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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Sweaty August Ramblings!!

Hi! Before I begin, sorry for the lack of posting from me for the last 10 days or so. I was away on a beautifully relaxing trip with family to Lake Ontario in upstate New York. Nothing like laying by the lake all day, getting tan, eating great food, and, well, doing next to nothing. But back to the grind now. Anyways! I was sitting online last night and realized hey - why haven’t I bought tickets for this Tool tour yet? So I emailed my man Nigel and said ‘Hey - I know you saw Tool not long ago, but Isis is on this tour!’ So long story short, we’re going. Not sure how many people who read our site are into Isis, but to see them in an arena is going to be an experience, to say the least. Easily one of my all-time favorite bands, much respect and congratulations to Isis for landing an opening slot on this tour. If you’re new to them, I’d check out the album ‘Oceanic’ first, then dig deeper into the older stuff from there. Going to be incredible…What else. Have you seen this whole fiasco with Agency.com making a “viral” video and getting blasted for it all over the web? They got some credit too, but mostly made fun of. I’m not going to write about it all here, so check this link to read about the story. The link I really want to post is this video made in response to it all by Chicago’s own Coudal Partners (what’s up Jim!). Seriously hilarious. Watch this video, check the story. This whole Digg.com article in Businessweek is getting a bunch of flack. Apparently Kevin Rose of Digg has not really made $60 Million…Check out the whole thing at 37 Signals. There you have it, three posts in one. Have a good/hot/sweaty weekend!

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Moto’s got it for cheap!

I love simple products man. This is a great example right here. Hats off to Moto, yet again. With a price point under $50, its kind of like you want to buy it ‘just cause its only fifty bucks.’ Love the display. Plus I wouldn’t have minded having a cool phone like this while in Barcelona to throw a quick prepaid SIM card in. Looks durable and convenient…like those travel-size face washes and shampoo things at the grocery store. So yeah, cool phone, I’ll take one please. ***I’m sure it will be quite popular with members of a certain profession as well…anybody see the ‘Mr. Me Too’ video?! Just tossing them on the ground and in the trash…terrible, but classic.

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Virgil & Chicago & Midwestern Goodness!

Man, I forgot to post this up! Virgil runs around the city like P. Diddy in this feature. I’ll let the video do most the talking, but great Chicago ‘niche scene’ coverage – let the outside see in…to a city that doesn’t get as much shine. Coverage of spots like Saint Alfreds, Hejfina(!!!), Quimby’s Bookstore, Uprise Skate shop and more. Chicago will always have a spot in my heart even though I don’t/can’t really rep it anymore…but yeah, I love to see this stuff. Check the video and check MidwesternGoodness.com. Friday…and it’s not so hot anymore.

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Cake Batter Ice Cream!

I love how every time something crazy weather-wise happens; they say it’s global warming. But SNAP they might be on to something with this here heat wave. Chicago is getting rocked, power is cutting out and all. The only good thing about this heat is it’s an excuse to go to Cold Stone. I always wondered why everyone was like, “Ah Cold Stone is crazy good.”…I like how you can mix-in all types of fresh ingredients. They snap Crunch Bars right in front of you and chop it up on the cold stone, mad presentation points. A nice change in pace from those stale looking ground up canisters of candy bars you see at other places. Now I have never been one of those ice cream junkies, but have you tried their Cake Batter Milkshakes?! It’s their Cake Batter Ice Cream cut with chunks of yellow cake actually chopped up in it. Blended with milk, it’s a dream come true. Licking the spoon is no longer necessary.

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Tesla Motors! Finally!

I absolutely love it. 0-60mph in about 4 seconds, top speed of 130mph, built by Lotus, and just amazing looking. Best part…its 100% electric and costs on average about 1 cent per mile to drive!! And you can charge it at home in about 3.5 hours! I mean, honestly, what can I say. Just a beautiful car, amazing performance, great styling, etc…and absolutely revolutionary. Think about complety forgetting about gas, literally, and being able to smash most 911’s and even the cheaper Lambos off the line. I think I’ve even said it in my other posts about these electric cars…they just needed some dot com funding, and that’s what is happening here. Even the google guys are in on this. So yeah, they are supposed to drop next spring and they’ll go for $80k-100k…lot of cash, but its our first step forward. Check the site, they have a great FAQ section. This is nuts!! I need one. Thanks to B Higgens for the FYI.

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Television without Television!

I am positive I am late on this but Yacht Rock is hilarious. Two thumbs up for creative marketing, I only heard about this show a month ago from some airing they did at a local bar. The concept is genius for a show. Take classics records and craft a story with facts and rumors on how the songs came about with uncanny humor. Start at episode 1 and work your way up. Oates from Hall and Oates is my favorite character. Yacht Rock was only on air for a year, but is enjoying some of that extended internet life with over 500,000 downloads. There’s tons of cult movie potential here, all from a cancelled TV show. TV as we know it is on its last legs. Once Youtube skates by this lawsuit and media outlets like Channel 101 gain more exposure it is on. Thank you internet gods!

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Niche: dissected & broken down.

7 pages!? What a wild article. NY Times Magazine just did a whole feature on ‘The Brand Underground’ of which so many of us identify with in one way or another. Predominant commentary by none other than A-ron The Dirty Rotten Downtown Don…well executed A-ron. The whole article/story really, really breaks it down and dissects ‘our’ scene. The shirts, sneakers, blogging, the whole sellout vs ‘Cool Guy’ thing…and so much more. Honestly, it’s like the roof of the underground was kind of peeled back for a moment so everyone can see in and ‘get’ how it all works. And honestly, not in a bad way. I found it quite interesting and insightful on certain things. Good writing, great commentary by The Hundreds, A-ron, Furtura, Stash, and a few others I think. Full story at the link, interesting… Also, check this blog…very nice. ***And yeah, obviously I this off the Glob, respecto!

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Contrast for the Conservative!

I am a fan of Chrome Hearts because it contrasts pretty much everything in my closet. I don’t own a Harley, blast rock music, or hang out with People magazine celebrities, but I appreciate the brands graphic attitude and overall focus. Chrome Hearts is not new or under publicized or anything… I think they have been around for a little while. They are all about skulls and gothic inspired jewelry. I have one lifetime piece that I really like. I dig their tees and zip-up hooded sweatshirts. There aren’t too many clothing companies that can get away with blaze orange print on a blaze orange hoodie but if fits right in with their concept. I just came across this collaboration they are doing with Joe Foti at Dover Street Market. Pretty interesting to look at, but wearable?...Contrast, kids.

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Eric Burdon & The Animals!

Ahh, a little break from the (claimed to be) crime-ridden, egotistical, excessive, stagnant world of hip-hop music…I mean, I love it…don’t know if I’ll be able to shake it. Anyway, I was checking Oxy Cottontail’s radio setup on her site and I found this track ‘Good Times’ by Eric Burdon & The Animals. Music in context is a really, really wonderful thing. I honestly think I would have dug this song anyway…but when I was listening to it on her radio thing, I could just imagine the whole aNYthing crew and all those downtowners wrapping up a 3-4am night scene with this song. Its maybe the song that doesn’t ‘fit’ you know? But in a perfect way. Whatever – I’m getting too ‘deep’ with this…ha!? Check it out though. The track ‘Good Times’ of course and then the track ‘Sky Pilot’…so good man. The ‘best of’ album is on iTunes for like $6 or something, cheap.

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Drop Top Architecture!

By now you’ve noticed I am vouching for Rem Koolhaas as an architect. He’s one of those your either with or against. In my mind if your progressing your art with some sort of substance, I am fan. FYI, architects love pavilions, they are like the testing ground for new ideas. Look what the Barcelona Pavilion did for Mies. One of the most prestigious annual summer pavilions is the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in London. A few amazing talents put this thing together, Rem and Cecil Balmond, structural engineer to stars of architecture. They are the masterminds behind the helium balloon roof that rises and lowers depending on weather and whatnot, now that’s progressive. I feeling the choice of materials and the cube seating, looks like the upstairs of Prada LA, just a bit less expensive. To top off the design there is this awesome wallpaper type installation on the interior by Thomas Demand whose work is jaw dropping. He is a wizard with cardboard and a camera. What looks like digital art is actually a cardboard model photographed to look real. Madness!