Hail to the Thief

Coming soon to a used music store near you: My CD collection.

Greendale Cedar Lee Theatre
No more "Hey Ya!" in my Hyundai. OutKast was - among the abducted.
No more "Hey Ya!" in my Hyundai. OutKast was among the abducted.
I was with friends at a nightclub on a recent Friday night when -- for reasons that have nothing to do with alcohol consumption -- I left my car parked overnight on the 1300 block of Prospect Avenue. When I returned the next morning, I discovered the window broken. Gone were my most precious musical belongings.

I was delighted.

You see, this was not a crime per se. It was a simple redistribution of wealth. My status as a writer for Scene -- as well as the fact that I drive a Hyundai -- made it clear to you, Monsieur Burglar, that I live a life of unbridled opulence. Your theft was as righteous as Robin Hood's. Bravo!

Besides, I know a compliment when I see one. From the sidewalk you could see my discriminating collection of CDs, which I conveniently left in plain view. You could have hurled that rock through the window of any of the dozens of cars lining the street. You chose mine. I congratulate you, good sir, on your exquisite taste.

Though we have never met, our shared taste gives me a sense of intimacy with you. And I hope I am not violating that intimacy by sharing with Cleveland a list of the artists that unite us. When you're perched in society's penthouse, it can be hard to understand "the street." I believe we all have much to learn from you, old sport.

You selected:

Jimi Hendrix: The Ultimate Experience. Anyone who would so much as risk losing a CD this spectacular deserves to have it stolen. Good play, old boy! I had been meaning to buy Electric Ladyland and Are You Experienced anyway. Thanks for the reminder.

OutKast: Big Boi and Dre Present . . . You only made away with the case, my friend; the CD was in the player, which you gamely but unsuccessfully attempted to pry from the console. You should have made better use of the tool kit I left on the passenger seat. At any rate, they're superb tools, and it was wise of you to take them home.

OutKast: Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. My album of the year and yours too, I surmise. Dre's side is gorgeous, if a touch indulgent. Big Boi is a thug we can all love. I wanna say, "Stank you smelly much!"

Leonard Cohen: The Essential Leonard Cohen (double CD). Wherever you are, I hope you're humming "Suzanne" to yourself.

The Rapture: Echoes. Loved it when it came out, but it's since lost luster. In three weeks, you'll be begging to give it back to me. A tip: Leave it in your car and park near the Beachland. It'll be gone in 60 seconds.

Iggy and the Stooges: Raw Power. It's a snarling, discordant, utterly grating masterpiece. Give it several plays before you give up on it, my friend. I predict you'll find it cathartic. For example, if your girlfriend dumps you, the track "Your Pretty Face Is Going to Hell" works wonders.

Love: Forever Changes. Lush instrumentation with a mesmerizing, psychedelic beauty that the Doors could never replicate, no matter how they tried. If you absolutely must sell some of my CDs for drugs, keep this one, then listen to it while you get high. You'll thank me.

Daft Punk: Discovery. The truth is that if I hear the song "One More Time" one more time, I'm going to dive off the Detroit-Superior Bridge. I owe you my life.

Robert Johnson: The Complete Recordings (Disc 2). Now it's The Incomplete Recordings. I got this boxed set for Christmas from my mom. She passes along her warm regards and asked me to thank you for being considerate enough to rob me while I was absent. She was rather displeased with the gentleman who carjacked me at gunpoint a few years ago.

The Source Hip-Hop Music Awards 1999: Various Artists. Z ("Can I Get A?"), Juvenile ("Ha"), Method Man and D'Angelo ("Breakups 2 Makeups"), and Gang Starr ("The Militia") are the highlights. It was a great year for hip-hop, but a half-decade later, it's time to let go. I feel like a third grader whose security blanket has finally been retired. Thanks for the tough love.

Quazi Modo: Magna Vox. Your support of local rock music is laudable. I would also suggest Cobra Verde -- more artistic, if less gritty. Their concerts are an adrenaline rush. Hope to see you there.

You left:

Jugoe and Misterbradleyp: These are two top-notch Cleveland DJs, and I certainly wish you had given them a fair chance, old boy. Where's the hometown love?

Sleater-Kinney: Dig Me Out. There is a certain grinding ferocity to the singing that I find appealing, but I would guess that's the same quality that turned you off. As lesbo-rock goes, I take it, you're more of an Indigo Girls chap?

Patti Smith: Horses. Aha! So you're threatened by aggressive women? Now I understand Sleater-Kinney's exclusion. My, but you're a complex character! I'd like to speak with my therapist about you, if that's OK.

The Band: (Brown Album). Part of being a good American is pretending that you respect things Canadian, like the Band. Millions of us go to hockey games and watch Brendan Fraser movies, yet you couldn't so much as steal this from my car?

The Replacements: Let It Be. It was a great relief to know that I could still drive around blasting "Gary's Got a Boner." It will always make me think of you.

Let me add that I'm a little hurt that you neglected to steal the business cards stowed next to the parking brake. You would have found that there's considerable panache in posing as a Scene writer, especially when it comes to cruising shorties at the club.

Ultimately, I have only two regrets: first, that I didn't have the two latest Badly Drawn Boy CDs in the car. Second, that I don't have more souvenirs from your visit to my Hyundai. It's sentimental, I suppose, but I saved the rock you chucked through my window. It's all you gave me, and I'll cherish it.

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