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 sinews of old San Francisco lie in the water: the posts standing in the Bay mud that supported the docks and piers where the shipping that made the city possible, and later allowed it to flourish, flowed.
When he started working as an IT consultant, Sanjay Manaktala traveled a lot. He would find himself in Iowa or Wisconsin, and bored in the hotel, he would head out to perform at comedy clubs.
This isn’t something that everyone might do when they find themselves in a strange city with some free time. But Manaktala has loved comedy since he was a teenager. Needing just one more CD to complete the offer of 10-for-a-dollar, he ended up with the cool-looking guy in a tux. That was Chris Rock, and it was the only CD he ended up listening to.
Now Manaktala is one of 50 comedians featured in the Zee TV Desi Comedy Fest, 11 days of South Asian comedians from nine countries who will appear in cities around the Bay Area, including San Francisco,Berkeley, San Jose, and Livermore.
After first getting onstage in his 20s, getting maybe “one laugh for every eight shows,” Manaktala started to get more comfortable. And he noticed he gained more confidence in his work as well after being able to wring laughs out of truckers in Boise. He took a job, which sent him to India. You might think that would mean the end of his comedy career, but comedy legend Don Ward, who started the Comedy Store in London, had just opened a club in Mumbai and took Manaktala under his wing.
Manaktala, who describes his comedy as "observational," says he looks forward to performing in the Bay Area and the connections he makes at the festival, meeting people who want to go perform in India, for example. With comedy, they’re not just making people laugh, they’re commenting on issues like feminism and censorship, Manaktala says.
“A woman might get harassed on a bus, and some politician will say she shouldn’t have worn a short skirt,” he said. “Then we’re like, ‘Oh, we gotta take this guy down.’ ”
“If I’m doing a show at a conservative room, and it looks like there’s no common ground, there really is,” he said. “There’s a lot of gray zones, and I’m able to make these people laugh who would completely disagree with me off stage. When they laugh, it’s like they agree with you.”
Nadkarni, who works in film production at Dolby Labs, started the festival with Koletkar in 2014 after a conversation about the growth in numbers of South Asian comics, and how most shows only had one or two comedians of color. The first festival had four shows with 11 comics.
Nadkarni loves the response.
“It’s very cool to see people have such a good time at these shows — they laugh and cheer and go wild,” he said. “There’s a sense of connecting to people and a sense of community.”
That’s important for comedians, Nadkarni says.
“It’s a very tough profession, and you’re doing gigs alone,” he said. “This can help build camaraderie. The arts don’t get enough respect. If you create a sense of pride and community, that can change the thinking about arts.”
Zee TV Desi Comedy Fest, Aug. 11-21 at various locations around the Bay Area, for more information, please go here.
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.'"