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Verge Favorites: Scott Lowe

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The Verge staffers aren't just people who love technology. They're people who love stuff. We spend as much time talking and thinking about our favorite books, music, and movies as we do debating the best smartphone to buy or what point-and-shoot has the tightest macro. We thought it would make sense to share our latest obsessions with Verge readers, and we hope you're encouraged to share your favorites with us. Thus a long, healthy debate will ensue where we all end up with new things to read, listen to, or try on.

Sound Shapes

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I'm an unabashed fan of the PS Vita, though admittedly, there aren't a ton of 'must-play' games. One of the few truly exceptional Vita-specific experiences, however, is Sound Shapes. It has all of the qualities of a traditional platformer, but it adds a somewhat elevated visual style and a soundtrack from the likes of Deadmau5, Beck, Jim Guthrie, and others. As you traverse levels, the tokens you collect, enemies you encounter, and the environments themselves trigger sounds and combine to form a song. There are even integrated level creation and sharing tools, making it unusually robust for a downloadable title for a portable. If you own a Vita, it's totally worth the $15. Buy it.

Geographer

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I saw these guys play at the Outside Lands festival in San Francisco a few months back and I was hooked. I generally avoid excessively indie fare, but they keep the rhythms fairly upbeat and use an interesting combination of synths and strings. If you want to give a few of their tracks a whirl, I'd recommend checking out "Life of Crime" and "Lover's Game" from their album Myth and "Original Sin" and "Kites" from Animal Shapes.

Snapseed

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Earlier this year I decided to experiment with photo editing on the iPad exclusively — transferring shots from my DSLR using an SD card adapter and uploading to services like 500px. My editing app of choice is Snapseed. Instead of trying to mimic traditional desktop software, the developers seem to really embrace the touchscreen control scheme. It uses drop-pins with an expandable radius for spot corrections and multitouch gestures to dictate the range of adjustment. I'm still not convinced the iPad can replace traditional editing methods, but Snapseed comes pretty close.

Aldo Fielden Shoes

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I'm not a particularly fashionable guy. I typically cycle through several variations of V-necks, jeans, and Converse shoes — I'm the adult Doug Funny. So when I finally branch out, I get pretty excited about it. I picked these up in preparation for a recent trip to Vegas and I'm loving them thus far. They are about as comfortable as my trusty Chucks, but hey, they look good. They seem to say: "I want to look classy, but I'm prepared to spill whisky on my shoes."

Yamazaki

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Speaking of whisky, a former colleague first introduced me to Yamazaki a few years ago and I recently rediscovered it. While I'm hardly a connoisseur of brown liquors, Yamazaki 12 has the perfect smooth to smokey ratio for my preference. Most bars in San Francisco carry it and despite being imported from Japan, it doesn't cost an arm and a leg. It's also made by Suntory, the company Bill Murray is promoting in Lost in Translation, so there's some film nerd novelty to it. Should you ever find yourself in relaxing times, make it Yamazaki time.

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