> Music can make almost anything seem better, which is why every metro area should have its own musical score, a signature background sound for life in the city.
> If singing can be good medicine for stuttering, autism, and breathing ailments, maybe lyrics and melody have the power to smooth political bumps in the road.
> Imagine: Detroit — The Musical. Monica Conyers and L. Brooks Patterson could sing “Shout (You Make Me Wanna)” as a closing duet, a wedding-reception style finale.That could require a Detroit/Oakland County prenup, which calls for sweet harmony — something in short supply.
> The annual Mackinac conference might be a lot more productive — and fun — if they pushed the chairs and tables to the walls and had a big dance party at the Grand Hotel.
> Maybe that would help participants realize that Detroit is missing a rhythm section, the 24-hour beat that wheels on rails (mass transit) lend to other regions.
> Every city has its sound: New Orleans jazz, L.A. hip-hop. In Motown, political bickering has become the same old song and dance, drowning more pleasant melodies.
> When the politicians and wags turn in for the night, Detroit’s sound bubbles up from clubs, stages, bars, and sidewalks — mostly in affordable parts of town.
> Cheap rent is the petri dish for the rebirth that makes a city vibrant. Low rent fosters new restaurants, retailers, galleries, and entrepreneurs.
> If cheap real estate is the draw for fledgling talent, shouldn’t we be marketing that around the country — a clearance sale on studios and housing for creatives?
> Regarding freebies, our annual Best of Detroit balloting named The RiverWalk as good, no-cost fun. (Best Of results begin on page 50).
> Other noted freebies: The street-level view of Tiger baseball games and the fresh-squeezed orange juice samples at Papa Joe’s Gourmet Market.
> Motown’s Barrett Strong sang “The best things in life are free,” in “Money (That’s What I Want).” Affordability brews opportunity. Look at Hamtramck.
> A musician and Hour Detroit colleague suggested we feature Hamtown dining. And we did, with a former magazine intern doing the dine-and-tell duties.
> Nice idea, because every city needs neighborhoods and enclaves that invite a sense of bohemia. Music to my ears.