By Tom Reardon, September 2020 issue.

Some say music heals the soul. Sometimes I wonder if this is really the case. Or is it that musicians are the ones who need to heal, and our adoration of their output is what really heals them? This month is all about renewing what makes us whole and, in one case, remembering what once was.

Stevie D and R. Shipp — Live To Tell

I’m a sucker for most music that has the vibe New York Underground poet kind of vibe. Some people derided, for example, the later output of Lou Reed when he just sort of talked his way through songs instead of singing, but I loved it. I also think that Lou never really was much of a singer, but his earlier work definitely had a bit more melody in the vocals.

Stevie D (Steve Davis) and R. Shipp (Robert Shipp) have put a new cd, Live To Tell, on Onus Records and it is really fucking good. With Stevie D handling some very cool spoken word-ish poetry over R. Shipp’s instrumentation, the songs tell stories of characters like “the raven headed one with the praying mantis boyfriend” and the late, great Holly Woodlawn. Usually a bass player, Stevie D comes off as being completely comfortable behind the mic as if he has been delivering these lines forever and his stories are both entertaining and interesting. It is not difficult to close your eyes and see a broken down “Ranchero in front of a house for teen runaways.” R. Shipp provides a compelling sonic back drop to his friend’s stories while providing fans of grungy atmospheric guitar something to enjoy. Check out Onus Records for more information on this new dynamic duo.

Harry the Nightgown — Self-titled

Ever wonder what audio engineers do when they are left alone in the studio? Harry the Nightgown is an answer. The brainchild of Sami Perez and Spencer Hartling, two knob twiddlers with San Francisco’s Tiny Telephone Studios (which was owned by the brilliant John Vanderslice), Harry the Nightgown is the perfect background music for elevating a pandemic-y mood.

Perez’ soothing vocals are the stuff indie rock wet dreams are made of and the two musicians create some killer songs that grow in intensity and catchiness as the record progresses. “Ping Pong,” which is the cleanup hitter here (4th for non-baseball fans) features Hartling and Perez sharing vocal duties and sounds a bit like early Modest Mouse, which is never a bad thing. There are hints, throughout the record, of Beatles-esque harmonies that work over the subtle yet intricate instrumentation. “Talented, they are,” Yoda might say, and the force is strong with these two musical partners.

Now that the pair has moved down south to Los Angeles and are part of Vanderslice’s new Grandma’s Couch studio, it will be interesting to see if there will be more from Harry the Nightgown. I certainly hope so because their debut record is pretty darn great. I just need a nice soft blanket to settle down with while I take this in again and again.

Deep Purple — Whoosh!

I freely admit that I chose to review this record purely on shock. I was, and still am, shocked that Deep Purple, the band that brought us “Hush” and “Smoke On The Water,” still exists in 2020. What is not shocking is that the album is not good. Whoosh! Is the first album by the band since 2017 and it is such a departure from those early, classic songs that I mentioned that I am hard pressed to understand why Whoosh! even exists. “Drop the Weapon” features some of the classic Hammond B3 organ sound that the late Jon Lord made famous on those great late 60s/early 70s records. In fact, the best track on this record is “And The Address” which was first featured on their classic debut, Shades of Deep Purple (1968), and that is not saying a lot because it was the weakest song on that record. The only original member of the band left is drummer Ian Paice although bassist Roger Glover has been around, off and on, since 1969. Either way, this is crap. Avoid it like the plague. (Wait, can you still say that?)

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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