The greatest thing I've ever seen (lately) is this excerpt from "Multiple SIDosis," a famous short from 1970 by outsider filmmaker Sid Laverents that was just posted on-line two weeks ago. Laverents uses ingenious home-brew technology to create a cinematic one-man band performance of the bouncy tune "Nola" on such instruments/noise-makers as the metronome, ukulele, banjo, ocarina, jews harp, beer bottles, pipes, and cymbal, while sometimes inexplicably dressed like Mickey Mouse. Restores my faith in humanity.
There are full-length versions of "Multiple SIDosis" on the YouTubes of poopy quality. This is just a minute-and-a-half, but it looks really good:
The other greatest thing I've ever seen lately is a large Japanese avant-jazz band who, for reasons known only to them, dress up like shrimp, with glow-in-the-dark eyes. I'll just let you think about that for a moment...
They're called Autopsy Report of Drowned Shrimp (sure, why not?) and there is, lucky you, a number of live vids up of their skillfully performed music, which ranges from percussive-heavy tribal grooves, to trippy noise drones, to something that resembles funk/jazz, all mixed with inscrutable ritualistic theater:
The other other greatest thing I've ever seen happened a couple of weeks ago, when I was emerging from a subway station on my way home from work: A black man dressed like a lady in a hot-pink skirt and a short-haired silver wig was standing around, which, in itself, is not so unusual around here. But then, then, when a Mexican mama and her two kids walked by, the kids ran up to the ladyman shouting: "Gaga! Lady Gaga! Gaga!"
To a man.
A black man.
S/he smiled and waved at them, as I quickly walked to the parking lot trying to stifle my explosive laughter. And THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is why living in L.A. rules. Think they see stuff like this coming from work in Missouri? They probably just see, like, Walmarts 'n' shit. I should keep a camera on my person at all times...