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
Earworm Weekly: "I Feel Beautiful" by Robyn Hitchcock
By Lori Selke
on Tue, Aug 9, 2016 at 10:00 AM
Not all earworms are former Billboard Top Ten successes, well-known by everyone who hears even a few notes of their melody. Some earworms can be obscure songs that come to have personal meaning to the listener. They get burned into your mind through repetition and conscious nurture. That's very much the case with me and this week's earworm, “I Feel Beautiful,” by Robyn Hitchcock.
Back in another city and another century when I first became a Robyn Hitchcock fan, it was a deep secret. Not because I was ashamed, but because nobody had any clue who the hell he was. No one had heard of this weird British singer-songwriter guy that I was so very fond of. Then I moved to the Bay Area, where Hitchcock lived for a time and performed often. Just as with my odd penchant for enjoying silent films, I found an instant, albeit small, community of likeminded people. It was a bit disconcerting, but nice. Nonetheless, to the wider world, he remained a cult artist at best. I kept buying his albums and playing them in my headphones, and that was that.
In 1999, Hitchcock released his thirteenth album, Jewels for Sophia, his major-label swan song for Warner. “I Feel Beautiful” is the fourth track and owns a permanent spot in my heart. The song is about as understated as they get: Just Hitchcock on guitar and a little dash of eccentric percussion, plus Grant-Lee Phillips singing harmony. Whereas most love songs either veer immediately into hyperbole or dramatically strain the reins trying, this one is all about the humble and everyday feelings of love. One of the first lines is about watering tomatoes in the garden, for Pete's sake.
And then there's the title. Not “I Am Beautiful,” or even “You Make Me Beautiful,” but “I Feel Beautiful.” I was never a pretty girl (nor a handsome one), but, then again, being in love makes everyone shine from the inside.
Of course, it wouldn't really be a Hitchcock song without taking a turn into the odd. What is that line about being “in the jaws of an enormous beast” doing in the middle of this song? I could wax theoretical about the metaphor – is it about being overwhelmed by a strong feeling, or a looming sense of dread that this love might be coming to an end? — but when it comes down to it, your guess is as good as mine.
Like many Hitchcock songs, it's also acutely aware of time and mortality. And that's what makes the love expressed here so sweet. “We're alive at the same time,” Hitchcock sings. “Like mayflies.” His voice conveys the tender wonder of that sublime coincidence. In its way, it's a very existential love song. Love is nothing but the meaning we make of it with another person, for a fleeting moment in the vastness of time. Then again, while it's happening, it's also sublime.
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.'"