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 will dispense with the double entendres: Carol Doda, who we lost in November, was a San Francisco hero who will be rightly celebrated and remembered as long as the town she helped create still stands, the torch held aloft along Broadway and kept alight in neon.
Here is a golden opportunity for frequent downloaders to atone for past sins. As it did with the first two collections in this series, Badman Recordings is giving a portion of the sales from this disc to the S.F.-based Shanti Project, which "provides education, practical assistance, and emotional support to people in need." Shanti Project Collection 3 features rare tracks from Sigur Rós, the Black Heart Procession, Arab Strap, Califone, and Kinski; several of the tunes were recorded exclusively for this release. Unlike many compilations, Shanti 3's songs flow effortlessly into each other, with the instrumentals in particular shining through. The Black Heart Procession's haunting "Exit Out" starts things on a high note with steady, trance-inducing drum patterns anchoring deceptively stark yet beautiful piano and guitar arrangements. Sigur Rós' organ-centric "Danarfregnir Og Jaroarfarir" also holds its own without lyrics, winding its way through your consciousness like an unholy marriage of Pink Floyd and My Bloody Valentine. Philanthropy never sounded so good.