and the Stones. The Beatles are the artists that like to explore, evolve, and change styles. The Stones are the artis

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Paramount, Dreamworks Sold Out for HD DVD

Paramount and Dreamworks both announced on Monday that they were throwing their weight behind HD DVD movie discs instead of Blu-ray. The endorsement, however, may be more about money than supporting what they see as better standard, according to the New York Times.

Viacom executives that wanted to remain anonymous claimed that Paramount and Dreamworks Animation will receive about US$150 million in incentives for backing HD DVD. Those incentives will include cash and promotional guarantees.

Paramount president of worldwide marketing and distribution, Rob Moore, said the decision to go exclusively with HD DVD was in consumer’s best interest. "What is most important to consumers is how much they are paying, and HD DVD is simply less expensive," he said.

Andy Parsons from the Blu-ray Disc Association had a different take. "This seems like a move of desperation," he said. Toshiba and the other companies that are backing the HD DVD standard don’t want to suffer the same fate as Betamax did when VHS became the standard for video tape movies.

Many in the industry considered the battle for the next DVD standard to be over, and declared Blu-ray the winner. 20th Century Fox, for example, is in the process of releasing another 29 Blu-ray titles, and Disney is releasing Sleeping Beauty on Blue-ray, too.

Blockbuster offers Blu-ray titles, but doesn’t offer HD DVD. Target isn’t selling HD DVD players, only standard DVD and Blu-ray.

In the end, the Paramount HD DVD endorsement may be short-lived. Paramount’s deal lasts only 18 months, and does not include any films directed by Steven Spielberg.

Although Paramount claims its move is in the best interest of consumers, it may do more to confuse buyers. If consumers feel that the HD movie disc standard is still undecided, they are more likely to stay away from both.

Bob Chapek, president of Disney’s home entertainment unit, commented "This is not in the best interest of consumers."

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