Par The Girl;
Take it from me, Dave.
Heaven was Detroit, Michigan. Who woulda thunk it?
– Lester Bangs
If there’s anything that Detroit, Michigan is known for it is for its visceral and funky music scene. It is not a city that yields into capitalistic dynamics; it is a metropolis that’s merely fueled by snarly rhythms. In the summer of 1959, Barry Gordy created “Hitsville, USA” – the headquarters that would soon become the worldwide vortex for the sound of Motown. By enmeshing the soulfulness of blues and the playfulness of pop, artists like Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Edwin Starr and The Four Tops printed their marks on our musical bodies.
In the coming years, other genres like garage rock and techno found their souls in the same vein. Starting from the late 80s, the subversive band called, The Underground Resistance, contributed to Detroit’s Techno scene by engaging in political activism and subsequently, steering clear of this omnipresent capitalistic frame that exists in music. Rock icons like Bob Seger – who you might know him by his stage name Alice Cooper – Iggy Pop and The Stooges and The White Stripes sprung from Detroit and entranced the audience with their guitar-melting and percussion-pounding sounds.
While many of Detroit’s roads have been littered with riots, they have also been stomped by the most iconic figures that have emerged from the annals of music history.