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
Nothing caps off a nice day at the beach like a mouthful of sand — especially if the grit in your teeth is the reward for the grit required to splay flat-out on your stomach, for the prize of a plastic disc in your hand, and all the glory that comes along with it.
In November 1947, W. H. Auden flew to Hollywood to create a new opera, A Rake's Progress, with Igor Stravinsky. The basic outline for the work came into being through one intense caffeine- and whiskey-fueled week. The eccentric Anglo-American poet didn't once touch the towels and soap that Stravinsky's maid had left for him, slept with his toes poking out of the covers, and secretly brought his partner, Chester Kallman, on as a co-librettist. The cantankerous Russian émigré composer, for his part, had been skeptical about literary partnerships. Many of his previous collaborations, such as that with André Gide on the 1933 opera Perséphone, tended to turn sour. Until his friend Aldous Huxley recommended Auden as a potential librettist, Stravinsky hadn't collaborated with an author since settling in the U.S. in 1939. Somehow, the two men achieved a rapport despite very different agendas. Together, they developed a scenario inspired by a series of satirical engravings by the 18th-century English artist William Hogarth known as A Rake's Progress, which Stravinsky had seen exhibited at Chicago's Art Institute. Telling the story of a libertine's demise at the hands of the Devil, this salacious moral fable about the dangers of forfeiting true love for idle pleasures mixes Stravinsky's pastiche on 18th-century classicism with Auden's dark vision of contemporary spiritual bankruptcy. The San Francisco Opera is currently reviving it in a production never before seen in the U.S., directed by the great Canadian theater auteur Robert Lepage (of Cirque du Soleil Kà fame).
Dec. 4-9, 8 p.m., 2007
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.'"