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
The question of freedom is at the heart of much of August Wilson's work, and The Piano Lesson is no exception. The story finds an African-American family in 1930s Pittsburgh arguing about the fate of a cherished family heirloom -- a 137-year-old, hand-carved piano designed by Boy Willie and Berniece's grandfather when he was a slave and left to both of them when their mother died. After living some time in the South, Boy Willie (with his sweet, dimwitted buddy Lymon) heads home to Pittsburgh to visit his sister and reclaim the piano. He wants to sell it and use the money to buy land, but Berniece refuses to give it up, claiming it's the only tie to their ancestry they have left. The controversy invokes the spirit of a long-dead friend of the family, who begins to haunt the premises. The play adeptly cuts into issues of race and power, weighing the price of nostalgia against that of financial freedom. But it runs too long (three-plus hours), and the supernatural ghost hoopla (complete with exorcism, spooky sounds, and shining white overhead lights) is a weakness in both the production and the script. Fortunately, Wilson's compelling, fully realized characters rescue the play. John Earl Jelks gives an outstanding performance as everyman Boy Willie; his remarkable stage presence adds several dimensions to the dramatic action, keeping us there for the long haul. Director Stanley Williams finds the soul of the play in its music, which manifests in several fantastic Southern ditties. Perhaps the real joy of Piano lies in Wilson's masterful monologues. Infused with humor, truth, and intelligence, these philosophical gems are gateways to confession and reform, as each character poses the question of how to define freedom.
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.'"