The shipyard painter, political activist and razor-sharp cartoonist Bob Starrett has just written a new book The Way I See It on his eventful life and times. Below we reprint one of his stories and review an essential read
The similarities between Arizona and Leeds come thick and fast at this gig.
Having already recreated the smell of burritos with a misbehaving dry ice machine, Calexico's Joey Burns is now waxing lyrical about "glasses sliding down your nose and shirts becoming undone" with sweat.
The sell-out crowd ensures that it's undeniably hot in the Cockpit, where Calexico have been downgraded from the more sizeable Leeds Metropolitan University.
If the move concerns the core duo of Burns and John Convertino, assisted on live duties by a five-piece band, then it doesn't show. They create a non-stop party atmosphere full of hand clapping and attempts at audience involvement over the course of their two-hour set.
With nine albums under their belt, such a gig barely scratches at the surface.
But it could probably have been edited down without too many complaints.
That way they could have concentrated purely on the Tex-Mex material which makes The Mavericks weep into their tortillas.
This is especially true of Roka (Danza De La Muerte) on which trumpeter Jacob Valenzuela adds Spanish vocals to the chorus and their mariachi cover of Love's Alone Again Or and Epic, which ecstatically combines brass and accordion.
Less endearing is their predeliction for more standard Americana rock.
The Vanishing Mind could be Crowded House with additional pedal steel while All Systems Red can't hide its alt-country credentials despite swapping acoustic guitars for three-part electrics and a xylophone.
Such conventional rock tracks reveal the cracks in Calexico's armour.
Despite being a well-honed live machine they're genre-fusion stylists, they're to be admired rather than loved.