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
With neighborhood institutions like the 21 Club closing to make way for yuppie cocktail bars, Brown Jug remains an oasis — and one that takes full advantage of the state's operating hours window, 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily.
From the damaged grind of 1987s classic album Locust Abortion Technician to 1996s Beck-like fluke single Pepper, Butthole Surfers have veered from snotty underdogs to accidental hitmakers and back again. In fact, despite a brush here and there with the mainstream, the band remains one of rocks most definitive cult acts. Now that the Surfers have regained rights to and reissued their first four albums, their subsequent touring has an added sense of D.I.Y. willfulness. Its also something of a history lesson: For all the band's silliness, its wrestling and pinning of various genres on the way to exploring musics fringes remains exciting and satisfying. Also survivors of the pre-grunge underground, albeit with a reconfigured lineup, the Melvins continue to release new albums and tour with dogged sureness. Long signed to Mike Pattons Ipecac imprint, the burly outfit has won strong reviews for its recent albums (A) Senile Animal and Nude with Boots. An unlikely remix album even appeared this year, featuring Sonic Youths Lee Ranaldo and a range of more obscure names. Completing this touring lineup is Psychic Ills, an opaque New York quartet with two acclaimed records on the Social Registry. Outsiders of the world, unite!
Fri., Oct. 16, 9 p.m., 2009