Feb 19 2014

Xylovan’s neighbors – and our coming Indiegogo campaign!

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photoSo – a little background:

a) We live on a narrow, hilly street, but most of the neighbors are cool.
b) We’re almost ready to kick off our IndieGogo campaign to give Xylovan a badly-needed new engine
c) Not all the neighbors are cool, it seems
d) We just jumpstarted it (had to use both my car and an auxiliary power pack and a lot of prayer), moved it 10 feet and posted this note on it:

A Note to Our Neighbors!

Hi:

We’re the family that built Xylovan 4 years ago, and it has delighted thousands of people who have had a chance to play on it wherever it goes.

Please know that the vehicle is not abandoned. It’s just awaiting a heart transplant that we can’t yet afford.

The engine blew a head gasket last year, so we cannot move it more than a few feet until we can raise the money to buy a new engine.

As it turns out – just as we were preparing an online fundraising campaign this month at IndieGogo.com to raise the $5,000 we need – one of you complained to the Parking Authority, and we got a ticket and narrowly avoided having it towed from the street today at even greater cost.

It seems we owe you an apology for not having moved it sooner – and perhaps for not talking with you directly about our handmade musical instrument.

All of our direct neighbors have told us they are comfortable with its parking place and they enjoy having it around. But we did not reach you – and for that, we are sorry.

Please do feel comfortable contacting us directly – we don’t bite – and let us understand your concerns so we can work to address them directly.

Xylovan *is* here to stay – it’s part of our lives and the lives of more of your other neighbors than you may realize – and we hope that we can work with you to make you feel more at ease with it as part of our neighborhood together.

Here’s the good news – We expect to raise the money within about 30 days and repair the engine soon thereafter. and we will be working all spring to get the van cleaned up, repainted and ready to bring music to more people. So while Xylovan will always be big and a little weird-looking, at least it will look more attractive and move a lot more often.

In the meantime, we will try to keep the van parked closer to the neighbors who appreciate it (and farther from your door) – and we hope you will take a little time to learn more about us, and about our musical art car.

Yours,

The Reeds | 310.722.3392
Xylovan.com (and) Facebook.com/Xylovan

We really hope they contact us so we can do right by them. We can’t keep paying tickets, and we really can’t park it anywhere substantially different.


Apr 18 2013

Lucidity Festival 2013

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Lucidity Festival was a much needed calm in the storm of our lives. Lately, it’s seemed like the plates we’re spinning are spinning us, and someone keeps adding more plates! At some point, your realize your life is living you, and you need to re-center, to find peace and solidity among solid souls with good intent.

So you came to the Lucidity Festival (again) , and you lose yourself in play and art and noise, and embrace old friends and make new ones and then you remember what it was you were up to before you got too busy to smile.

And then you smile.

We were so glad to bring the van out again and invite you all to play. Thank you all for the lovely sounds you made with us. We hope you found your peace, too. Maybe we’ll see you on the playa, if not sooner.


Oct 14 2012

Thank you LA Decom friends!

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We had an awesome time meeting you all and hearing you play!

We’ll have some photos and video up shortly. Meantime, come find us on Facebook!


Oct 7 2012

Photos from Caine’s Arcade Day of Play

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Oct 7 2012

Fun at Caine’s Arcade – The Cardboard Challenge Day of Play

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XyloVan was thrilled and tickled to be invited to join hundreds of kids (and grownups indulging their inner children) at the Caine’s Arcade Cardboard Challenge DAY OF PLAY.

Kids in Boyle Heights (and at Cardboard Challenge events all over the world) built wild, amazing toys, games and masks out of cardboard, tape and a little paint. And they reminded a lot of grownups about something we often forget: Making things is a joy and an adventure.

We’ll have more photos up shortly – stay tuned. And if you’re not already familiar with the kid whose imagination sparked a worldwide movement of child empowerment – well, check out their Facebook page, watch the video below and consider donating to the Caine’s Arcade Scholarship Fund:

Caine’s Arcade from Nirvan Mullick on Vimeo.


Sep 11 2012

Burning Man 2012 – Whoa, what was THAT all about?

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We left the playa 8 days ago.

We’re still trying to figure out this exhilarating, exhausting, just-got-mugged-in-a-brothel feeling.

Our 9th burn – the 6th for our two kids – started out wild. Then it grew wacky, turned mostly wonderful – and then veered toward the horribly woeful and deeply weird.

In the end, 2012 was a kick in the skull, a warm meal in the tummy, a pyrotechnic blast of hot air, a goosing of the chakras and raw noise and (of course) the B e s t   B u r n   E v e r.

It’s just that it all happened at once. And things got, shall we say, a little madcap.

Your keywords for joining XyloVan on this crash-dive burn are dust bowl, flying saucers, Gate badassery, Swing City, Burn Wall Street, Center Camp, playa throat, nude acrobatics, darkwads, polo-shirted virgins and Goddammit, is AAA really charging fucking $1,595 to simply tow us and XyloVan from Exodus to Reno?

Continue reading


Jun 29 2012

We’re headed to Swing City!

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We’re tickled as hell to share this news:

XyloVan just learned that we will be joining Swing City in Black Rock City this August at Burning Man 2012.

Swing City is dedicated to aerial gymnastics – and the XyloVan crew is about as buff as a plate of doughnuts.

But we’re as likely to monkey around on playground equipment as the next 5-year-old, and can’t wait to try out the rings, the silks and all the other gear.

So drop on by 9 o’Clock between C and D and serenade us while we’re nursing a likely collection of sore muscles and bruises.

Come bang on the van!


Apr 18 2012

Photos from Lucidity Festival 2012 – Sparks of joy

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Lucidity Festival brought a lot of joy to XyloVan.

Here’s what some of that looked like.

If you spot yourself in any of these photos, give us a shout in comments – we want to hear from you – and thanks for playing!


Apr 17 2012

Rocking the mallets at Lucidity Festival 2012

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Everyone brings something glowing and unique to XyloVan.

Little kids, drunks and professional percussionists hammer at the keys in a zillion different ways. People play “Chopsticks” or “Star Wars” or “Mario Bros.” or “Claire du Lune.” They goof, explore and jam.

Their music is as diverse as their faces and lives.

But the beauty of the thing is that once they start to play – without fail – every single XyloVan-ist goes to the exact same place: a moment of personal stillness and concentration where they are completely focused on the sound their hands are making, the vibrations in time and space that make up their personal experience at that very moment.

It’s a place of utter clarity, fluidity and dynamic tension. And it is invariably beautiful and humbling for us to watch.

So – these are the videos from Lucidity Festival. If you spot yourself playing anywhere in these videos, please say hi in comments below, tell us where you came from, what kind of music you play in the “real” world, and why music is important to you.

And from the bottom of our grubby hearts, thanks to everyone who played. You are inspiring, powerful and generous with your energy. We’re really glad to have met you all and we’ll see you again very soon.


Apr 17 2012

Raoul’s lucid dream

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I kind of want to dedicate this set of dispatches from Lucidity Fest 2012 to Raoul, a little, sparkly-eyed older Mexican fellow who strolled up at like 2 a.m. Sunday and reminded me of the power of transformative encounters with new music.

He had never seen anything like XyloVan. He kept saying, “This is … amazing” and shaking my hand – and basically he got sucked in so hard to the sounds that he could make with our van (little old him!) that he insisted on pulling up a patch of grass and trying to sleep with us.

He was super-sweet, and finally got up the courage to plink away at the keys for a few seconds. I didn’t see him for the rest of the event, and went looking for him among the late/early Dubstep stage crowd or the fire dancers, but he never turned up.

Anyway, his deep enthusiasm for the van and the music you all were making really endeared him to me. Thanks for showing me a new definition of joy, bro. Great meeting you, and maybe I’ll see you at next year’s Lucidity Fest.