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
We will dispense with the double entendres: Carol Doda, who we lost in November, was a San Francisco hero who will be rightly celebrated and remembered as long as the town she helped create still stands, the torch held aloft along Broadway and kept alight in neon.
Though millions of people heard his sonic influence on classic efforts by Nirvana, Mudhoney, Soundgarden, and others, recorded during his stint as de facto in-house producer for Sub Pop Records, relatively few music fans are aware of Jack Endino's considerable skills as a guitarist and songwriter. With a still-busy schedule as an in-demand studio guru, Endino took well over a decade to piece together his third solo effort. However, the monstrous, guitar-army sounds of Permanent Fatal Error are sure to please loyalists from his days with underground Seattle favorites Skin Yard. Densely layered instrumentals like the title track and "Van Allen Wrench" spotlight hairpin, stop-start rhythms and Endino's melodic corkscrew riffs, proving you can make compelling, vocalless, guitarcentric rawk without resorting to retarded six-string showboating. Even better, Endino shows off his nuanced sense of song dynamics and a solid singing voice on the majority of the album, bringing fire to the balls-out, metallic punk of "Elusive" and political outrage to the swirling psych lament "Strangelove." Fans will hear echoes of the vintage Seattle sound Endino helped sire on Permanent Fatal Error, but the great songwriting and utter lack of filler on the nearly hourlong juggernaut make a strong case that the man should be spending more time out from behind the boards with a guitar in his hands.