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
Forged in the post-rock crucible of 2004 Chicago, Maps and Atlases have carved a peculiar trajectory through contemporary music, mashing wiry math into an orange-hued pop sensibility while deftly avoiding the obvious pitfalls of both camps.
Using his bizarrely appropriate combination of nasal falsetto and raw baritone, vocalist Dave Davison manages to push and pull on the heartstrings.
But the album is difficult to penetrate if only because of the addictive nature of opening track Old and Grey.
It took around a month of heavy rotation for me to even begin to listen to track two, such is the candour of the opener's lyrics: "I've got a drawer full of your notes and word games that we played on planes and five pages at least of you practising signing your first with my last name."
Such comfortable intimacy is the hallmark of a rare personal maturity and the languid phrasing suggests a very serious songwriting ability.