The Brilliance!

HTTP://WWW.THEBRILLIANCE.COM

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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Layer Tennis tomorrow, me VS. Steven Harrington. ACE!!!

Advantage! Deuce! Tennis elbow! Smash! Lens Flare! Plastic wrap! PhOtOsHoP SkILL! These are all things that may or may not have to do with tomorrow’s ‘Layer Tennis’ match between myself and the talented Mr. Steven Harrington. Layer Tennis (formerly Photoshop Tennis) is an online event run by Coudal.com that takes two artists, designers, illustrators, etc. and puts them up against each other for 10 ‘volleys’ of 15 minutes a piece. The first person starts their serve with a piece they’ve worked on throughout the upcoming week, then the other person gets 15 minutes with that Photoshop file, uploads it, and so on. It’s quirky and unusual but really quite a fun, cool concept that has attracted a big audience. SO. Tomorrow at 2pm Chicago time, I will be working with/against Steven Harrington with commentary by Jason Kottke. The whole thing is semi-live (semi because you’re not actually watching or listening to real-time action…just getting updates every 15 minutes or so). People discuss everything that’s going on in the forums, so you can participate there or just observe. Anyways, check it out at LayerTennis.com. Bagel! Break point! Vibrazorb! Women’s doubles!

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A little server crash ain’t nothing to us!!

Yeah…so we are pretty much back up now after our little crash there. Big shout to our hosting company, that was real awesome to lose a bunch of data. Thanks…let us know when you want to do that again, it was a blast!! Sarcasm…snaps. But yeah, seriously, thank goodness for Google’s cached version of our site…or those posts would have been gone forever. We’ll be fixing the images and stuff here soon too…just trying to get back in action. Fortunately we are still REALLY, REALLY INTERNET.

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Common Projects, I want some.

Common Projects took such a perfect approach…keep it simple. Focus on the shape, easy colors, and quality. I don’t need a bunch of logos, straps, stitches, reflective materials, bullet-proof laces, tongues with ‘stash’ pockets, all-over prints, pictures of things, and my least favorite - knock-off Chuck Taylor toe-caps. Stop doing those, they’re not good…like, ever. Yikes, this is a little bit of a rant post. But I just love how simple Common Projects’ shoes are. Really beautiful. Love the little stamp on the back too, nice touch. My next issue…why does the stuff I like have to be so hard to find?? Minus snacks and Coors Light. Who knows where I can get these online??

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957,000 + Billion Dollar Remix! Hip-hop, a moment in time!

Just when it was getting boring and we we’re all retreating back to ‘the good old days’...hip hop comes around and does something proper for all its followers. Two things. (1) Kanye stepped on 50 cent. He’s certainly doing pretty hood in his pink polo. 957,000 albums sold one week. How many came from the ‘Ellen DeGeneres’ demographic? So brilliant. (2) The Billion Dollar Remix. I’ll be real honest, we didn’t hear the best performances from any of the artist on this track. But it’s a fantastic to see ‘a billion dollars worth of hip-hop’ on one record. In a peaceful display of the success these culture-shapers have achieved. I love these parts of hip-hop, seriously. And ha, the ending line from Jay: ‘I wouldn’t want to be outside of the bubble on this.’ ***Link to download the track below.

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The new word art: Who does this!?! *Follow-up!*

Thanks to the whole bunch of people who sent us emails about who is behind these awesome pieces of work. His name is Thomas Broome and you can check his site out right here - Thomas Broome. Awesome work…Check the link below for one of my favorites.

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Steamy pile of links!!!

What!? Yes! These links are steamin’!

-Epson StylusPro 3800 - Yeah, I just got this printer and it’s ridiculous how nice it is. If you do photography, a printer on this level is not even a question.
-My official ‘Stop using the word ‘creative’ as a noun thread’ on YayHooray. Seriously, art directors of the world listen up.
-Pictures that make you LOL thread on YayHooray. This is truly a gem of a thread if there ever was one on a messageboard. I’ve spent many days revisiting this thread specifically to laugh.
-PBF Comics. A perfect follow-up link to the last one…PBF Comics…what can I say. Seriously hilarious.
-Manystuff. You might think a lot of it is boring (I do too) but every now and then you’ll find some really fresh design on here.
-Watch this over, and over, and over, and over, and over again. And again.
-Jody Morris Photography. Beautiful action sports, music, and lifestyle photography.
-John Dyer Baizley’s artwork. Someone tell this dude to return the messages I’ve sent him on Myspace. Seriously though, if anyone knows John Baizley personally, tell him I’m a fan and would love to talk/collaborate/print his work and sell it as my own/buy him lunch.
-Threadless Store in Chicago. Go support ‘em! Not that they need it, but hey…

That’s that! Oh, one more below.

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New interview w/ Josh Keyes!

And another one. Covering all angles, this time heading back to the art world to connect with Josh Keyes. We actually posted about his work not too long ago which is when I was first put-on to his work…and shortly after that we are interviewing him. I really love having a blog for that exact reason. So yeah, his work is amazing, our interview with him is a nice in-depth read, and with accidental perfect timing - he has a bunch of new work releasing in the next couple weeks. Perfect. Check the interview and really check his work on his site rather than out little thumbnails….really awesome stuff. Next level creative. Hope everyone had a good weekend - I had a nice longer one with some travel, refreshing.

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I am seasoned, Haters giving me them salty looks….Lawrys!!!

Ha, I am not done yet…and people thought Kenny Chensey was gonna out sell them both. People placed bets that Kanye would easily be behind 50. What an interesting moment for hip hop. However being number 1 isn’t really the goal, Stadium Status is the real goal, worldwide. Anywho this post is really about pictures from the weekend and all the cool-guy-whistle-blowing goin on about the GOODLIFE video. Compare the creative director (So Me) and directors (Jonas & Francois) in the credits of D.A.N.C.E. then ask yourself what the big deal is. HA. I guess they bit their own style. Indie mentality kills me. Once I find my camera chord I’ll post a couple pictures from the VMA, Graduation Day run. He’s trying to do pre-internet numbers so everyone re-up their burned copy and be GOOD.

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STADIUM STATUS!!!!

Take a step back and look at this Graduation album as an art installation in a museum. (this is ultimately Hip Hop, some people are calling the artform dead, fyi.) The artwork itself is on another level. Some are familiar with Murakami, others are not. At the end of the day, that artwork that comes along with the album is worth more than the price of the CD, period. As for the music, it really speaks for itself. I would argue there is a lyric on every verse of every song that everyone can identify with. There is a song that fits everyday of the week, from “Can’t Tell Me Nothing”…grinding away at work, to “Champion” when your giving your self a pep talk, to “Drunk and Hot Girls” when Friday night turns into Saturday morning. The videos, geeze. “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” based off the look of those shots. When is the last time you’ve seen those desert rock star shots like that done with a creative twist of the vintage Lambo and color lightning strikes and those fabrics. Or Stronger and the celebration of Akira and the brand new “Goodlife”. I mean the whole bar has been raised up, the music matches the “look” and the fashion is on a higher level. I have been saying, every time I listen to the album it makes me wanna dress better. It just a metaphor for the fact that this album encompasses life, art and style. Sonically this is 2007 and beyond hip hop music. The drums he is using, the synths, the strings at the end of “I Wonder” defines the “you can’t do this at home” sound of the album. I mean the cohesiveness is unmatched, and that cohesiveness stems from his talent as a designer at heart. Dislike individual elements but when you get an art directed package that is so cohesive AND on a MOMA level, the full body of this album is not compromised. In my mind I cannot deny this is one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time and the only album from the genre that respectively could go up against the likes of U2 & the Rolling Stones in the same sentence. Done and done. Just giving credit where credit is due.

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Snacks 2.0!

As your local corner-store-king, snack-sultan, and bodega-baller…I have to keep the whole scene plugged into the latest snacking trends. Think like: SnackBeast.com, SnackXHype, etc. Ha…this post is spiraling into something really un-funny, super corny. So, back on topic, I’ve got three snacks to highlight. (1) Panda Raspberry Flavored Confections. My goodness…its like the Louis Vuitton of licorice, no joke. (2) Barnacles from Blue Crab Bay Co. Some crazy spicy trail mix thing with peanuts, roasted pasta spirals, pumpkin seeds and a bunch of other hippie stuff. Super good, seriously. (3) Clif Bar’s Banana Nut Bread. Powerbars? Never heard of them. Clif Bars are the only bars that matter. So that’s that…gone are the Sour Skittles, Mambas and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. Sancks 2.0, get familiar.