Obsolete, My Ass

Take’s Analog Issue celebrates ink on paper, hand painted signs, vinyl records, storytelling, and more.

The more the world goes digital, the more some New Englanders are embracing analog art and technology.

Take Justin Crowther, who plays drums for Burlington, Vermont’s “outlaw dirt rock” band Waylon Speed and who opened Burlington Records last year. In our latest issue, he tells us the story of how he and his partners salvaged an old vinyl-pressing machine from Germany. Now they cannot make records fast enough to keep up with demand from fellow musicians.

Sign painters Will Sears of Portland, Shawn Gilheeney of Providence, and Josh Luke of Boston explain how they’re reviving the “lost” art of the handpainted sign. “It’s really hard to be good at,” says Sears, an artist who also produced original work for this issue, including our cover. “You have to have brush skills. You have to know your materials. You have to be able to produce beautiful-looking letters with your hands. It’s design. It’s advertising. It’s color theory. It’s this physical thing.”

The age-old art of storytelling is also having a moment, as our profile of Matthew Dicks demonstrates. He has made a career of standing on a stage alone with a microphone and entertaining the hell out of audiences with tales as profound as almost dying and as weird as “sex and frozen corn.”

In keeping with the analog spirit, we look at the revival of Doing It Yourself rather than leaving it to mass production and the supply chain. It does not get more DIY than two Vermont bakeries — Red Hen Baking Company and Elmore Mountain Bread — that are not only successfully producing “slow bread” but also creating a market for local wheat growers.

Plus, we feature stories of New Englanders making hats, stone carvings, surfboards, pencil sculptures, and coffee makers. And dancing on a frozen pond in Maine.

If you’d like to read the Analog (February/March) issue, pick up a copy on our website!

Top photo|cover art by Will Sears


Michael KusekObsolete, My Ass