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
Colin Tilley's video for Kendrick Lamar's "Alright"
Kendrick Lamar is from Compton, but Colin Tilley, the director of the music video for Lamar's song "Alright" — which was nominated for four MTV Video Music Awards and was performed by the artist at the 2016 Grammy Awards — is Berkeley-born and -raised.
So you went out last Saturday night and wore those new dark-wash, skinny leg jeans that you just bought despite the fact that it's the end of the month and you should be saving that money for your rent check.
Last night the Great American was a sea of dyed black hair and inked skin. The tattooed ranks hung over the balconies and ballooned out from the stage for a great band that called it quits nearly 10 years ago: The Murder City Devils. It was a scene, sure. One woman in line for the bathroom joked that she'd forgotten to get her neck tattoo before arriving. But this was a totally different scene then you get for young, new bands. The show felt like a party, reuniting the true believers who'd lived in Seattle, the city the birthed the Devils, along with fans who'd come out at every one of the band's drunken tour stops in the late '90s. The people who looked most out of place, funny enough, were the Devils themselves, who seemed to have grown out of their delinquent-cool look, aging slightly into beards and new glasses and shirts with buttons. But musically they're still punk as hell, and having cut back the on-stage partying, they sounded twice as fierce as the first round--and just as good as last year's first reunion attempt.
I could give you a play-by-play of the setlist, tell you how good it felt to punch the air with "Rum and Whiskey," or how well Spencer Moody is still able to howl out "Press Gang" and "Idle Hands" like you're getting the stories in those songs through some invisible torture being imposed on him. But really the whole night got me drunk on nostalgia, not only for the music, which didn't offer one dud in the set, but for what was happening during those years when the Devils were proselytizing a noir punk sound haunted by Leslie Hardy's funereal keys. Last night's Murder City show made me miss only one thing more than the Devils themselves: that whole late '90s wave of Stooges-rooted bile.
Sub Pop played home to the Murder City Devils, and before we hit the 2000s too hard, the label had a small but powerful swarm of theatrically-damaged punks. One of my favorites, along with the Devils, was The Catheters (RIP).
Another good one, the Black Halos, whose "Some Things Never Fall" sounded like such the anthem at the time. Sub Pop also released discs by kinda similar, and kinda shitty, but sloppy-fun live rock 'n' roll bands like Sweden's Hellacopters and Norway's Glucifer. Then there was the heavier stoner stuff like Nebula, which brought in the lighter side of sludge with a potency.
You could almost call the late '90s/early 2000s Sub Pop's second wave of grunge. The bands took from punk and metal and added razored hooks, performed shows with the tension of fist-fights, and generally helped a whole generation of rock addicts blow out the tubes.