Some places breed music. Due to sheer size, any big city will produce its fair share of talented musicians, and some - Memphis, New Orleans, Chicago - seem to have music in the water supply. But none, arguably, more than Detroit: John Lee Hooker, the Motown diaspora, Aretha Franklin, the MC5, Rare Earth, The Meatmen, The Dirtbombs, the late J Dilla, Detroit Cobras and so forth.
To give you an idea of how much music the Motor City has given us, Rocks Off Sr. originally asked our writers to name their single favorite Detroit artist or group before Bob Seger's show at Toyota Center last month. Here it is barely two weeks later and another one of Detroit's most decorated, Smokey Robinson, is in town at the Arena Theater tomorrow.
Besides The Sound of Young America and the foundations of U.S. proto-punk and hard rock, Detroit is the city that gave us the architects of modern techno, Carl Craig and Juan Atkins, and the rapper who once said "nobody listens to techno." Our personal pick is a group that ties together rock, soul and R&B in a neat little bow - these guys.
But in our writers' eyes, do any of the above surpass the peppermint buzzsaw that is Jack White?