Love Against Racism: Lenny Kravitz Has a Poignant New Single for the UN Human Rights Day

 

 

30 years ago, Lenny Kravitz‘ first brush with widespread recognition was the fearlessly defiant single “Mr. Cab Driver,” which documented his experience with being passed up by some 20 taxis as he tried to get to a studio in Hoboken where he was recording.

In 2019, he remains a global superstar, with about 40 million in record sales to his credit. But the fight goes on, with white supremacist ideology worryingly on the rise in America – so Lenny is back on the battlefield, with the poignant new single “Here to Love.” Only this time, he’s got the UN Human Rights Office in his corner as he once again speaks out against racist hatred, three decades later.

 

 

 

 

And with its stirring lyrical message of, “We must all unite, for we are one creation / We must join the fight, together we are strong / We must do what’s right in every situation / Love each other’s lives as you would do your own,” the viscerally affective track is an unflinching clarion call for tolerance, at a time when it is so urgently needed. He also directed the accompanying video – a powerful reminder that we are, indeed, all the same in the end.

The release coincides with the United Nations’ Human Rights Day (December 10), and is meant to bolster its ongoing #Fightracism campaign.

Looking ahead, Lenny will play Sparks Arena in Auckland on March 31 in 2020, before a 21 date summer European tour – in continued support of his critically acclaimed 2018 album Raise Vibration – takes him from Berlin to Paris to Amsterdam and beyond.

 

Wild Alaska Pollock: The New Sustainable ‘Superfish’ Trend for 2020

Images by Lexie Moreland 

 

 

Recently a friend who was happily vegan for a decade stunningly declared she was back on meat – and pretty content with her decision. And while such a backlash might not yet be registering high on the international trendometer, for those who have done the about face, it’s a good time to consider…what should you actually be eating, if you still want to eat healthy? (Hint: It isn’t filet mignon.)

Now, we readily admit that we have looked at menus at high-profile restaurants, and could not for the life of us sort out the logistics of flying fish over from New Zealand or Thailand all the way to New York, while still managing to keep it fresh for consumption (and for proper star ratings with the right critics). But by all accounts, a lot of those logistical issues have been shifting over to Alaska, as the talk is that the new fish for those in the know will be…pollock – and that’s where they catch quite a lot of them.

The company that is doing most of the fishing is Seattle based Trident Seafoods, who have forty-plus boats trolling the Alaskan waters every day. And the take is a generous haul of Wild Alaska Pollock, which seems to have more buzz right now than the beet and brussels sprouts trends had combined.

 

 

Curiously, its biggest champion amongst the American food cognoscenti is Oberon Sinclair, who – about a decade ago – also first turned kale into the inescapable and utterly mainstreamed sensation that it now is (we’re pretty sure even the Applebee’s in Lubbock, Texas has a kale salad on the menu at this point).

What is driving the enthusiasm is, firstly its abundance – no one needs to worry about the size of the pollock population – and secondly, its qualities of high protein, but low calorie count (Sinclair has enthusiastically dubbed it the “superfish”). This is especially relevant as we head into another holiday season of overindulging in fatty and sugary treats.

“Wild Alaska Pollock truly lives up to the title of ‘superfish,'” enthuses John Salle, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Trident. “Coming from the famously clean waters of Alaska, it is a low-calorie, low-fat, and high-protein option that is finally generating the appreciation it deserves. Given its low level of contaminants and abundance of health benefits, Alaska public health officials frequently advocate for unrestricted consumption of it for people of all ages.”

 

 

The numbers don’t lie: one cooked filet equals 80 calories, 19g of protein, and 70mg of Omega-3. And it’s also a great source for various other nutrients and the health benefits that go along with them. To wit, Vitamin B-12 promotes healthy brain function, amino acids strengthen the immune system, phosphorous acts in tandem with calcium to help maintain strong bones and teeth, and selenium protects the body from infection.

But for conscious eaters, Wild Alaska Pollock is also the most abundant and sustainable species on this planet Earth, the result of meticulously responsible management of the fisheries, via the collaborative efforts of government, the seafood companies, and perhaps most importantly, the scientific community. Trident Seafoods and the Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers (GAPP) have been at the forefront.

“GAPP has partnered with leading global sustainability consulting firm Quantis,” Salle explains, “to perform a life cycle assessment of Wild Alaska Pollock. An LCA is a rigorous quantitative assessment of the resource and energy inputs, and the waste and emission outputs, of each stage of a product’s life – from acquisition of the product and raw materials, to transport and processing, and through to distribution, use and end-of-use disposal.”

 

 

While the word “sustainable” is surely thrown around carelessly, often for marketing purposes, in this case, Wild Alaska Pollock is genuinely expected to be the most bountiful wild fish in the world for many years to come. Indeed, 85% of the population is left thriving in the ocean each year, meaning there is little chance it could be endangered at any time in the distant foreseeable future. And fishing efforts are amongst the most efficient in terms of incidental catches – with less than 1% of other species turning up in the trawls.

All this is great, of course – but the fish still ultimately must end up on your plate. And once it does, you’ll have to enjoy it, and want to eat it again. So what, exactly, does Wild Alaska Pollock taste like?

“It’s often compared to its cousin, cod,” says Salle, “in the sense that it is a flaky white fish that is extremely versatile and flavor neutral. It is meaty and firm, but is still quite a noticeably light and delicate fish to work with. And because it is caught, processed, and frozen within hours of harvest, that ‘just caught fresh’ flavor is locked in.”

So yes, expect Wild Alaska Pollock to be turing up on many of the best, most trend-aware menus in the coming year. But in the meantime, here’s a particularly delectable fish pie recipe, so you can add it to your healthy holiday entertaining plans. Enjoy!

 

 

Wild Alaska Pollock Fish Pie

Ingredients
3 leeks
1/4 c butter
1/2 c dry white wine or dry vermouth
1 c frozen peas
2 Tbsp flour
2 c chicken stock
4 (three-ounce) fillets Wild Alaska Pollock, cut into one-inch chunks
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
Directions
Preheat oven to 425°F. Slice the leeks in half the long way, and then slice into quarter- inch half-moons. Rinse the sliced leeks in cold water and drain to remove any silt. Melt two tablespoons butter in a sauté pan, and cook the leeks over medium heat until they become soft and fragrant, about seven minutes. Add white wine and bring to boil to burn off the alcohol. Remove from heat, add the peas, and set aside.
Melt the remaining two tablespoons of butter in a saucepan or skillet. Stir in the flour and cook for two to three minutes. Slowly whisk in the chicken stock, stirring constantly until sauce thickens, about three minutes. Add the pea and leek mixture and Wild Alaska Pollock, and simmer for one minute.
Spoon the mixture into a greased eight-inch casserole dish. Remove the pastry from freezer and gently unfold onto a floured work surface just enough to smooth out creases. The pastry may take a minute or two to soften. Roll the pastry gently so that it is large enough to fit over dish with some overhang. Drape the puff pastry sheet over the filling and crimp the edges under the side of the dish to create a seal. Cut two or more vents in the center of the crust.
Set the casserole dish on a baking sheet and cook on center rack for 25 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown.

 

From Russia With Fury: Pussy Riot Announce a 2020 North American Tour

Image by Neil Krug

 

 

Depending on your point of view, 2020 is not necessarily being looked forward to with unmitigated glee. After all, by this time next year, we my be making like Offred, and heading for the Canadian border.

In the meantime, we’ll at least have Pussy Riot to deliver us from evil, if only temporarily. Indeed, the Russian seditionary collective has just announced a North American tour, which will take them from the 1720 in Los Angeles on March 13 to Phoenix on April 15, with stops at the Metro in Chicago and King’s Hall at Avant Gardner in Brooklyn, before they hit the North for one last gig in Toronto in May. We had planned to follow them to the ends of the earth – though this makes it considerably easier, obviously.

Get the full schedule of dates here, and while you’re picking a show, listen to the awesomeness of recently released single “1937.”

 

 

Kim Petras Responds Brilliantly to Anti-LGBTQ Protests in Kansas City

Images by Melissa Murdick / Gilbert Soliz

 

 

The Westboro Baptist Church should have evaporated into the ether a long time ago. But their virulently anti-LGBTQ ideology has surely been emboldened by a Mike Pence vice presidency and the and 81% rate of Evangelical support for President 45.

One imagines that Kim Petras has been the subject of a lot of Westboro meetings – something that was clearly evident by their hateful/ignorant protests last night outside her concert in Kansas City, one of the last few shows on the North American leg of her current Clarity Tour – which concludes December 8 in San Diego. Cuddly church members braved the cold to hold up such tolerance-defying signs as “Tranny Sin Dooms Nation,” “God Sent the Shooter in Fury,” and the old classic, “God Still Hates Fags.”

 

 

The transgender singer and rising star’s shows have become havens of safety and solidarity for the LGTBQ community. And her responses – including a hilarious Instagram meme, and strutting in front of the protestors in a skin-tight bodysuit and thigh-high boots after the show – affirmed her bravery in standing up for them.

After a Christmas break, Petras will head off to Europe for the continuation of The Clarity Tour, which will take her from Amsterdam to London throughout January and February. Her hit single “Icy” has already racked up 215 million streams.

 

 

Michelle Wolf is Back With ‘Joke Show’ on Netflix – and She’s Got a Bit About Otter Sex

 

 

With music seemingly have backed down from its position at the front lines of the culture wars, comedy has been courageously storming the barricades in its place. And though speaking truth to power in a post-truth world may carry the faint whiff of futility about it, doing nothing would hardly be an acceptable alternative.

Female voices are especially significant in a #MeToo era when even the President publicly sanctions sexual assault. And Michelle Wolf‘s unflinchingly fearless (and really bloody hilarious) performance at the 2018 White House Correspondents’ Dinner sent her rocketing to the front of the pack, after a notable run at The Daily Show. The hurt-feelings president later weighed in that, “So-called comedian Michelle Wolf bombed so badly.” Which obviously, of course, means she did completely the opposite.

 

 

Now she’s back with a new Netflix special, pithily titled Joke Show, and the first trailer is out. For it, a very funny bit on otters “raping” baby seals is excerpted. And just like all the best comedians do, she somehow makes a labradoodle breeding joke a metaphor for sexual consent. Even better, she sneaks in a potshot at Instagram. (“That’s how we prove life happens.”)

Joke Show debuts December 10 on Netflix. And if ever a year needed to end on a laugh, it is 2019. So, obviously, don’t miss it.

 

Thievery Corporation’s Rob Garza Has a Stunning New Single, ‘Where the Moon Hides’

 

 

Thievery Corporation arguably sonically defined an era, cooly soundtracking the stylish goings on of those heady years between 2000 and 2009 (and even running D.C.’s 18th Street Lounge, one of the definitive nightclubs of that time), before our optimism all came crashing down in a landslide of banking scandals and subsequent recessions.

The exalted electronic duo of Rob Garza and Eric Hilton returned in 2017 with a successful tour and new album The Temple of I & I. And now Garza had gone solo, with the just released EP Where the Moon Hides, on Magnetic Moon Records. The title track is utterly stunning, a dreamy, ethereal synth-pop masterpiece, with a breathy, alluring vocal performance by budding young Providence singer Emeline.

“This EP and project started with the intent of writing for other artists,” Garza explains. “As it started to evolve, it grew into a collaborative experience, working with younger singers, writers and producers. Letting the music lead the way, it opened into different forms, genres and sounds, with a more modern electronic edge.”

Garza will also launch and 18-date North American tour in early February, which includes two nights at Brooklyn’s Williamsburg Music Hall.

 

 

#GivingTuesday: Five Charities That Are Changing the World

 

 

By now, despite vigorous but unfounded capitalist objections, we can mostly agree that the unsustainable drive for global economic growth is effectively destroying our planet. So with another Black (Bleak?) Friday upon us, the Buy Nothing Day movement, officially kicked off in 1997 in Vancouver, is riding an accelerated wave of support this year – surely driven by an increasing fear of environmental apocalypse.

And though it may not be inspiring people to beat each other up over the last X-Box,  yet another Cyber Monday will only add to the consumerist profligacy that has led us to this grim situation.

 

 

 

With that said, we would like to humbly suggest that everyone takes 10 – 25% of their shopping budget this year, and donates it to a worthy charity this coming #GivingTuesday. Consider first local/community organizations, i.e. soup kitchens, LGBTQ support groups, homeless shelters.

But for those who tend to think globally, and act globally, here are five charities that are facing down the nationwide/planet-wide challenges and injustices of these turbulent times we are living through, and genuinely making a difference.

 

HeForShe

Spearheaded by Emma Watson in 2014, HeForShe is a UN affiliated organization that works towards the eradication of violence against women worldwide – admittedly a herculean task. The goal is to increase the awareness and participation of men in achieving total gender equality – and to that end, they have already registered more than 2.1 million commitments from those eager to join the crusade. With women’s rights currently under assault in America and elsewhere, there has never been a more imperative time.
Click here to make a donation.

 

Water.Org

H2O Africa was launched in 2006 with the high-profile support of actor Matt Damon, stating a goal of working effectively to bring awareness to clean water shortages in Africa. It has since evolved into Water.org, empowering people around the world by providing access to clean water and sanitation from Ethiopia to Bangaldesh to Honduras. The exigency of this mission is emphasized by the numbers: 785 million people globally are in dire need every day.
Click here to make a donation.

 

 

 

The Trevor Project

Founded in 1998 as a suicide prevention project for at risk LGBT youth, it has become a beacon of hope for the community – at a time when so many feel under threat from a rising tide of anti-LGBTQ sentiment. The Trevor Lifeline is exactly that, with trained counselors offering judgment-free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week emotional support to those tragically considering ending their lives.
Click here to make a donation.

 

International Rescue Committee

With the Syrian refugee crisis more desperate than ever, it’s easy to feel a sense of hopelessness in regards to how one can help. But the International Rescue Committee of the Red Cross – founded in 1933 at the urging of Albert Einstein – has already made a difference in the lives nearly one million people affected by the deadly nine year conflict. Indeed, they have financially assisted displaced families, provided physical and mental health care to thousands, and created safe spaces for women and girls under constant threat of violence. With no end in sight to the civil war, the IRC’s work remains crucial.
Click here to make a donation.

 

Fair Fight 2020

For many, perhaps nothing seems as urgent right now as the protection of American democratic norms from those who would seek to interfere with them – whether foreign or domestic forces. And founded earlier this year by Georgia  political firebrand Stacey Abrams, Fair Fight PAC has taken up the fight against voter suppression is all its forms, seeking to protect the voting rights of minorities and young people across the country. With possibly the most pivotal presidential election just a year away, it’s a cause whose urgency cannot be overstated.
Click here to make a donation.

 

An M.I.A Painting is Being Auctioned to Benefit the Amazon Rainforest

 

 

If one thinks about it, the Amazon Rainforest was one of the first few global pop culture causes célèbre (Amnesty International was another), with ’80s pop stars like Sting and Peter Gabriel rankling the Reaganites by throwing benefit concerts and generally going on about the urgency to save it from reckless (i.e. capitalist) destruction.

16-year-old environmental wunderkind Great Thurnberg was certainly not even a twinkle in her parents eyes when all that was happening – though her opera singer mom Sara Magdalena Ernman was probably a Sting fan. And environmental hand-wringing has long since turned decisively towards the melting of the Arctic ice shelf, and, perhaps even more viscerally, the plastic-fueled destruction of our oceans. But with some 40,000 (seriously, that’s the number) fires raging across the Amazon these past several months, attention has suddenly swung attention back to the perpetually endangered region spread across Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela.

 

 

Never one to miss out on a good storming of the barricades, now (apparently) retired musical firebrand M.I.A. has just put up for auction one of what she calls her Fly Pirate paintings – which actually seems to be a parrot in full psychedelic regalia; it’s absolutely gorgeous, with even a slight bit of a Basquiat vibe. Proceeds will be going – as you might have guessed – to benefit Amazon Watch, which has been endeavoring to protect the rainforest and its indigenous peoples for some 23 years.

“It’s my way of contributing to an on going struggle to protect what is important,” she insists. “Nature, oxygen, endangered species. ”

The bidding for the painting will carry on until until Wednesday, November 27, at 6pm EST – and bids can be sent directly to art@ohmni.com. Should you need further inspiration to join in the auction, just heed the always incisive words of Ms. Maya herself: “Plastic vs. nature / Don’t destroy nature / Don’t destroy art.”

Galang-a-lang.

 

 

First Trailer: Anya-Taylor Joy is Jane Austen’s ‘Emma’

 

 

It boggles the mind that 23 years has passed since a young Gwyneth Paltrow played the legendarily meddling, I-know-better-than-everyone-but-I-really-don’t character Emma Woodhouse in the 1996 (cringe) Miramax film, simply titled Emma. And charming as she was, as fans of the original Jane Austen novel of the same name, we always thought someone might come along and give the role a bit more panache and pizzaz.

Now comes that opportunity, with director Autumn de Wilde’s eagerly anticipated new update, due out (how appropriately) this coming Valentine’s Day, 2020, via Focus Features. Indeed, Emma is well-known for interfering in the love lives of everyone around her, while remaining completely clueless how to manage her own.

 

 

This time another American (born, at least), Anya-Taylor Joy, takes on the role – though she is hardly well known, save for a recent recurring turn in Netflix’ Peaky Blinders. And from the first trailer, which we are debuting here, she seems to play Emma with the expected level of naive cheek and self-satisfied sauciness.

The film also stars Johnny Flynn, the always magnificent Bill Nighy as Emma’s father, and period film mainstay Rupert Graves as Mr. Weston. De Wilde is mostly known as a music video director (Beck, Rilo Kiley, Florence & the Machine), so perhaps this Emma will have a bit of the postmodern rocker about her.

We can only wait and see.