Friday, May 21, 2004

Hiatus Intermission

Not to disturb the hiatus here, which I think is going really well, but I have to tell you that I saw Lenny Kravitz playing the piano with his ass today.

It wasn't something I was prepared for.

I happened to be flipping the channels, which I do on my lunch hour. I come home from work, make a sandwich, and flip the channels on the teevee. The problem was that there was no soccer to watch, you see. The English season is over, and now my beloved soccer channel shows Australian Rules Football highlights at noon. That's just fine. There was even a period of my life where I considered myself somewhat knoweldgeable on Australian Rules Football.

People would say to me, as so often happens, "Kaf, that Australian Rules Football, I mean what the hell is up with that?"

I don't know why people would question me about Australian Rules Football in this way. It could have been the small pin that I wore on my lapel that said "Ask me about Australian Rules Football, mate."

And I would listen as they complained about how all it is is a bunch of guys jumping around, catching the rubgyish ball and knocking their tender parts against each other with furious anger. I would think to myself "They just don't understand the excitement of Australian Rules Football. They'll never know why you have to bounce the balls every ten steps, or why the little refs by the goalposts wear fish-and-chip-shop outfits." And I would feel sorry for them, a little.

I want to make it clear that my watching of Australian Rules Football was in no way inspired by Paul Hogan or any of the Crocodile Dundee canon. There were no "Put a shrimp on the barbie" tee shirts. And I have even actually been to Australia, but all I really remember about it is that is was insanely hot and there were parrots. I was eight, I think.

But to continue, I don't watch the Australian Rules Football anymore is what I'm saying.

So I was flipping the channels and found myself on MTV just as a video was coming on. "How odd!" I thought. After all, MTV doesn't show videos anymore, do they? That's what all the deathly cool disenfranchised types say now, I believe. "MTV doesn't even show videos anymore!" they seethe, and know that they have spoken a crushing truth, and indicted the kids of today with their cruel incisiveness.

The little video thing in the corner said it was Lenny Kravitz, and I thought "Wow. Lenny Kravitz. Do people listen to Lenny Kravitz?" I mean, I remember him doing that "Are You Gonna Go My Way?" song, which was a big hit, and the kids, they danced, but has there been a transmission from Lennyland since then?

Incidentally, I really like the name Lenny Kravitz, because it reminds me of the big guy from Of Mice And Men, and Spinal Tap, and the neighbor from Bewitched, who may or may not have been called Mrs. Kravitz.

But there was Lenny. The video started out with him getting out of bed with two women. Two women! Lenny Kravitz is obviously getting it on with some regularity, or at least he really wants you to think that he is. And it continued with Lenny and his band living the rockstar life. I think even the keyboard guy was allowed to live the rockstar life in this video. But he wasn't like that weird Prince and the Revolution guy in the medical scrubs, so he fit in OK.

The video went on, and if the words weren't actually "Are You Gonna Go My Way?" they were pretty damn similar, so I am confident in telling you that Mr. Kravitz may be fresh out of ideas. Eventually, Lenny and the band were playing live to an impressive amount of people, so I assume that either they were compensated for their attendance at the video shoot or that people actually do listen to Lenny Kravitz. And Lenny was getting into it. He was yowling and humping the ground and kicking his legs into the air like a demented, greasy Rockette, and just as the music reached its fever pitch, its climactic creschendo, he did it.

He played the piano with his ass.

I appreciate that there are precedents for this rear end revue, this rear end sonata, like Jerry Lee Lewis and maybe Liberace if he had had too much Cold Duck. But it just kind of brought me up short, like maybe everyone in the band and everyone in the crowd, compensated or not, would just fall suddenly silent and say as one "Dude! You're playing the pianno with your ass!"

Because there are only a couple of meanings possible when you break into some cheeky ivory-tickling during a performance:

1. That you've been raised to such a Bacchanalian state of ecstasy by your own performance that clearly the only option is to play the piano with your butt.


b. That the music is so bad that it doesn't matter what part of your body you're using. Hell, the drummer could hit the high hat with his nipples for all the difference it would make.

And then the video pretty much ended, with Lenny having a quiet moment that the director probably thought was very Graduate and complex, but which really should have been Mr. Kravitz thinking "I just played the piano with my butt, and they didn't even care. I'm going to sleep with three women tonight, and maybe a koala bear."

At least in Australian Rules Football, they don't play the piano with their butts. No more MTV for me.

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