It's hard to know what exactly is going on when you find yourself tuned to 87.9 FM in Phoenix and listening to harsh noise, bizarre dubstep, and other unclassifiable mixes from the desert underground. Broadcast illegally, this is pirate radio at its weirdest. The signal comes and goes — but it's always streaming at www.kwfucc.com, an insanely designed site that features a message that sums up the station's uncanny appeal: "look i know we are no web desighners [sic] but fuck it this az we just make shit up as we go." By the time you read this, it's entirely possible that the station has vanished like a ghost from the FM dial, but don't be surprised when it shows back up again, making little to no sense at all, the exact opposite of what you'll hear anywhere else on the radio.

www.kwfucc.com
Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co.
Heather Hoch

The bearded brewers at Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co. in Gilbert need little introduction in the craft beer scene at this point, and they are used to people lining up for their beer. But when the Bear Wallow Berliner Weiss, one of their signature opening beers, hopped back on the menu, the line just got bigger. This sour-style beer was one of the first to be produced locally, setting the bar for breweries to begin sourcing local grain, which, like much of their beer, is built from Hayden Mills Sonoran White heritage wheat. At only 3.2 percent ABV, you can taste every last nuance — and go back for more.

Arizona Distilling Co.
Evie Carpenter

This little distillery in Tempe has big ambition, the kind that's led to a distinguished Double Gold medal at the San Francisco Spirits competition for its Desert Dry Gin. To be sure, judges, local bartenders, and drinkers alike are enjoying Arizona terroir like never before: in herbaceous gin. Sourced from locales like Cottonwood, the gin features a 5-C's lineup of botanicals: cinnamon, coriander, cardamom, cumin, and citrus. Of course, there's our friend juniper, and a little lavender, and apple as well.

With a few clever tricks up their sleeves, Phoenicians long have known how to make summers more bearable, including maintaining an arsenal of thirst-quenching and revitalizing provisions. We think of watermelon, stone fruits, iced tea, and, of course, Sand-Reckoner "W." The highly aromatic wine smells of white flowers like gardenia and citrus blossom, with traces of lavender greens. Sound like a pool area you know? "W" is a nectarous wine, tasting like creamy lemon, orange peel, sweet red apple, with undertones of tropical melon and mango. We think it pairs best with light summer fare like delicate oysters, grilled whitefish, and sweet apricot galettes. Fragrant and delightful, Sand-Reckoner "W" was made for long days of sunshine, delectable dining, and finally deciding that the summers here really aren't that bad.

www.sand-reckoner.com

Local country crooner Tommy Ash makes music inspired by the likes of Patsy Cline, Merle Haggard, and Waylon Jennings, with a healthy dose of Western music thrown in for good measure. Her song "Yodelin' Blues," off Sinner's Blood, would fit in perfectly on the soundtrack to Kill Bill because her voice drifts between singing and yodeling on the song's haunting chorus. She shot a music video, directed by Tanner Locust and P.A Molumby, that captures the song's dusty aesthetic perfectly. The video is set mostly in an old, light blue Chevy, and we see images of passionate love and heart-wrenching breakup take place in the car while the band plays on faded rugs in front of a brilliant desert sunset. The sound and sights of the desert haunt the video, ending with night overtaking the band, and candles appear to light the final, dark notes of the song.

Watch the video here.

All too often, the best things in life show up when we're not looking and — in the case of night-blooming cacti — they don't stick around for long. To get scientific: Night-blooming cereus refers to a number of flowering ceroid cacti, which include a variety with buds that bloom only at night. The flowers are usually lightly colored and very fragrant, but you won't spot or smell them if you're more concerned with catching up on your Zs. By morning, they've often wilted and disappeared. If you're not planning on growing your own or running out into the desert in the middle of the night, your best bet might be a flashlight tour (May through August) at the Desert Botanical Garden. There, you can catch the bloom of the Peniocereus greggii, or Queen of the Night cacti, and your guide will know just when and where to look.

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