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
Nob Hill Theatre, the all-genders-welcome male strip club, is holding it down on Bush Street, and after several decades of D, it's still S.F.'s only place to see full-frontal guys up close, seven nights a week (for $20).
Once, in a dank back music room of a venue, hidden on the wrong side of the tracks in Denton, Texas, a town only the Mountain Goats sing fondly of, Jason Anderson closed his set with an a cappella R. Kelly cover. This happened exactly 43 minutes after the bearded, pencil-thin, and baseball-capped Anderson borrowed an acoustic guitar from one of the other bands on the bill; it happened exactly 42 minutes after he got up on a chair in the middle of the room and had the night's showgoers assemble around him; and it happened about 41 minutes after he proceeded to cite pop-culture references, nasally croon about love gained and lost, and orchestrate complex handclaps and harmonies with the crowd. On The Wreath, Anderson is every bit as captivating as when he's playing troubadour to wide-eyed Texas kids. It's a record full of joyous guitars and moody pianos and sloppy drums, on which the songwriter espouses the idea that it's OK to be happy, in spite of your demons, sometimes perhaps even because of them. Best of all, however, is the fact that no matter how philosophical Anderson gets, he never takes any of it too seriously.