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
I recall fondly the thrill of arriving at a random high school house party to find a band playing. Most of the time this meant terrible songs and amateur delivery, but occasionally you'd come across a group that had an odd way of transcending its imperfections. Perhaps it was its eccentricities in songwriting, perhaps the fact that its influences were more sophisticated than everyone else's. Whatever it is, the Joggers are that band. Much like Solid Guild, their previous effort, With a Cape and a Cane packs the right amount of dissonance and catchiness. It's the weird melodies that take four listens to get but inevitably stay with you longer than a sugary, obvious hook you get sick of after a week. It's the reverb-soaked garage-punk drums and snaky, bleating guitar glurps. It's the use of Eastern tonality in ways other rock bands have never figured out. It's the stops and starts, the tension and release, the soaring but nasally vocals. All this, and you don't even have to deal with getting dropped off by your parents.