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
A Christmas Carol has been a yearly tradition at ACT for over a quarter-century, and the cast is always so huge I'm inclined to rename it The ACT Young Conservatory Full-Employment Project, but that title sucks for a number of reasons. What the show amounts to, aside from a crowd-pleasing bit of holiday cheer, is a training ground for actors. The story of Ebenezer Scrooge and his Christmas Eve haunting by the ghosts of Christmases Past, Present, and Future is so familiar to the families who see it that there seems to be no need for suspense. Craig Slaight's directing wanders from one splendid but useless dance number to another, with patches of milky acting in between. Steven Anthony-Jones, I imagine, makes a powerful Scrooge, but on the night I went Rhonnie Washington stood in. He did well enough, but the large comic presence was lacking -- and A Christmas Carol would be limp without its large comic presences. Brian Keith Russell's big and blustery Fezziwig is one pillar of the show; Robert Ernst's terrifying performance as Marley's Ghost, dragging his chains from a doorway pouring with mist, might be another if Ernst played it every night. (He was standing in for Washington.) After 26 years, A Christmas Carol is a huge, clanking contraption, like an old calliope at a county fair -- amusing for a while but showing its age.
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.'"