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Sushi anyone?

   Isobune Sushi is a sushi bar located in San Francisco’s Japantown ,between Buchanan and Webster street.

   Sushi is served with a hint of antiquity in small boats floating in an endless stream. It just makes your mouth water. The sushi is fresh, and the seafood is in high quality. They also have a great variety of choices.


    The sushi I personally would like to recommend are Inari-nigiri (which is sweet tofu skin on top of rice wrapped in nori.), spider roll, hand rolls and Uni (sea urchin) sushi. The sashimi literally melts in your mouth. One more thing is that the California rolls here actually use real fresh crab, which not many stores I know of do. The price range is moderate and reasonable, so everyone could afford the items. Most meal orders are around $10-$30. Dishes are usually colored according to the price, however it is possible that you could grab any dish without knowing the price, so it is better to look at signs placed on the table that tell you which color is specified for which price.     Also, there is a risk that you never know how long a certain dish had been circulating around the stream. You have the choice to order the freshest sushi right off the menu, but it is a little pricier than the sushi boats. Chefs refill empty boats often. If you can’t find what you want in front of you, you could always look at the menus placed around and ask for it.


   The store is always busy, but the staff is very nice and polite. They bring orders immediately and come around to fill up tea cups without any interruptions. Occasionally, they also will have J-pop music playing. This is a nice, cozy restaurant to enjoy a quick meal.



by Victoria Conn

Arts and Entertainment 10/2010

Hurling Back Up To The Top

It's not very often a band is able to make a triumphant return. Following up five albums that ranged from passable to nightmarishly vile, “Hurley" finally drags Weezer out of the dirt. "Hurley is Weezer's first release on Epitaph Records, a signing which shocked many people considering its independent status in comparison to Geffen, their former major record label. A fresh start on Epitaph with "Hurley," is also a fresh start in Weezer's career. While it may not be the next "Pinkerton," "Hurley" shows that after five tries, Weezer finally found the formula to a fun record.


   Kicking off with the track "Memories," it becomes apparent that Weezer is aware of the old days of them being younger and making music to just have fun. The song features the signature lower-fi sound they're known for, as well as a chorus that seems tailor-made for singing along to. The song makes references to the times of "The Blue Album," where they weren't pressured to be concerned about selling records, and could focus more on just making the most of their lives.


   Wanting to relive the glory days appears to be a major theme of this record and may be why they've made a huge return to form. They've gone from relying on gimmicks to attracting listeners, back to making basic songs that don't require outside elements like guest appearances from other musicians, to enjoy. The only exception to this would be the song "Where's My Sex," which features Rivers Cuomo playing with the similar sounds of the words "sex" and "socks." Throughout the song he makes a bunch of goofy allusions, but on the whole it's not obnoxiously lewd. Even though it appears out of nowhere on the album, it's still a song with catchy hooks to it.


   The best part of the album is that none of it feels like filler. All of the songs feel like they have a certain charge. Despite most of the album being about remembering the past, Cuomo still croons on about love. The song "Smart Girls" features him listing off names of old flames. "All My Friends Are Insects" tricks the listener into thinking that Cuomo would be insulting backstabbers and betrayers, but instead he shows appreciation for his friends, comparing them to elegant insects like butterflies and dragonflies.


   The only minor flaw of this album is that it's somewhat short. Not counting the deluxe version, it comes in at about 30 minutes. It's kind of unfortunate that it's this short due to how great it is, but it's an easily overlooked flaw considering the quality of the album. Cuomo seems content to just make music to make people feel better, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. Weezer probably won't release another "Pinkerton," but if "Hurley" is the direction Weezer is going, then it's a step in the right direction out of the hole they buried themselves in.



4 out of 5 Stars



by John Hill

Report to the Call of Duty

           “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2,” will not disappoint anyone looking for an action packed role playing game.

    It is the fourth series of the game “Call of Duty”. The graphics are detailed and there are various weapons and battlegrounds. The game makes the player feel as if they were actually in combat against terrorist. The player can climb the many ranks and perfect their skills. This game does take a lot of practice before the player can get the hang of it. They can also go online and play with real people to get a higher ranking. This game is worth spending money on unlike other games found at the store.


    The game has four levels of difficulty to choose from: beginner, easy, medium, and hard. It begins with the player training themselves and their fellow comrades on practice battlegrounds. They will change between five different characters throughout the whole game during the different missions. The battleground landscapes change with every mission, from fighting in the rain, snow, dessert, and much more. The more levels the player beats, the more missions they unlock. Each mission is more difficult than the previous. At times they will have no fellow teammates and are fighting solo. One of the cool details of the game is its various weapons, ranging from snipers, pistols, shotguns, grenades, flash bangs, and more. The player may also pick up weapons or ammunition from fallen soldiers. This game also has an interesting stoyline with many twists. In the game the player is a military agent, who is sent on missions to protect America .


    Those interested can purchase this game from Electronic Boutique Games, Best Buy, Gamestop, Walmart, and Target. They must have a PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, or the Microsoft Windows operating system to play the game. The price of the game has dropped from $70, when it first came out, to $60-$50. It sold over 4.7 million copies during the first 24 hours it was released. It is ranked the best selling game of all time in the United Kingdom and the second best selling game of all time in the United States



by Crystal Lee

Burnt Before Impact

   Sometimes in a band's career, it becomes apparent that the artists are unaware of how to proceed. Some bands just break up, while others experiment with their sound to find a new niche and continue on with that sound. In Linkin Park's “A Thousand Suns,” it's incredibly apparent that the band hasn't found the place they fit in the current mainstream music scene.                    


   The album starts off with two introductions, “The Requiem” and “The Radiance." These tracks seem intended to give a taste of the rest of the album; they include vocal samples akin to those used by bands like Current 93 or The Paper Chase. The unfortunate mistake they make is that the introductions end up being much more interesting than much of the rest of the album. The introductions almost hint at a return to form, however in the follow up track "Burning In The Skies," they completely drop the sound from the introductions.                              


   In most songs after this, the band displays a very monotonous tone in the music. It could be that the band is trying to distance itself from its angsty past in an attempt to "mature as musicians," but this attempt falls flat on its face. Instead, all they accomplish doing is creating a song that drones on about burning bridges.                          


   One of their more interesting songs, "When They Come For Me" churns out a toned down version of one of their older songs, with its tumultuous industrial sections and rapping. The song is a stark contrast to the  dreary adult-contemparary style they explore in vain. Mike Shinoda, the band’s rapper, throws down arrogant rap verses very similar to those found on "Hybrid Theory" or "Meteora," backed by dark and grungy electronics from Mr. Hahn, the band’s programmer. The band shows what they could have done if they wanted to return to form; they update their old nu-metal sound with modern electronic conventions, which almost gives hope that the band will kick up the anger.                                


   The proceeding songs run the gamut of different styles, including what seems like a throwback to pop music of the 90s. On the track "Robot Boy," the band employs a modern R&B time signature combined with Backstreet Boys-esque vocal harmonizing. Other songs like "Wretches and Kings" show the grungy electronics found in the earlier parts of the album.                         


   One of the biggest problems that this album faces is a glaringly apparent lack of energy. It's very obvious that Chester Bennington is a very gifted vocalist, but in this album, it seems as though he's not really trying. The song "Blackout" is the only song to feature his signature screams, where he only screams for a brief period of time, before the song goes into a guitar-free electronic-driven breakdown. After this, Mr. Hahn brings back his scratching skills in mixing Bennington's voice.                             


   Overall, this album shows Linkin Park in an identity crisis. On one hand, they seem to want to return to form by incorporating older nu-metal with newer industrial. On the other hand, it appears as though they are trying to adapt to the modern state of music by encompassing modern adult-contemparary elements. Either way, it seems that Linkin Park is gasping for air to stay relevant in the modern climate of music before fading away into obscurity. After the mediocrity that was "Minutes To Midnight," "A Thousand Suns" could possibly be the nail in the coffin for Linkin Park.



by John Hill

Return to Oz

Son of a Witch is the sequel of the award winning Wicked, written by Gregory Maguire. The book takes place several years after its predecessor where the protagonist is now Liir, an unskilled teenager, who’s thought to be the son of Elphaba and Fiyero. It tells us the life of Liir after the death of Elphaba, also known as the Wicked Witch of the West.

Throughout this adventure, we learn more of Liir’s story during the first book. As a result of Liir’s coma-like state, he starts to experience flashbacks of when he was traveling with Dorothy and her friends. We learn about his present as he struggles with questions about whether or not that he is the son of Elphaba. The narration of this story starts to shift from past to present after Liir is nursed back to health and regains consciousness. He is forced to help the citizens of Oz save themselves from the new evil emperor that has corrupted the sacred land. At the same time, he sets out on a journey to find his missing half-sister, who has been kidnapped by the Wizard.

The book brings back numerous familiar characters from the first story, and it also introduces us to newer characters who, Liir encounters on his journey. Overall the story was a far cry from "Wicked;" sure, it had its moments with its characterization. At the same time it can be beyond tedious to read due to these lengthy details, use of big words, and vague storyline. Compared to the first book, "Son of a Witch" it is less captivating and a disappointment. While the book may seem monotonous to some, it is still a good read from time to time. It has unexpected plot twists and turns that keep eyes glued to the pages of the book. A dull start may get better and before the readers realize, they may be flipping the pages for hours wondering what will happen next. The vibrant characters of the land of Oz and the land that surrounds it seem to leap out of the pages. Their personalities will grow on readers and lead them to discovering more of Oz in the rest of the books by Gregory Maguire. The author of "Wicked" seems really intent on trying to get his storyline across to the readers, which can become overwhelming and hard to keep up with. However, if readers can overcome this overwhelming sense, they will find a wonderful book filled with amazing characters that they never knew about from watching the movie, "Wizard of Oz." This book gives the readers a whole new perspective of what really happened in Oz. We get to learn about what happens in the aftermath of the events in their childhood movie. This story is recommended for those long time fans of this book, and people who are willing to try reading something different from the usual and typical fantasy novel.



by Helen Moy