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
This year, Disney announced plans to revive the magical, majestical, supercali- fragilistical title character of Mary Poppins. We can’t find too much fault with the choice of Emily Blunt in the starring role, and we are pleased that this won’t be a “reimagining” of P.L. Travers’ original tale. (Travers wrote many more adventures for her English governess, so there’s plenty of material to draw upon.) Still, even if the composers are Hairspray’s Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, and they have elicited the support of at least half of the Sherman Brothers who wrote “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” and “Chim Chim Cher-ee,” we have a difficult time imagining a movie that can compete in our child brain with the five-time Oscar winner. Granted, Dick Van Dyke’s cockney accent left a lot to be desired, and maybe the movie does take its own sweet time getting started — to say nothing of those interminable penguins — but we’ve done some internal editing, leaving nothing but a sweet aftertaste that, during this month’s “Wine Down with a Movie,” might be accompanied by free tipples of Domaine Chan- don.More
We've all had that day: the one where you accidentally hit "Reply All" on an email intended for one or get rear-ended as you're backing out of the veterinary clinic where you've just spent your life savings to find out that the results on your cat's blood work are "inconclusive."
Nearly a decade ago, trumpeter Rob Mazurek's Chicago Underground project sought to bring avant-garde jazz to the mainstream via the Windy City's Thrill Jockey Records, then one of the country's most adventurous indie labels. Even without widespread public accolades, the group soldiers on, and its new release, In Praise of Shadows, is its most austere to date. Originally a quartet, then a trio and orchestra, Chicago Underground is now the duo of Mazurek and Chad Taylor; the former focuses on piano, cornet, and noise box while Taylor handles percussion. Their contributions are mixed into seven eerily quiet excursions sometimes interrupted by Mazurek's sharp, jagged trumpet interpolations. True to its title, In Praise of Shadows doesn't possess a grand statement, just a series of detailed paintings made from shades of sound.