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
An inconspicuous doorway off Valencia Street leads to a treasure trove of zines and 10,000-plus hours of sound and video recordings from the 1960s to the 1990s, all charting the progressive history of the Bay and its effect on global radical movements.
Brightblack Morning Light actually sees itself as some kind of rural commune. Its core members sport robes 'n' beads, call a teepee in the NorCal woods home, and claim to steer clear of "city babylons." But there's nothing at all hippie, trippy, or tribal 'bout the group's sophomore effort. With the phantom, airylike Chet Baker harmonies of Rachael Hughes and Nathan Shineywater (plus two Black soul singers) languidly drifting above the muted drone of Hughes' Rhodes piano, Shineywater's skeletal ax work, and Magic Andy Macleod's rippling percussion, this 10-track collection of hushed, slow-drip gospel funk is the perfect prescription I mean soundtrack to skinny white boys lining their veins with gold at 3 a.m. Of course I'm not saying these dudes are junked out; I don't know 'em. But these totally phased-out meditations are as coolly stoned-spiritual as Spacemen 3's "Walkin' With Jesus," Obscured by Clouds-eraPink Floyd, and believe it or not Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight," which means these are some sweet fuckin' jams.