Back in 2003, I temp-worked as a secretary in a recording studio. One day the boss comes by my desk and says “you have to hear this.” What he played then changed my life forever. You don’t come back from a song like “A Little More Time.” It sinks its lamprey teeth into your mind.
The artist, “McFlee,” with his backing singers, “Photosynthesis,” had just finished a demo session in which they created this visionary masterwork of…uh… let’s call it Vibratospiritual Casiohop.
According to my former boss, who remains nameless to protect his innocence:
I remember [McFlee] came by and wanted to hear himself on the mic one day so we let him put on headphones and hear himself. He was super stoked. [The engineer] called me in the middle of the session absolutely stunned at the weirdness of the whole thing.
The engineer on “A Little More Time” recollects:
I remember he set up right in the middle of the room with his keyboard and he had about five or six different beats he would cycle through, and he was running everything live, and didn’t want to pre-record anything. We had the girls set up in the hallway for backing vocals. I just remember when he started the song I was waiting for the ending around the four minute mark, and was looking for Candid Camera around the seven minute mark of the eighth or ninth(?) chorus. I knew this was a classic in the making, and regret not having a camera rolling! It seemed like watching him, every “yeaaaaaaaaa” would get a little more animated, and he was getting comfortable about halfway through the song, with more and more vibrato.
“A Little More Time” hits all the criteria for the truest of “Outsider Music.” It’s an earnest effort to create something real and meaningful that breaks every possible musical and lyrical convention with zero self-awareness. It’s challenging in every way, yet holds its own as an impossibly unforgettable earworm. The track was recorded in September of 2003 and I was luckily able to sneak a copy out of the studio. This is a chopped/screwed edit which excises approximately eight minutes of instrumental passages. If you think this is “difficult music” in its present form, imagine it with an extra eight minutes of keyboard preset instrumental breaks!
Some have noted a striking resemblance between McFlee’s vocal stylings and those of Antony Hegarty (Antony and the Johnsons). Um, sure, why not?
Only a handful of people who were gifted dubbed copies have heard “A Little More Time,” but it’s worth exposing to a greater audience. The video, unrelated to the song, approximates what one imagines a live McFlee performance might possibly entail, and is provided to give the listener a visual to enhance the experience. Follow along with the lyrics or don’t. It doesn’t matter. Soon “A Little More Time” will be jammed into your head like a mental tapeworm, sucking out IQ points while lifting your soul to the heavens.
Ladies and gentleman, prepare yourselves for the vibrato stylings and astonishing language liberty-taking of the one-and-only McFlee and Photosynthesis.
My education in experimental music came in my college years. Between volunteering at the campus radio station and living in a cheap apartment building in a neighborhood that had historically been a freak magnet, I hooked up with a cadre of students from a nearby music school who were into the weird stuff, and were cool enough not just to clue me in on 20th Century classical, the New York School, atonality, musique concrète, et al, they even invited me to make music with them. Over the course of two or three years, we filled up a metric shitload of blank tape and killed a lot of innocent cannabis plants, and it was all time very, very well spent. But seeing this BBC documentary on a late ‘60s experimental music program in the schools of Shoreditch, London, UK, made me wish I’d been from a time and place where I could have had many of those experiences (likely minus the cannabis, or maybe not) in elementary school.
The doc puts student works on display, starting with a piece exploring “heat, radiation, relentlessness, intensity, stillness,” with instructor Brian Dennis (the man who literally wrote the book on Experimental Music in Schools), who then gives a conducting demonstration, and a demonstration of tape effects. There’s a lengthy, edifying, truly wonderful visit to a class of very young children learning the creative use of tape recorders, and a science fiction story by one of the students, scored with music and sound effects made by his classmates. Then we’re treated to a lively and cacophonous student composition, scored with an invented notation. The program concludes with a genuinely creepy piece of drama, written, scored and acted by the students, wouldn’t you know it, about a cholera epidemic.
The sophistication on display here, even from some of the much younger students, makes me weep for the ultrashitty way US public schools treat arts education. (While athletics, naturally, are the inalienable milieu of young gods…) To keep myself from indulging in a rant about this—and I’d say nothing that hasn’t been said better by others, really—I transcribed my two favorite quotations from teachers in the program. There IS great educational value in difficult music, to wit:
“The children in this school have a great variety of creative experiences, musically, and we do try to make sure that the music is part of activity. All children are very interested in tape recorders, televisions, radios, in fact that is nearer their experience than are a great many nursery rhymes. Creative tape recording teaches them self-discipline, because they soon realize that if they talk at the wrong time it spoils somebody else’s work.”
“The children do have bizarre noise-making sessions as play, but I think this is quite a valuable experience. They soon learn that once they get used to the sounds, they need some other form of organization if they’re going to get more enjoyment. So naturally they progress to electing a leader or conductor, and they find there’s some need for notation of a sort, so they invent one, and they’ve progressed then from play to composition without actually being taught.”
The smug, judging record clerk is a sad cliche, but the stereotype exists for a reason. Not all of them start out that way. Sometimes it’s a process of grinding down that takes place over several years. I’ve been working in and around record stores since 1991. Anyone working retail knows dealing with morons and nutjobs comes with the territory, but music retail people will tell you they deal with a completely different breed. There’s something special about a record store that attracts a fringe class one might never encounter any other place, save the emergency room or the DMV. Ask anyone who has worked in music retail, especially the old-timers, and they’ll tell you. We all have a story to tell.
In 2002 I stashed a notebook behind the counter of the shop where I work, something I wish I had had the foresight to think of years earlier. Anytime we got a dopey phone call, boneheaded comment, or generally batshit customer experience we’d log it into the book with the date and time of occurrence. We’ve got a few volumes filled at this point. Earlier today I flipped through some back pages and noted favorite entries. I have omitted the date stamps for the sake of brevity, but these entries span from February 2002 to November 2014. There’s so much more where this came from, but ideally this begins a dialogue with other battle-scarred shop grunts. We want to hear your stories. If you have favorite quotes or tales, especially ones that top these, post them to the comments and share with others who’ve lived the struggle.
Enjoy these hand-selected quotes from the music retail front
Customer: “Why are there only 12 songs on this CD?”
Clerk: “Uh, that’s just how many songs are on it.”
Customer: “So, there’s six songs per side?”
Customer: “I’m looking for an old song called ‘The Monster Mash’. I think it’s by Kris Kristofferson.”
Customer: “Are you the manager?”
Customer: “OK. There’s a Beatles album… it’s really rare… it’s worth a whole lot of money… Do you know which one it is?”
Customer: “OK. How much would it be worth?”
Customer: “Do you have a Christmas album by Aryan Neville?”
Customer: “Do you have any Van Morrison? I didn’t see any under ‘V’.”
Clerk: (politely) “Well, it would actually be under ‘M’.”
Customer: “NEVERMIND!” (customer storms out)
Customer: “Is this the record place?”
Customer: “Could you tell me how to get a record deal? I do rap.”
Customer: “I’m looking for a Country singer. The last name is ‘Redding’. I think the first name is ‘Otis’”
Customer: “Do you have any… uh… Gospel… uh… I mean… uh… tape… on… video… uh… I mean… (screams) DO YOU HAVE ANY HALLE BERRY MOVIES?”
Customer: “Do you have constellation music?”
Clerk: “Constellation music?”
Customer: “You know… A variety.”
Customer: “There’s this lady that just put out a song. I don’t know what it is.”
(statement ends here with customer expecting an answer)
Customer: “I have some… I don’t know what they are… uh… (moment of silence) Do y’all buy 26 inch records?”
Customer: “Do you guys have any Kenny G posters?”
Clerk: “No, I’m sorry we don’t.”
Customer: “Well, if I get two then I’ll give you guys one.”
Customer: “I know that the Beatles Red, White, and Blue albums are the best, but are there any other good copulations by the Beatles?”
Customer: “Do y’all have ‘Old Mount Zion’?”
Clerk: “Um, who is it by?”
Customer: “The New Years song everybody sings!”
Clerk: “Auld Lang Syne?”
Customer: “I dunno, maybe.”
Customer: “Are all your CD’s made?”
Customer: “I’m looking for ‘Theme From a Summer Place’.”
Clerk: “Do you know by who? About 100 different artists have done that song.”
Customer: “There’s no ARTIST! It’s an INSTRUMENTAL!”
A guy comes in and wants to order a TV-only-offer CD. He brings in the 1-800 number from the commercial and asks if we can call it in for him.
Two sorority girls come into the shop.
Sorority girl #1: “Do you guys have any Beatles DVD’s?... no… wait… I guess they didn’t have video cameras back then.”
A young white woman’s inquiry about Reggae:
“Y’all got that Reggae guy? ...He’s black.”
Customer: “Y’all got any Ronald McDonald?—You know that guy who used to be with the ‘Doobie Boys’”
I’ve been attempting to track down the entirety of Luciano Pavarotti’s Pavarotti and Friends, a 2002 benefit concert for Angolan refugees, ever since I saw his brilliant duet with Lou Reed on “Perfect Day.” There’s just something so absurd and charming about this classical operatic tenor with a pop culture presence, using that leverage to reach out to such an erratic assortment of musicians for charity. I haven’t found the whole show on YouTube yet, but there’s video of his duet with Grace Jones, and it is phenomenal.
In a fantastic moment of grand drama, some members of the audience break into laughter upon Jones’ entrance—whether it’s nervous, derisive or joyous I cannot tell. Ever the gracious stateswoman, Grace radiates… well, grace, and blows them away with the strange and powerful performance. Pavarotti is characteristically brilliant, and I’m not sure if he picked his guests for the special, but he pairs with Jones beautifully.
Here’s a delightful video of the Louisville Leopard Percussionists during rehearsal sessions for their cover versions of Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir,” “The Ocean,” and “Immigrant Song.”
Even though this video was posted to YouTube back in November 2014 (with hardly any views), it’s finally getting the attention it deserves now due to Jimmy Page posting it to his Facebook yesterday afternoon. “Too good not to share. Have a rocking weekend!” wrote Page.
It is too good not to share. The kids are going to be all right.
A YouTuber saw fit to offer a transcript of this amusingly incoherent live Rolling Stones performance from 1976 where Mick Jagger simply refuses to form real words with his mouth.
Name that tune:
“Yah Awa bo anna craw fah huh cay Anna ho alamo in a try ray Buh ah ray ah now yeah and fad is a gay Oh ray now, a jumpin jay flay sa gas gas gah. Ah wa lay bah a toodleh beedeh hay. Ah wa sko wid a strap rahda craws ma bah. Bahda oh ray now en fad is a gay. Buh oh ray now jumpin jah flah sa da ga ga geh”
What freaking made-up slurry LANGUAGE is he singing in, anyway? What drugs was he on? I want some!
During my stretch as a student at the University of South Carolina (Go Cocks!), I attended classes with six individuals who would, for better or worse, go on to have a profound influence on the way we as a culture experience music.
Four of those dudes formed Hootie and the Blowfish:
The other two were the think tank behind Advanced Genius Theory.
The theory, developed by Jason Hartley and Britt Bergman, maintains that seemingly bad and confusing artists are actually still producing excellent works today, despite critic and fan belief. The hypothesis is based around a few key musicians (only individuals), namely Bob Dylan, Sting, David Bowie and (most-critically) Lou Reed. At one time, these musicians wore sunglasses, leather jackets and mullets when it was un-ironic to do so. Musical artists must at least have a self-portrait on one of their album covers, displaying their sunglasses or hairstyle (e.g. Street Hassle, Infidels, Aladdin Sane). The basic tenets are:
You must have done great work for more than 15 years.
You must have alienated your original fans.
You must be completely unironic.
You must be unpredictable.
You must “lose it.” Spectacularly.
Advanced Genius Theory essentially boils down to the notion that truly cutting edge work by great artists is typically misunderstood at the origin of creation, and that when those artists eventually attain public acceptance and later produce seemingly terrible material it is not so much that the new material is in actuality bad - but that the artist has advanced to the next level and it’s the audience who has yet to catch up.
Britt was more than a contributor to the Advanced Genius Theory, he was the reason it exists. He and I had known each other as children through a basketball league, but we went to different schools. In tenth grade, we reconnected in French class because he listened to Bauhaus and I listened to Black Flag. One day I went over to his house to listen to music, and he played The Velvet Underground & Nico. I knew Lou Reed a bit, but I didn’t know anything about VU because I had grown up on classic rock. After that day with Britt, The Doors just didn’t seem so mysterious anymore, though I still liked them and didn’t see why I shouldn’t just because another band was better. So while he exposed me to music most people had never heard, I made it a little easier for him to admit that he liked classic rock (including The Doors). Our high school years were a mix of Sisters of Mercy and Foghat, Captain Beefheart and Steely Dan, the Circle Jerks and Lynyrd Skynyrd. We were cool with all of it.
But one thing we could not understand: how did Lou Reed get so terrible in the 1980s? In particular, where did the slick, drum-machine powered, antiseptic Mistrial come from? One day in college at a Pizza Hut, we figured it out. If Lou Reed was ahead of his time when he was in the Velvet Underground, he must be still ahead of his time now and we were just like all the people who didn’t understand VU. Everything clicked into place. He didn’t suddenly start sucking, he was just beyond our comprehension. One of us said, “it seems like he has lost it, but really he has advanced.” We started listening to his solo stuff, including Mistrial, and loving it. Jokingly at first, but then completely sincerely. This opened up a whole world of music we had rejected before without truly listening to it. Who were we not to give Bob Dylan the benefit of the doubt? If David Bowie wants to do a duet with Mick Jagger, isn’t it possible that he knows a bit more about what is good than we do?
Over the years we developed what became the Advanced Theory, and so when I started freelancing at Spin Magazine, I brought it up one night. Everyone dismissed it, but then over the next few days, someone would come up to me and say, “is Prince Advanced? What about Elvis Costello?” I would patiently explain to them why or why not, but they were usually unsatisfied with the explanation because they didn’t understand the rules. At the time Chuck Klosterman was a contributor to Spin, and someone told him about the Advanced Theory (I wasn’t working there anymore). A bit later, he was talking to his editor at Esquire about possible column ideas, when Sting came on. I believe Chuck said, “oh, he’s Advanced,” then explained what that was. The editor thought it would make a great column, so Chuck called me up to ask if it was okay, then interviewed me. His article mentioned Val Kilmer as the most Advanced actor, which earned Chuck an invitation to visit Val in New Mexico. I’m told David Lee Roth wanted to know if he was Advanced. Eventually I wrote The Advanced Genius Theory, which expanded the theory to include actors, scientists, writers, and anyone else who was great for a while, then (seemingly) embarrassingly bad. All of this is thanks to Britt Bergman, who as I wrote in the book’s dedication, invented Lou Reed for me.
Read more about Advanced Genius Theoryhere. And in the meantime enjoy some “Advanced” Lou Reed in memory of Britt Bergman…
Before Steve Strange became known as a club host at Blitz and a New Romantic pop star with Visage, he was in a punk band with Chrissie Hynde called The Moors Murderers. It’s fair to say, there was a tacit understanding with some elements of punk that to cause offense was an acceptable way to achieve notoriety. Having a band called The Moors Murderers was certain to bring considerable opprobrium and cause offense to the Great British public as the band’s name referred to the notorious serial killers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley who had raped and murdered five children in Manchester, England, between 1963 and 1965, burying their bodies on Saddleworth Moor. To this day the body of one victim Keith Bennett has never been recovered.
Brady and Hindley were a dark stain on the colorful psychedelia of the swinging sixties. Their evil deeds had a troubling influence on many writers and artists, perhaps most notably Morrissey who used the brutal killings as material for songs and may have even named his band after the Brady/Hindley associates and in-laws David and Maureen Smith—or as they were called by the press at the time, “the Smiths.”
Steve Strange’s involvement with punk came when he saw the Sex Pistols perform at the Castle Cinema in Caerphilly, Wales, in December 1976. The gig changed the teenager’s life and he became friends with the band’s bass player Glen Matlock. Strange was then known by his real name Steven John Harrington, and inspired by the Pistols he started booking punk bands to play gigs at his home town. He then moved to London and became part of the revenue of punks that orbited around Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren’s shop SEX on the King’s Road. Here he met the iconic Soo Catwoman, who first suggested forming a punk band called The Moors Murderers. As Soo later recalled:
“The Moors Murderers thing was a big joke to be honest. I was joking about getting a band together called the Moors Murderers and doing sleazy love songs, I had no idea he [Steve Strange] would actually go out and do it. …”
Strange certainly ran with the idea and approached Chrissie Hynde telling her about the band and singing her the song “Free Hindley.”
They say it started in 64
Myra Hindley was nothing more
Than a woman who fell for a man
Why shouldn’t she be free
Brady was her lover
Who told her what to do
Psychopathic killer-nothing new
Free Hindley Free
What she did was for love
The torture scenes the boys and girls
Hindley knew but couldn’t say
She was trapped by her love
What mother in her right mind
Would allow a girl at the age of nine
Be out on her own
Don’t blame Hindley
Brady was her lover
Who told her what to do
Psychopathic killer-nothing new
Why shouldn’t she be free?
Free Hindley Free
Strange claimed to be part of a band called the Moors Murderers in order to do a photo shoot for German magazine Bravo. Catwoman says she was also present but left the shoot. Steve Strange may have played a gig with The Photons under the Moors Murderers monicker supporting The Slits at an NSPCC benefit concert at Ari Up’s school in Holland Park circa Christmas 1977.
At The Slits gig was musician and producer Dave Goodman, who had worked with the Pistols and Eater:
There was a support band who I assumed were friends of the Slits. They had this singer dressed in black leather calling himself ‘Steve Strange’. I also remember at least one female musician, who turned out to be Chrissie Hynde. They had a certain ‘first gig’ quality about them, their sound being somewhat chaotic and the lyrics virtually unintelligible.
I couldn’t believe it when they announced themselves as ‘The Moors Murderers’. It really was controversial. I had lived through that gruesome event and the darkness it brought to my childhood still felt gloomy. To protect me, my mum would remove any ‘Moors Murderers’ tabloid sensationalism from the papers, after first reading it herself.
After the show Steve Strange came up to me at the mixing desk and confirmed the band’s name. I’d heard right - it was as I thought. We got talking. It turned out that they had this song called ‘Free Hindley’. They had just performed it, but I hadn’t noticed. He had my interest - what was his motive behind it? Steve explained. He felt that it was hypocritical of the government to automatically consider other child murderers for parole after a certain length of time, while ignoring Hindley. Being a high profile case, I believe he felt they were just pandering to public demand. We also discussed change and to what level people can achieve it.
Strange told Goodman that he wanted to record a single “Free Hindley,” but Goodman suggested “two main things to Steve”:
1. To show he is not condoning murderers he should create a balance. Why not record the Ten Commandments to music for the B-side? You know, get out of it in the studio and really get into it man! He liked the idea.
2. Talk to Lord Longford, he’s been visiting Hindley in prison and is campaigning for her release. He liked that idea as well.
Strange arranged a hasty press shoot where the members of The Moors Murderers kept their anonymity by covering their heads with pillow cases. According to Goodman three of the group in the photo are “Strange, Chrissie Hynde and Nick Holmes (Eater’s roadie who is believed to have played guitar on ‘Free Hindley’).” The fourth maybe Mal Hart, who played bass on the track.
Understandably, a band associating itself with the country’s most reviled child killers soon saw them damned by the press. On January 8th, 1978, the Sunday Mirror published an article on The Moors Murderers asking “Why Must They Be So Cruel?”
As Strange was mainly unknown, The Moors Murderers was labeled as Chrissie Hynde’s band, much to her chagrin, as she became the focus of the media’s ire.
In mid-January Sounds music paper ran an article on The Moors Murderers—now apparently three members, again with their heads covered though this time with black bin bags. The band played the Sounds journalist four of their tracks “Free Hindley,” “Caviar and Chips,” “Mary Bell” (about the child murderess) and “The Streets of the East End.”
According to Andrew Gallix, following the Sounds “showcase”
...the band played the Roxy on 13 January 1978, supporting Open Sore. Steve Strange was on vocals (calling himself Steve Brady) and Hynde was on guitar. Bob Kylie (Open Sore): “They were terrible! Absolutely dreadful!” On 28 January 1978, Strange told Sounds that he had left the band.
Whether “Free Hindley” was ever released as a single is debatable, but it was available on cassette as David Goodman recalls:
I remember hearing an acetate of the two recordings ‘Free Hindley’ and ‘The Ten Commandments’, possibly played to me by Nick Holmes the drummer. Not long after that, I saw an ad in the back of Melody Maker or NME for the sale of some ‘Moors Murderers’ acetates and cassettes @ £10 each I believe. I seem to remember Malcolm McLaren bringing that ad to my attention. Anyway, I didn’t buy one, I’d heard it once and that was enough.
Years later, when entering a record store in San Francisco, I saw a sign offering thousands of dollars for one. That was the only time I wished I’d grabbed one when I had the chance.
Chrissie Hynde went on to form the Pretenders in 1978, while Steve Strange eventually achieved success with electronic band Visage.
Below Chrissie Hynde talks about her involvement with The Moors Murderers.
I never could understand the appeal of Beverly Hills, 90210, but I do remember when this happened because I so loved the Cramps. Around Halloween of 1995, the band appeared on the episode “Gypsies, Cramps and Fleas” to promote their Flamejob album. They got a mere 40 seconds of the broadcast—just long enough to be introduced by Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, greet the audience in the punning style of the Crypt Keeper (or would Ghoulardi be more apt?), and play the hooks from Flamejob‘s “Mean Machine” and “Strange Love.”
I can’t help you with the plot of the show. For me, making sense of the interactions between these turkeys is like trying to read the Epic of Gilgamesh in the original Akkadian. You’ll have to take tv.com‘s word for what happens on this episode:
Colin appeases Kelly by ending his affiliation with Claudia and taking a teaching job. A fortune teller sets up shop at the Peach Pit for Halloween. In spite of her questionable credibility, her presence has an impact on many couples. She forces Susan to come clean with Brandon about a past relationship. David buys a love potion to use on Valerie, and the two become closer. Steve and Clare accidentally drink the potion and have a rendezvous in the club’s dressing room. Donna spends time at the Halloween party with Joe Bradley, the university’s star quarterback. A jealous Ray accosts her, prompting Joe to back off. Ray lurks at Donna’s apartment and becomes physical when she refuses to talk to him. Joe returns and comes to Donna’s defense; he had reconsidered his decision and wants to date her. Dylan and Toni take in a stray kitten. Toni finds Dylan’s gun in the first aid kit and insists that he get rid of it. Toni’s father meets her at the Peach Pit in the hopes of ending their rift. He refuses to give Dylan a chance, and Toni gets him to admit that he had Jack killed. Dylan disposes of his gun and vows to let go of his anger. He and Toni plan to move to Hawaii.
See, but wouldn’t it have made for better TV if Dylan had kept his gun and vowed to hold on to his anger? Or if they’d given the Cramps, say, a solid minute rather than the 40 seconds below? I know these suggestions come 20 years too late, but I record them here for the benefit of future generations. May they succeed where others have failed.
Below you’ll find Motor City’s Burning: Detroit from Motown to the Stooges, A 2008 BBC documentary that gives a brief summary of the musical trajectory and evolution of Detroit’s music scene through the riotous decade. It’s a little overly ambitious in scope and far more focused on MC5 and the Stooges then it is on Motown, but it’s worth taking a look as it traces a path from John Lee Hooker to Berry Gordy’s slick Motown production, through the Detroit riots of 1967 and the emergence of the MC5, the Stooges, George Clinton and Alice Cooper. The music scene is necessarily tied to the history of Detroit and the rise and fall of the auto industry and the 1967 Detroit riots.
There are many luminaries interviewed here including Johnny Bassett, Lamont Dozier, Martha Reeves, Mary Wilson, Mike Davis, Wayne Kramer, John Sinclair, Ron Asheton, Scott Asheton, Lenny Kaye, Iggy Pop and Alice Cooper.
Some of the best commentary in film talks about the dichotomy between views of the city in the sixties. Inner-city African Americans had a clearly different experience from the largely suburban white acidheads freaking out to the likes of the MC5 in places like the Grande Ballroom (shown in contemporary footage and in complete dilapidated abandon) where the MC5 had a residency. John Sinclair, the MC5’s headline grabbing manager and White Panther Party founder, discusses the fact that white kids came to inner city Detroit looking for “urban adventure.” African Americans on the other hand felt intimidated and provoked by white police and increasingly infuriated over the ghettoization their neighborhoods. While groups like the Motor City 5 lived right in the middle of the unrest, their largely white audience often did not.
John Sinclair’s arrest for two joints and the John and Yoko support concert is discussed, while Iggy Pop talks about the early Ann Arbor scene, and there’s good footage particularly of John Lee Hooker, MC5, the Stooges and George Clinton throughout the film.
The documentary leaves a lot to be desired with kind of Cliff’s Notes oversimplification but it has some notable anecdotes and perspectives. If you’ve got an hour to kill or you just don’t know much about the Detroit musical phenomenon, one could find a worse primer.