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
Mozzeria, newcomers to the Outside Lands lineup, will bring their 25-foot trolley, a restored mobile San Francisco cable car with a wood-fired oven, to Bluxome Street Winery for a Pinot, Pizza and Funk party. Local funk favorite Tortoise and the Pimps will perform while guests enjoy a special menu of Neapolitan pizzas and wine pairings! A ticket includes entry, one personal pizza and two glasses of wine; tickets are $40 per person. Limited tickets will be available at the door for $45.More
"On paper, they should be commercial death," New Zealand comedy writer Paul Horan says of Jools and Lynda Topp, a yodeling, country-and-western-crooning lesbian sister act. But the beloved Kiwi duo, who frequently perform as a rotating cast of corny alter egos, can charm even the crankiest viewers, thanks to their soaring, clarion harmonies and cuddly-butch personas. Born in 1958 on a dairy farm, the once severely mulleted twins busked on the streets of Auckland, releasing their first album in 1982. Three decades later, they still stop at tiny county fairs while on tour (concert crowd-pleasers include "Calf Club Day"). But the Topps' act is more than just bovine odes: Leanne Pooley, director of The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls, intercuts performances and interviews with archival footage of the sisters' unwavering political activism over the years, including protests -- and songs -- on behalf of Maori land rights, a nuclear-free NZ, and homo equality. That the Topp girls were never in the closet is, of course, its own kind of political act. In a clip from a 1982 TV segment on the sisters, a narrator, who sounds as if she's reporting on an alien species, announces, "They sing about homosexuality, and people don't seem to mind, perhaps because they look wholesome and have such an irrepressible sense of fun." Pooley successfully conveys that joie de vivre, erring only when including too-invasive scenes of Jools's breast-cancer treatments.
June 12-16, 2011