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
We've all had that day: the one where you accidentally hit "Reply All" on an email intended for one or get rear-ended as you're backing out of the veterinary clinic where you've just spent your life savings to find out that the results on your cat's blood work are "inconclusive."
As much acclaim as musical witch doctor Greg Ashley received for the 2004 debut by his brainchild the Gris Gris -- even snotty, too-cool-for-school Vice magazine gave it a fawning 10 out of 10 -- the group's ambitious new release For the Season is liable to have worshipful rock journos and acid-damaged freaks alike camping out on Ashley's Oakland doorstep, begging for a sip of the potent Kool-Aid he's brewing. Recorded over three months at a secluded cabin in the songwriter's native Texas, the effort further cements Ashley's status as one of neo-psychedelia's leading lights. After a disorienting 20-second opening of dead silence, the album explodes with "Ecks Em Eye," a throbbing collision of sax- and clarinet-skronk and discordant guitar that sounds like John Zorn jamming with Pink Floyd circa Piper at the Gates of Dawn. The first half of the record unfolds as a continuous suite, veering from the brooding, surf-noir menace of "Cuerpos Haran Amor Extrano" to the Farfisa-driven happy hippie bounce of "Down with Jesus," which, halfway through, somehow transforms the main riff from War's "Low Rider" into an unhinged garage-rock rave-up. Ashley isn't shy about drawing inspiration from his '60s forebears, whether mining the dark vibes of Syd Barrett and Roky Erickson or retooling the Middle Eastern stomp of the Stones' "Paint It Black" with "Pick Up Your Raygun." But when the results are as uniformly spectacular as the songs on For the Season, it's easy to forgive a bit of lysergic pilfering.