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
For someone who lives in the downtown corridor — all right, the Tenderloin — the idea of going to Ocean Beach for pizza is rife with potential pratfalls: high Uber fares, lengthy Muni trips, ever-present fog, jet lag.
When employees at a store asks if they can help you find anything, it's usually a meaningless gesture, or at worst, a threat of surveillance, but when Dick Vivian asks you what you're looking for when you walk into Rooky Ricardo's Records, he wants to help you find the funkiest, silkiest tunes he has — of which he has a lot.
Admittedly, we washed our hands of Ryan Adams when the antics of the altcountry pinup became as shamelessly precious as his subtly titled sea-change record, Rock N Roll. When he took time away from headline feuds and Hollywood girlfriends to actually make music, it seemed the earnest well that ran beneath his young career was in fact a geyser of half-baked, tossed-off horse pucky. Finally, with Jacksonville City Nights, there's a glint of the Adams we once held dear, not only because of the rhinestone sparkle of early '70s Nashville production (oodles of plucky Telecaster, pedal steel, and fiddle make the record far more C 'n' W than anything previous), but also because it lends the impression that writing songs has again taken priority for Adams over boosting his Q Rating. "Peaceful Valley," "A Kiss Before I Go," and "The End" are some of the best tunes under the songwriter's name in years, and even when he gets silly with the urban cowboy playacting (c'mon, bud, a song called "Pa"?), a shade too adult-contemporary (the Norah Jones duo "Dear John" is like porn for a KOIT program manager), or just plain corny ("Withering Heights"), we'll forgive him. After all, at least it finally sounds like he's trying -- or maybe like he isn't trying so hard.