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
With just a glance it's clear that Josh Rouse, like other lesser lights in white-boy roots songwriting, makes much ado about his hometown. But Rouse's literate, melodic writing bears more of a resemblance to the work of '70s pop songwriters like Alex Chilton and Carole King than the well-tread tropes of the Nashville sound. Neither is his latest necessarily a portrait of the place for which it is named; many of this record's finest tunes -- infectious and upbeat ditties that clock in neatly around the three-minute mark -- are dispatches from well outside the city limits. The best of these, "Winter in the Hamptons," is all sunny harmonies, sweeping slide guitar, and a chorus of fey "ba-ba-bas." Others, like "My Love Is Gone," "Middle School Frown," and "Carolina," aren't far behind, even when Rouse occasionally has his hand in the cookie jar of Replacements guitar parts. Nashville is a record that proves Rouse is worthy of his title as one of that city's "best-kept secrets." Hopefully that's a designation he'll soon outgrow.