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
Exit Theatre, 156 Eddy (between
Mason and Taylor), S.F.
Through July 6
Tickets are $15-20
Unlike many of the new plays that regularly pop up around town, E. Hunter Spreen's 14-character foray into the modern worlds of politics and fanaticism is no spring picnic. Or, to say it like a true Californian: The play is heavy, dude. And that is refreshing. Spreen spins the tale of a wealthy real estate developer named Mr. Swift, who's building golf courses for the rich and famous atop natural wetlands. Meanwhile, a young environmental activist is torn between his girlfriend's method of protest (handing out leaflets and staging rallies) and the zealous practices of an old buddy (who's recently spent some time in the slammer for taking things a little too far). At the same time, Swift's spoiled daughter (and her leftist girlfriend) are tormented by the fact that she's a trust-fund baby in a loving family of capitalist crooks. The script is smart and well constructed, not to mention timely, exploring the hypocrisy inherent in any belief system and the fine line that exists between activism and terrorism. While it feels as though the playwright is trying to be objective, it's obvious where his sentiments lie. (Swift may love his wife, but Spreen still paints him as evil incarnate.) The most admirable character in the play -- and perhaps the most important in communicating the complexities of radical politics in a capitalist, democratic society -- is Mitchell Trexler, the cop who mediates the political war between Swift and his aggressors. As Trexler attempts to protect the rights of all involved, he embodies Spreen's thesis: Everyone's right (or, more likely, wrong), but someone's got to be the referee. Director Susannah Martin, with the assistance of a passionate cast, does a fine job orchestrating the nearly three-hour epic; it's a provocative piece of writing, if a tad too long.
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.'"