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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scrimg.com!

So I hadn’t personally coded anything in a long time…was starting to feel like all I was doing as of late was consulting, pitching, meetings, etc…I’m not mad about it, its all really good stuff. But I wanted to do something new…scrimg.com. It’s actually a super-simple site…not really ground-breaking, or maybe it is. Basic idea: just like those other photo sharing sites, you can upload a jpg and share it on a form, send to a friend, whatever, etc. Except with scrimg.com you can see where it’s actively being shared, how many times its been viewed, which images are most popular, and you can text it to a phone…yeah. And you don’t have to login to upload stuff. The whole front page is kind of like a ‘Digg’ type model for images on the net, which are most popular – and then a freshly uploaded area too. I mean, really I did this cause Chuck and I are addicted to funny internet pictures, seriously. O rly, I can has, do not want, etc…all the classics. Ha. So check it out and upload something!! ***It’s beta so it might not work perfect…GIFs don’t work I don’t think, embedding on myspace doesn’t work (YET! I got a fix coming!)…and yeah, could be some other weird errors as well. But hey, I programmed the whole thing myself over a couple days. I got a bunch of other stuff I’m doing too…

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Andrew Bird!!!

I’ve been missing out for a while on Andrew Bird, only recently discovering his beautiful new album Armchair Apocrypha…but better late than never. Probably the most fascinating thing about Bird’s music is the story behind the musician himself and the instruments he plays. Violin, glockenspiel, and guitar combined with a very unique style of whistling and a great voice that “...has been compared to such eminent company as Jeff Buckley, Thom Yorke, and Rufus Wainwright, but has a quality all its own.” (Source). And his lyrics? Intense doesn’t really do his lyrics justice… I love the opening song on the new album, “Fiery Crash”... Describing how basically you don’t get on a plane anymore without thinking of 9/11… just really interesting subject matter and words that he chooses. The Amazon review’s first line says “Strip away the music of an Andrew Bird song, and you’re left with brilliant prose (“across the great chasms and schisms and the sudden aneurysms”), vignettes about mentally fending off plane crashes, infiltrating characters like the kings of Macedonia and Lou Dobbs, and titles such as “Yawny at the Apocalyspe.” I’ve got to check out some of his older albums now too…from what I’ve read they’re equally great. Perfect cover too… What if his last name was Lobster instead? Andrew Lobster.

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New Interview: Cool Kids!

Ahh…Sunday hang-overs…still lingering at 4:39PM. Not a good look…but what IS a good look is our new interview with Chicago’s own Cool Kids. Call them what you want, hipster-hop, old-school, genre-new, or whatever – they are fresh, and I dig them. And even more so after Virgil and I partied at Underground with their manager, my man Curtis, and Mikey himself – dancing on tables and everything, ha, I love it. They are truly stars in the making…at least I think they are. Anyway – yeah, check the interview…really good stuff. Check their music as well – I swear, its just so refreshing and fun. Not talking about ice and cars, etc…just good old ‘lets have fun and party’ music. Yeah, much needed. Check for an INDISTR.com release from them soon as well (what, you think I wouldn’t try and work that angle? Ha.) Hope everyone had a good weekend – I did. ***Shout to Curtis and Shannon for helping get this interview together!!

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Triscuits - Cracked Pepper & Olive Oil!!!

My gosh. Seriously. My new favorite snack. You have to buy some of these…I hear the Rosemary and Olive Oil ones are great too. That’s really what I hear, everyone’s saying it. To top it off I bought some fresh mozzarella…goes perfect. That is all. That’s my whole post.

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Holga Cameras…they’re plastic and huge!

These things are too cool. While vacationing this past weekend my friend (who is neck-deep into photography) pulls out this huge crazy looking all plastic camera…that weighed like next to nothing. It’s was a Holga without a flash. ‘Holga’...does it get any more German? Actually really well designed or over-designed perhaps – like the super chunky classic German-engineered setup, seriously, love it. What’s really wild about them though is the super trippy pictures they take…which are in medium format. Check the Wikipedia link below for examples or search Flickr – but basically they are totally over saturated with color, while looking kind of blown-out at the same time…the results just remind me of what I think the early 70s would have felt like, ha – maybe not. Either way, I took a whole roll, haven’t gotten them developed yet but I’ll post the results on our Flickr page.

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Artists on the ÍцëRñèT!!!

If you keep up with artist/designer portfolios online, you know it’s ALWAYS hit or miss… sometimes you find an artist with beautiful work, but a site that does no justice to their work, as it’s perhaps clumsy to navigate or just doesn’t showcase their work because it focuses too much on the site design or background music or javascript snowflakes falling over top. (Ok, maybe not so much that…) And sometimes you find a site that looks cool, works great, and showcases work well…but the artist’s work is…let’s just say… terrible. Ha. Anyways, these sites are a few of my personal favorites to not only navigate and look at, but the art these people create makes it that much greater. Let’s start with Ms. Maya Hayuk. I’ve been a fan of Maya’s work for a long time now, and her newly updated site is really one of a kind…I love the super personal feel of this site. Really organic, hand-drawn style, and talk about thorough…she has so much work up there….Awesome. Inspiring me to work on my new site… Next up, Graphic Havoc. GH avisualagency’s site has that left/right setup popularized by Daniel Eatock...which in my opinion is a great way to showcase work because it’s so easy…Love the collapsable sections, and of course the Projects Archive is key…showing lots of work. You know you’re doing well as an artist when you can show a lot of work, and it’s all good work. When you first start out, in my opinion, it’s best to show fewer really good pieces than a slew of “eh” pieces. Something only talent and time can help you with…Alright, moving on… Mr. Mario Hugo’s site Loveworn. LOVE this site. I don’t know what it is about it…I like that each time you click a project, a slice of a bigger picture shows up in its place on the list, kind of enticing you to keep clicking through the rest of the work to see the bigger picture. Anyways, Mario’s work is really sick too, so that helps. Last but not least, I’ve got to give some very big respect to the new SVSV site, brought to you by Mr. Gensler and The KDU. What a gorgeous site. I usually hate music on sites, and flash is hard to pull off…and even though this isn’t an “artist portfolio”, it’s still a showcase of something, and they did a wonderful job at that…. then of course you have the incredible work of Von gracing the pages…nice. NICE! NICE!

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Abacos, Bahamas…the re-cap!

Hmm…hard to even start this one. It was absolutely amazing. It met and many times exceeded what I imagined (and wanted) from a visit to the Caribbean…small island style. My destination was the Abacos in the ‘Out Islands’ of the Bahamas…there are quite a few cays and small islands that make up the Abacos…all very small, very unpopulated for the most part. And just amazingly beautiful. I could go on and on saying ‘beautiful’ and ‘awesome’ and ‘wow’ like 2,000 times in this post…seriously, I’ll try and keep it under control, ha. I wasn’t there for very long, but I did get to visit the main ‘town’ area, explore 2 stunning beaches – and got to feel that slowed-down island time, just to chill and relax – time had no relevance for a couple days. Too funny – I literally couldn’t get over how the water looked in person – I don’t know how many times I said ‘man, it looks just like the pictures!’ But seriously, all the magazines I read and websites I waste time on…I never really believed the water looked that blue…it does, even better in person. But yeah, amazing weather, beautiful sky at night, nice sunsets…just an amazing trip. I’ve posted up some pictures on our Flickr account…a quick sampling of the trip. Can’t wait to go back…man. And again, many thanks to my extremely gracious hosts! ***Yeah!! That’s a real shark like 2 feet away from me…nuts!

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Bookstore Freeloading!!

Funny how no matter how instantaneous blogs are magazines still have the scoop on information and inspiration. Yesterday I did my monthly Borders session. By the time I sat down in the comfy leather couch I had 22 magazines. Its funny, I can go thru some magazines in like 45 seconds. If I like the content I’ll spend 5 mins. and if I’am still interested after then I’ll buy it. The standout out trend for me in magazines lately is the Japanese styled layouts of tons of different products. Anyone remember Conde Nast’s Vitals? I think they folded after 4 issues but that’s how you do the men’s GQ-ish lifestyle magazine. We just got that premiere issues of Antenna the other day and they definitely got me interested. Like Vitals, the layout is awesome, perfect ‘of-the-moment’ content and a great assortment of products. I rarely read magazine articles so I need imagery inspiration to make me consider it. Amongst the stack of 22 magazines I grabbed everything from a Magic magazine (you know the nerdy card game) to Monocle to ELLE accessories. I bought one of those 3 and it wasn’t Monocle.

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Off to the islands!

And I’m out…in a few hours at least. Off to the ‘Out Islands’ of the Bahamas. Wow, can’t believe it…can’t wait either. After all my island posts, research, wasting time on Google image search, and falling asleep reading Caribbean Travel & Life magazine it will be nice to get these pale white feet sandy on the even paler white shores. Yeah, this is going to be nice – little work, little play, little mental re-charging – feels needed. I think I’ll take some pics and do a re-cap post or something. Many, many thanks to my hosts – so generous of you. That’s that…catch me sockless in Vans Eras…I’m out. ***I got ‘Girl from Ipanema’ stuck in my head…it fits well.

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Muji awards, great ideas!!

That Muji shop in New York needs to open pronto. We talked about their ‘non branded, geniusly designed’ goods before but finally they are taking up roots stateside real soon. For those that don’t know much about Muji you gotta check out the results of their latest design competition they held. Every product that won some sort of prize is so smart and so right on. The industrial design profession is so cool because their bringing ideas to light. Its funny…these are just ideas that can really enhance your life and make the most mundane tasks, cool. As well these are pieces you could have in your place that everyone comments on. Ah…. the hallmark of a good purchase.