By Tom Reardon, June 2020 Issue.

The quarantine. The search. The silence amidst the noise. Welcome to summer in Phoenix, friends, and welcome to the strangest time of our lives all official like. Thank the giant space pasta god or whoever you worship for music. Love it or hate it, it makes you feel. Feel these with me, if you will.

JJCnV — Stays Up Late EP

Hailing from the lower east side of planet Chandler, an often sleepy suburb of metropolitan Phoenix, the skronk (see: choppy, angular guitar melding with deft bass lines and frequent horn blasts over a propulsive drumbeat) worshipping suburban demigods known as JJCnV have blessed us with another noisy, hook-filled gem. I may be biased here, because I generally think the kids in JJCnV are pretty darn brilliant, but this new seven song offering, Stays Up Late, is crafty, kooky, and fucking good. “The Balloon Mistook For A Man” might be my new favorite opening song title, maybe ever, and the song itself does not disappoint. I love that JJCnV is not afraid to mix up the sounds, adding bits of  tastefully “come fuck me hard” horn work, heavy effects-laden low end, and the layered vocals on “Seed Saw” are cosmic. Before the good Lord and heaven above, people, I shout to you to pick this record up like right now. If we’re ever allowed to congregate again, put seeing a JJCnV show on the top of your wish list for good, clean, fun. All killer and no filler here. Viva Stays Up Late for local Phoenix record of the year. On a scale of social distance, I say this record is worth cozying up to without a mask (but please, wear your masks, and live to rock another day).


The first new X record since dinosaurs roamed the earth, or at least it seems that way, is good. A snarkier reviewer might say it was also “nice” and a downright mean reviewer would say that it doesn’t live up to their late 70s and early 80s material, but for those who have been hoping for a solid record from some legends like X are probably happy as heck. It is a good record. Not a classic or something that is going to open new doors for anyone, but it’s good. John Doe (bass) and Exene Cervenka are in fine voice and Billy Zoom (guitar) and DJ Bonebrake (drums) are rockin’ as usual. It’s hard to pick one standout track, though, and that is kind of disappointing although “Cyrano deBerger’s Back” is pretty damn fine and funky and makes me wanna go skinny dipping. There are moments on some songs (“Water & Wine” and “I Gotta Fever”) that are reminiscent of classic X tracks, and even a weird (maybe unintentional) nod to The Stooges on “Strange Life,” but I would be lying if I said that anything on the record makes me hope that the next time they come to town they will play anything in particular off of ALPHABETLAND live.  On a scale of social distance, I would say it’s okay to have beers on the porch with this record but stay a safe distance away and you’ll be fine. If you’re an X fan, you’ll definitely enjoy this record and if you’re new to the band, you might just want to dive in a little deeper and grab a copy of their seminal work, Los Angeles.

The Chats — High Risk Behaviour

Sign me up for whatever chemicals the kids are getting off on in Australia these days because this record kicks all kinds of ass. Imagine if the Ramones would have had a foul-mouthed version of Robyn Hitchcock (Soft Boys/Robyn Hitchcock and the Egyptians) on vocals and you have The Chats. High energy stuff from Down Under that picks up where 2017’s Get This In Ya (If you haven’t heard “Smoko” go listen now!) left off and is probably even better. This is a party record, friends, and full of short, fun, memorable punk rock songs. “Identity Theft” has a brilliant guitar lead, for example, that when you listen to it closely shows that these young Australian dudes have the chops to go along with an incredibly deft sense of humor. Lyrically, The Chats are capable of creating catchy, singalong choruses while dropping bits of social commentary that will make you smile and frown at the same time. Listen to “Keep The Grubs Out” or “Stinker” and try not to laugh, but there is also a deeper meaning as well about the struggle to fit in when people tell you that you don’t belong. On a scale of social distancing, prepare to dance and just remember to shower as soon as you get home, because you might forget to stay six feet away.

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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