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
When a band like Death Cab for Cutie manages to approach gold record sales with help only from the tiny Seattle-based label Barsuk and, via Fox' s The O.C. , becomes an oft-mentioned name in a television world where the most charming protagonist is a classic nerd who still manages to get all the girls, you have to wonder when geek chic became so mainstream. Nevertheless, as the quartet's new major-label home is banking on, wearers of Old Navy, the Gap, and Banana Republic can finally agree that DCFC singer Ben Gibbard now personifies the archetype of what girls want and what boys wish they were: the sensitive indie rocker. As expected, Plans, the group's fifth record, is Death Cab's most polished work to date, but one suspects that has to do less with a bump in label budget and more with guitarist/producer Chris Walla simply getting better at his craft, a fact that makes you question why the foursome would want to cross to the other side of the Atlantic in the first place. Regardless, here songwriter Gibbard and his cohorts siphon all the finest moments from DCFC's previous four full-lengths, assembling them into a record devoid of filler and stuffed with gooey, nostalgic lyrics, lilting piano, and stadium-worthy rhythms. On songs like "Different Names for the Same Thing" and "Marching Bands of Manhattan," the band patiently lets the arrangements build to intensity levels worthy of Joshua Tree emotion. Elsewhere, on "I Will Follow You Into the Dark," Gibbard assumes the role of dorm-room troubadour, pining sweetly above nothing more than an acoustic guitar. By the time Plans ends, you're left with the idea that perhaps Death Cab's move to the majors finally means the masses are ready for what indie rock fans have been enjoying all along. We needn't worry, though, worse apples have certainly sought world domination.
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.'"