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 1970, things were beginning to look good for Janis Joplin. She'd finally obtained the quality backing band she'd needed all along, Full Tilt Boogie; a sympathetic producer in Paul A. Rothchild; and the right mix of rock, blues, and country songs that she could put her imprint upon. But drugs did her in, making Pearl the last album she'd release (in 1971), as well as securing her place as a rock legend. Problem is, sometimes the legend can overshadow the music, so it's worth noting that Pearl was and remains very fine indeed. While some of Joplin's earlier recordings were strained or histrionic, these find her passionate, whiskey-rasped vocals achieving a commanding focus, deeper range, and relative restraint, and Full Tilt matched her fire while playing it lean 'n' clean. Joplin seethed and soared on R&B covers "Cry Baby" and "Get It While You Can" and waxed wistful on "Me and Bobby McGee," a posthumous hit. This superbly annotated set also includes a disc of previously unreleased 1970 live performances of songs from Pearl and Big Brother-era classics like "Piece of My Heart."