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
Alvarius B is the solo pseudonym of Alan Bishop from the Sun City Girls, a band with one massive, sprawling discography. Bishop also co-runs the prolific world-music label Sublime Frequencies. Amidst all this, he still found time to create one of the more engaging and weirdly accessible projects in the SCG-related pantheon. The third Alvarius B full-length and the first in seven years, Blood Operatives is filled with well-written, sneeringly sinister psychedelic folk songs. The first track, "Evil Next to Blue," sets the tone, with Bishop's no-punches-pulled nasty narrative sounding a bit like Nick Cave crossed with T. Rex. Songs "Mr. 786," "Slim 293," and "The Demon 360" showcase the album's thematic focus on anonymous characters that populate our planet's "parallel communities" -- based no doubt on shady souls Bishop has met during his travels -- and some tunes smack of Bob Dylan's quasicryptic lyricism and the over-saturated production intimacy of Guided by Voices. Plus, the album features three well-chosen covers: a song from Andy Warhol's Blood for Dracula, an Ennio Morricone composition entitled "Dirty Angels," and the traditional "Shenandoah." Blood Operatives is only available on vinyl, so you'd best dust off that turntable; I seriously doubt it'll show up on iTunes.
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.'"