Friday, March 17, 2023

Natalie Merchant - Come On, Aphrodite

Today, Natalie Merchant unveils a new video for her latest single “Come On, Aphrodite”—watch here. Filmed in Brooklyn, New York, the new video is directed by Matthew Shattuck (Foo Fighters, John Legend) and edited by Andrew Pulaski (Joey Bada$$, A$AP Ferg). 
Of the song, Merchant says, “‘Come on, Aphrodite’ is an invocation to the goddess of love and passion. In the lyrics, I list all the clichés we use to describe falling in love: being drunk and blind, over the moon, weak in the knees, and half out of our minds. For the Greeks, when the spirit of love descended, it was seen as a kind of assault; you would become powerless against an all-consuming, sweet madness. Amazingly, humans still crave it, in spite of the perils.”
“Come On, Aphrodite”—named an “emotive, passionate track” by American Songwriter—is taken from Merchant’s forthcoming album, Keep Your Courageset for release on April 14 on Nonesuch Records. In the words of Uncut, “‘Keep Your Courage,’ almost a decade in the making, finds Merchant as witty and welcoming as always, turning her gaze to what helps us endure life’s ups and downs.” The song features Abena Koomson-Davis (Resistance Revival Chorus) and establishes the record’s themes of love and passion as essential to the human experience. Pre-save/pre-order the forthcoming album here.
“I was completely taken by [Abena’s] personality, her voice, and the mission of the chorus,” says Merchant. “I invited Abena to sing at Radio City Music Hall for a telecast to thank healthcare workers impacted by Covid. At that event, I promised we would make a record together, definitely. I hadn’t even written the songs, but I loved the way that our voices blended and wanted us to sing together.”
In celebration of the new music, Merchant will embark upon an extensive tour this spring, going into the fall. 

David Starr Releases New EP 'Better Me'

Prolific Colorado singer/songwriter David Starr, releases his latest EP Better Me on all digital platforms today with the final single, “Because You’re Right”. Rich with bright acoustic guitars, soulful grooves and lead vocals from Starr, and his signature storytelling lyrics, it is a stellar collection of songs that fires on all cylinders.

Track 4 on the release, “Because You’re Right” is the only song not written by Starr on the project, co-written by Erik Stucky, Bob Rea, and Chelsea Chaput. Premiering on The Bluegrass Situation on Monday, March 13, listeners got an early listen of the final installment of the EP. “Erik is one of my favorite artists, friends, and collaborators, so it’s fun to be able to sing a song that he wrote. I heard him play it at a gig one night and I just couldn’t get it out of my mind. I think it shows that there are always two sides, and in love it’s often hardest, but best to compromise, as difficult as that may be,” Starr shares. Stucky can also be heard lending his mandolin parts to the recording.

The project as a whole ebbs and flows between the more Americana-infused sentimental songs “Because You’re Right,” “Some Angels Fly,” and “Any Chance Of Going Home,” to the bright and joyous title track “Better Me,” energetic love song “Closer To You,” and the raucous and rocking blues number “Poison The Water,” which features special call & response background vocals from Reverend Joseph Rice.

Pride Journey: Coastal Mississippi

By Joey Amato

Every now and then I visit a destination I know absolutely nothing about. That happened a few years ago when I visited Oklahoma City and I fell in love with OKC. This time around, that destination was Coastal Mississippi, more specifically Biloxi, Gulfport, and Ocean Springs. In fact, the only thing I knew about the Biloxi was the hotel I stayed at, Beau Rivage. I knew it was owned by MGM Resorts, but that was about it. The rest of the trip was going to be a surprise.

For this particular trip, I wanted to focus on health and wellness and luckily, Beau Rivage’s most recent renovation included two floors full of Stay Well rooms as well as an updated spa. My gulf view room came complete with an aromatherapy machine, ultra high-end linens, a memory foam mattress, and pillows as well as a vitamin C dispenser hooked up to my shower. I had never seen one of those before, so I had to ask what it was.

After an early check in, I departed for Ocean Springs, a quaint town just east of Beau Rivage. My first stop was a place called Shearwater Pottery. Apparently, it is very well known to everyone but me. After posting pictures on social media, I received numerous comments from friends wanting to visit. Shearwater Pottery was founded in 1928 by Peter Anderson and from the 1920s through the present day, Shearwater Pottery has produced art pottery, utilitarian ware, figurines, decorative tiles, and other pottery pieces.

I had the opportunity to meet with Margie Ashley, the daughter of Peter Anderson who told me about her family’s legacy in Ocean Springs. At that time, Coastal Mississippi was known for fishing and not so much for the arts, so her family was viewed as outcasts but the community. Margie told me people used to called them the “crazy Andersons.” But they eventually had the last laugh as the family name has become as much of Coastal Mississippi culture as seafood gumbo.

A few minutes up the road from Shearwater Pottery is the Walter Anderson Museum of Art. Walter was the brother of Peter Anderson and equally as talented, creating thousands of works throughout his lifetime. Many of Walter Anderson’s paintings, drawings, murals, block prints, sculpture, carvings, and writings are on display at the museum.

The pièce de résistance is the Community Center, which is the site of Walter Anderson’s monumental 3,000 square foot mural, which depicts the historic discovery of the Mississippi Coast and its diverse climates. The city commissioned Walter Anderson in 1950 for a fee of $1.00 and the project took 16 months to complete.

For dinner, head to Vestige, a farm-to-table restaurant in Ocean Springs helmed by head chefs Alex Perry and his wife, Kumi Omori who were recently nominated for a James Beard Award. Vestige offers a pre-fixed menu which changes on a regular basis and contains only the freshest local ingredients. And if it’s not local, they fly it in from its land of origin to insure its freshness. We began our meal with sashimi of Hamachi complete with a foie gras emulsion, rose, purple sweet potato and magnolia flower kombucha veil. Yes, that was one dish and just an appetizer, but probably my favorite item on the menu.

After 3 more courses which consisted of a piece of perfectly cooked fish to charcoal grilled wagyu beef, the meal comes to an end with a delectable strawberry Bavarian, with cacao mint genoise, whipped match, grapefruit lemon curd and pecan ginger shortbread. This wasn’t just a meal; it was an experience worthy of a James Beard nomination and definitely the award for Best Chef: South.

You’ll need the rest of the night to recover from a food coma, so head back to Beau Rivage for some much-needed rest or hit the casino if your heart desires.

Head out the next morning to the recently opened Mississippi Aquarium in Gulfport, about 15 minutes west of Biloxi. The state-of-the-art facility is home to a variety of sea life and is one of the crown jewels of the area.

I can never see enough animals, so next on the agenda was the Institute of Marine Mammal Studies located at Ocean Adventures Marine Park. Guests can come up close and personal with stingrays, sea lions and dolphins. I had the opportunity to interact with a beautiful male dolphin, getting to rub his belly, give him commands and feed him some delicious fish. For my, I mean his hard work, I got a kiss from one of my favorite animals.

On the way back to your hotel, stop by Coastal Roast Coffee for an afternoon pick me up before dinner. I wasn’t sure what to expect at White Pillars. The bar was set really high at Vestige the night before, but I was in for another treat. We began our meal with a bowl of Oyster & Artichoke soup. I was a bit hesitant to order this at first as I didn’t want to begin my meal with something heavy, but when it arrived, it turned out to be one of the best soups I’ve had in a long time. It was light and fragrant, consisting of Gulf oysters, fennel, and oyster mushrooms in a coconut milk broth. When dining near the coast, why not try the Gulf Seafood Tower, two tiers of fresh oysters, mahi crudo, smoked fish dip and amberjack ceviche.

And those were just the starters. For my main course, I ordered the Duck Ramen prepared with a confit duck leg, collards, togarashi, duck cracklins, and the traditional soft-boiled egg. In fact, the egg was the only thing traditional about the dish, which was rich and delicious. The duck was cooked to perfection and the broth was fantastic.

The area is home to two LGBTQ bars, Sipp’s in Gulfport, and Just Us Lounge, located within walking distance of Beau Rivage. The crowd at Just Us was a melting pot of the area’s LGBTQ community, extremely diverse and welcoming. One thing to note is that smoking is still legal inside bars, so if that bothers you, there is a large outdoor space available.

I know I said I wanted to focus on health and wellness during this trip, but I seemed to have detoured from my mission somewhere in Ocean Springs. One can’t resist the food in Coastal Mississippi, so screw the diet for one more day and head to The Roasted Bean located in the lobby of Beau Rivage and ask for an order of beignets. These are not listed anywhere in plain site and are the best kept secret of the hotel. I received a tip from the captain of the Biloxi Shrimping Trip, which I went on the morning prior. The powdered sugar pastries where the best I’ve ever had. Light, airy, and simply delicious. They couldn’t have been that many calories, right?

End your stay in Coastal Mississippi with a relaxing CBD massage at the The Spa at Beau Rivage. The 80-minute massage uses CBD body oils as well as a Moor Mud treatment to soothe tired muscles and back pain. Playing with dolphins, eating oysters, and savoring beignets all weekend was quite stressful.
If you are looking for a relaxed seaside vacation, put Coastal Mississippi on your radar. There are many unique experiences that will make your stay truly memorable.
Visit for more information about the destination.

Museum of Outdoor Arts: Call for Mural Artists

The Museum of Outdoor Arts' call for mural artists closes March 26th. If you are a Colorado muralist or know of one who would be interested in working with them, please apply. 

In 2022, MOA collaborated with Adden J to curate a group of seven Colorado-based artists to create additional Colorado wildlife murals for Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre. This year the plan is to add eight new murals to MOA's collection..

EPA joins Governor Polis at Denver elementary school to announce $3 million for innovative Climate Pollution projects

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that Colorado will be receiving up to $3 million to develop innovative strategies to cut climate pollution and build clean energy economies across the state.

At the International Academy of Denver at Harrington Elementary School, EPA Regional Administrator KC Becker and Governor Jared Polis announced Colorado will be receiving the funding as a partner in EPA’s Climate Pollution Reduction Grants (CPRG) program. This program provides flexible planning resources to develop and implement climate solutions that will protect the people of Colorado from pollution and advance environmental justice.

“This is the first step in a strategic effort to help states build common-sense solutions to reduce climate pollution,” said EPA Regional Administrator KC Becker.  “Governor Polis has been a great partner and advocate for climate action, and EPA looks forward to supporting the Colorado-grown projects that will make our communities, our state, and our nation, healthier and stronger.”

“Colorado’s nation-leading work to fight for clean air and reduce emissions are part of our commitment to protect the community we love now and for generations to come. This exciting new funding supported by the majority of our federal delegation and the EPA helps to build upon our important work as we make bold progress towards achieving ambitious climate goals including 100% renewable energy by 2040, and we appreciate this federal support," said Governor Jared Polis of Colorado. 

"After years of inaction, Washington finally invested in the fight against climate change by passing the Inflation Reduction Act. This funding will help Colorado continue to lead the country in cutting pollution, addressing our climate crisis, and building a healthier future for all Coloradans," said Senator Bennet. 

“This grant helps set the groundwork for Colorado to cut emissions and build a thriving, clean energy economy,” said Senator Hickenlooper. “Finding solutions that lift up our vulnerable and low-income communities will be a win for all Coloradans.” 

“We have to do more to protect the communities that are suffering the most,” said Congresswoman DeGette. “Environmental Justice needs to be more than just a catchphrase, it needs to be our collective mission. We need all levels of government working together to ensure everyone – no matter where they live or how much money they make – is able to live and thrive in a healthy, clean environment.”

Colorado is among the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico eligible to receive $3 million each in grant funds. Colorado will use the funds to update its existing climate action plan in collaboration with municipalities and communities across the state.   The State will also conduct meaningful public engagement on its plan, focusing on low-income and disadvantaged communities.  By summer 2023, EPA Regional Offices expect to award and administer the funding agreements.

Later this year, EPA will launch a competition for $4.6 billion in follow-up funding to implement projects and initiatives in state, Tribal and territorial climate action plans, which Colorado is eligible to receive. Colorado may use this current funding to develop strategies for using other grant, loan, and tax provisions secured by President Biden’s historic legislation, including the Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, to achieve its clean energy, climate, and environmental justice goals.

President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act includes historic funding to combat climate change while creating good-paying jobs and advancing environmental justice. Today’s announcement builds on $550 million announced earlier this month for EPA’s new Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Grantmaking program and $100 million announced earlier this year for environmental justice grants to support underserved and overburdened communities. Additionally, the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund will award nearly $27 billion to leverage private capital for clean energy and clean air investments across the country.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

WalletHub: 1 in 2 people plan to buy less gas in 2023 + Best Gas Credit Cards

With gas prices still high and inflation putting pressure on people’s budgets, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its editors’ picks for 
2023’s Best Gas Credit Cards to help drivers save money, along with a new survey to gauge consumer sentiment.
  • Lower Gas Demand: More than 1 in 2 people plan to buy less gas in 2023 compared to 2022.
  • Pump Pain: 15% of people say high gas prices are worse than food inflation.
  • Fuel Frustration: 78% of Americans say current gas prices are too high.
  • Most Wanted Reward: Almost 3 in 4 Americans want rewards on gas more than any other type of travel purchase.
  • Mandatory Test to Get a Credit Card: 41% of Americans think each individual should have to take a test to get a credit card, just like a driver’s license.
  • Gas station rewards: 2 in 5 people believe getting a gas station credit card is worth it.
  • Best Gas Rewards Credit Card: The U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card offers 4 points per $1 spent at gas stations, as well as at EV charging stations and on travel. New cardholders can also earn an initial bonus of 50,000 points for spending $2,000 in the first 120 days.
  • Best Gas Station Credit Card: The Speedway Credit Card is the best gas station credit card, offering 50 points / $1 spent on both gas and in-store purchases made at Speedway, as well as an initial bonus of 25,000 points after spending $500 in the first 3 billing cycles.

Are You Gay With Something To Say? Bloggers Wanted to Write About Denver's Gay Community

Are you a new or experienced writer or blogger? Do you want to be? Or maybe you're just some gay guy with something to say? Well, what better forum for you than MileHighGayGuy?

MileHighGayGuy is looking for regular and guest bloggers to write about local news and events, do music and movie reviews, or write opinion or feature pieces from a gay perspective.

These are unpaid positions but offer the opportunity to be published in Colorado's Best Gay Blog (2010, 2011, 2012 OUTstanding Awards, Denver 2012 #WebAwards), expand your audience and gain valuable experience. There's also swag available in the form of free movie and concert tickets, music, books and other cool stuff.

If interested, shoot an email over to Drew Wilson at And if you've got column or story ideas to pitch, this is the place to do it.

CITY PARK JAZZ 2023: Blues, Brass and Bootie-Shakin' Rhythms for Everyone!

City Park Jazz is a celebration of community that began in 1986 featuring only local musicians. Sunday evenings throughout the summer sees anywhere from 8,000 to 12,000 neighbors from around City Park neighborhoods — and all over Colorado —enjoying the amazing talent that calls the Centennial State home, all free of charge. A handful of carefully selected vendors and food trucks round out this festival-like atmosphere as we all celebrate the community we share.

“In our continuing tradition of exploring the incredible diversity of jazz as an art form, we’ve put together a great lineup for 2023,” says Andy Bercaw, President of the City Park Jazz Board of Directors. “We’ve got everything from soul to funk to straight-ahead to blues to Latin and more. After such a long winter, we couldn’t be more excited for another summer of sweet sounds and delicious eats at City Park Jazz!”
Our lineup this year features some of Denver’s most beloved performers, including Dotsero, Otis Taylor, and the return of the very popular Brass Band Extravaganza for the fourth straight season.

Living With Chucky Coming to VOD April 4

Cinedigm and Bloody Disgusting will premiere the horror documentary Living With Chucky on its horror streaming service SCREAMBOX and on all major digital platforms on April 4 in the US and Canada.

Living with Chucky takes an in-depth look at the groundbreaking Child’s Play franchise from the perspective of a filmmaker who grew up within it. Featuring interviews with cast and crew such as Brad Dourif, Jennifer Tilly, Alex Vincent, creator Don Mancini, and much more, this personal film recounts the dedication, creativity, and sacrifice that went into making the franchise and its long-lasting impact on the horror community.  

Shygirl Announces Deluxe Album 'Nymph_O'

Experimental pop artist Shygirl announces a deluxe edition of her critically acclaimed debut album Nymph, titled Nymph_o, due April 14th. Alongside the announcement, Shygirl drops the first taste of what Nymph_o has in store with a new version of her track "Heaven" featuring Tinashe. The song sees the two artists weave together for an ethereal and dreamy remix that showcases their vocals. The accompanying video, directed by Actual Objects, is a surreal representation of the song's otherworldly and utopian atmosphere. The track follows Shygirl's collaboration with Sega Bodega and Björk for a remix of Björk's "Ovule." Björk is also featured on Shygirl's deluxe album in addition to Arca, Erika de Casier, Eartheater and more. Full tracklisting can be found below and the deluxe album will be available on vinyl and CD as well.


The end of 2022 saw the start of the Nymph World Tour with Shygirl performing at the iconic Printworks in London, marking her biggest headline to date. Shygirl has recently wrapped performances in Berlin, Amsterdam, and Paris, and is now gearing up for the North American leg of her Nymph World Tour, which begins on March 15th in Vancouver. The 14-date run will take her to Seattle, Los Angeles, Chicago, Toronto, New York City, and Atlanta, before concluding in Miami on April 15th. Tickets are on sale now HERE.

PEOPLE Exclusive: Anthony Rapp Says Baby Rai's Arrival Was the 'Light at the End of the Tunnel' Following Dark Times

Anthony Rapp was in his early 20s when he realized he wanted to become a father — but was convinced it would never happen.

"I thought it'd pass me by," he tells PEOPLE.

But nearly 30 years later, the Star Trek: Discovery actor is at ease sitting beside his partner, leadership and life coach Ken Ithiphol, and their 3-month-old son Rai Larson Ithiphol, at their home in downtown New York City.

"He's making more noise lately, just cooing and chatting," Rapp says, noting that looking into his son's eyes feels like staring into the ocean. "You just get lost, right? That's what I feel."

Little Richard: I Am Everything


Produced by Bungalow Media + Entertainment for CNN Films and HBO Max, in association with Rolling Stone Films, director Lisa Cortés’ Sundance opening night documentary LITTLE RICHARD: I AM EVERYTHING tells the story of the Black queer origins of rock n’ roll, exploding the whitewashed canon of American pop music to reveal the innovator – the originator – Richard Penniman. 

Through a wealth of archive and performance that brings us into Richard’s complicated inner world, the film unspools the icon’s life story with all its switchbacks and contradictions.  In interviews with family, musicians, and cutting-edge Black and queer scholars, the film reveals how Richard created an art form for ultimate self-expression, yet what he gave to the world he was never able to give to himself. 

Throughout his life, Richard careened like a shiny cracked pinball between God, sex and rock n’ roll. The world tried to put him in a box, but Richard was an omni being who contained multitudes – he was unabashedly everything. Directed by Lisa Cortés, LITTLE RICHARD: I AM EVERYTHING is produced by Robert Friedman, Cortés, Liz Yale Marsh and Caryn Capotosto and Executive Produced by Dee Rees.

Monday, March 13, 2023

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FIRST LOOK: Season Three of Hulu's "Only Murders in the Building"


Check out the first look at season three of Hulu's acclaimed original comedy series, "Only Murders in the Building." This season's first teaser aired last night during the 95th Oscars and shows a sneak peek at guest star and Oscar-winner Meryl Streep in the new season. "Only Murders in the Building" season three is coming soon.

Stonewall Democrats of Colorado Reorganization Meeting Tuesday

Stonewall Democrats reorganization meeting this Tuesday, March 13.