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
With neighborhood institutions like the 21 Club closing to make way for yuppie cocktail bars, Brown Jug remains an oasis — and one that takes full advantage of the state's operating hours window, 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily.
Steve Silver's madcap cabaret musical is one of San Francisco's best-kept secrets -- not because no one knows about it, but because no one who lives in the city ever goes to it or knows how good it is. That's somewhat understandable given our lame selection of year-round plays, from the recently deceased haircutting whodunit at the Mason Street Theater to the trite Italian wedding that happens every blessed weekend at the Cable Car. But Beach Blanket Babylon is a spectacle to behold, even in its 28th year. It's the fairy-tale story of a naive Snow-White-from-San-Francisco (petite powerhouse Dani Marcus) who traipses across the world to find a man of her own, complaining that "available hot dudes are hard to find" in her home city. Along the way she meets a myriad of characters, including the bad boys of 'N Sync, Tina Turner in a 3-foot-high wig, a PG&E workman singing "Hello Darkness, my old friend," and the Clintons, with Hillary dressed as the Statue of Liberty singing "I Will Survive" and Bill donning a huge gray pompadour and red sequined disco jacket. The show is a compilation of old songs -- dozens of them, nearly back-to-back -- sung by a talented cast of Broadway-quality vocalists in outrageous costumes and larger-than-life headpieces (enormous trash cans, Christmas trees, and a model of the entire city). Babylon's seasonal extravaganza is essentially the regular show with a few dancing trees and Christmas songs at the conclusion. The only disappointing details of the affair are a few well-meaning but overdone ethnic stereotypes, like the garishly dressed, money-hungry Jewish mother and the loud, pizza-eating Italian waitress. Pop culture satire is at the heart of this hit show, and when the writers stick to that endeavor, it's tremendously funny.
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.'"