By Gregg Shapiro

 

In case you missed it, there appears to be a new movie trend in the works this spring. Single dads raising teenagers. First there was gay filmmaker Andrew Haigh’s “Lean On Pete”. The forthcoming “Eighth Grade” features a single dad and his daughter. Presently, we have Brett Haley’s “Hearts Beat Loud” (Gunpowder & Sky).

 

In “Hearts Beat Loud”, Frank (Nick Offerman) is a widowed single father raising daughter Sam (Kiersey Clemons) after her mother was killed in a bicycle accident when Sam was young. Frank, who had a brief, promising music career, is the proprietor of Red Hook Records, a vinyl only shop in Brooklyn. He’s a music snob who thinks nothing of smoking cigarettes in his place of business.

 

Sam is spending her last summer in Red Hook before heading off to UCLA to be a pre-med student in the fall. She’s taking summer courses to get a head start on things. At an art gallery in the neighborhood, Sam meets burgeoning artist Rose (queer actress Sasha Lane), and a summer romance begins.

 

Meanwhile, Frank has decided to close up shop after 17 years. It’s a strange and unexpected decision, especially since hipsters dig LPs and Red Hook Records has plenty in stock for sale. When he breaks the news to his landlord Leslie (Toni Collette), she appears genuinely shocked and saddened.

 

Sam is equally disappointed; and concerned. What will Frank do for money? Fortunately, because of Frank’s income situation, Sam’s tuition is greatly reduced. Nevertheless, it’s obvious that Sam’s impending departure is causing him all sorts of grief. Adding insult to injury, Frank’s kleptomaniac mother Marianne (Blythe Danner) keeps getting arrested for stealing. She also refuses to move in with Frank so he can keep an eye on her.

 

While looking for Sam’s birth certificate to complete her paperwork for college, Frank stumbles across a box of memorabilia. This inspires him to start making music, which in turn leads him to ask Sam to have the kind of jam sessions they used to enjoy together.

They end up collaborating on a song, “Hearts Beat Loud”, featuring lyrics by Sam. It’s so good that they record it. Then Frank takes it one step too far by uploading the song on music streaming service Spotify. Frank is back in songwriting mode, but Sam doesn’t particularly want to be in a band with her father.

 

Still, you can’t blame Frank for being excited when he hears “Hearts Beat Loud” playing on a local coffee house’s playlist. Naturally, Sam is mad at Frank for uploading the song without her permission.

 

Things are alternately bumpy and smooth after that. Leslie makes Frank a business proposition to keep the store open. Frank seeks advice from old friend and tavern owner Dave (Ted Danson). Sam tells Frank about Rose. Rose teaches Sam to ride a bike (something that was forbidden after her mother’s death).

 

As both Sam’s inevitable departure and the closing of the store approach, Frank gets the idea to go out with a bang by having him and Sam perform under the moniker We’re Not A Band. It’s here that “Hearts Beat Loud” gets Hollywood predictable. Regardless, it doesn’t necessarily detract from our fondness for the characters or the story.

 

Clemons is a revelation and Offerman manages to be slightly less annoying than usual. The supporting players, especially Collette and Danson, are welcome additions.

 

Without belaboring the point, “Hearts Beat Loud” is a movie with its heart in the right place. Rating: 3.5 peaches

 

By Scott King

 

Photos courtesy of joining Hearts (2017 Joining Hearts Flirt Pool Party)

 

The Uber driver communicated very quickly that he did not speak English. I said it’s all good I speak a little Spanish, then I proceeded to throw him all the Spanish I know.

 

“Hello. How are you doing? You are very cute and handsome. We should be boyfriends.”

 

Unfortunately, I do not know how to say, “It is okay, friend. I am just kidding.”

 

Poor hombre. Quien es tu, papi?

 

After that, he got real introverted really quickly. It’s almost as if he was scared of me. Isn’t that hilarious? Why, I wouldn’t even hurt a fly.

 

Think about it from his perspective. He comes to this country with hopes and dreams of making a living and making a life. All to be ruined by some dude who’s twice his size and with twice the panache, selling him into an underground prostitution ring.

 

I would never do that to you, boo. It’s summertime. It’s time to get out. It’s time to take a drive with a very nervous Uber driver. He showed me the back roads no pun intended of West Midtown. I love that part of town, all the industrial wasteland. We ended up right over by the Amtrak station. It was love at first bite.

 

He dropped me off. I said thank you very much. He said you’re welcome. Have a good night. I think his not speaking English was fake news.

 

I prefer walking down the street with my friends, especially when they are not white or a good deal of them are not originally from the US, which is number one. I’m not on any sort of PC diversity bandwagon; it’s just the flow of my life.

 

It’s beautiful.

 

Joining Hearts, July 21, at Piedmont Park, is a sea of beautiful bodies. It’s also a sea of beautiful alcohol for beautiful souls. As long as you are a beautiful soul you should encounter plenty of new and old friends. Be nice. Give us smile. Give a hug. Don’t give any shade.

 

After the 4th or 5th free drink, it’s easy to go to a different place in your head. And not even know it.

 

Haha gurl. You’re such a slut lololololol. Good to see you, though. Okay byyyyye.

 

Shake it off.

 

Be beautiful, like the night sky. Be hot, like the weather. Don’t be stealing my sunshine.

 

It’s called Joining Hearts. Not tearing them apart.

 

Before you know it, there will be fireworks in the sky, showing you how to be beautiful and noisy without hurting anyone.

 

Come on, show us what you’re worth.

 

Be worthy of all of those who came before you, whether they be martyrs or pop stars. Be worthy of queer history. Be worthy of the entirety of the LGBT civil rights movement. Be worthy of your best friends. Be worthy of your lovers. Be worthy of the future. Be worthy of the past. Be worthy of the resplendent present moment.

 

Be fiery. Like the electricity that powers the lights on the dance floor. Like the spark that ignites the revolution. Like the lights that make the night sky beautiful. Like the sun that gives us life.

 

And werque! Like the whirling dervish channeling the divine. Like the Occupy demonstrators refusing to cede ground. Like the West Village construction worker, building a mystery. Like a Drag Race finalist, with butterflies in her net.

 

Choosing oh so carefully, with .

 

See you at the fireworks.

By Mikkel Hyldebrandt

Photos courtesy of River’s Edge

 

It was a first for me, and admittedly, I was a little apprehensive about the whole nude gay camping thing. But after three days in the River’s Edge compound, all my trepidations were replaced by something entirely different.

 

A nude, gay campground? Before venturing the 110 miles to River’s Edge, I imagined enforced nudity and a sexually charged atmosphere that would be difficult to deal with for an entire weekend. For me anyway. Also, was I even going to make it roughing it in the wilderness?

 

The weekend I chose to visit River’s Edge was the Deep South River Rave weekend – a getaway experience arranged by the queer undergoing DJ collective – and that did give me some comfort because I would be there with a lot of familiar faces.

 

After my a little over two hour drive (Atlanta traffic!), I arrived at the campsite and was greeted by the friendly staff who got me checked in and gave me a map so I could found my room in the main cabin. Keys in hand, I rolled down to the cabin, which was nicely air-conditioned and had a bathroom, shower, and kitchen with the essentials. So no roughing it here, just a simple but functional room and cabin that provided sufficient shelter and main modern amenities. After getting settled, I made my way to the pool area centrally located on the compound – and that’s where my experience really took off.

 

Sure, there was plenty of naked people, but the vibe was more ‘wind down’ than turn on and turn up.’ Even though River’s Edge is clothing optional, no lewd behavior is allowed in any of the public areas. So, I immediately let my initial apprehension of almost enforced nudity go and allowed the feeling of having left the city entirely wash over me. Not even a thunderstorm lasting for the better part of the night could shake my sense of succumbing to the relaxed atmosphere.

 

Next morning started slow and quiet after a surprisingly early night with a little (instant) coffee and a shower at the adjacent bathhouse. The rest of the day was spent at the pool where a lineup of DJs were spinning delectable beats, drinks were flowing, and people simply lounged, laughed, and hung out in the sun and the water. It was glorious, to say the least. As the sun went down, people scattered to regroup, refresh, and get ready for the big dance party in the woods – a massive tent erected in the more deserted part of the grounds with a full-on sound system and disco lights. And then we danced the night away.

 

Sunday was definitely more chill and was spent at the pool with even more beats by Deep South as guests checked out and stopped by the water for a last dip and to say bye before leaving for the city. I actually decided to stay another night, so got to experience the quiet side of River’s Edge too before leaving early Monday to get back to work.

 

It is needless to say that I will return to River’s Edge. This was a brief retreat from the real world, but nonetheless, it gave me exactly what I needed: an escape from stress and leaving the ordinary behind. All of my apprehensions evaporated, and I realized that they were all about taking myself out of my comfort zone – but that part was so easy because of the friendly and kind atmosphere! Who knew embracing the unknown and experiencing new things could be so much fun and so relaxing!

 

A special thanks to Deep South for an amazing and well-organized weekend rave. A select few people filled this weekend and my life with music, compassion, dancing, and love – you know who you are. Thank you!

 

About River’s Edge

River’s Edge is a private membership only facility, which means you pay a membership fee the first time you visit. The campground lies about 110 miles outside of Atlanta and caters primarily to men, but women are always welcome too. River’s Edge is clothing optional and offers a variety of cabin rental, tent sites, and RV sites along with an extensive pool area and common areas. Check out availability, rates, and more at camptheriversedge.com.

 

 

 

By Gregg Shapiro

 

Photos: Sean Dunn, Keith Trigaci

 

With the release of her debut solo disc Change (Kill Rock Stars), Cindy Wilson is now the third member of the legendary B-52s to record a solo album. Be forewarned, you shouldn’t expect to hear the Cindy Wilson you remember from B-52s’ songs such as “Give Me Back My Man”, “Girl From Ipanema Goes to Greenland”, “Legal Tender” or “Love Shack”, on Change. Closer in mood to the subtle soul drama of “Ain’t It a Shame” (from 1986’s underrated B-52s platter Bouncing Off the Satellites), the songs on Change introduce us to a more soft-spoken Wilson who sings these 10 songs (two of which are covers) in a breathy belt. The disc opens with “People Are Asking”, a potential activist anthem if there ever was one. Wilson, who has an appreciation for a good beat, invites us to “dance this mess around” again on “No One Can Tell You”, “Stand Back Time”, “Mystic”, “Memory” and the title track. Wilson takes an unexpected experimental rock turn on “Brother”, her interpretation of a song by Athens, Georgia band Oh-OK. Just back from her first solo concert tour, Wilson took a few minutes to answer some questions in a phone interview.

 

Your full-length solo debut album Change was released in late 2017. Why was this the right time for you to put out a solo record?

I had the time to do it. The B-52s were laying off for a while. It was a stressful time and I started to get together with a friend of mine to do some music. We went into Suny Lyon’s studio to kick it around and experiment and see what kind of direction we want to go in. It took about three and a half years, off and on, recording and everything. Then we put the songs together with a band and went down to Austin, Texas. We met Portia (Sabin) from (record label) Kill Rock Stars and she helped us get on the right path. It’s been amazing, really.

 

Change is an accurate name for the album, because it doesn’t sound like the Cindy Wilson people are familiar with from your years in the B-52s. Was that a deliberate decision?

Of course. I’ve been doing the B-52-thing for 40 years. It was really fun to be experimental. I had a different set of musicians. It was a real learning experience for me. The music scene is a whole new thing now. With the business end and creatively. I had a blast experimenting with that.

 

There are a couple of cover tunes on Change, including “Brother” which was originally performed by Athens GA band Oh-OK. Was this meant to be a nod to your roots in that music scene?

We started in the late `70s and they came just a tad later. What happened was we had done Oh-OK songs in Athens with Ryan (Monahan) and Lemuel (Hayes) and some other musicians. We had done a tribute to Vanessa (Briscoe) from (the band) Pylon and different musicians who were in Athens at the time. It was so much fun. The Oh-OK song “Brother” turned out so well that we decided to record it. Everybody loves that song!

 

With the exception of the cover songs, you co-wrote the remaining tracks with Suny and Ryan. In what ways would you say that your writing experience differed from when you co-wrote songs for the B-52s?

Luckily, I thrive in a situation where people are being super creative. You let down your guard. That’s when a lot of good ideas can come through. You bounce off each other and you create things together. You tap into this stream of consciousness. It’s really magical. It was different from the B-52s, but it was definitely being able to feel the vibe. Like I said, for the Cindy Wilson thing, I let down my defenses and explored. This was great. I did a lot of listening to Suny and Ryan and I got to throw in some things of my own. It was really fun.

 

You mentioned how this has been a stressful time and I was thinking about how “People Are Asking”, the first song on the album sounds like one of your most political songs, which feels new for you. Am I on the right track?

Yes! It’s one of the elements, definitely. I hate to tell people what a song is about, because it does feel better for it to be a personal thing. But it definitely had those (political) elements in it.

 

Kate Pierson’s solo debut was released in 2015 and Fred Schneider put out one in 1984 and another in 1996. Did they have any words of advice for you on the subject of going solo?

Yes [laughs], yes! They did it their way. Everybody does it a different way. When we signed with Kill Rock Stars Records, they had a lot of ideas, too. It was definitely a joint thing.

 

You recently completed some tour dates. What was that experience like for you?

I love taking recorded music and making it come alive; actually having to perform it! When you tour, your show gets better and better and stronger and stronger. You get even more intuitive with the musicians in the band. There are so many great elements that come through the personalities of the people in the band that adds so much. I had the best time. We’re building an audience. It’s been really purposeful to take it slow and build and experience a new beginning.

 

On June 10, the B-52s are headlining Milwaukee Pridefest. As the B-52s’ sole straight ally member, can you please say a few words about what the LGBTQ community and LGBTQ fans mean to you personally?

[Laughs] I’ve got so many friends and family members and loved ones that are in the gay community in all different forms. I take my hat off and say thank you!

 

You will be on tour with the B-52s throughout the summer and early autumn. What do you like most about performing with your longtime bandmates?

To me, it’s amazing that we’ve been around 41 years. I’ve known them and I’ve seen them go through different phases of their lives. Losing Rick (Wilson, Cindy’s brother) and the different changes that go on in the band, the musicians who step in and out; it’s a marriage and it seems like the B-52s are an entity all its own. I’m just one aspect of it. It’s amazing to look across the stage and see Fred in 2018. And Kate! How much life has shaped her. You see their souls. We’re singing “Rock Lobster” and it’s an amazing thing to look out in the audience and see people having such a good time. It’s really special to be able to bring that to an audience after all these years. From my point of view, it’s an amazing story, really.

 

One of the tour dates brings the B-52’s to Atlanta in July. What does it mean to you to play to your hometown audience?

It’s very special. Everybody says it’s the hardest when you come and play to your hometown. There are so many fans there and everything. It’s going to be fun. It’s going to be a hoot!

 

The B-52s perform on July 22 at Chastain Park Amphitheater in Atlanta.

 

 

By MH

 

For thirteen years, For The Kid In All Of Us has helped deserving children start their school year off right with a backpack full of supplies. Peach talked to FTK President Lynn Barfield about the importance of this initiative.

 

In your own words: Tell us about the background of Backpack in the Park

Back Pack in the Park was started by For The Kid in 2006 in response to the need from its partnering beneficiary organizations to get deserving children in their programs backpacks and school supplies to begin their school year. The organization has collected over 22,000 backpacks over the years.

 

Who will receive these backpacks full of school supplies support?

The backpacks will be given to our partnering agencies to distribute, including AID Atlanta, Chris 180, Eastlake Foundation, Lost-n-Found Youth, and Legacy of Pearls.

 

Backpack in the Park returns to Piedmont Park this year – tell us about this change and what it means to the event?

We wanted to make changes to the event this year and also bring the event back to a location that is shared by the community and by our city. No place brings people together like Piedmont Park. It’s the hub of activity and events.

 

What can people expect at this year’s Backpack in the Park?

The first part of the day from noon until 4:00 PM is a designated drop off time so people can bring by backpacks. For attendees that do bring a backpack, you can enjoy some adult beverages and some delicious afternoon appetizers and hear an awesome DJ. For folks choosing the night event, we will have a real live auctioneer, Dean Crownover, doing a live auction with some wonderful auction packages, a silent auction, a jazz band, The J Clay Band, and Zest Catering serving drinks and some delicious food.  To RSVP either part of the day, got to www.eventbrite.com.

 

What do you need to know if you want to bring a backpack?

The backpacks can be filled with two pocket folders, spiral notebooks, wide ruled notebook paper, No. 2 pencils, colored pencils and three-ring binders. Get creative with what backpack you pick out – kids love all kinds!

 

Is there an option to support even if you don’t show up with a backpack?

And if you cannot attend the event on Saturday, please got to our website and purchase a ‘virtual backpack’ for $35 or you can make a monetary donation of your choice. Our goal is 2500 backpacks! Help us make it happen!

 

Anything you’d like to add?

Thank everyone for all the continued support that you all give to For The Kid. As we continue to bridge communities to strengthen the quality of life for children who are in need, we face growth in the need of our resources in our state. 21% of children who live inside the city limits are at the poverty line or below. Even though we see images of abundance all around us, children are still underserved and sometimes forgotten. Our board members and volunteers are committed to doing what we can to help.

13th Annual Backpack In The Park takes place Saturday, July 14, at the Piedmont Park Greystone Pool Pavillion. 12-4 pm is community drop-off of backpacks and the evening event is from 7-10pm. Check out forthekid.org for more info and to RSVP.

 

 

Jacob has always shared his life with a dog, which is one of the main reasons he founded Crate Escape Atlanta in 2017 – a dog-walking company that also specializes in dog boarding, pet sitting, and dog grooming. He knows how difficult it is to leave your furry friend with complete strangers which is why he creates a home away from home with loving care for the pets and peace of mind for the owners. Jacob is an avid dog lover, he loves being outdoors and being active with swimming, hiking, and travel. Oh, and he also loves a lazy evening on the couch!

Photos: Larry Graham Photography

 

 

  • You won’t be glamping, but you’ll be glad you brought these things

 

Flashlight

 

 

 

 

 

Sunscreen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bug spray

 

 

 

 

 

Charger/battery for phone

 

 

 

 

 

A sweater

 

 

 

 

 

Extra nutrition

 

 

 

 

 

Water (gallon jug)

 

 

 

 

 

First aid kit

 

 

 

 

 

Sleeping bag

 

 

 

 

 

Cuddly buddy

By Jamie Kirk

 

Why do we complain about the lack of “quality” mates in Atlanta? Why do we complain that “friends of substance” are hard to find, as you get older? Why is it so common to say on a Friday night “there is nothing to do in this city’? It could be that we are not putting ourselves out there.

 

Most often we get closed off to the world after a bad experience. Many of us shy away from talking about it or discussing it because, honestly, we think if we ignore it, it will go away. We also can be embarrassed and fear judgment from friends and family. But at some point, we have to throw caution to the wind and get our heads out of the dirt and move up and onward.

 

It’s the summertime, and there are literally tons of things to do, not just outside. Many charity events, concerts, book signings, summer blockbuster movies, etc. All are taking place between May and Labor Day. All you have to do is actually look through pages of this publication, visit accessatlanta.com, or look at community boards at your local Starbucks, and you will be properly plugged into activities. However, the first time has to be with your intention. The intention to want to get out and about!

 

Being extroverted and wanting to engage with others is not for the faint at heart. The constant fake-laugh, being trapped in the corner with someone that wants to tell you about EVERY step in their 12-step program, the drunk guy or gal, that doesn’t understand “I’m not interested” – it all takes courage and patience.

 

Once you get over the fact that people don’t find your apartment and walk up and introduce themselves and practically beg you to come out and play, it will hit you like a ton of bricks that you will have to do some of the work. You will have to make the conscious effort to engage with strangers, take a different route to work, join a co-ed intramural sport or even go for a nice evening walk in a neighborhood park. And let me be clear, this has nothing to do with dating or looking for that special someone. This is about putting yourself out there and enjoying the remainder of the summer months.

 

Just like in doing a race or taking a class, the first step is to sign-up. Once you determine what your extroverted exercise or activity will be, the next step is to commit to it.  And then finding an accountability partner that will not let you back out at the last minute, is key. Make it a game, commit to engaging (start small), in two activities per month with varying degrees of involvement. Could be just attending, could be volunteering, or it could be taking the lead. Once you hit your goal, increase it, and raise your bar. This will help you move the needle from being introverted to being the life of the party. Well, maybe not that, but you get my point.

 

This article is not meant to try and encourage people to go against their natural naturalness of how they live their life and what is most comfortable for them. People that are introverted by nature look awkward and appear weird when they are trying too hard to make conversations with someone. The same can be said for extroverted people that all of a sudden want to spend time alone; the walls feel like they are caving in. It needs to be authentic in order to be sustainable.

 

Do what feels good. If it feels good, keep doing it. If it doesn’t, stop. But remembering that life is short, this is not a dress rehearsal, make the most of the time you got. Living with no regrets serves everyone. We have to decide to take life by the balls and be the author of our own book, by determining what people, places, and things go in and what stays out.

 

 

By Darren Floro-Bryant

 

 

As one of biggest summer events in Atlanta, the Joining Hearts event is a big dance party with great DJs and an opportunity for networking and socializing. We all know you want to look your best, but we need to make sure you feel your best!  This is the perfect opportunity to try out some High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) classes. 

 

HIIT routines are designed to help you burn calories and get you fit by combining groups or pairings of exercises to maximize efficiency and results. The concept is that you go all-out for a pre-determined period of time or set number of reps at full intensity, followed by shorter periods of low intensity active recovery or complete rest. These routines make the body work harder than steady-state cardio sessions, and they are are designed to burn fat, enhance physical activity, and build muscle.

 

Another great thing about HIIT training is that they can be adapted to accommodate a beginner all the way up to an advanced athlete and they can be completed at the exact same time in many situations, which is great for training with a partner.

 

HIIT routines are also excellent because they can be broken up into groupings to target certain body parts or specific activities. If your goal is to improve your whole body at once, you can do a grouping that rotates through full body exercises for an overall approach, or you can split it up into body parts that group exercises to target and enhance certain areas (i.e. lower body, upper body, chest, legs, arms etc).

 

Another benefit of HIIT training is that they can range from 45mins all the way down to 4 mins.  It all depends on the pairing or ratio of work to rest. These routines are intense and the work portion of the routine should be greater than 80% of your estimated max. heart rate. Conversely, the active recovery or rest interval should be performed at around 50% of your estimated max. heart rate.

 

Here are just a couple sample routines we’ve done at Foundation Fitness. Give them a try or simply come check us out for some other variations and combinations:

 

4 MIN HIIT (go through full routine – repeat if time permits)

 

  1. 20 sec Jumping Jacks : 10sec March in spot
  2. 20sec Power lunges (or jumping lunges) : 10sec Slow squats
  3. 20sec Jumps squats : 10sec Alternating reverse lunges
  4. 20sec Ball slams : 10sec Standing elbow to knee cross overs
  5. 20sec Running High knees : 10sec Side to side squats
  6. 20sec Burpees : 20sec Slow squat
  7. 20sec Skater lunges  : Walk cool down

 

Lower Body HIIT (repeat all 3 – 3x before moving on to next grouping)

Ø  30sec Iron Chairs (Wall Sits) : 30sec Jump Squats : 30sec Slow squats

Ø  30sec/leg Bench cross over with foot on bench  : 30 Low squat side 2 side steps

Ø  30sec Bench hop overs  : 30sec walk around : 30sec Bench hop overs

Ø  30sec Walking Lunges : 30sec Power lunges : 30sec Walking lunges

Ø  30sec Tae Bo ™ knees right : 30sec Tae Bo ™ knees left : 30sec Plyometric Jump Squat

Ø  30sec Wall Ball : 30sec On tip toes wall tap jumps : 30sec Deep squat right up to toes

Ø  30sec Bob and Weave w/punches : 30sec In/Out run in the spot : 30sec Bob and Weave w/punches