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
Coffee loyalty runs deep in San Francisco, and if asked to come up with a choice between Sightglass, Four Barrel, Ritual, or Blue Bottle, we might hiss and run away, flaring our frilled neck like a frightened Aussie lizard.
The J-POP SUMMIT Festival is a celebration of all things related to Japanese pop culture – music, food, art, film, and many points between – and it's always my favorite weekend of the year. Held on July 23-24, this year's event was the second to be held at Fort Mason, largely because 2014 was crazy-busy, a teeming crowd of humanity congregated in a few square blocks thanks to the line of food Ramen Street. As I expressed in my writeup of last year's event, I was a little bummed about the relocation because I hate it when things change, but what hasn't changed is that J-POP was once again a fun and gratifying experience.
This year’s festivities kicked off on Friday night with a concert at the Regency Ballroom by Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, whom I interviewed earlier in the week. Sadly, due to the practical realities of working in South San Francisco until 6 p.m. and the concert beginning at 7:00 – particularly during Friday rush hour — I was not able to attend. (But thank you putting me on the list, Erik!) I'm assuming that she opened with the first track from her compilation KPP BEST, which I would also like to have played whenever I enter a room.
When my dear friend KrOB and I arrived at Fort Mason on Saturday morning, we were greeted by the Go-Torch Characters, as is to be expected. They're mascots hailing from different areas of Japan; last year it was the Paper Bag Fairies from Saebo, and this time around it was Akkuma from Hokkaido.
Ramen Street was not present in 2015, but it was back this year, and signs were up to prevent the Ramenocapylpse from spreading into the Pavilion.
There may have been no ramen beyond that point, but there was plenty of other delicious things, such the Go-Torch characters of Zombear from Otaru.
And KrOB got a pimpin' solo shot with the Paper Bag Fairies.
...as well as in Saturday's opening act, Toyko Performance Domo – a supergroup consisting of Tokyo Performance Doll and Domo, obviously – leading the audience in Domobics.
One of the primary missions of the J-POP SUMMIT Festival is to spread not just Japanese pop culture, but also their culture-culture, such as the famous sleeping pods, in this case Capsule Hotels by RestUp.
These are new designs that aren't commercially available yet, and we both got to try one – not for sleeping, of course, but just to see how it feels ergonomically, and I gotta say, I liked it. I'm a tall drink of water, and they didn't feel as cramped as one might expect. I was told they're two meters in length, and since I was raised in California I have no idea how big that is, but I was perfectly comfortable.
It didn't take KrOB much time to get comfy, either.
How it looked from the inside, before they started enforcing the "no shoes" policy.
It struck me that their primary ad image resembles the original teaser poster for Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, which is not wholly inappropriate.
click to enlarge
There were, of course, promotional shenanigans…
…which KrOB did wrong.
Speaking of gastrointestinal matters, my favorite Korean food truck wasn’t present this year because they were at Spark Social SF — right, like that's a thing — so we instead had a deep-fried lunch at the JapaCurry truck. From there, we headed from Fort Mason to Japantown to catch the most exciting movie playing in the concurrent Japan Film Festival at New People Cinema: IA First Concert Live in Japan – "Party a Go Go".
On the plus side, in the concert film, she only wore that skirt at the end. Also, Toto Washlet was among the pre-show ads.
In addition to the fact that I just always like to go to Japantown, I was happy to see that that the fan artists who were absent at Fort Mason were set up outside the Kinokuniya Bookstore.
KrOB and I didn't return to Fort Mason after the IA movie at New People, even though I was very tempted to when I realized I'd accidentally left my water bottle outside the Festival Pavilion during lunch. Don't you hate when you 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.'"