Musicality - Alabama Shakes, The Avener, Anne Steele, Fifty Shades of Grey

Alabama Shakes
Sound & Color
(ATO/Maple/Rough Trade)
A fusion of rock, blues, and soul, Alabama Shakes’ sophomore album will breathe life into you. It hits you right at the core and reminds you how music can be such a powerful motivator. Sometimes it just sounds and feels right. The vocals stand out, and fans of Alabama Shakes’ radio singles will love the album. My favorite song, “Don’t Wanna Fight,” blends ’70s-style high vocals over an alternative rhythm, which worked surprisingly well. Another good track, “Shoegaze,” is a celebration of all that is considered alternative music. Every so often, some funk and punk influences pop up in fun songs like “The Greatest.” The only complaint I have is that the album ended far before I was ready. Other good songs on the album are “Future People” and “Sound & Color.”
The Avener
(Casablanca/Republic Records)
I’m immediately a fan. The addictive beats that grace this EP will thump their way into your heart. The electronic style isn’t over the top with unnecessary sounds. My favorite song is “Let Myself Go (featuring Ane Brun).” It’s thick drums and smooth bass melody layered into a welcoming blend and further brightened by complex, delicate guitar and wonderfully haunting vocals. Oddly enough, The Avener pairs perfectly with Alabama Shakes, though this is a bit more heavy with the bass drum. The EP features a variety of remixes of the song “Fade Out Lines,” the Avener’s debut single. I love the original, but the Alle Farben Remix is really good. I can’t wait to see what this artist comes out with next.
Anne Steele
What’s Mine EP
(Steele Records)
At the beginning, I was a bit torn about this one. I was not a big fan of the three pop songs that make up the first half. Though I know there was talent there, I just didn’t quite feel it. The songs have a catchy flair, but they didn’t do enough to grab my attention. I’m lucky that I didn’t stop there, because the last three songs redeemed the EP. I really enjoyed “Without You Tonight,” because it has a healthy pop bounce and catchy piano hook. The vocals are well-highlighted, reminding me a bit of the pop star Pink. Another good track, slightly more serious, is “Don’t Tell Us How to Love.” It is paced well and appropriately dramatic. Don’t let the lackluster beginning of this EP fool you. Definitely check these songs out.

Fifty Shades of Grey
(movie soundtrack)
Fifty Shades of Grey is a bad movie with a decent soundtrack. The movie has some enjoyable bits here and there, and not necessary the naked ones. But sexual politics of the movie aside, the soundtrack is good and star-studded, including such performers as Beyoncé, Rolling Stones, and popular composer Danny Elfman. I never pictured those particular artists being on the same compilation album -- there is a bit of everything. Annie Lennox’s classic “I Put a Spell on You,” was a great song to start with. Normally I’m a fan of Ellie Goulding, but “Love Me Like You Do,” her latest single featured here, is a miss for me. My favorite songs are the ones featuring Beyoncé or Danny Elfman.

WhistlePig + Alfa Romeo F1

SHOREHAM, VT (September 13, 2023) — WhistlePig Whiskey, the leaders in independent craft whiskey, and Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake are waving the checkered flag on a legend-worthy release that’s taking whiskey to G-Force levels. The Limited Edition PiggyBack Legends Series: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is a high Rye Whiskey selected by the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake drivers, with barrels trialed in their wind tunnel to ensure a thrilling taste in every sip.

The third iteration in WhistlePig’s Single Barrel PiggyBack Legends Series, the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is bottled at 96.77 proof, a nod to Valtteri Bottas’ racing number, 77, and the precision of racing. Inspired by Zhou Guanyu, the first Chinese F1 driver, this Rye Whiskey is finished with lychee and oolong tea. Herbal and floral notes of the oolong tea complement the herbaceous notes of WhistlePig’s signature PiggyBack 100% Rye, rounded out with a juicy tropical fruit finish and a touch of spice.

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by Spectrum Medical Care Center

Nurse Practitioner Ari Kravitz

When I started medical transition at 20 years old, it was very difficult to get the care I needed for hormone replacement therapy because there are very few providers trained in starting hormones for trans people, even though it’s very similar to the hormones that we prescribe to women in menopause or cisgender men with low testosterone.

I hope more providers get trained in LGBTQ+ healthcare, so they can support patients along their individual gender journey, and provide the info needed to make informed decisions about their body. I’ve personally seen my trans patients find hope and experience a better quality of life through hormone replacement therapy.

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Descanso Resort swimming pool and lounge area

Descanso Resort, Palm Springs' premier destination for gay men, just received Tripadvisor's highest honor, a Travelers' Choice "Best of the Best" award for 2023. Based on guests' reviews and ratings, fewer than 1% of Tripadvisor's 8 million listings around the world receive the coveted "Best of the Best" designation. Descanso ranked 12th in the top 25 small inns and hotels category in the United States. Quite an accomplishment!

Open less than two years, Descanso Resort offers gay men a relaxing and luxurious boutique hotel experience just minutes away from Palm Springs' buzziest restaurants, nightclubs, and shopping. Descanso has quickly established itself as a top destination for sophisticated gay travelers, earning hundreds of 5-star guest reviews and consistently ranking in Trapadvisor's top positions alongside brother properties Santiago Resort and Twin Palms Resort.

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