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
"Hi, I'm Zippy the Pinhead," says Bryce Beyerly, who does an eerily good impersonation of Bill Griffith's legendary cartoon character, "and I'm totally committed to the festive mode." Beyerly wears a polka-dotted dressing gown and a little bow at the top of his artificially cone-shaped head. Zippy is a pop-culture-loving alter ego to Griffy, his creator (a cartoon of Griffith). He lives in a cramped apartment with banal 20th-century furniture -- an easy chair, a microwave, a rabbit-eared TV -- and line-drawing backdrops by, well, Griffy. Or Bill Griffith. But which Bill Griffith? Fun: The Concept not only translates Griffith's cartoon to the stage, it also excavates layers of the artist's identity the way American Splendor (the movie) excavated Harvey Pekar's. We watch Griffy, the cartoon character, open fan mail and wonder whether to sell film rights to Hollywood. He argues with René Descartes about the existence of the self. He picks a fight with a "real" Bill Griffith in the audience. An actor called Mikl-Em plays Griffy with a full measure of angst and mopery, but the reason to see the show is Beyerly's performance as Zippy. The man has obviously practiced Zippy expressions in front of the mirror. He delivers meaningless praises to pop culture ("Reality TV, My Little Pony, and a large assortment of cream-filled snack cakes!") in just the right disturbing tone, and has funny encounters with walk-on characters like the Snowman and the odious Mr. Toad. Be warned, though, that Fun will not convert you to Zippy fandom; if you hate the comic already, an hour in a small theater with a life-size Pinhead may be worse than reality TV.
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.'"