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
Pickup basketball is a weird social phenomenon where a bunch of strangers meet at a designated spot during a designated time to engage in an athletic competition governed by de facto rules established in some mythic rulebook.
This should have been an easy year for the San Francisco Mime Troupe, our local source for agitprop protest theater. Since its last show we've had 1) a war in Iraq waged on questionable pretenses, 2) a new "Department of Homeland Security," which has already been involved in one domestic political scandal in Texas, and 3) an old Iran-Contra criminal appointed to a "data-mining" project at the Pentagon that'll make spying on Americans much easier if it ever becomes legal. Rich, rich material for satire: You'd think the Mime Troupe would be all over it. Instead, we get a weird exercise in moral equivalence called Veronique of the Mounties, about a policewoman from Canada embroiled in espionage during an American invasion of her country. Under the pretext of a War on Terrorism, boneheaded U.S. troops (along with their officers, dressed like Nazis) try to liberate Canadians from their own "totalitarian" government. (Canada, of course, also has a lot of oil.) Most of the songs are lame -- except for "A Shot and a Beer," by Ed Holmes -- and the story is convoluted, but the real failure in Veronique is that it makes fun of the one aspect of the war in Iraq that should be uncontroversial: Saddam was a brutal tyrant. That wasn't propaganda. Whatever else was wrong with the war, "liberating" Iraq wasn't even close, on a nonsense scale, to invading Canada. Meanwhile, a Republican White House with a confusing reputation for small government concentrates unprecedented power in Washington, and the Mime Troupe has almost nothing to say.
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.'"