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
Jonathan Lethem's last two novels 2003's Fortress of Solitude and 2007's You Don't Love Me Yet steered away from the sci-fi leanings of his early work. The talking kangaroos, post-apocalyptic telepaths, and alien hermaphrodites were replaced by flying children and mysteriously endowed songwriters. Okay, so pretty much everything the one-time local author concocts has some element of magic to it. Lethem's latest opus, Chronic City, is no different, offering up chocolate-scented fog, an unseen tiger that destroys whole buildings, and ancient "chaldrons" that may or may not serve with the help of strong dope and the droning guitarscapes of Sandy Bull as portals to other planes of existence. Even though it's set entirely in Manhattan, the book sprawls like a bored teenager, spilling profundities and confusions like so many Cheetos. Lethem delights, as always, in language, coming up with goofy names (Oona Laszlo, Georgina Hawkmaniji), brilliant metaphors (birds "interweaving like boiling pasta"), and absurd cultural jokes (a sitcom is titled Martyr & Pesty). What little plot there is serves to direct the eclectic cast of characters an aging childhood TV star with a fiancé lost in orbit, a stoned cultural savant, a hipster ghostwriter, and a squatter turned political fixer to wander New York's grimy streets and eat cheeseburgers, scour eBay, and wonder whether Marlon Brando is really dead (and if not, whether he can save New York City from the savages who now run it). Lethem has mentioned that Chronic City was influenced by Saul Bellow, Philip K. Dick, Charles Finney, and Alfred Hitchcocks Vertigo, which is only one of many things that could use further explanation when he's interviewed by Paul Lancour tonight.
Wed., Oct. 28, 8 p.m., 2009
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.'"