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
Bertolt Brecht is best known among theater buffs for his chintzy-chic Weimar Republic cabaret collaborations with Kurt Weill. But Mother Courage, one of the most depressing accounts of war ever penned in the 20th century, is his true masterpiece. Although it was written in 1939, when the Nazis came storming through Poland, Brecht set his play during the Thirty Years War (the campaign of carnage waged by the Hapsburg dynasty from 1618 to 1648 resulting in a tug-of-war between Catholics and Protestants). It doesn't quite parallel any contemporary major bloodbaths, but the prescience of the tale, despite all the arcane references, is far from lost on a modern audience. The plucky titular heroine, a woman named Anna Frieling, is a shameless mercenary who sells food and other provisions to anyone who'll pay. Unlike the regular old tragic hero who undergoes a bout or two of hubris before getting his gloomy comeuppance Mother Courage is hard to sympathize with. She's a skinflint who flip-flops on loyalties and profits from a war in which her three children (Swiss Cheese, Eilif, and Katrin) ultimately die. In Brecht's unsentimental, witty, yet twice-removed way, the heart-wrenching tragedy becomes not just the immorality of war, but rather, its effect on the human condition.
Sept. 8-Oct. 22
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.'"