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
Thanks to the advent of affordable digital filmmaking, there's been a recent wave of compelling documentary films about lesser-known musicians, performers who never quite made it onto the cultural radar. Two of the best of those documentaries are playing tonight. Malik Bendjelloul's Searching for Sugar Man tells the story of Bendjelloul's attempt to find forgotten Mexican-American singer Sixto Rodriguez, who released a pair of artistically rich but commercially inert records in the early '70s, then disappeared into obscurity — except in South Africa, where, unknown to Rodriguez, his songs were embraced as anti-Apartheid anthems. No less astonishing is Hitchcock director Sacha Gervasi's Anvil! The Story of Anvil, which tells the true story of (you guessed it) Anvil, a deeply Canadian heavy metal band that fell off the map after releasing a few genre-defining albums in the early '80s. 20 years and 10 ignored albums later, the band makes one final attempt to break through, resulting in a comedy of errors which even Anvil admits plays out like a real-life, often heartbreaking version of This Is Spinal Tap. Both Sugar Man and Anvil! are paeans to the importance of staying true to yourself and singing from the heart, even if nobody seems to be listening.
Tue., Dec. 4, 7 p.m., 2012
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.'"