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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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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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Pustki Live in Toronto @ Bellwood Photo By Peter Calak / GravityBureau.com

They came. They played. And now they’re enjoying the Austin bedlam.

From March 13 to 19 over 350 bands from across the planet played in all kinds of concert venues across the city as part of Canadian Music Week (CMW) festivities.

CMW which is labeled as “Canada’s International Music Convention and Film Festival” is a showcase of all things music and every year it attracts a multitude of aspiring domestic and international acts looking to make waves on the music scene.

Among all the artists were two Polish bands L.Stadt and Pustki.

Both played a series of official CMW gigs in venues such as famed eatery Czehostki’s and Hard Luck but also added a small surprise to the mix.

L.Sadt Live in Toronto @ Hard Luck Photo By Peter Calak / GravityBureau.com

On Friday, March 11 L.Stadt and Pustki with the help of former Polish-Canadian music exec Stephen Klus organized a last minute free concert at the Bellwood Bar & Grill.

The venue, although not ideal for a concert, provided a fitting background for the gritty rock n’ roll vibe resonating in the rest of the city.

Pustki Live in Toronto @ Bellwood Photo By Peter Calak / GravityBureau.com

Both bands sounded really great live and proved to be just as interesting and engaging in person. Part of making it out to small shows like this is that you really get a great opportunity to connect with the artists. And it was a pleasure to meet all of them.

One point of interest – among the audience was Basia Bulat who was recently nominated for a New Artist of the Year Juno and will perform during the March 21-29 Juno Week festivities.

Juno Nominated Basia Bulat with Radek Łukasiewicz of Pustki Photo By Peter Calak / GravityBureau.com

And as for L.Stadt and Pustki – after their gigs in Toronto both bands packed up and headed down to the famed SXSW (South by SouthWest) music and interactive conference and festival taking place in Austin, Texas.

Check out these great photos courtesy of Peter Calak from GravityBureau.com from the performances at Bellwood and Hard Luck.

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And have a look at these videos – hope they give you a bit of a taste of the energy that these two great bands deliver. ft

L.Stadt

Pustki Live in Toronto @ Bellwood

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L.Stadt photo by Rafal Maslow

Polish bands L.Stadt and Pustki,which are currently in Toronto to participate in Canadian Music Week, will play a just announced concert TONIGHT (Friday, March 11 @ 9PM) at the Bellwood Bar & Grill (756 Queen Street West).

The concert is free. There is no wrist band required or cover charge.

Pustki photo by Antek Opolski

This is your one and only chance to see these two Polish bands play together before they depart for Austin, Texas to take part in the famed South by South West music festival.

L.Stadt – “Mumms Attack” MUSIC VIDEO:

Pustki – “Parzydelko” MUSIC VIDEO

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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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Summer season equals music festival season. In Toronto, it kicks off early with the Canadian Music Week  and continues with NXNE and a whack of other smaller and bigger events. Montreal, Canada’s festival capital, has the incomparable Osheaga . But for all those lucky enough to be going to Poland this summer, below is a list of festivals taking place across that great country that you should definitely consider attending. This fantastic list, featured in the Krakow Post, doesn’t include all festivals happening around Poland by any means. Let us know if you know of others people should know about. We’ll be happy to share the information with our readers.

SELECTOR – The festival featured Royksopp, Franz Ferdinand and CSS last year. A bit more low-key this year, Faithless is the only international act announced to date. Others scheduled to perform are: Thievery Corporation, Metronomy, Boys Noize and Uffie. This festival caters to the dance and electronic fraternity and is located conveniently on Błonia. It promises to be a fun weekend to kick off the festival season. Feel the beats from June 4th – 5th.

OPEN’ER FESTIVAL – This is THE festival to attend if you’re only able to check one out. It offers top international musicians along with many Polish music and theatre acts. The 9th Heineken Open’er Festival takes place in Babie Doły Airfield, Gdynia, for four days between Thursday 1st and Sunday 4th July 2010. Pearl Jam and Kasabian will headline, with Skunk Anansie, Nas, Damian Marley, Tricky, Massive Attack, Pavement, Hot Chip, Gorillaz, Sound System, The Hives, Tinariwen, Mando Diao, Ben Harper and Relentless7, Empire Of The Sun, Klaxons and Matisyahu also confirmed.

OFF FESTIVAL –  Billed as the most important alternative festival in Poland, since 2006 the audience for the OFF festival has been rocking the town of Mysłowice, the birthplace of its creative director – Artur Rojek (of Myslovitz fame). Sadly, neither Artur nor fans will be able to celebrate the festival’s 5th anniversary in the place of its origin as this year organizers have had to find a new location: Dolina Trzech Stawów (Three Lake Valley) in Katowice. That hasn’t deterred The Flaming Lips, Tindersticks and The Fall – playing Poland for the first time – from putting their names down. If you’re not doing anything else between the 5th and 8th of August, head slansk-side and see what’s going off.

AUDIORIVER  – Now in its 5th year, this Płock-based festival is firmly focused on music that gets less media attention – house, drum and bass and techno – with a host of international DJs spinning their stuff. Last year’s record attendance of 12,000 testified to the festival’s growing appeal, so get on your dancing rags and take your disco biscuits to “a beach on the Vistula” in Płock between the 6th and 8th of August. Plastikman, Laurent Garnier, Ellen Allien, Hybrid, The Modern Deep Left Quartet, Krazy Baldhead, Dusty Kid, Hadouken, Noisia Qemists, Qemists Soundsystem, Karotte should keep you moving till the sun comes up.

COKE LIVE FESTIVAL A rather more poppy event, the Coke Live Festival, situated on the huge disused airfield lying to the east of Krakow in the environs of Nowa Huta, has gained popularity in recent years with some notable artists such as The Prodigy, Kaiser Chiefs, 50 Cent and The Killers. This year’s major coup has been persuading Muse to come, though other artists are yet to be confirmed. Ian Brown, ex-Stone Roses, has been rumoured to be jetting over . The Coke festival traditionally rounds off the calendar, falling on the second-last weekend of August.

UT

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