The Brilliance!


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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Slaying and shredding with Guitar Hero!!!

Ok ok, so I’m just now getting on the Guitar Hero (1 & 2) bandwagon. I’m not a big video game person. I’ve just never gotten into them that much, besides brickbreaker on my Blackberry and the occasional Chip’s Challenge or Jezzball break when I used to use a PC… Anyways, my little 11 year old brother got Guitar Hero a few months back and made me feel like an idiot every time I tried to play him. I’d say “Troy, how do you keep up with this stuff?” and he’d say “With pure speed and metal mastery given to me from the lord of darkness.” That’s actually not a true story. But anyways, the first time I played I thought, what a brilliant game…but how is it possible to play some of these songs on hard or expert?! Now I know, because I can shred with the best. That’s actually not true either. But I’m pretty alright at it, and I recently bought a Playstation 2 slim silver pretty much just to have Guitar Hero 1&2. I plan to get a flying V for my 2nd guitar when I melt the faces off my friends who try to beat me. What would be really great is if I could play real guitar. That would be something to post about. But since this game makes it much more possible for someone to play ‘Psychobilly Freakout’ or ‘Institutionalized’ pretty well after a couple weeks of practice, I’ll just stick with the game for now. I started a career and couldn’t think of anything for my band name besides Chuckbutt. This is actually a true story. Anyways, if anyone from Harmonix/Red Octane/Guitar Hero/Playstation/Xbox/Iron Maiden is reading this, please know that you have a huge fan here at The Brilliance and I think you should put a Mastodon song on the next version, possibly ‘Circle Cysquatch’...or go way back and put Snapcase ‘Zombie Prescription’ on there…that would be siiiiiiiiick.

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Karl Lagerfield says Night, Night!!

Never heard him speak and surprisingly he’s quite well spoken and not as harsh as he looks. This is a great clip of him talking about his photo exhibition Farewell to Daylight. Really good commentary and even better discussion on his perspective as a creative icon. Tons of thought provoking stuff here. I especially like the reasoning behind his anti-tourist look in his Paris photographs and his ‘stunt’ answer when the lady interviewing him draws parallels between architecture and fashion, i.e. labeling his work. Great morning video for that creative ‘pick-me-up’.

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Amy Winehouse + Jay-Z, Rehab Remix!

And…even more good music?! The new Kanye then this? Love it right now. So basically it goes something like this: “Hi, I’m Jay-Z. I can get on any track I want for a remix and there is a 95% chance it will be better than the original when I’m done.” Ha…I mean, I have to watch that I don’t get to fan-boyish with the Jay stuff…in fact, the other day I was like “I wonder if Jay is hitting that Wu-Tang time when he should just totally stop and preserve the legacy?” Then I heard that latest Timbaland and then this. Above his flow and all that – this is just a fun song, Amy Winehouse has a totally new thing going on and its cool when you ‘mash up’ artists like this. Good stuff. So yeah, I’m not going to link to the track…instead I’ll just give some shine to my guy Mike C from CarnevaleID who hooked me up with the track. It shouldn’t be too hard to find…

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Murakami X Kanye, say what?!?

Sheesh here we go, I think we have a movement on our hands. So the information is starting to flow. In a time where creativity and real art direction in the music world is on the decline with digital formats we get this duo. Murakami and Kanye and a painfully short, 30 second clip of “Can’t Tell Me Nothing”. I am not one to ruin surprises so…grab some popcorn and enjoy the suspense, from an art icon and a self-made kid from the southside of Chicago. Their pasts tells everything. I love the idea of Murakami collectors around the world picking up this single and hearing Jeezy adlibs throughout their multi-million dollar homes. If your not up on Takashi Murakami pick up the New York Times and see why he’s constantly called the Andy Warhol of our time. Personal thought here, this is some Madonna or Bono type stunt move…hop into the real art world and strike up a relationship and give the world something super good and artistically valuable. Since you never thought that hip hop would take it this far I guess we can’t tell him nothin’….nah uhh

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New interview…Jen Stark!

And yeah, we just posted about her a page ago or so…we move quick right? So yeah, Jen Stark took some time to answer a few quick ones for us. Maybe its just me, probably not, but man…her work is going to be a big deal sooner than later…no?! It’s kind of something we strive for here at THE BRILLIANCE…vouch for them when they are still a bit under the radar, and right now I feel extra-wrapped in the art scene. Especially ‘new’ artists. We’ve got some other interviews on the way soon as well – some fun ones. And I think we will actually be collaborating with another rather large site to provide their ‘interview swagger’ if you will, ha. A cross-marketed setup…It’ll make more sense when it launches. So yeah…enjoy this nice weather man!!!

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David DiMichele’s Pseudo Documentation!

This is just…really, really wild. Some of the most interesting work I’ve seen…in a long time. Brought that ‘weird out’ feeling back from when I was like 9 and I experienced really weird modern art instillations at the Art Institute. Love that feeling. So yeah, David does this: makes a tiny, but wildly realistic model of a gallery space and then makes equally tiny installations pieces in them – he then places even tinier scaled people that are gazing upon this model installation. The magic lies in how he then photographs these spaces in perfect context and lighting to make them appear as though they are real places and the those tiny scaled people are used as a reference point for the size of everything else…the effect is honestly just amazing. The feeling of massiveness is nuts. Insanely large melting ice cubes, 50 foot tall shards of glass…etc. Really just amazing stuff. Perhaps a new favorite artist of mine…wow, love it. Check the photos that were on display at the Paul Kopeikin gallery.

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Super Sleepy on So Me!!!

Man I feel extra late in this because I ‘heard’ the track but I was paying attention to the movement. That D.A.N.C.E. track by Justice is burning up myspace pages, Europe AND U.S.(finally!!) dancefloors alike. If that wasn’t enough its all coming out under one house, Ed Banger records, art directed by So Me. I am still hazing on the details and I enjoy that fact. One week I see Daft Punk Crew in the studio rocking what I think is an amazing graphic tee, next thing I know I am super late on this t-shirt laden video. Man, so inspiring. Paris your up, love the sound.

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“The People” by Common, produced by Kanye!

Thank you for this song Common and Kanye “something thick again” its been months since I’ve heard something new like this. But yeah so full, so thick, real visual you know? Listenable like 20 times in row. I would love to hear the original sample(s) Kanye used for this - that electronic organ thing?! so nuts. Short post or whatever, needless to say I’m looking forward to this ‘Finding Forever’ album this summer some time… I’m going to go back to listening to this track some more.

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Martin Margiela website, pure genius!!!

A website hasn’t hit me like this in a while. Unbelievable clever and a top-tier designer to boot. I am sure some people might think its nothing special but after visiting you cannot help but feel like you ‘get’ the brand. Super low tech, throwback, but surpasses anything fancy for fancy sake. I can’t get over the pop-up ads…after years on the net we are trained to just close them out, but these are ‘friendly’ and there’s a content benefit to actually clicking these. Spend a second on the site, look out for their artisanal pieces…it doesn’t get anymore creative than that. The background behind the pieces are what I found most interesting. Web designer people….we need more sites like this, fashion people we need more brands like this…

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Ace Hotel Portland OPEN!

Ahh…THE BRILLIANCE loves the whole Ace Hotel brand. They were one of the first ‘real businesses’ to connect with us, and ever since then it’s been a cool relationship. Alex Calderwood, Mr. Ace Hotel himself, was gracious enough to not only do an interview with us but give us (before Virgil joined!) two fresh suites at Ace Seattle for the weekend a year or so ago…a gracious host, and an inspiration with all his team has going. So anyway…we mentioned a while back that they would be doing an Ace Hotel in Portland, well its here, and we are quite happy for them. The Portland setup is on a considerably larger scale than the Seattle location…79 rooms, coffee shop, restaurant, and a gallery exhibit space. I really like that they did an exhibit space – it makes so much sense to have that on-site but its usually so corny at hotels you know? Ace knocks it out of the park of course. So yeah, congrats to Alex and the gang, the whole Ace team, the Neverstop team, Rudy’s Babershop, and his new site We’ll be in Portland this summer for a little THE BRILLIANCE get-away weekend…Portland is a creative-hub for sure, renaissance style right now.