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 queer group Gay Shame was the bane of DPW workers everywhere this past year, using "wheatpaste" (wheat + water = irritatingly hard-to-remove glue concoction) to post flyers targeting everyone from astroturfing pro-development group SFBARF to its capitalist benefactor, Yelp founder Jeremy Stoppelman (lest ye forget his epic response to now-fired Yelp staffer Talia Jane's Medium post complaining about the cost of living in SF: "Move to Phoenix!").
For many, it's hard to understand how the shrill-voiced, clinically bipolar, and often childlike songwriter Daniel Johnston found himself with a double-album tribute that contains covers of his greatest hits -- as performed by the likes of Tom Waits, TV on the Radio, Death Cab for Cutie, Bright Eyes, Beck, and more -- as well as a second album full of the original songs themselves. As his devotees have known forever, though, Johnston can write a tune like few others, despite (or perhaps because of) his difficulties. While many of the covers flesh out the inherent beauty and grandeur of the songs with complex arrangements (TV on the Radio's "Walking the Cow" and Death Cab for Cutie's "Dream Scream"), others make the songs minimal and fragile. The latter approach seems to falter at times (Calvin Johnston's and Beck's renditions, for example), leaving you wanting to listen to Johnston's unsullied versions. The 19 songs that compose the disc of originals, however, make the double LP worth the purchase alone, as even one listen through proves that Johnston has one of the most commanding and curiously unique voices in contemporary music.