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
The Tenderloin was set to lose another irreplaceable when the Ha-Ra Club — a low-ceilinged dive of the slummiest reputation, long fallen into neglect, but nevertheless beloved for strong pours, idiosyncratic bartenders, and a long history — was taken over by the crew who run Ace's and Dobbs Ferry.
Whether or not Jaws and Star Wars changed the movie industry for the better or the worse is a matter of some debate — a debate I participated when I wrote the script for the movie section of the one-off experiment that was the 2014 SF Weekly Comics Issue (it's tricky to link to 'cuz ease of navigation is never a priority around this joint, but here's Page 1 and Page 2) — but there's no question that both film spawned a metric asstonne of rip-offs. One of the more peculiar ones, Ovidio G. Assonitis's 1977 Tentacles, is being released on a Blu-ray double feature by Shout! Factory on June 16. Its accompanying feature is the deliciously horrible 1962 Danish kaiju flick Reptilicus, so you can't blame Spielberg or Lucas for that one.
The story of a giant octopus terrorizing a coastal town, there's no question that Tentacles was intended to cash in on the game-changing success of Jaws, and along with Orca, it's one of the two of that wave with a much better cast than it deserves, including Shelly Winters, John Huston, and Henry freakin' Fonda. Heaven knows I've done some things I'm not proud of in order to pay the rent, but wow.
Tentacles is an Italian production, and though it lacks the copious blood and gore of Italian horror films of that period, and of other Italian Jaws rip-offs like Devil Fish. But the most important thing Tentacles has going for it, and the most mid-1970s Italian, is its score by composer Stelvio Cipriani. It's essentially what we think of now as lounge music, with plenty of analog synthesizers and electric piano.
Anyway, as you read on, enjoy Track 6 from the official Tentacles soundtrack, "Happiness is Having Two Killer Whales as Friends." It begins at 5:30, couldn't sound more analog. It's a feast of 1977 electronic sounds, and can practically hear the miles and miles of tangled wires you know were filling Cipriani's studio.
And speaking of analog, Reptilicus. Oh lordy, Reptilicus.
A giant prehistoric monster from beneath the sea is attacking Tokyo Copenhagen! Yep, Miku Hatsune's country gets a break this time around, as this Danish co-production attempts to get some of those sweet, sweet Godzilla krones. The end result is a mess, and this American edit of the film is by all accounts much better than the even sloppier Danish version, which is saying a lot.
All you really need to know is that there are plenty of wonderfully sketchy miniature and rear-projection effects. Nothing, like, nothing in this film comes close to suspending the viewer's disbelief. And that's what makes it so fun.
This film never made it onto Mystery Science Theater 3000 (though it's a contender for a RiffTrax VOD), but it has what all low-budget monster movies must have from this era: one of these guys talking into one of those kinds of microphones with one of those kinds of speakers on the wall. Scenes like this always take me back.
You always know what kind of movie you're watching when you see a set like that, just like you know if you're the kind of person who'll enjoy Tentacles & Reptilicus.
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.'"