Friday, June 15, 2012

meet the xylopholks

I was walking through the Union Square subway station yesterday, and heard xylophone music. It was coming from a corner where there is often a musician or band playing as part of the Transit Authority's Music Under New York program.

Sure enough, I recognized the yellow and black banner identifying the performers as "Xylopholks." Playing under the banner were two people -- a man in a penguin costume (I would later realize it was a skunk costume, but my imprerssion was penguin) and a woman (I think) in a pink gorilla costume. The punk (that's penguin/skunk mix) was playing xylophone while the pink gorilla was slappinng a stand-up bass.

The music was happy and upbeat, kind of ragtimish. The xylophone was intriguing. I didn't have time enough to watch for very long, so I bought a CD ($5) and was on my way.

Rather than try to describe Xylophopholks, I'll let their website do it for them:
The XYLOPHOLKS are a dynamic group of musicians who mostly play novelty ragtime music from the 1920′s (featuring the xylophone!). They do so while wearing furry animal costumes. The XYLOPHOLKS wish to make people happy and perhaps even dance. Please feel free to contact us about providing music and entertainment for your events
Can't complain about that. Apparently, who plays in the group depends on what gig you catch. Here's them (or a proper subset of them) on their 5 Borough Bodega tour:

As to the CD? Not bad. I'd be lying if I said that, without the costumes, the charm is still all there. On the other hand, its pleasant music. Not generally a genre I'm into. It's the kind of stuff that I'm happy to listen to for a track at a time between other things -- i.e., as part of a mix. But I'm not interested enough to listen to the whole disc at once.

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