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
Pickup basketball is a weird social phenomenon where a bunch of strangers meet at a designated spot during a designated time to engage in an athletic competition governed by de facto rules established in some mythic rulebook.
Last summer, Brooklyn trio Vivian Girls wowed the tiniest music blogs and The New York Times with a mix of 60s surf-rock, shit-tons of reverb, and three-part girl-group vocals all wedged into short, sharp sonic blasts. A fair amount of backlash followed the buzz, perhaps owing more to the threesomes carefree punk sneer more evident in interviews than on its self-titled debut than the music. A year later, the Girls have made good on the promise of their first album with Everything Goes Wrong, which doesnt mess much with the formula but occasionally offers a darker, more expansive take on their mesmerizing noise-pop. Michael Alan Goldberg Thu., Sept. 10, 6 p.m., 2009