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
Yesterdays New Quintet isn't comprised of five people. The act is all Madlib, the Los Angeles producer who seemingly never sleeps. How else to explain his über-prolific output? In the past year, he's released four albums -- collaborations with Jay Dee and MF Doom, a Blue Note remix record, and this instrumental tribute to Stevie Wonder -- as well as producing dozens of other artists. Actually, Stevie isn't exactly new; it's a remastered version of a 2002 promo-only CD, with one tune ("That Girl") added on. The covers feel a bit moldy, as if the tapes had just been discovered in a basement somewhere. Unlike the first YNQ album, 2001's Angles Without Edges, these tracks feel too snoozacked out. Sure, on a couple of occasions (a slinky "Too High," a bustling "You've Got It Bad Girl"), the novelty of Madlib drizzling Fender Rhodes over his giddy, looped beats comes through. But too often the songs miss Wonder's voice and sharp licks, meandering like a shopper lost in a mega-supermarket.