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
In the mid-'90s, scads of U.K. guitar bands began looking toward America -- Southern California, especially -- for inspiration, and many a shoegazer or Britpop act started country-folkin' up its sound after a literal or psychic trip to the Joshua Tree desert where Gram Parsons shed his mortal coil. On its debut album, L.A. duo Frausdots makes that journey in reverse, mutating the sun-soaked, ocean-breezed, Laurel Canyon vibe we've come to associate with frontman (and former Beachwood Sparks bassist) Brent Rademaker with the moody, synth-dappled sweep of such British post-punks as Echo & the Bunnymen and the Cure. Along with bandmate/girlfriend Michelle Loiselle and a guest list that includes members of Brian Jonestown Massacre, the Tyde, Rooney, and, how 'bout that, the Cure, Rademaker delivers stately midnight-pop gems and pretty much avoids the kind of transparent, too-stylish '80s aping peddled by bands like the Killers, Interpol, and Stellastarr* (at least until the closing Cure karaoke number, "Tomorrow's Sky"). The secret to Frausdots' success: never allowing the aloofness and alienation inherent in all that English-channeling to obliterate the warm, organic nature of the act's West Coast roots.