When the ancient Polynesians invented surfing, they often used a paddle to help them navigate. Fast-forward a few millennia, and Stand-Up Paddleboarding, or SUP, finds itself trendy again. Part of its increasing popularity is that standing upright allows surfers to spot waves more easily and thus catch more of them, multiplying the fun factor. Paddling back to the wave becomes less of a strain as well. The ability to cruise along on flat inland water, surveying the sights, is another advantage. Finally, its a good core workout. If youre sold on the idea, schedule an intro SUP lesson, free with board and paddle rental, and you may find yourself riding the waves like a Polynesian king.More
In the past 30 years, light artists have reimagined an art form that has always had the ability to turn the night sky, or a simple window, into luminescence. Last fall, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts turned its southern glass wall into a parade of sound-sensing lights, Lightswarm, that changes with the movements of nearby people and things. Future Cities Lab, the San Francisco design company behind Lightswarm, has originated another notable light sculpture. Located by the YBCA's steps at 701 Mission, Murmur Wall will light up in arresting ways as it incorporates local trending search engine results and social media postings. Onlookers can offer their own contributions, which will feed into the Murmur Wall's data stream and light up the sculpture. What's trending in San Francisco? If you're walking by the YBCA, you can see firsthand — at least through light patterns that reflect the city's volatile internet habits.
Murmur Wall debuts Thursday at 6 p.m. and continues through May 31, 2017, at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission St., S.F. Free; 415-978-2700 or ybca.org. More
Ye gods, but puppets are creepy. Some more so than others, but the work of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, most famous for Thunderbirds (which itself was a primary inspiration for Team America: World Police), and which I fully appreciate on a craft level, has always squicked me out a little. Their first experiment in the dubbed "Supermarionation" was the 1961-62 ITV series Supercar, Shout! Factory is releasing in its entirety on DVD on May 12.
Driven by the jut-jawed Mike Mercury, the Supercar can drive, fly (in space and otherwise), submerge, and do all the others things commonly associated with the "super-" prefix. Aided by the Germanic Professor Popkiss, the less-Teutonic Dr. Horatio Beaker, and spunky redheaded boy Jimmy, they battle various evildoers, particularly the Masterspy. Oh, and Jimmy has a pet monkey, obviously.
Given its time period and militaristic bent, Supercar is very much a product of the Cold War and atomic anxieties. Take this opening conversation from "Atomic Witch Hunt," originally broadcast on March 18, 1962, in which the men explain how atomic terrorists are smuggling bombs into American cities (though it's very British in provenance, the series was based in the States). Note the cheery music as they discuss atomic annihilation over a lovely breakfast, and Jimmy's concerns that the State Department isn't doing enough are quickly assuaged, because nobody's going to talk shit about the United States Government on children's television in 1962.
Supercar was Gerry and Sylvia Anderson's first and last series set in the present, as Ms. Anderson explains in the commentary on the pilot episode, because it finally struck them that in this format, they could go anywhere and show anything without budget concerns. Though the packaging promises an interview with Gerry Anderson as well as a documentary about Derek Meddings's miniature work, the only extra to be found on any of the five discs is Ms. Anderson's commentary, but it's a damn good one. She provides some fascinating history behind this and the other shows, and also describes how she eventually brought what she calls "a female point of view" to the Supermarionation world in the form of Thunderbirds' Lady Penelope.
It's certainly a point of view that the wooden-sausage fest that is Supercar could have used.
Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'.
Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"