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 were recently surprised to learn that, while print and e-book publishing lan- guishes, audiobooks do better and better with every passing year. (Downloads in 2015 were up 38 percent over 2014.) We like to imagine that it’s the allure of the well-trained dramaturge that makes emotional connections while leaving some- thing to the listener’s imagination — not background noise for long commutes. In such a case, there can be no finer pleasure than a staged reading by longtime favorites Word for Word, a company that has brought countless short stories from page to stage, including “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin, “The Fall River Axe Murders” by Angela Carter, “Berenice” by Edgar Allan Poe, and “The Bunch- grass Edge of the World” by Annie Proulx. During “Off the Page,” devotees help the company massage prose into parts, and sometimes, as was the case with Al- ice Munro’s work, choose the next story for production. Tonight, the actors ap- proach short fiction from Jamie Quatro’s highly lauded IWanttoShowYou More, which explores faith, (in)fidelity, and family along the border between Georgia and Tennessee.More
A storytelling night with Carnie Asada, Profundity, Coco Buttah, Mahlae Balenciaga, Greg der Ananian, and Fauxnique, celebrates Shark Week with accounts of dangerous, deadly, and treacherous creatures.More
Be there when Cara Black discusses her new book: Murder on the Quai. Aimee Leduc is in her first year of college at Paris's preeminent medical school. But Aimee's world is crumbling: her boyfriend is leaving her, her father leaves for Berlin for a mysterious errand and asks Aimee to look after his detective agency. She begins to investigate a murder. A book sale by the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library follows the event.More
Contrary to the average music fan's perception that black metal automatically equals singers who sound like they're gargling battery acid and relentless, guitar-in-a-Cuisinart riffs, the better bands of the genre actually employ a sonic palette considerably broader than most heavy rock. Local outfit Ludicra indulges in plenty of vocal-chord shredding and six-string pummeling on its sophomore release, Another Great Love Song, but balances the dark-hearted mayhem with dynamic songwriting that sometimes recalls prog-influenced Swedish giants Opeth. Helmed by metal avatar John Cobbett (the architect behind the equally ambitious Hammers of Misfortune), Ludicra forgoes the satanic jargon that plagues most black metal in favor of an emotional, almost existential despair. Album opener "The Only Curse, the Only Remedy" explodes after its ominous, acoustic-tinged intro, diving headlong into a thicket of aggressive snare-drum punishment and jagged riffs. Guitarist/vocalist Christy Cather and lead singer Laurie Sue Shanaman move easily from tandem feral growling to ethereal harmonizing on "Why Conquer?" and "Let Thirst the Soil," alternately giving the songs a desperate edge and flashes of melancholic beauty. Oppressive stuff for sure, but undoubtedly one of the more impressive metal releases to come out of the Bay Area or anywhere else this year.