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
Of all the "The" bands swearing devotion to the Sonics/Stones/Stooges holy trinity of garage rock, the Hives have always seemed to have the most fun. Unhindered by the Strokes' penchant for rock star cliché or the White Stripes' Machiavellian creepiness, the Hives reveled in the simple pleasures of three chords, a bare-bones snare, and frontman Howlin' Pelle Almqvist's caterwauling on 2000's Veni Vidi Vicious. True, that formula wasn't particularly innovative to begin with, nor do Tyrannosaurus Hives' quick, rat-a-tat detonations of sound (12 tracks in just under 30 minutes) add anything all that new to either the Hives' repertoire or the garage rock canon. But who cares? When they rip through "Abra Cadaver" with little more than a single chord like some kind of rowdy, SAAB-driving gang of hellions, or when "Love in the Plaster" shifts from a throbbing, neo-garage heartbeat into surf-guitar overdrive at Almqvist's bellowed cue, I defy you not to nod your freaking head.