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
By Lori Selke
on Tue, Aug 2, 2016 at 9:53 AM
Seals and Croft
These days, after writing this column for so long, the earworms practically generate themselves. As I wrote my previous column on the Ghostbusters theme, for example, I listened to a lot of songs where Ray Parker Jr. played session guitar. This track didn't warrant a mention at the time – the rhythm guitar is subtle and pretty much buried in the mix – but weeks later, Seals and Crofts “Get Closer” is still stuck in my head.
I didn't recognize the song by its title alone, but the first notes brought the whole thing back. “Get Closer” has all those soft-rock flourishes that everyone loves to deride: the wash of strings, the soulful piano, the soothing harmonies. Add to that the hyperbolic declarations of love and loss, like “I can't go on living” and the rising key change at the end, and you have the perfect '70s storm. (OK, actually they sing, “I can't go on living day-to-day wondering if you'll be here tomorrow,” which seems like a more reasonable sentiment. It's a clever use of line breaks, in fact, so award those songwriters extra points for craft.)
The lyrical premise of “Get Closer” is simple and pleasantly symmetrical. Seals and Crofts are asking for reciprocity in their romantic relationships. "If you desire emotional intimacy with me, I need you to open up more," they seem to be saying. "You want me to be monogamous with you? Then quit sleeping around with my friends."
It sounds good on the surface. However, I have learned through the school of hard knocks and many polyamory-friendly therapy sessions that asymmetrical arrangements are perfectly permissible if all parties are comfortable with the terms and consent freely and without coercion or emotional manipulation. You don't actually have to love only me for me to love only you. But if that's what they need in their relationship, then good on Seals and Crofts for their clear and straightforward communication skills.
Not that Jim Seals and Dash Crofts would be interested in the opinions of any polyamorists. The duo are deeply committed to the Bahai faith, which discourages any sort of sexual activity outside the bond of (heterosexual) marriage, at least for practitioners – Bahai believers do not expect non-adherents to follow their laws. Maybe that accounts for the warm and fuzzy quality of their recordings. It's all about cuddling, holding hands, and gazing soulfully into each other's eyes.
This song has the added bonus of the voice of Carolyn Willis. Willis was a member of the R&B group Honey Cone in the early 1970s. After the group broke up, she worked as a session singer in Los Angeles for many years before retiring. She seems to have never pursued a solo career; aside from “Get Closer,” you may also recognize her voice on the original “Wonder Woman” theme.
It's also interesting to watch Seals, Crofts, and Willis perform together live. Their sweet comradely chemistry brings a smile, but at the same time it feels a little like Willis is holding back out of politeness, so as not to blow her singing-mates off the stage.
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.'"