Sxip! Pronounced Skip!
June 13, 2010 7:15 PM   Subscribe

Sxip Shirey makes beautiful music out of marbles, toy whistles, music boxes held together with duct tape, antique kitchen utensils, industrial flutes and other people’s mouths. Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer made him an instrument called the Sxipenspiel. He does things to harmonicas that you might not expect to happen to harmonicas. He lives in New York City. Sometimes he stays up very, very late.
posted by jennyjenny (14 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
Holy cow. Fantastic find, and great post.

I watched the unexpected harmonicas link and initially thought "what in the freakin' hell is he doing to that harmonica?!" But after a rather strange, dissonant start, it turned fun, quirky and even (unexpectedly) melodic.

Then I watched the Brooklyn Bridge Song video. It's wonderful. I've lived in New York for most of my adult life, and when I was younger did quite a bit of late night wandering, on my own around Manhattan. Shirey's soft, gentle duet and lyrics really capture a feeling I've had but have never been able to put into words. They're quite a contrast to "I Live In New York City" too.

Neat stuff. Love his energy. Thanks so much for introducing me to such a talented musician.
posted by zarq at 7:35 PM on June 13, 2010

Sxip is a buddy and an all-around fantastic human being. He does this bit with a tampon applicator that is kind of unbelievable. He tours a lot. Definitely worth seeing.
posted by milquetoast at 7:42 PM on June 13, 2010

I only know the song he did with Jason Webley but it is fantastic : Days With You
(haven't had a look through all the links above yet so sorry if you posted that already!)
posted by mannequito at 7:54 PM on June 13, 2010

Awesome and inspiring, thanks for posting this.
posted by buriednexttoyou at 8:13 PM on June 13, 2010

Ahhhh, I just saw him live with Evelyn Evelyn. SUCH a captivating performer.
posted by cozenedindigo at 8:26 PM on June 13, 2010

That first harmonica link just blew my mind. I'm on my third listen. Dang.
posted by komara at 8:50 PM on June 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

One of my favorite late-night music jams ever was with Sxip and the Luminescent Orchestrii, a flamenco band, and bluegrass fiddlers who wandered in from off the street. He's a phenomenal guy; nice to see him getting recognition.
posted by Benjamin Nushmutt at 8:54 PM on June 13, 2010

the shadow land links with rachelle garniez (antique kitchen utensils) are pure musical creativity - very inspiring
posted by pyramid termite at 9:44 PM on June 13, 2010

He does this bit with a tampon applicator that is kind of unbelievable.

Indeed. I saw him several times in Austin, and his mastery of the, uh, instrument in question is mind-blowing. IIRC, he took up the applicator when he was unable to play the flute due to a repetitive stress injury (please correct me if I'm wrong, I frequently am.) He's an inventive and charming performer and, as others have stated above, a top-notch individual.

I am wicked jealous of those of you that can go see him on the 24th.
posted by louche mustachio at 1:52 AM on June 14, 2010

Needs more vuvuzela.
posted by rocket88 at 7:00 AM on June 14, 2010

He was fantastic as a performer, and as the emcee of the Evelyn Evelyn show. I only wish he'd had more time to perform solo than was possible. If anyone gets a chance to see him live - go!
posted by Meep! Eek! at 7:33 AM on June 14, 2010

After watching just the marbles and the unexpected harmonica, two effects are evident:
1. I'm intrigued and want more.
2. My cat, meanwhile, is losing her freaking mind.
posted by unregistered_animagus at 8:24 AM on June 14, 2010

Some inspiring inventiveness and intensity...
posted by Ogre Lawless at 10:55 AM on June 14, 2010

I've seen him perform live a couple of times, love his stuff. I've also randomly chatted with him after one of his shows- really nice guy, really down to earth. For those who can, go to his shows, he's worth seeing.
posted by Hactar at 11:39 AM on June 14, 2010

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