Archives for March 2011 | A Continuous Lean. - Page 3

The Literary Life of a Dunhill Man

Mar 9th, 2011 | Categories: Art, Books, England, Jared Paul Stern | by Jared Paul Stern

Seeing Dunhill’s new ad campaign didn’t make me want to buy luxury goods from London; it made me want a Miller. A Harland Miller. He’s the rather shabby fellow among the three fairly obscure Brits chosen as the brand’s new faces this season, the one trying to hide behind an $1,100 briefcase (below). That must be why I failed to recognize one of my favorite contemporary artists at first, but reading the fine print I found he was one and the same. The talented painter and author first caught my eye when his 2007 monograph International Lonely Guy landed on my desk. What he does best are atmospheric re-interpretations of classic Penguin paperback covers – and I know I’m not the only one around here with a fondness for those.

As It Happened | Hendrix in Rotterdam

Mar 8th, 2011 | Categories: As it happened | by Michael Williams

Jimi Hendrix live in Rotterdam |  November 10th, 1967 | Photos by Rob Bosboom

The Can-Do Spirit Lives in Philadelphia

Mar 8th, 2011 | Categories: Motorcycles, Philadelphia, Video | by Michael Williams

Adam Cramer of Liberty Cycles is also someone who is concerned with the de-industrialization of America. A motorcycle mechanic in Philadelphia for the past 25 years, Cramer has what many would call an obsession with vintage motorcycles. Brooklyn-based craft-juggernaut Etsy recently produced a video about Liberty Cycles in which Cramer expresses concern that the younger generation of Americans will not be able to pick up the torch and continue America’s “can-do spirit.” A subject that was explored thoroughly here.

Stax Volt on Tour 1967

Mar 6th, 2011 | Categories: Music, Video | by Michael Williams

In the mid sixties some of America’s most talented Soul singers banded together and set out on a European tour that would go down as one of the greatest of all time. The artists on tour were all on the Stax-Volt record label and included Booker T. & the MG’s, The Mar-Keys, Arthur Conley, Sam and Dave, Eddie Floyd and The King of Soul Otis Redding.

The Stax-Volt label was sort of a Memphis equivalent to Detroit’s powerhouse Motown, although Stax was much smaller. After the tour in Europe in 1966 and 1967 the group returned to the states and many of the acts continued on to huge stardom, Otis Redding being the biggest. Sadly, he died in a plane crash in December of 1967 at the young age of 26.

Do yourself a favor and watch all of these videos, they are truly spectacular. The performances are also available on DVD here, should you want to own them. Enjoy.

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As It Happened | Church Street Surplus

Mar 4th, 2011 | Categories: As it happened | by Michael Williams

Church Street, New York City | 11:02 am Friday, March 4th, 2011.

J. Press & the Original Ivy Invasion

Mar 3rd, 2011 | Categories: Jared Paul Stern, Menswear, New Haven, TNSIL | by Jared Paul Stern

The Wall Street Journal recently reported on this wacky new Ivy League Look that’s sweeping the nation, radiating out from New Haven, the center of the “Ivy Style” universe. Now, where have we heard that before? Ah yes – Life, November 1954. “The Ivy Look Heads Across U.S.” the magazine proclaimed in an anthropological examination of the natural-shouldered suit and its sartorial brethren. They sent photographer Nina Leen to J. Press in New Haven, dubbing it the birthplace of the “Ivy League Look” when it opened back in 1902, to see the original in action outfitting Yale men. There she located the founder’s sons, Irving (Yale ’26) and Paul Press (seated left to right, below) presiding soberly over the premises. We have some outtakes that never saw print.

Punching Out

Mar 2nd, 2011 | Categories: Books | by Michael Williams

During the Super Bowl Chrysler debuted a commercial for its new Chrysler 200 sedan that closed, stoically, with the phrase “Imported from Detroit,” a reference to the 200′s assembly at the Sterling Heights plant in Michigan and a statement that was especially poignant me. The commercial and the closing sentiment really stuck me, not because of my constant made in the USA flag waving, but more because I was just finishing reading the book Punching Out: One Year in a Closing Auto Plant. The story — by Detroit native Paul Clemens — documents the shuttering of the Budd Detroit Automotive Plant, Stamping and Framing Division. Budd, a longtime supplier of the Big Three, was founded in 1912 and was probably most famous for stamping the body parts for the Ford Thunderbird in the 1950s.

At its peak Budd Detroit employed 10,000 people, but by the time Clemens arrived there were only a dozen or so people remaining to help strip the place for its metal and machinery. Basically a flock of factory undertakers arrived to strip it for salvage and then leave it for dead. The plant’s massive and valuable presses — which were some of the largest in the world — were sold, systematically dismantled by a highly skilled group of riggers and then shipped to India, Brazil and Mexico to live on making auto parts in other parts of the world. Ironically, the Budd plant in Detroit was sandwiched between a Chrysler assembly plant and a Chrysler engine factory, but that didn’t stop its main press line from being shipped a few thousand miles to central Mexico to stamp body sides for America-bound Dodge Journeys, for who but Chrysler.