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
An inconspicuous doorway off Valencia Street leads to a treasure trove of zines and 10,000-plus hours of sound and video recordings from the 1960s to the 1990s, all charting the progressive history of the Bay and its effect on global radical movements.
Through May 26 at Exit Stage Left, 156
Eddy (at Mason), S.F.
Tickets are $15
Paducah Mining Company's production of Richard Greenberg's Life Under Water (directed by Greg Land) and Edward Albee's Finding the Sun (directed by Susannah Martin) makes for a perfectly nice and clever evening of theater, which is fine except that it doesn't go much further than that. The two hourlong pieces are obvious partners with numerous parallels. They both criticize the life of New England WASPs (an easy target), feature society outsiders who ultimately must make desperate decisions, question immoral characters, and take place in the Hamptons. (Interestingly, the company resists double-casting parts.) But the evening relies too heavily on these parallels: On their own the pieces are not very complex. They would be more interesting if we could relate to the characters, but, unfortunately, some actors perform with a hyperawareness of Albee's repetitious and stilted language -- and the directors let them get away with it. We see this inauthentic acting more in Shakespeare plays, and it creates a veneer over the actors that is hard to penetrate, especially if the audience is prejudiced against a character to begin with. For example, in Life Under Water, the attractive Amy-Joy (Renee Racan) disdains her rich uncle, but her equal lack of morals doesn't make her much better. In Finding the Sun, Abigail (Laconia Koerner) is the lonely outsider, but her touching speech about the death of her parents is undercut by her question, "And why do I have to be married to a fairy?" (Koerner is progressing this year, but this play shows her inexperience.) George Killingsworth (as Henden in Sun) escapes this trap, delivering what could have been a throwaway speech about being afraid (yet not really afraid) of death with poignancy and truthfulness, walking right up to the first row and inviting us into his thoughts. Paducah Mining Company, which gave us a wonderfully realized production of Paula Vogel's Hot 'n' Throbbing earlier this season, has attempted (with a sparse set of green and blue lights and curtains, and a sound design of lazy ocean waves) to put these characters in a fishbowl for us to study -- if only we could get past the glass.
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.'"