Video: The ten best impromptu painted piano performances from the 16th Street Mall

I was down on 16th Street mall recently around lunch time, and I couldn't get over how many freaking people are down there these days. I used to work a few blocks from the mall -- of course this was eons ago when the streets were still lined with buggies and Washington was still in office -- and it was nothing like this. Can't imagine having to navigate the sweaty masses every day now. Could easily see a dude coming unhinged and going all Michael Douglas Falling Down or something.

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Everybody was surprisingly calm, though. Music evidently does soothe the savage beast, as they say, and from the looks of it, folks are still putting those painted pianos to good use. There's a slew of clips on YouTube. These are a few of my favorites. Merton's obviously the master, but there's a number of other notable ivory tickling performances. Look for some sparkly renditions of "Imagine" and "Your Song," along with two versions of "All My Life" by K-Ci & JoJo, one played on a piano sorely in need of tuning by a familiar face from the local scene. Dig it.

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