By Tom Reardon, July 2020 issue.

Because so many weddings take place this time of year, I thought it might be a contrarian thing to do to go back to looking at some singles again. It is time to rise up, people, and take our country back. It is time to stop our societal quest for comfort and take on the challenge of being uncomfortable for a while so that we can be reborn. Here are five new songs that may be part of your new soundtrack. Some good, some may not be so good, but you are welcome to, as always, decide if I am right or wrong.

Plastic Handgun — “Curtain Call”

Dark, haunting, yet mildly uplifting, Toronto’s Plastic Handgun starts us off with something new. There is an element of dreaminess to Mark Di Giovanni’s work that harkens itself back to more ethereal ‘80s acts like Coil or even a more electronic Jesus and Mary Chain. I like this. The intro piques the curiosity in the way that every song should. You want to know what will come next, although the vocals are set deep enough into the mix that it is hard to make out exactly what Di Giovanni is singing. Regardless of that, though, the song comes from a really cool new record, Gatekeepers, that should be on your radar. Four out of five facemasks agree.

Flatbush Zombies — “dirty elevator music”

I can totally groove with this style of rap. Flatbush Zombies have a jazzy, laidback musicality that, at times, directly conflicts with their lyrical content, but if you can get past the put downs, swear words, and drug references, you will be fine. The trio has been around for a decade and hail from the Flatbush area of Brooklyn, NY and these songs come from an EP, now, more than ever. The flow here, though, is what really sells this song. Three out of five facemasks, including one with a skull on it.

Mt. Joy — “Bug Eyes”

There is a line from the Cracker song, “Teen Angst (What The World Needs Now)” that says, “What the world needs now is another folk singer like I need a hole in my head,” and it reminds me of this song so much. This song, and I write this completely unapologetically, sucks. I don’t get it and I feel like listening to the song is something akin to self-trepanation because I want a hole in my head so this particular Mt. Joy track can just leak out and hopefully never come back. I listened so you will not have to. Zero out of five facemasks. Zero.

Elvis Costello — “No Flag”

“I got no religion/I got no philosophy/Got a head full of ideas that don’t seem to belong to me” is how this new offering from Elvis Costello, “No Flag,” starts out. It’s noisy and fuzzy and feels a little bit like Costello might have been listening to our friends, Imperial Teen, a little bit, which is a good thing and damn if that opening line doesn’t echo 2020 for a lot of people. Those who listen a little more closely to this one might pick up on the fact that the bass line is amazing in this song and keeps some disparate parts linked up nicely. Five out of five facemasks agree that chewing sugar free gum is good for your teeth and listening to this song is good for your soul.

No Age — “Sandalwood”

Leaning a little towards the east coast indie rock sound a bit here, No Age channels The Strokes as Randy Randall pays tribute to Albert Hammond Jr. with his guitar work, although Dean Spunt sounds nothing like vocalist Julian Casablancas, which is a good thing. No Age rarely, if ever, disappoints, so it was nice to listen to this new song and see them fucking around with The Strokes sound a bit. It is a fun summertime romp and to be honest, if you haven’t gotten hip to No Age just yet, you’ve got some fun ahead of you as you explore their excellent catalog. Four and three quarters out of five vegan facemasks salute this song.

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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