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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Marc Jacobs skate decks?!

Hmmm… I didn’t know what category to even put this in let alone what I should think of it. I thought the Vans collaboration was cool, a little odd, but I suppose that made it cool. And the old school Vans logo with ‘marc jacobs’ written in it was pretty fresh. But making skateboards? And they come with the grip-tape already on them? Those black trucks look very Kmart. It just feels a bit corny I suppose. At least they aren’t like $200 for a deck, they hit for $50… I can just see some corny dude in all marc jacobs ‘skating around’ on Mercer street looking all Derek Zoolander. Skating is one of things, everyone can buy a skateboard but not everyone can be a skateboarder. Either way, decent art on the boards and it’s cool to see a label like marc jacobs try something like this. Those ‘marc jackass’ store bags are genius too. Undecided.

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Sony NW-E507…

Anyone who knows me well understands my status as an ‘international hater’… I can find something wrong with anything. Really. But this new Sony NW-E507 thing is pretty impressive. Let me get my negative comments out of the way. Sony, your products are beautiful, I was all over the MiniDisc, but you are way behind on mp3 players. Apple has EVERYONE smashed. Nobody cares about battery life, capacity, etc. They want ‘that square white one’. Either way, this Sony NW-E507 is beautiful. Check the screen! Wow. And you can charge it for 3 mintues and get 3 hours of playback?! With the ability to play for 50 hours straight? Internal FM transmitter too? They are doing their thing. I’ll buy one, whatever. It drops next month. THE BRILLIANCE! likes it.

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The Motug!!! JB Classics!!!

Futura, Doze Green, Shepard, Ewok and more. All together on a JB Classic shoe?! Wow…MOTUG stands for “Monsters of the Underground.” And talk about ltd. ed…24 pairs made!?! Each artist who worked on it as well as a few people who were in on the project will recieve a pair - leaving only 7 available to the public. So that means 7 people will be making some FAT CASH on eBay soon thereafter…Check it out though

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The Ace Hotel, Seattle… Catch up!

The W is hot, probably always will be. Ian Schrager did his thing and apparently is moving into real estate development and leaving hotels behind (read page six punk!). Enter Ace Hotel with one location in Seattle… Wow. Wild low prices for what you get, like $149 a night for a deluxe room. No more paying $400 a night to stay at a well designed hotel. They have refreshing architecture, the classic super white-painted brick, spacious and perfectly minimal bathrooms, surreal full-wall graphics of rivers, mountains, lakes, and get this hipsters… Kaws, Obey, and various other new-pop icon artwork on the walls of the rooms! How does that stuff not get stolen? I mean, I’m getting money, but I would give it a thought. Either way, the Ace Hotel is a refreshing take on what ‘designer hotels’ are. So to all those uppity designer types who brag about what their hotel’s concierge can do, study up on the team over at the Ace, they are doing it better.

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Sugar Cane Clothing… More Jeans!

Maybe it’s just me. But finding a good pair of classic jeans is so hard these days. Seems like designers just over do it… Pockets all over the place, denim is too thin, washes aren’t even realistic, too baggy, too tight, and this crazy men’s low-rise stuff has to stop. Enter Sugar Cane Clothing. Maybe I’m late, but these guys are from Japan and they’re doing some classic vintage denim reproduction style jeans. Quality product, quality designs, nice washes, selvedge denim, all that. Decent price tags too… Nice and simple. You can buy them from the link below…

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Peter Cincotti is… Cooler than you.

Actual music. Actual performance. I don’t know what to say… Peter Cincotti is one incredible performer, musician, pianist, vocalist, and whatever else. And so damn ‘cool’ with it. Just cool as he wants to be. I was privileged enough to see this guy in concert the other night… So refreshing. I mean, I love hip-hop and R&B quite a bit, but I sometimes forget what Jazz is all about and how incredible it can be to witness first hand. Peter Cincotti certainly reminded me of this. But I should also be honest. His CDs are… They just don’t touch what he did on stage. It was so fluid on stage… His CDs sound over-produced. And the CD cover of his most recent release is pretty corny. Either way, check him live if you get a chance.

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Wonderwall Masamichi Katayama Projects… Clean.

Wonder wall is the collection of Masamichi Katayama’s work. All of his various product design examples, architecture, art direction, exhibition design, and everything else that is cool in Japan. Katayama’s work is so incredibly clean and inspiring… I would love to hire him to design my next condo, for real. His design of EVERY single A Bathing Ape store is enough to make one famous on it’s own…but he has quite a client list including Marc Jacobs, V Store, Beams, Louis Vuitton, and more makes him even more amazing. Check the site. The stuff is fantastic.

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HELMUT LANG… Jeans, Branding & Stores…

Honestly, Helmut Lang is a bit too ‘out-there’ for me when it comes to the larger percentage of their ready-to-wear collections… And the fragrances? Haven’t tried them. But their jeans (for men) are some of the best fitting and best wearing jeans I have ever owned. Go get a pair, selvedge or not, they are just good jeans. But above and beyond all that… Helmut Lang is a perfect example of how a well branded fashion label looks and feels. From their abstract advertising with National Geographic magazine and on the top of taxis in NYC to their store interiors and their beautifully simple woven tags… They have it locked. And their website is perfectly minimal, and they were one of the first brave enough to do it like that, check yourself. THE BRILLIANCE says you need a pair of Helmut Lang jeans. Go buy some.

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Norma Jean

OK so, here we have this hardcore/metal band who I have personally seen well over 15 times - with a new album. Whether or not you will like it depends on if you are a fan of chaotic/mathy metal…But I am not here to review the music. I am here to praise the artwork. Asterik Studio based in Seattle, in my eyes, often is hit or miss with the album artwork they do not because sometimes it isn’t good, but because sometimes it just feels so repetitive. Not the case with this new Norma Jean album. By far the most elegantly violent, intriguing album artwork I have seen in a very long time. The blend of photography and almost perfectly seamless Photoshop skills really puts this in its own league. Huge respect to Asterik for putting this together so well.

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Juxtapoz B+W Issue

When I picked this issue up last week during one of my weekly bookstore stops, I saw the cover and was pretty taken by the Pushead artwork. The artist who most would know first because of his work for Metallica - on the cover of Juxtapoz. Awesome. So - I would absolutely say to go grab this issue…Tons of good black and white work inside…But the thing I love about Juxtapoz is how focused they are on what they do, on the content, features and how even the advertisements are a pleasure to look at. Open up the first page of the magazine and there’s full page paintings by Glenn Barr and Michael Parkes, next few pages some gallery ads for painters, the obligatory Gary Baseman ad…It all makes the magazine worth the $5 you were going to otherwise spend on the new issue of Computer Shopper you sissy.