The Brilliance!

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We’re really internet and we’re really back. A website about things Benjamin , Chuck , Virgil , and various friends & guests think are interesting. Little-to-no specific focus, a bit odd, speling errors, and incredibly culturally relevant.

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Things: Vans Shoes!

Benjamin says: Been wearing Vans shoes on-and-off since I was 10 or 11. One thing I love is heritage. Name a ‘skate’ soft-goods brand with more heritage…and Vans is nothing short of iconic Fast Times at Ridgemont High, the surf world, skate world, slacker kids, hipsters, artists, rock stars, etc. Nothing more to say really. Give me some off-white Eras with the little blue strip on the sole. I just wish they were still made stateside…and I missed out on the whole customization thing they did!
Chuck says: I used to wear Vans slip-ons all the time. Then I got this one black pair that were a little too narrow for my feet. Every time I looked down it looked like I had giant lima beans coming out of my jeans. They were like a shoe-sock, kind of formed to my foot. My bad for getting a size too small. But a more serious note, nobody makes a cooler more classic shoe than Vans.
Virgil says: First thought that comes to mind about Vans is the chewed up sock I got after skating them for a few days, which lead to me thinking that skating my pair of OG Jordan 8’s was a good idea. That shows my age. Vans masters that fine line of modern classic in a less in your face why than Converse. It speaks to me. One color Sk8 Hi’s work whenever, wherever.

So yeah, this is a new thing we are trying out here on THE BRILLIANCE…all three of us throwing together out thoughts/comments/etc on a given ‘thing’. But instead of us just reviewing stuff we’ve come up with ourselves…we’d liek the readers to throw us suggestions of ‘things’ for us to cover. So…yeah, do that. Email your ‘thing’ suggestions to: hello@thebrilliance.com.

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Steady inspiration! More Karl Lagerfeld.

These once a week trips outta town are really throwing me off. I am on the internet, outside Gmail like once a week now. I am reading blogs that are a week old, kinda weird. I just came across this Karl Lagerfeld interview on Mr. Kim’s blog. Someone please name me a better interviewer than Charlie Rose. Whatever genre of celebrity he masters the art of asking questions and really getting into what makes people tick, political figure or fashion designer. Every time I find a Lagerfeld interview odds are I am going to post it. Genius. Too many great quotes, so I will just quote one.

“Designers shouldn’t talk, they should just design.” -real talk, Karl Lagerfeld

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The new Snoop video. Wow.

I really was like ‘should I even post this?!’ But how could I NOT post it? I mean, people come to our site looking for stuff exactly like this…maybe not exactly like this, but you get the idea right? I can’t really co-sign the song, I mean maybe…but I can, without question, co-sign this video. I 100% vouch for Snoop doing something this crazy. Crazy. I think the best way to describe this video would be…‘far out!’ Ha. Just like our friends at NahRight.com said, I really don’t think you’re ready for this video…really. So without further ado, I present you with Snoop’s latest video for his song ‘Sensual Seduction’...wow.

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All I want for Christmas!!!

Every year it seems like Christmas time rolls around and there is a ‘must-have’ gift, usually for kids…Then of course this year everyone really is getting in on that with the HD DVD player sales, big TV’s, cheap external hard drives, etc. Nothing like adults lining up at 3AM outside a Target and fighting their way into stores to be the first to get something. I slept in on black Friday though. I’ve already figured out what all these people need to figure out. You can get most of these deals online from Amazon already. Anyways, I was thinking…what if you just got whatever you wanted for Christmas? Literally…every year…just whatever you wanted. Like if I wrote up a list this year… “Planet Earth DVDs on Blu-Ray/HD, Audi R8, 10 iMacs, five 10x10 foot Josh Keyes paintings, a live show in my family room with Radiohead, Kanye, and Fugazi all playing each others songs, a lifetime supply of gummy bears, a new Vitra white leather and polished aluminum Eames Lounge Chair, a blank check like the one Brian Bonsall aka Preston Waters (thanks Kevin) got in that movie, and a trip to another galaxy.” And I just got it all. No questions asked. I don’t even care where it all comes from. What if? Anyways, I was just reading the new Wallpaper yesterday and they had a little feature on some ‘must-have’ books…like that Charley Harper book that Todd Oldham worked on. Now that’s a good gift right there. What are some other would-be awesome gifts this year? Email us. hello@thebrilliance.com. And no, your start-up t-shirt company’s shirts are not a good gift. Don’t send us those emails.

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That MASH dvd!

Alright, alright…yeah, I almost feel like I shouldn’t post this cause I’ll look all scenster/hipster like ‘omg that fixie video by those mash guys or whatever is sooo gnarly! they wear the coolest skinny jeans…where do you think they get them?!!’ Ha, that was terrible, I’m sorry. But yeah, per a post I made a while ago…riding bikes this past summer pretty much made my year…and this dvd that MASH just released to the hungry public is really brilliant stuff. Reminded me of the first time I watched ‘Public Domain’ or any of the Bones Brigade stuff when I first started skating. That feeling after watching it like…you just HAVE to go ride. They did a great job with production, the shooting was just amazing…scooters and skateboards on those hills? Yikes. San Francisco is certainly a proving grounds for riding a fixed gear…the hills they mash up just blew me away. So yeah, its a great film…support those guys and pick up a copy on their site, listed below. Then right after you hit ‘checkout’ in your web browser - go ride your bike. Warm or cold. ***Speaking of riding, I just rode to the office in this Michigan weather - 39 and raining…cold!

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Outkast - Da Art Of Story Telling Part 4!

I listen to hip-hop music because of tracks like this. Not a whole lot to post about this track you know? It’s just…good. If Jay-Z is Apple, Inc. then Outkast is like a Porsche 911. Always, always classic…and ever recognizable. And so drivable right? It’s like there music is made to be listened to while driving. Good thing I got a 2.5 hour drive to Chicago tomorrow, this track will be played more than a few times. But yeah, anyway, this is a reminder that Outkast makes great music. How on-point was Andre’s line about not ‘making it rain’ even though he could ‘make it thunderstorm’???! Music music music. I gotta go throw my laundry in the dryer…everyone have a good night.

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Jet Blue, that private feeling!!

Ha. My verdict is in. Jet Blue is my favorite airline along with Singapore Airlines. Who knew the glory days of flying were when I was a kid. Everything has been cheapened on all the major airlines. So evidently, the cheap airlines are where it’s at. It’s like Jet Blue accepts its position and puts their money where the CONSUMER wants it. Free internet & tons of power outlets(!!!) at the terminal, unlimited drinks and snacks, Direct TV, XM radio and legroom!! Judging by flying any other airline you’d think Jet Blue are a bunch of rocket scientists. I am a fan how the screen savers on the do-it-yourself check in kiosk says, “What’s up?” too. Jet Blue is new to Chicago so I am technically not late on this. All in all Jet Blue is cool, the founder is even hip enough to do the Superman, Youuuuu!

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Making the suburbs cool!!! It can be done…

The new Dwell came in my mail today and every time a new Dwell comes, I know I’m in for a load of inspiration, motivation, and some new artist or architect to admire. This time around, what I’m loving is the article ‘The Suburbs Strike Back’ by Jane Szita. The headline reads “Swedish prefab specialists Smedshammar + Holmberg are on a mission to rescue their compatriots from boring suburbs - and their deep-seated suspicion of architects.” Having grown up in the suburbs with my parents, moving out of their house to an apartment in another suburb, and now being married and recently having moved to yet another suburb, I can personally vouch for the completely boring approach to the look, feel, and architecture of suburban design. I understand the practicality of what most suburbs offer, but as a creative person there is nothing appealing to me about living in a place that is identical my next door neighbor, their next door neighbor, and everyone else in the neighborhood. So this article - actually, the entire new issue of Dwell - really grabbed me because I can relate to this whole issue. Carl-Johan Smedshammar and Anders Holmberg are attempting to tackle the issue in Sweden (granted, everything in Sweden is probably a million times more well designed to begin with than the Illinois suburbs that I’m used to…but anyways…) and it seems as though the residents are taking the bait. One of their innovations in their first development - Silverdal Terrace I - was to alter the color and angles on each side of the house, thus creating a façade that was unique depending on where you saw the house from. It’s kind of difficult to explain, but go to their site, linked below, click ‘storre projekt’, then ‘silverdal I’ for pictures. I just really love the idea of more sustainable, modern, clean looks in suburban areas. Bring a little city flavor into the cookie-cutter ‘burbs. I’d love to see this kind of thing sweep through the states in the future…making the suburbs cool and updated, but for some reason I just don’t think it will happen, at least not in a widespread manner. Ah well. Maybe time to move to Sweden.

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Post-event updates! Jay-Z show and NoPattern gallery!

Sheesh…sorry for the lack of posts, we’ve all been crazy busy since the day before that Jay-Z show at HOB. Speaking of which, it was nothing short of amazing. Well, well worth the money. What can you say about Jay that hasn’t already been said? His stage presence, his delivery, the swagger, the never-ending collection of ‘oh-this-is-my-jam’ tracks, the charisma, etc. I’d never seen Jay live before, so to see him perform ‘You Don’t know’ was seriously a highlight in hip-hop for me. And yeah, Kanye came out and the floor at the HOB almost broke. Kanye and Jay on the same stage? Who cares what that ticket cost! **Only a couple days later on the other side of town, Chuck threw a fantastic gallery opening at the new Threadless store. I love the Threadless store setup, seriously, it’d make a great living space. But yeah, Chuck had some really fantastic pieces, some new stuff I hadn’t seen - the black and orange print was nuts! Tons of great people out to see his stuff and show support. Chuck’s big now, as if the internet didn’t already know that, but its always way more fun to see stuff in person. And for me, being a close friend, its really great to see him become more and more successful doing what he loves. Take notes from him kids!! So how does a mega-ultra-hugely-successful-celebrity-debutant artist celebrate after the opening of a gallery space?? Word on the street is he was at the I-Hop down the street from Threadless. Now that is balling. **Check the link below for some video of Jay and Kanye performing.

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An ad campaign you can’t ignore? GM makes fun of itself.

American car companies, except for maybe Saturn and Jeep, are…not interesting. Nor are they producing any products I want to buy. But, with that being said, they do…every once in a great while…have a good ad campaign. And GM’s latest for the Chevy Malibu is one of them. Titled ‘The Car You Can’t Ignore’ it pretty openly makes fun of what they have made in the past - making fun of their own products. In this case it’s a late 90s Cutlass I think? Which is a GM product. They’ve got two great ads running right now where (1) a jogger runs into a parked late 90s Cutlass as it is such a boring, poorly designed, car she didn’t even notice it. Funny. (2) My favorite, which is linked below, the bank robbers who slide past the cops in the same type of car for the same reasons. Pretty brilliantly executed ad campaign. All this to illustrate that their new Chevy Malibu is indeed the care you CANNOT ignore. Great…I most likely won’t ignore it now. Job well done. And seriously, congrats to whatever agency/firm that came up with the campaign and got GM to buy into the idea of making fun of themselves, seriously, good stuff.