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
The rough edges of Oakland's east side play home to most of the city's hip hop, but now here comes Colossus, representing out of the west. Curious thing though: Colossus' nucleus, the rather tall Charlie Tate, is a British expatriate best known for his electronic soul experiments as half of King Kooba and as bassist for U.K. funk act Big Cheese Allstars. But when King Kooba started working with S.F.'s Om Records a few years back, Tate relocated to Oakland and founded a now-defunct weekly party called "Slow Gin," which turned out to be the incubator and catalyst for Colossus' debut. The project includes contributions from Bay Area MCs Capitol A (rhyming on three songs and shining brightest on the single "The Tribute") and Azeem, as well as Hilton Smythe aka Roots Manuva, one of the U.K.'s most respected rappers. West Oaktown is a double-disc set that includes a side of hip hop remixes of Tate's more jazz/funk originals. Since he's a bassist at heart, the low end is at the forefront of both discs. The total package is a fitting tribute to those good and tipsy nights at "Slow Gin," and, as the label's first foray into hip hop, a nice achievement for the 10-year-old Om, which is known primarily for its house releases.