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Posts Tagged ‘Canadian music’

PHOTO: Gladstone Hotel

On Tuesday, July 26 (that would be today) Toronto’s Gladstone Hotel will host a fundraiser for an art instillation called THE HAPPINESS PROJECT: IN THE HOUSE.

The instillation is an extension of the music album The Happiness Project by Charles Spearin who plays for the famed indie collective Broken Social Scene.

Interested in learning about people’s definition of ‘happiness’ Charles interviewed his neighbours and then took their spoken words and wrote music to accompany their responses. The resulting compositions are moving, insightful, inspirational and they eared a Juno music award.

For The Happiness Project: In the House local artists are enlisted to interpret songs from the album and are challenged to weave their own experience of the songs, as well as their own definition of happiness, into the works.

Each artists’ installation becomes a unique expression which also includes an interactive element.

The exhibit has already been hosted in Montreal and Kingston to critical acclaim.

The Happiness Project : In the House presented by Artist Bloc and Apple Crisp Festival in Kingston, Canada in March of 2010.

The Happiness Project at POP Montreal

It will make its Toronto debut on October 1st, 2011 as part of Scotiabank‘s Nuit Blanche.

The project is curated by Artist Bloc, a Toronto artists collective which was co-founded by Agi Gutkowska.

With their Gladstone Hotel fundraiser, Artist Bloc is aiming to raise funds for the Toronto exhibition and promises that the night will be filled with live music by bands and DJs.

More information is available on the Artist Bloc website.

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Photo: Jensen Gifford

There is popular music and unforgettable music. O&AL belong in the latter category.

An acronym for Olenka and the Autumn Lovers, O&AL is a London, Ontario band fronted by singer/songwriter Olenka Krakus and members Sara Froese, Evan Brodie, Christian Hegele, Simon Larochette,  Jeff Moon and Kelly Wallraff.

Influenced by her Polish roots and Canadian upbringing, Olenka delivers songs that resonate with passion. The songs don’t just play for you, they speak to you. And many of them relate specifically to her Polish heritage, especially her memories of Communist Poland and the country’s folklore.

Olenka Krakus Photo: Rob Nelson

Supported by a mix of instruments such as the cello, violin, accordion, trumpet, saxophone, lap steel, mandolin and glockenspiel the music resonates with an eclectic mix of traditional Eastern European ballads and North American country and folk tunes.

It’s a sound reminiscent of Arcade Fire, Cat Power, Tom Waits and Gogol Bordello but which manages to exist entirely on its own.

When Olenka and her band recently played at Toronto’s Gladstone hotel (as part of the NXNE festival) the crowd gave them a rousing ovation. And rightfully so.

Here is a taste…

It’s the sort of music that you can listen to over and over again and with every listen it creates a deeper impression.

The band’s newest album And Now We Sing is packed with memorable songs. It’s really worth checking out.

"And Now We Sing" album cover by Patrick Schmidt

"Motel Blues" lyrics

The band is also set to play a string of shows later this summer and fall so, if you get an opportunity, make sure to go. The truly great thing about small concert gigs is that they are so intimate and the bands always give it all they’ve got.

In the meantime you can listen to some of the tunes online on the CBC Radio 3 website.

And have a look at this interview that we conducted with Olenka during her NXNE show.

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Anna Cyzon at the premiere of Textuality

Finding love in the digital age can get very complicated. With BlackBerrys, iPhones and Androids who really has the  time to have a meaningful face-to-face conversation. And maintaining all those relationships can be a full-time juggling act.

Enter Textuality – a romantic comedy about two people trying to get into a relationship while attempting to first get out of the multiple relationships they are managing through their BlackBerrys.

The film stars Sex and the City hunk Jason Lewis, Will & Grace’s Eric McCormack and Carly Pope (who you’ll recognize from the controversial indie hit Young People F’ucking.)   

It hit the screens a few weeks ago and is probably out on video if you care to check it out. And if you’ve already seen it – let us know what you thought.

Also making an appearance is singer Anna Cyzon (a former correspondent for CTV’s eTalk and a host for MTV Canada) who last year was the runner-up in the Polish pre-selections for the prestigious Eurovision Song Contest.

We asked Anna about her involvement in the film…

YouNxt: How did you become involved in the film?

Anna: My agent sent me the script. I initially read for the role of Dani (Carly Pope’s best friend in the film) but I was so busy with Eurovision that I didn’t have time to prep my lines, so…Erin it was!

YouNxt: Tell us a bit about your character.

Anna: Erin is the girl that breaks Jason Lewis’ heart in the film. They have this perfect relationship, he proposes, and then she ditches him at the altar. That pretty much sets up the whole film. After that he becomes a player and well…you’ll have to see the rest of the flick to find out what happens.

YouNxt: What did you learn by working with experienced actors like Eric McCormack, Jason Lewis and Carly Pope?

Anna: Acting is fun but it is not as easy as it seems. Experienced actors like Carly and Eric put a lot of time into their craft, and they really dig deep. I have a long way to go if film is something I want to do more of down the road.

YouNxt: So, is acting something you’d like to pursue in the future?

Anna: Definitely but not until I release a few records, win a couple of Grammys and tour the world once or twice. I’ve got a lot to get out of my system first. Music is my first passion and until I’m fully satisfied that I’ve reached my full potential in that realm, the acting will have to wait. But I’m sure I’ll dabble here and there if the right opportunity arises.

Sex and the City's Jason Lewis

YouNxt: Texting – a relationship maker or relationship killer?

Anna: People misread intention all the time. And it’s so easy to misinterpret tone. I think that when it comes to relationships, texting is like communication breakdown 101. I mean, I can’t count how many times I’ve argued with guys over text. It’s so amateur. Like why not just pick up the phone and call! I think we often hide behind text.

Will & Grace’s Eric McCormack with Carly Pope

YouNxt: What projects are you working on now?

Anna: Currently I’m focused on putting out my first record in Europe. In the meantime I’m back in the studio writing material for my second album. There’s a lot of work to do.

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CONGRATS to Basia Bulat for being selected as the supporting act for Arcade Fire’s first gig in Warsaw!

The concert will take place on Friday, June 24th at Torwar Arena in Warsaw. Tickets can be purchased on Arcade Fire’s website . 

Arcade Fire stunned the music world a few months ago when they beat all odds to win Album of the Year at the 53rd GRAMMY Awards.

Basia was recently nominated for a Juno Award in the “Best New Artist” category. Previously she was nominated for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize – Canada’s equivalent of the highly regarded UK Mercury Music Prize.

Basia’s Polish-Canadian roots make her the perfect fit to accompany Montreal based Arcade Fire in Poland. And it should be one trully magical night.

Arcade Fire is known for their high energy concerts and Basia’s passion for music will offer the perfect accent.

Here is what you can expect…

Also, check out this amazing version of “Wake Up” from the Glastonbury festival…

And here’s Basia’s video for “In the Night.”

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Remember the 1990 A Tribe Called Quest classic “Can I Kick It?” (You sure can!) And, yes! It has been that long.

Well, get a load of this. It’s a live cover by Paula & Karol – the totally awesome little band from Warsaw.

We totally love it! But, is it better than the original? Let us know what you think.

And just a reminder:

Don’t miss Anna Piszczkiewicz‘s interview with Paula & Karol tonight (Saturday, Feb 19th) on Na Luzie (OMNI 1) starting at 7 pm. (Repeat Friday, Feb 25 at 2 pm).

And here is the original:

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Say hello to Paula & Karol – my new favourite band!

By Anna Piszczkiewicz

First off, many thanks to YouNxt for asking me to dust off old stories that I’ve done over the years; we’ll be releasing these on a regular basis starting next week. However, before I dig into the past work, I thought that an introduction to what’s coming up on Na Luzie (Laid Back) would be appropriate.

I’m constantly scouring the internet in order to seek out talent that’s somehow related to both the Great White North and the home country. That’s how I discovered Warsaw-based duo Paula i Karol (Paula & Karol) – a duo that’s making music unlike anything else in Poland’s capital.

Photo courtesy of Tomek Ratter

Their indie-folk sound is as warm and charming as your grandma’s kitchen.

And the kids, they love it!

Their debut album, Overshare, released just two months ago, disappeared instantly off Empik’s shelves. The pair did confess to printing only 3,500 albums but, hey, the store’s racks were emptied.

And some time before that, the twosome was nominated for the ‘Discovery of the Year’ prize by Pulp (a leading Polish music magazine).

Oh, and the Canadian connection?

Paula is a native of North Bay, Ontario.

See Paula & Karol, chatting from their cute kitchen (red and white checkered tablecloth included) Saturday, Feb 19 on Na Luzie (OMNI 1) starting at 7 pm. (Repeat Friday, Feb 25 at 2 pm).

Until then, sample some tunes by Paula & Karol.

Word of warning: you’ll fall for them.

I did.

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We’ve got some exciting news. YouNxt is teaming up with Na Luzie (Laid Back) – the Polish-Canadian television program airing on OMNI to bring you some of the most interesting and entertaining segments produced by Host and Reporter Anna Piszczkiewicz. We’ll also regularly provide previews of the show’s newest episodes.

So, stay tuned and enjoy…

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