[iOS] iMapMyRun vs. Nike+

With all of the lovely weather the east coast has been getting, I’ve been trying to get out more. When spring sprung, I was using the iMapMyRun app. Not that long ago, Nike+ decided to make their app free. So after using both for a handful of runs, I’ve decided to compare the two. More »

Swan Oyster Depot

With classes done and work winding down, I took some vacation time and we went to San Francisco last week.

Settled at the bottom of Nob Hill is a fairly nondescript restaurant. Decorated in various fish paraphernalia reminiscent of an old-school barber shop, its more bar than restaurant. At the entrance is a window full of fresh fish, shrimp, prawns, and other sea life, enticing passersby to stand in the line and wait for an open seat. Over the counter is a faded black and white photograph depicting the restaurant some time in the past — one thing that struck me about the picture is that the stools are the exact same as back then, though a little battered with time.

Once two spots cleared, we took our seats and ordered a combination salad and a cup of clam chowder. Construction of the combination salad started with a bed of fresh lettuce on top of which rested a row of coin sized shrimp. Next came the Louie sauce, and the prawns on top of that. They were unfortunately out of crab that day, so instead we were given a little smoked salmon and tuna. It’s such a simple dish, yet the freshness of the seafood combined with the the rich and creamy Louie sauce and the slight crunch of the lettuce just blew me away. Amazing. Then there was the clam chowder, which was honestly the best I’ve ever had. The clam flavor was always present, but never overpowering and made it quite delicious.

If you ever find yourself in San Francisco, do yourself a favor and check this place out.

Andy McKee – Joyland

As promised, a review of Andy McKee’s Joyland. In it, Andy has branched out from his normal solo guitar to include other instrumentation like the strings in the titular song. Always calming, ever relaxing, this album stays true to the feel of previous releases like Art of Motion and Games of Gnomeria. There are three stand out songs I’d like to mention, the first “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”, I already mentioned in a previous post. The second, “For Now”, is such an awesome way to end the album. There isn’t singing in any of Andy’s songs, but the melody really just sings. The final mention, Hunter’s Moon, is one of those songs, much like the song Drifting, that needs to be seen, as well as heard. And thus we end this blog post with the YouTube video of “Hunter’s Moon”.

Gorillaz – Plastic Beach

For whatever reason, I was never really a huge fan of the Gorillaz. Growing up, I’d heard their singles on the radio, and appreciated their singles. But I had tried to listen to their self-titled debut album, and could never get into it. Nine years later, they come out with Plastic Beach, so I downloaded the album to give them another shot. It’s definitely a new direction for them, it feels like a lot more influence came from the outside. Indeed, the majority of the tracks have some kind of “featuring” addition to it. Personally, my favorite tracks are “Rhinestone Eyes”, “On Melancholy Hill”, and “Plastic Beach” — the first two not featuring any outside artists. That’s not to say that their other tracks are bad, it’s just that there is such a shift between their old sound and their new sound that it takes a few listens to get accustomed to. Regardless, everything works coherently in the complete album, and that’s what matters.

With the advent of Plastic Beach, I decided to go back and give their previous two albums another go. I must have had my head under a rock, because Demon Days is such a fantastic album.