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
Nothing caps off a nice day at the beach like a mouthful of sand — especially if the grit in your teeth is the reward for the grit required to splay flat-out on your stomach, for the prize of a plastic disc in your hand, and all the glory that comes along with it.
Mashing up different world cuisines is usually a popular conceit for new quick-service eateries and food trucks to make a quick buck and gain Instagram fame, but Volta has shown how well global cross-pollination works on a refined plate without stretching for novelty or pretense in the process.
San Francisco just got about 20 percent less cool.
Ever since 2004, the Dark Room Theater at 2263 Mission has regularly put on stand-up comedy and sketch shows, as well as stage parodies of Star Wars, The Terminator, The Princess Bride, Duck Soup, The Wicker Man, the video game Asteroids (!), and many others, as well as an annual month-long run of live-action Twilight Zone episodes.
The Dark Room has also been the venue for a wide variety of events that most respectable establishments would have enough taste not to host, including but certainly not limited to my show Bad Movie Night, which made the world a stupider place every Sunday night for ten of those twelve years.
But all good things must come to an end — as well as things like Bad Movie Night, which was never "good" by any known definition — and on July 25, 2015, the Dark Room closed its big purple door.
I asked Jim Fourniadis, co-founder and northern star of the Dark Room, to tell it in his own words.
The Dark Room theater, an institution dedicated to unapologetic silliness, unceremoniously closed down this week, thus marking 12 years of shows, the majority of which were adapted and directed by me, Jim Fourniadis. When Erin Ohanneson and I started the place over a decade ago, the Mission was very different, and we felt right at home with the frantic energy. Freshly open and ready to conquer the world, we had an attitude – which I most directly credit to Erin – that there was nothing we couldn't do on our tiny stage
In our plays we tried to take something you'd seen perhaps a million times, Like The Shining or Goodfellas, and reinvent it so you could experience seeing it again for the first time, and realize the inherent goofiness hiding in nearly all films. Just like with Bad Movie night, though, our ribbing was always good natured and betrayed if anything our love of the films.
Helping Erin and I were several invaluable folks, most notably Rhiannon, our tech chick, Alexia Staniotes, the coolest and biggest wiseguy I know, Sherilyn Connelly, my Bad Movie Night coconspirator, and most recently Sean Wigglesworth and Tessa Riley who helped me keep the place open in the last couple of years.
On a personal aside, one of my most favorite moments at the Dark Room was participating in David Stein's The Gong Show in February 2006 as a "Celebrity Host," along with Dave McKew and Mikl-Em. Here, Denzil Meyers as the Unknown Comic tears into us as well as Craig Dickerson as Chuck Barris. Nine years later, this clip still makes me happy.
Final thoughts from Jim:
We always hoped we could keep the Dark Room open forever, but forces beyond our control saw to that and sadly we join the ranks of so many other venues that are just a memory. I'm not sure what's in store, and it would be easy to get depressed at the closing of your dream theater company, but I like to think how lucky I was for 12 years to have my job be making you people laugh. That's just fucking cool.
It truly doesn't get much cooler than that. And while the Dark Room is no longer what it once was, you'll have one more chance to experience it: starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 22, there'll be a garage sale to sell off years of theatrical trappings, including shirts, props, workstations, computers, and more. And I know what you're thinking: "That's all fine and good, but what about the marquee from the final Bad Movie Night?" Nope, that's spoken for.
However, at 8 p.m. that evening, the Dark Room's true last gasp will be a staged reading of one of our earliest productions, Batman: The TV Show: The Play. Admission is a small donation of your choosing to help pay the ferryman. (Charon gets cranky when he has to transport an entire community theater.)
There will be other cool things going forward in San Francisco — and you can bet that an old-timer in 2026 will tell a newcomer how much better San Francisco was in 2016 — but never anything quite like the Dark Room.
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.'"