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
With their third album, Distance, the Oakland quintet Bonnie and The Bang Bang have finally nailed down their sound. "The two previous albums were created when we were in our gestation period," explains guitarist Joe Warren. "With this album, we've been born and now sound like the band we want to be."
A mixture of post-emo and indie alt-rock ("that sounds like it wants to have happened 15 years ago"), Distance is chock-full of heavy-hitting guitar riffs and melodies that are so precise, you'd almost think there was a mathematical formula behind them. Compared to the previous albums, Ode To Darkness and The Dark Dream, the new album is less swampy and acoustic, with a more streamlined, produced feel to it. Plus, adds Warren, "everyone is light years better than when we started."
The band — comprised of Warren, Patrick James Stiles, Jake Dineen, Robby Cronholm, and Michael Pettett — formed by chance about seven years ago. "We just kind of assembled the people to make a band," Warren says, "and stuck to it." They all quit their jobs and set out on the road to see how'd they do as a "touring working class band," but it inevitably didn't work out. The musicians returned to the East Bay, got jobs, and started raising funds to produce their next album.
Since the release of their last album,The Dark Dream, the band has "gone through a lot and hit a lot of stumbling blocks," Warren says. For instance, they lost their drummer for a while (he eventually returned), which made working on the next album and finding a replacement difficult.
But in the end, it all worked out, and the band has their new, six-track album to show for it. "We stuck through it," says Warren. "We could have given up, but we didn't."
Bonnie And The Bang Bang play at 9 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 13, at Bottom Of The Hill. $14. More info here.
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.'"