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
Local comedian Brent Weinbachs second full-length album, The Night Shift (on S.F. label Talent Moat), is a surrealist audio collage far removed from conventional comedy. Sure, there are some funny jokes albeit odd ones but theres no shortage of Andy Kaufmanesque metahumor as well. Theres also scads of scatology; unhinged personas with strangely affected accents; ridiculous riffs on foreign languages; bizarre sexual tangents; an obsession with the word penis; and loungey, heartfelt piano songs (Weinbach, a former East Oakland substitute teacher, is also a talented keyboardist). On the phone-prank front, we get incoherent answering-machine rants, staged conversations with San Francisco weirdos advertising rooms on Craigslist, and some disconcerting messages Weinbach and his sister left for a man who was tormenting her. An atmosphere of absurdist Joe Frankstyle, late-night-radio confessional monologue permeates the CD. Its a whimsical and oft-incongruous 64-minute journey, worthy of repeat listens and unlike anything youve heard before. Tonight, Weinbach performs The Night Shift in its entirety. Be sure to stick around for his obscenity-laden take on the Russian alphabet and some unusual audience participation when he conducts Weinbachs Second Movement. Moshe Kasher, Alex Koll, and Laura Weinbach also appear.
Fri., Sept. 11, 8 p.m., 2009