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 were recently surprised to learn that, while print and e-book publishing lan- guishes, audiobooks do better and better with every passing year. (Downloads in 2015 were up 38 percent over 2014.) We like to imagine that it’s the allure of the well-trained dramaturge that makes emotional connections while leaving some- thing to the listener’s imagination — not background noise for long commutes. In such a case, there can be no finer pleasure than a staged reading by longtime favorites Word for Word, a company that has brought countless short stories from page to stage, including “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin, “The Fall River Axe Murders” by Angela Carter, “Berenice” by Edgar Allan Poe, and “The Bunch- grass Edge of the World” by Annie Proulx. During “Off the Page,” devotees help the company massage prose into parts, and sometimes, as was the case with Al- ice Munro’s work, choose the next story for production. Tonight, the actors ap- proach short fiction from Jamie Quatro’s highly lauded IWanttoShowYou More, which explores faith, (in)fidelity, and family along the border between Georgia and Tennessee.More
A storytelling night with Carnie Asada, Profundity, Coco Buttah, Mahlae Balenciaga, Greg der Ananian, and Fauxnique, celebrates Shark Week with accounts of dangerous, deadly, and treacherous creatures.More
Be there when Cara Black discusses her new book: Murder on the Quai. Aimee Leduc is in her first year of college at Paris's preeminent medical school. But Aimee's world is crumbling: her boyfriend is leaving her, her father leaves for Berlin for a mysterious errand and asks Aimee to look after his detective agency. She begins to investigate a murder. A book sale by the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library follows the event.More
The hottest current thing in the world of tapioca drinks, a.k.a. boba tea (or, as Hillary Clinton recently called them when she tried one in New York, "chewy tea") isn't a crazy new flavor or new way to marinate the root starch balls — it's cotton candy!
Earlier this week, the lawsuit against AEG Live over Michael Jackson's premature passing rumbled past the point of weird and drove straight into crazy town. The culprit was AEG CEO Randy Phillips, who claimed that his friend Brenda Richie -- ex-wife of Lionel Richie -- had spoken to the spirit of Michael Jackson. Phillips said on the stand: "[Brenda] said Michael told her that it wasn't Dr Murray's fault -- that he had accidentally killed himself." Clutching at straws much, Mr. Phillips?
But this isn't the only time that claims have been made about famous musicians communicating with the living after they've died. Here are five other strange examples.
Michael Jackson gets advice from (dead) Liberace
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Rhinestone-loving piano-tinkler Liberace died in February of 1987 -- yet Michael Jackson claimed to communicate with him after that on a regular basis. "I have my own secret room, with a moving wall and mirrors," Michael once admitted. "[Liberace] is the voice I hear in there. I feel his presence very close to me. He's even given me permission to perform his theme song, 'I'll Be Seeing You.'" A week ago, in a bizarre twist, Liberace's ex-lover, Scott Thorson, claimed to have had an affair with M.J. for an extended period during the '80s. Weird!
Wayne Newton thinks Elvis likes his singing
Here's Wayne Newton's celebrity ghost story (as told to the TV show of the same name): Wayne is onstage singing, and sees a man from very far away, in a room in which all of the lights have been turned off, except for one spotlight, which is directly on him (and probably in his eyes). He surmises that this human in the distance is Elvis and that Elvis is happy with Wayne Newton's performance. That's not a ghost story, Wayne -- that's delusional lunacy.
Roger Daltrey catches up with deceased pal Keith Moon
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It's a fact that Roger Daltrey was always the least likely of all of The Who to dabble with substance abuse. And yet, he once admitted that he'd "spoken to Keith -- or rather his spirit," via a medium who didn't know who either of them were. We're glad to see he's got a sense of humor about it, though. He told Jimmy Kimmel last year: "We got a letter requesting that Keith Moon attend the opening ceremonies [of the London Olympics]. Our manager sent them an email back saying, 'Well, actually, he currently resides at Golders Green crematorium, where he's been for the last 35 years. But maybe if you've got a round table, some letters and some glasses, he might be able to get in there.'"
The spirit of Mama Cass beds Dan Aykroyd
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Dan Aykroyd was a Ghostbuster, people -- he knows his stuff. And when he lived on the estate that was previously owned by the legendary Mama Cass, of the Mamas & the Papas, he felt a spirit there that he believes may have been her. He even wrote about it in a Huffington Post blog once: "Have I personally ever seen a ghost? Not one. Have I ever felt an
unseen presence near me? Damn right. In my bed, no less, when we lived
in Mama Cass's Hollywood estate." Way to own it, Dan! Own it!
Whitney Houston turns out the lights for Bobbi Kristina
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Last year, when being interviewed by Oprah Winfrey, Whitney Houston's daughter explained that her mom still paid her visits, checked in from time to time, and was fond of turning lights on and off around the house. "I can hear her voice in spirit talking to me," Bobbi Kristina told O: "'Keep moving, baby. I gotcha.' Her spirit is strong." Aww.