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 a classic case of sending mixed signals, the British metal stalwarts of Iron Maiden tagged their uneven career-spanning two-disc set as "essential," but wisely decided to focus strictly on their first four albums during their co-headlining set at this summer's otherwise lightweight Ozzfest. Pulling two songs from each of the band's 13 studio albums in reverse chronological order, the comp can't help but be front-loaded with spotty material. Even if the most recent tracks find the outfit somewhat revitalized by the return of classic-era lead singer Bruce Dickinson and guitarist Adrian Smith, the four lackluster and needlessly epic-length tunes featuring fill-in vocalist Blaze Bayley sound about as essential as a gallon of barbecue sauce at an orgy. Outside of the thrashing "Be Quick or Be Dead," the balance of the first disc reveals a band churning out a tired version of the galloping, ferocious metal it had perfected a decade earlier. Not surprisingly, disc two delivers the goods with a relentless onslaught of seminal headbanging anthems that proves just how brilliant Maiden was at the height of its powers. Anyone serious about the best music of these titans should skip this collection and any other compilation -- just bite the bullet and buy all their albums through Powerslave already.