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
Uncle Jim is a spoken-word persona of Alan Bishop of the Sun City Girls, based on his real relative; the original Uncle Jim lived in Virginia, and passed away in 2002. Bishop's takes on his uncle's idiosyncratic musings have appeared sporadically, starting in 1984 on the debut SCG album, but Superstars is the first disc devoted solely to the curmudgeonly character. Like a collision of conspiracy theorists, blue comics, Beat poets, and revolutionary rappers, these six tracks of rapid-fire rant set to music are amusing and vitriolic. "Liberties" starts things off with Jim/Bishop marveling that with so much room for greatness, why is the room so empty? It then veers into a dissertation on the underground market for Bigfoot/ Yeti body parts, before ending with Jim visiting heaven, which is "like a handicraft market gone wrong." Scathing commentary abounds, e.g., "I hate terminal cafe dwellers; it's the blue-light cell-phone cancer of the fidget fumblers," on the outrageously raunchy hip hop of "Graduation Day." And there are plenty of zingers, like "You wouldn't know cool if you were a Charlie Parker horn solo." While Uncle Jim inspires all the text on this album, the wistful "Flashback" consists entirely of verbatim quotes from the man, stuff like "When I die, I'm coming back!" And in a way, he did, via Superstars of Greenwich Meantime.
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.'"