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
Of all the pizzas made in North Beach, perhaps none are made as fondly (or with as much flair) as those of pizza maestro Tony Gemignani, owner of Tony's Pizza Napoletana and recent top dog of the World Pizza Championships in Italy.
Other than the Les Paul -- an iconic six-string now far more famous than its namesake -- signature model guitars are generally an exercise in cynical maneuvering and kitschy accessories, put out by instrument companies aiming to capitalize on the longshot dreams of twentysomethings ignorant of the ways of credit cards, or the guilty regrets of parents looking to purchase goodwill from their neglected teenagers. Real musicians can't afford them, and those who can would rather put their own mark on a less gaudy slab of wood and wire than get sloppy seconds on someone else's Lucille.
Yet somehow, with its new Billie Joe Armstrong signature model, the respected Gibson guitar company actually did worse than the standard commercial imitation of an artist's well-worn road axe. Reprehensibly, Gibson actually tries to rewrite Green Day history with the new model.
First, the surface uglies: The new Billie Joe Armstrong J-180 costs $3,868 (not a rare price for a Gibson, but certainly an un-punk-rock one). This Green Day signature guitar is an acoustic (but have you heard its last two records?). Furthermore, it's not pretty (star inlays and a heinously large pickguard -- really?).
But it's this line of marketing copy that really offends us:
The acoustic guitar propelled Green Day's international megahit "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)," and was a cornerstone of the band's epic 2004 release American Idiot. Through it all, Armstrong's instrument of choice has been a Gibson. [Emphasis ours.]
Except that no, actually, it hasn't. Before Green Day was the marching band for the preteen mallrats of the late '00s, the three East Bay boys rocked such notorious musical salons as Berkeley's 924 Gilman, eventually skyrocketing to fame on the strength of "Longview" and Dookie.
In those days, Billie Joe did not play a $3,000 Gibson. In fact, he played a sky-colored, sticker-laden Fernandes imitation Stratocaster. This guitar, which he named Blue, is so thoroughly associated with him that it elicited giant howls from the older members of the hometown crowd when Armstrong raised it above his head like some lost relic at last summer's Shoreline Amphitheater show. It was this Strat that Billie Joe played at Woodstock '94 (the muddy one, not the burning-shit one). It was this guitar that Billie Joe played in the "Basketcase" video. It's this Strat that he still brings on tour and pulls out for the O.G. part of the band's set.
We don't care that Gibson is trying to capitalize on the fact that Billie Joe now plays lots of Gibsons. And if anyone wants to drop $4k on a guitar that looks sorta like the one he plays in the video for that one song you hear at all graduations, good for them.
But with the band's post-American Idiot second coming, it seems a lot of people are content to forget -- or rewrite -- Green Day's first years, when they were young and careless and snotty and played fucked-up instruments that they'd abused since childhood. Billie Joe's blue Strat will always stand as a symbol of the band's salad days, when they just were extremely talented Bay Area punk kids who caught a big break. So don't try to tell us what guitars Billie Joe has played "through it all," Gibson. We remember -- though apparently you'd rather forget.
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.'"