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
Over the past decade, Tom Waits has developed a tripartite personality: There's the surrealist cabaret singer of The Black Rider, the sorrowful lounge act that has taken a "Downtown Train" to hell and back, and the high-octane caveman who emerged from Swordfishtrombones. If 2002's simultaneous release of Alice and Blood Money exorcised the first two personas, Waits' return embraces the third. Mostly, Real Gone is a rude jumble of roughhouse blues, Latin beats, and Jamaican rock-steady, all cobbled together with a battery of ratty homemade percussion. As the first record in Waits' career without any piano, it offers some tracks (including the opener, "Top of the Hill," and "Don't Go Into That Barn") that rest entirely on gnarly guitar riffage, which can be a headache. But the jagged rants (the best being "Metropolitan Glide") make the soft spots ("Green Grass," "Sins of the Father") all the more gratifying. And with "Day After Tomorrow" (first heard on MoveOn.org's Future Soundtrack for America), Waits offers an anti-war ballad that stands as the record's best tune.