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
Mashing up different world cuisines is usually a popular conceit for new quick-service eateries and food trucks to make a quick buck and gain Instagram fame, but Volta has shown how well global cross-pollination works on a refined plate without stretching for novelty or pretense in the process.
Theres not a whiff of Pacific Northwest rain in Mighty Tiger, perhaps because the Seattle bands members hail from other parts of the country. The five-piece achieves something close to chamber pop on its debut album, Western Theater, released on the Nashville label Paper Garden. At 52 minutes, the record is brimming with ideas and ambition, often manifesting in tides of vocal harmonies. Built around immaculate piano and guitar, songs like 33 1/3 and Signature Cup summon Harry Nilsson, while the smart-alecky Hands in Holy Water makes a lyrical nod to Donovans Sunshine Superman, and the highlight Chibi Girl procures lonesome banjo and chirping birds. The albums seven-minute centerpiece, The Most American Thing in America, hits its climax not unlike Pet Soundsera Beach Boys. Theres even some country in the female-sung The Last Mountaineer. Through all those assorted detours, Mighty Tiger retains an infectious ease to its vocals and arrangement, feeling downright placid despite the obvious care that goes into every aspect of the songs. It may take time for the band to prove itself in todays buzz-driven, high-turnover climate, but Western Theater lingers dreamily in your mind.
Sat., March 27, 7:30 p.m., 2010