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
The Portuguese empire may be gone, but the cultural flow between Portugal and its former colonies never stopped. Witness the phenomenon of kuduro, a hybrid of lo-fi electronics, West African percussion, calypso rhythms, and hip-hop rhyming born in Angola and now percolating worldwide via Lisbon's Buraka Som Sistema. This Iberian trio doesn't play "world music" of the sort your meditating neighbor soaks up between muesli spoonfuls: Buraka Som Sistema's joints are urban, up-tempo, and unholy in their infernal danceability. It's a sound that summons fans of dancehall, dubstep, grime, ghettotech, electro, funk carioca, and other street-corner party blasters. As Buraka Som Sistema told one interviewer, this is music designed to make people "jump around like crazy Man-Monkeys from Saturn." On its hot new album, Black Diamond, songs like "Sound of Kuduro" (with Sri Lanka's M.I.A. and Angola's DJ Znobia), "Aqui Para Voces" (with Brazil's Deize Tigrona), and the title track (with Britain's Virus Syndicate) steam through their paces so energetically that it sounds less like they're trying to run across the globe than stomp right through it.
Tue., April 21, 8 p.m., 2009