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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INDISTR.COM, pre-launch!!

So yeah…wow, wow. This is a hard post to start. For the past 5-6 months I have had this project under wraps, working myself absolutely crazy and loving it to death. This is it…my new project, my new baby, and without question my new obsession and passion – INDISTR©. I officially own a dot com. I mean, I love the web, its paid my bills and allowed me to live a great life for the past 8 years…so I had to jump out there and risk it myself. So a quick run down, INDISTR© allows any artist to distribute their music instantly, keep 75% of all income, get paid instantly (!!!), and remain 100% independent. Artist remain in total control of everything; release dates, price of their albums, art work, number of tracks on an album, and some much more. I mean…I think I’ve said it here before…record labels just don’t really work. So I put my money where my mouth is. CD’s are done, artists not making money is done, record labels suing their customers is done, etc…it’s time for great artist to make great music and make a living from it without signing their creative control and passion away. Honestly. We make “making it” pointless. So yeah, we launch officially for use in the first week of January. I’ve got a lot of ideas for the next 6 months, a couple tricks up my sleeve, and too much passion. Big shout to my designer, Mike at CarnevaleID and my whole development team at NuSoft. Ch-ch-ch-check it out. ***And yeah, I know about Snocap…there is always room for competition right? David and the top-heavy goliath right? Plus I pay out more…ha.

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Wedge card – support your community!

I really like this. I suppose before I wouldn’t have been as hip to this…but after living in downtown Grand Rapids for about 4 years and watching what makes a young city actually work day-to-day…I am way more tuned into things like this. Wedge is a UK based company, but I certainly think they could fare well here in the states too. Real basic run-down – the card is a sort of ‘rewards’ type setup where stores can signup to accept it – but stores that accept it can’t have more than 10 branches and most be locally owned to participate. Card owners who use it at the stores who accept it rack up points and can save at all the participating stores. Pretty simple stuff – but I love community support systems and awesome small-business, locally run shops. As Grand Rapids struggles to find its retail market downtown you can really see where something like this might help. Check it out… Oh yeah, and big shouts to a small shop: Charlie’s Tailor Shop right next to Big-O’s Pizza downtown off Monroe Center – they are making me a custom cashmere peacoat for $575!

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Polo’s new project!!

So Polo opened up one of their new concept shops in Chicago called Rugby a few weeks back. I really like how they segmented their market. They targeting the kinda post-college-Polo-kids that posse’s edgier style. Basically preppy kids that are down with skulls and cross bones. What takes their approach to the next level is this concept of customization. In the shop they have a wall of Polo patches. So you can have at it and basically turn anything you’d like into a 1 of 1 garment. Every season the patches change. Letting people strut their creativity is always a plus. Overall, the stuff isn’t as expensive as you would think and is a refreshing shopping experience. But newsflash…you don’t need Polo to give you this freedom…its called ebay and a tailor and anything you buy you can make your own…duh.

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Adam Cvijanovic…unreal.

Chuck sent me a link to this guys stuff yesterday…just blew me away. I’m certainly becoming more and more a fan of the ‘photographic’ like paintings, and I have always loved surrealism that has some sort of tangible feel to it – and this guy has taken that and more to entirely different heights. Different worlds. His ‘Love Poem (10 minutes after the end of gravity)’ is almost hard to comprehend. First you’ve got the sheer size of his works, 75 foot long installation pieces – unreal. But I think what got me most was reading how he doesn’t use photographs or anything for reference. I have a really hard time just wrapping my head around the idea that he does all this from a mental vision. The level of detail, the ‘proper physics’ of how things might break in mid-flight, the lighting, the vanishing-points, the odd sterile/stark feel?! I honestly just can’t get over it. Amazing.

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Favorite quotes Thursday.

The first song on Mogwai’s album “Come On Die Young, “Punk Rock”, contains one of my favorite quotes ever. It’s from Iggy Pop apparently taken from a bootleg Stooges video. I just have always enjoyed this and wanted to share. In my opinion, this speaks not only to a punk rock crowd , but to youth, specifically those who are passionate about something they do to the point where they become numb to what is going on around them. The attitude of a young, passionate person doing what they want with no regard as to what others might have to say about it. This is a portion of the quote:

“I don’t know Johnny Rotten but I’m sure… I’m sure he puts as much blood and sweat into what he does as Sigmund Freud did. You see, what sounds to you like a big load of trashy old noise is in fact the brilliant music of a genius, myself . And that music is so powerful that it’s quite beyond my control and ah… when I’m in the grips of it I don’t feel pleasure and I don’t feel pain, either physically or emotionally. Do you understand what I’m talking about? Have you ever felt like that? When you just couldn’t feel anything and you didn’t want to either. You know? Like that? Do you understand what I’m saying sir? “

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Swivel.com, they’ll get bought…

You know I keep my eye on all this stuff - I can’t help it. I’m seriously on Techcrunch hourly. But yeah - lots of stuff going on with mobile/texting stuff, so social networking stuff still, video stuff, etc - but I found this Swivel company to be pretty interesting. I personally can’t see myself using them much, but data is king and the net is of course the best aggregator of it. Real simple, Swivel lets you compare and contrast data - any data. Like consumption of red-wine vs. occurrences of violent crime. Anything random, really. It’s not just some kitschy tool - they are launching a professional version which will be wildly, wildly popular with large Fortune 500 companies as much as it will be with small/medium size companies. The professional version will allow you to keep all your data private while comparing it whatever public data is out there - and like we have seen with sites like this, it will be FILLED with all sorts of data. I can only imagine. And just like how we’ve seen Google Earth used by news stations, I think we’ll see the same here. Honestly, congrats to these guys - really simplistically brilliant stuff. I’m betting it will be a nice 9 figure sum they’ll be purchased for in the next 24-30 months.

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Trip Advisor!

Not exactly a new site – but a great site. I used to classify a lot of the travel sites that pop-up on a Google search as ‘randoms.’ They just felt badly designed, too many ads, and too middle-man style. But lately I have been loving TripAdvisor.com and how interactive they let their users get with the reviews and posting of ‘candid traveler photos.’ Also – some of the simplest things like allowing you to directly link to the hotel’s or resort’s website – I love that, not a lot of travel sites let you do that. Either way, simple stuff here, just a great travel site. Very comprehensive – and a good time-waster…in fact I’m actively wasting time on the site while half-listening on a conference call. True story.

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Lookin’ cool in the cold!

Its winter again….and man is it cold. I have grown up in this climate for 26 years and I am still not used to it. With the latest artic blast begs the question yet again. “How do you look cool in the cold?” Benjamin dug out this link the other day…ha, the ones towards the bottom are where it at, low profile soles. Hike up the jeans and get straight nautical with it. These slush puddles at every intersection are a pair of Vans worst nightmare. I need a pair of those Gills and I am thinking about getting a pair of these Red Wing boots I had back in the day. Screw tiptoeing around this black salty snow in sneakers. I am sure these will look even better with time. Functionality never goes outta style. Next up, gloves. Stay warm.

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Rocio Romero, new LVM Home!

I wrote about these guys quiet a while back…still my favorite prefab company. And they are right here in the USA – all the other cool ones are in Europe or whatever. This new introduction – the LVM Home – is pretty awesome. So unbelievably afforadable, $21k, perfectly designed, just the right amount of glass and all the essential rooms. Bed/living, bath, kitchen, closet space…all packed in to 645 sq ft. I mean, I’ve personally lived in less space than that – I had this fresh loft that was only 555 sq ft. and honestly I loved it, an amazing practice of well utilized space. Anyway – I love Rocio Romero’s stuff (Dwell does too, did you see the cover?!) and it really lets your creativity run on where you could place these pint-sized living spaces. I’m still stuck on doing a gang of these on some tiny islands in the Bahamas as an eco-resort. How cool would that be?

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Cocoa Chex Mix!?

This stuff SLAYS. Just absolutely destroys your tastebuds with flavor . General Mills x Limited Edition Cocoa Chex Mix for the winter.