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
My two oldest brothers were huge Bob Dylan fans when I was growing up. (They still are.) The first song I can remember identifying at a very young age was Dylan’s "Ballad of a Thin Man," probably due to my brother Tom singing it and countless others around the house. As such, I probably saw D.A. Pennebaker’s 1967 Don’t Look Back, a documentary of Bob Dylan’s 1965 UK tour, which the Criterion Collection is releasing on Blu-ray this week, at a younger age than might have been strictly appropriate. And it certainly never looked as good as this shiny 4K restoration. (Also, though the official spelling of the first word of the title is Dont, not Don't, I just cant.)
Although it was shot in the UK and featured a performer most closely associated with New York, Don't Look Back has a strong Bay Area connection. According to Pennebaker, he was unable to find a distributor for the film for a couple of years and was finally approached by a distributor who was looking to get out of the porn business, and who thought it would be perfect because "it looks like a porn film, but it’s not." As a result, Don’t Look Back had its premiere at our own Presidio Theatre. Also, the Presidio used to show porn. Go figure. (It’ll also be one of the many theaters in town showing The Force Awakens, so whether it’s still out of the porn business is a matter of debate.)
Don’t Look Back follows an alternatively nonplussed and annoyed Bob Dylan has he makes his way through England, dealing with the press, fans, and hangers-on. Though there’s never any question that he knows he’s on camera, there’s never the sense that Dylan is trying to show his best side or make the film into a tribute to his own awesomeness. Indeed, it was shot at a time that Dylan was actively trying to dismantle his own myth as the "voice of a generation."
He spars with the press throughout the film, partially because they often ask him condescending questions, such as whether the kids these days can possibly understand his songs.
Because Pennebaker used a tiny, personally modified camera that nobody parsed as an honest-to-goodness movie camera — let alone that he was shooting a film that would continue to be watched and studied 50 years later — he got to be the fly on the wall of many interesting time capsules. I’m personally horrified by how critics used to phone in their reviews right after the show. Occasionally I’ll see a movie on Monday night and have to have the review in by Tuesday at noon, and even that feels like a herculean task.
The proto-goth girls whom the critic describes as "all eyeshadow and undertaker makeup" sadly do not appear in the film, but at the risk of creeping on a woman who was born at least a half-century before me, I must confess that I’ve had a crush on the "Pinch me!" girl for a long time. I don’t know what it is about young English women in the mid-1960s — she’s from Liverpool, to be precise — but they tend to be prettier than just about any other time in history.
And then there’s poor Joan Baez, for whom Don’t Look Back functions as a something of a document of her breakup with Dylan. It was aided in no small part by Dylan’s tour manager and best broheim Bob Neuwirth, who’s just an unconscionable dick to her (which is of no concern either way to Dylan). Not long after this scene, she disappears from the film. Bob Neuwirth and D.A. Pennebaker provide an audio commentary, but during this scene, they have nothing to say about what a huge nozzle Neuwirth was. Also, Baez describes herself as "fagging out," which has a different meaning then than it does now (it was a slang for being sleepy) and which I can type in 2015 because I’m queer.
Dylan gets into a lot of famous spats in Don’t Look Back, the most famous one being him tearing into hapless Time reporter Horace Freeland Judson. This kind of thing is among the reasons why I try my best to avoid celebrity interviews. Like, in 2013 I had the opportunity to interview Tom Hanks in person during a press junket for Captain Phillips, but I just know I would have caught him on a bad day — and any actor will tell you that doing a press junket automatically qualifies as a bad day — and he would have torn into me like Dylan does here, replacing the words "Time Magazine" with "SF Weekly."
But that’s just me looking back, and by all accounts, I shouldn’t do that.
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.'"