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
While some performers are castigated for staying the course stylistically, others get dissed for changing. In Al Green's case, it's unlikely he'll be criticized for not straying from the path he blazed in the early 1970s. Green's style was a more romantic version of Southern R&B/soul that stayed close to its blues and gospel roots while incorporating suave, sleek string arrangements, and his vocal approach mixed fervent testifying with tenderly seductive crooning. Everything's OK, his second record for Blue Note, finds his MO unchanged, and we are all the better for it. While OK's first half feels a little rote and the Reverend Al overdoes his distinctive falsetto, the latter half more than redeems the album by enhancing the Green Method. "Real Love" is a tantalizingly measured, devotional slow-dance number wherein Green is fiercely passionate, going from deep, raspy growls to stratospheric howls. "Another Day" has an emphatically strutting Motown feel that plays against the bittersweet, dramatic horns and sparkling rhythm guitar as Green rides the terse melody with sublime, sunny assurance. Ultimately, the title is on the money.