What piece of art changed your life? How did it affect you?
My favorite book is [William Golding's] Lord of the Flies. It introduced me to the darker side of human nature—something I explore in my music, but try to keep at bay in my real life.
Mayer Hawthorne hails from Ann Arbor, Michigan, not far from Detroit, and Motor City soul permeates his blissfully retro tunes. His Stones Throw debut, A Strange Arrangement, sounds like long-lost Motown from Barry Gordy's secret stash. Hawthorne plays the Ottobar on March 6.