Monday, July 7: Hopefully you're doing something productive while you fry yourself in the sun this summer -- you know, like catching up on music, cruising hot boys, or reading tawdry gay romances. Mahu Fire by Neil S. Plakcy isn't necessarily tawdry, but the follow-up to Mahu and Mahu Surfer does tell the tale of a hunky gay detective in Hawaii trying to solve a mystery with the help of perhaps an even hunkier mustachioed fireman. You'll read it in three sittings, maybe four, so get it here. Not a reader? Try some controversial art as HBO debuts the documentary The Art of Failure: Chuck Connelly Not For Sale, the story of an incredibly talented artist who chose the difficult road to success. Watch this clip and keep your eyes peeled for the Santa Claus painting, where "Ho-Mo" is written over Jolly St. Nick's face.
Tuesday, July 8: Two musical icons give us new gifts this week: Patti Smith collaborates with Kevin Shields to deliver The Coral Sea, a poetic tribute to her good friend, the late Robert Mapplethorpe, and Yaz legend Alison Moyet releases The Turn, her seventh solo studio album. With The Coral Sea, Shields and Smith perform a long and dramatic spoken word requiem for the iconoclastic gay photographer, and the result is mystifying. Get it here. Meanwhile, Moyet's Turn displays her signature deep, bluesy vocals and penchant for histrionics. Moyet set the pace for the Beth Dittos of today. Check out an amazing live clip of Yaz performing "Don't Go" here, then sample some of The Turn on Moyet's MySpace page here.
Wednesday, July 9: Just when you thought Bravo couldn't get any gayer, the network drops new seasons of Project Runway and Shear Genius into our laps this month. The latter, involving cutthroat competing hairstylists, kicks off tonight. If you need a show refresher, here's a snippet of the final hair show.
Thursday, July 10: Not to be outdone by New York's recent NewFest, Los Angeles mounts its own event for gay film buffs this week. With a whopping 13 full days of programming running through July 21, OutFest boasts 212 films from 25 countries in seven venues. Look out for the much-anticipated arrival of Bruce LaBruce's twisted gorefest Otto!; Or, Up With Dead People (watch the demented trailer here). The fest opens with Breakfast with Scot, starring Ed's Tom Cavanagh and Angels in America's Ben Shenkman (above), and also features a two-day music festival. BOOM! headliners include Lavender Diamond, Hey Will Power, The Library and sapphic hip-hop duo Yo Majesty. Get your tickets and consult the full schedule here.
Friday, July 11: Southern California gays, get suited up! It's Pride Night at San Diego's Out at the Park, with the San Diego GALA Choruses presenting the National Anthem and the Padres and Atlanta Braves providing the sporno. Get your tickets here. Non-sports fans should try Bill Maher's new religio-documentary Religulous, in which the liberal comedian addresses the absurdity of religious extremism, even tackling gay Muslims. Watch the trailer here.
Saturday, July 12: Tacoma, Washington, may not be the gayest place on the West Coast, but this weekend it comes damn close with its own Out at the Park at Lincoln-Eldridge Park. This year's festival -- with art, live entertainment, and plenty of food for the Tacoma queer folks -- features Danielle Egnew (named one of the ten most powerful lesbians in music by Curve magazine) the soulful Kim Archer Band, and the campy, countryfied Purty Mouth. For details, directions, and sponsors, go here.
Sunday, July 13: It's time to get wet and get out of the city. Pitch a tent with the San Francisco Gay Sierrans as the group takes a raft along the American River (near Colma/Placerville). Nearly 150 gays are expected to paddle, splash, feast, and then (here's hoping) cuddle by the fire, so make your reservation here.