While they often presented themselves as bodybuilders’ publications, their chuckle-prompting titles — Torso, Adonis, Honcho, Mandate — didn’t lie. Gay men’s magazines of decades past were bought by gay men who wanted to look at the erotic illustrations of well- built male bodies therein. Because any- one known to possess such material in the homophobic 1950s and 1960s could experience serious consequences, men hid the magazines under their mat- tresses. These illustrations have now inspired a traveling exhibition, Stroke: From Under the Mattress to the Museum Wall. Curated by notable erotic artist Robert W. Richards and orig- inating at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, the popular show contains 24 original illustrations that ap- peared in gay magazines from the 1950s to the 1990s. It also looks at how gay men, forced into the closet during those decades, used these pictures to explore their sexuality intimately. It additionally serves as a showcase for the artists in- volved. On view are works by two dozen top artists of the times, including Touko Laaksonen (Tom of Finland), Antonio Lopez (Antonio), and David Martin.More
A beatsmith who takes inspiration from a wide palette of sounds, from the Doobie Brothers and the Doors to Stevie Wonder and Sergio Mendes, Alamedas Trackademicks might be one of the Bay Areas most open-minded hip-hop producers and rhymers. Hes also a gateway drug for those who might normally find the genre repetitive and clichéd. Earlier this year, he attracted the attention of New Yorkbased record label Fools Gold (run by tastemakers Nick Catchdubs and Kanye Wests DJ A-Trak), which released the single Enjoy What You Do, a cheeky club track with more than a small nod to the Bay Area as well as '80s popsters Wham! Similarly, San Franciscos Alexander Spit, with tipsy anthems like Mimosa and funny faux braggadocio like Im Hella Iller Than You, deflates raps typical posturing with song that dont take themselves so seriously. Tonights show is hosted by L.A.s Luckyiam, a soulful MC who represents Living Legends, a long-running collective with crew members spread across California and now Japan, with DJing provided by local mixologist Ant-1. An evening of unconventional beats and lyrical flows, California-style, awaits.
Fri., Sept. 4, 9 p.m., 2009