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
Possessed of a lugubrious, histrionic baritone that could make the most trifling of pop ditties sound like a slow dance on the brink of apocalypse, Scott Walker may be the unlikeliest figure to maintain any presence on oldies radio, thanks to the Walker Brothers majestically despondent 1966 smash, The Sun Aint Gonna Shine Anymore. From the increasingly experimental solo records that followed, and Walkers subsequent reputation as a reclusive genius and cult figure, youd expect the subject of Stephen Kijaks documentary to be a forbidding, pretentious artisteand the pleasant surprise of Kijaks film is that hes anything but. Ignore the movies occasional heavy-breathing narration and Willy Wonkaesque graphics: In down-to-earth interviews all the more precious for their rarity, the Ohio-born teen idol turned industrial-cabaret innovator comes across not as a Jandek-like eccentric or obscurantist but as a man trying to realize abstract visions through exacting concrete means. And if that means demanding retakes of a percussionist punching a side of meat (for Walkers 2006 album, The Drift), Kijak lets the results speak eloquently for themselves. Admirers and followers ranging from David Bowie (the movies executive producer) and Brian Eno to Radiohead and Pulps suavely arch Jarvis Cocker testify to Walkers originality and importance, but for fans, the docs biggest revelation may be the extent of his stardom, even as he began to explore bawdy Jacques Brel chansons and psychedelic dada crooning. In England, the Walker Brothers rivaled and perhaps surpassed the Beatles in popularity, and Kijak amasses evidence (including electrifying BBC performance clips) to show that Walkers teeny-bopper audience followed his experimentation, at least for three initial solo albums. Given Walkers notoriously unhurried methods, footage of him consulting with Leos Carax about the scoring of the directors gloriously mad Pola X are like glimpses of an obsessive's Olympusthe next best thing to witnessing a powwow between Phil Spector and Werner Herzog.
Jan. 23-29, 2009
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.'"