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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Push/Pull is! A new project I’m part of…

I love riding my bike. Funny, cause things that are hobbies for me tend to turn into ‘businesses’ or ‘projects’ at some point. Push/Pull is just that…actually, its not at all my project, it’s the well crafted work of Neil Hubert who you may remember from this post I did a while back right here on the site talking about the now legendary Wednesday Late Night Downtown Grand Rapids bike races. He’s the guy who made those happen…and he’s making Push/Pull happen now as well. (I’m just helping Push/Pull happen from a funding standpoint.) Some comments from me on the project: Those late night races developed into a ‘scene’ if you will, a healthy one. And when scenes of that nature get developed its always fun to throw some products together that represent both the scene itself and it’s all important members…those that participate. That’s what this first iteration of Push/Pull is…a simple t-shirt line and a blog for the first season to simply display a scene, lifestyle, and aesthetic that ALREADY existed. I’m spending all this time explaining this because I think its critical that we mention that this isn’t some “t-shirt company” we started to create a scene…Push/Pull is documentation of a great, but small, scene of really positive cyclists here in Grand Rapids, and beyond, that love to ride. It’s t-shirts now, and we don’t even care about the American Apparel tags (!!), but as Neil points out in his post on the site titled “plans”...there is a lot more on the way. Some of the cut and sew stuff we are doing is going to be really great. And affordable! So yeah, welcome to a new project I’m a part of: Push/Pull! ***How perfect is the domain and tag line? Ha, I seriously love it.

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It IS Always Sunny in Philadelphia!!!

We’ve mentioned a bunch of times that TV on TV is doomed, which makes it great that sites like hulu will be the norm. NBC Universal and News Corp. teamed up to put 400 different TV shows and full length movies in super crisp video format. (sidebar: why is youtube still so grainy??) Hulu is of course ‘internet’ FREE and fun to use. With the amount of time I spend on a computer I am way more open to getting into a new TV show on a computer screen, then every single Thursday at 8:00 pm. In the last 2 days I have watched like 6 episodes of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and I am hooked and I never would have come across this show in any other format. There are a few commercials but its painless because you know when they are coming and there’s a ticker that lets you know how long till its over. Good stuff.

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Odds & ends…

Randomzzz, junk drawer contents, odds & ends, potpourri, a cornucopia of tidbits, etc.

-Dollar Artists. You know what they say about how some people have too much time on their hands…Yeah… But anyways, I really can’t argue with a Winged Dragon made of a dollar bill. I will say, while kitsch to the extreme, I would seriously love to know how to fold a dollar into a lot of these things. Imagine the reaction you’d get while hanging out with some friends, taking a dollar out of your wallet, and folding it into a perfectly crafted Velociraptor.
-Chad Robertson makes incredible paintings. I especially love ‘Set 2’ under the Artwork section.
-Erika Somogyi also is an amazing artist whose watercolor abilities I’m incredibly jealous of. Really some beautiful work.
-I love this site, I Love New Work. So simple, great design, clean, easy to use. The most important aspects of good web design in a nice little site that showcases all sorts of intensely creative, talented people.
-I am seriously all about Bubble Tea now. I am not a coffee drinker. I don’t care for coffee much and it’s not a part of my daily routine like it is for many people, but I could substitute one of these every morning if I really wanted to. Coconut is the best. And hey - someone in Grand Rapids listen up - I’m moving up there soon and as far as I can tell there are no bubble tea cafes. Someone needs to open one. Maybe I’ll do it.
-Speaking of ranting about Bubble Tea and artists, have you seen Stuff White People Like? Probably deserves its own post, but this will do for now. Brilliant.
-All this election drama is getting to me. Barack, Hillary, McCain, etc. etc. etc. I say, why not for the first time in US history elect 3 Presidents at once. Like a Presidential trifecta. Black guy, white guy, woman, everyone’s happy. Get an Asian VP, a Native American VP, and a Pacific Islander VP and call it a day. Everyone happy. Problem solved.
-Allegoric Space has some really nice original work for sale by a bunch of great artists. Can’t go wrong with Michael Genovese’ stuff.
-I updated with 5 new projects for Nike, Burton, ‘Jumper’, Mountain Dew, and Zune. Check it out. Czech it out. Cheque it out.

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I just flew back from SXSW, and boy are my arms tired!

What was that title???! Ha, my goodness. SXSW was a trip…I’d never been to Texas before, so it was a double whammy of new culture. Although, I’m sure Austin doesn’t usually have 87% of all the Wayfarers created, ever, on 6th street every night like it does during SXSW. I wear Wayfarers by the way…ha. I was actually there promoting to a scene that was certainly in need of hearing about it, went pretty well. The music ‘industry’ is so wild right now…who’s idea is going to win? But yeah, SXSW was almost overwhelming…so many groups playing in such a sort span of time. I heard there are like 1,500 official shows and like 3000 other non-official shows?! Sheesh. My favorite sets: Diplo tore it down, done and done. MGMT was too good, my new favorites right now - thanks to Rob F. All the reggae groups at The Flamingo, too many names. N.E.R.D. did it up nicely too, quite few people in the band. The Virgins, so classic. Matt & Kim, never seen artists have that much fun before. But besides all the bands, swag, really good looking hipster girls, and free drinks…I had more fun than ever sneaking into these spots. Ha, seriously. I’ve never done so much funny stuff to get stuff for free, sneak into VIP, skip lines, get into the press area, etc in my life. Ha, seriously. I was running thru kitchens Stubbs to get to teh VIP section for a better view of N.E.R.D.‘s set, posing as a member of the clean-up team at the Nylon Party to steal beers for the whole crew (they were free, but the line was an hour!!), skipping a massive line by walking in with Michael Stipe - even though he has no idea who I am, ha, etc…too much. Ha, it was like a sport down there. I got busted a handful of times, which is even funnier. My advice to anyone hitting SXSW: don’t wait in line, just get creative…you’ll have a lot more stories. My other bit of advice, splurge for the hotel downtown…we didn’t and it was a mistake. I felt like I was going to be in a scene from ‘No Country For Old Men’ in our hotel. So yeah, it was a great time…super crazy. ***Best scheduling site ever for the event:

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Kid really is Outasight!!!

So I am in the famed Leaders1354 shop putting the finishing touches on a cool collab and were talking about the state of music and how non-obvious music is on the up swing. Marc’s contribution was this kid Outasight from New York. I know everyone always gets some myspace related music suggestions and it typically only takes 20 seconds to dismiss, but this kid is onto something refreshing. He is rapping, singing over Dilla-esque beats and it comes across natural and head nodding. Even tracks that start out mediocre turn into gems on the way into the chorus. The raps are real raps too! Please get this kid on radio in it last days of importance. Cool Pop music is all together on the upswing I’d say …the internet is the only record label you need nowadays. NY is making a come back and its not in hip-hop Santogold , Vampire Weekend and this kid, sheesh. Outasights’ EP is up there, finally get to updating your iPod.

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How to be a square 101! (Hate mail vol. 1!!!)

We get email from people pretty often…its actually one of our favorite things, always fun to get some positive comments from like-minded types. But true story, we really, really love the hate mail. It’s hilariously entertaining. In fact, and some of our friends know this, we got this whole site rolling by using negative press and ignorant internet squares to sling shot us into popularity. Gotta love that. So yeah, we got a great zinger today from a sharp-as-a-tack gent who has a hotmail account…awesome. We won’t say his name cause we can’t really give shine to folks of this type…BUT, we couldn’t pass up posting his email for everyone to enjoy. I’m not even going to state my thoughts on his comments, I just want to know who is SQUARE enough to actually send emails like this?! Who really even cares that much? I don’t. Ha. He’s the definition of a super square…take a break from the internet my man. This guy needs a big internet hug, you know?? And by the way, THE BRILLIANCE isn’t our jobs…obviously. Ha, here goes:

“You guys completely ruined the interview with Jake and Amir. why were the interviewers trying to be funny? they werent. at all. everybody thought you guys ruined every funny thing they said. awful. benjamin and the other guys should be fired from your website. This interview will only make people not want to ever go to your site again. what a horrible job you guys did. just check the comments on the interview on . everybody feels the same.

quit your job,
- his name”

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Maybe its the cold weather that made me get all into these. Or maybe it’s their totally Willy Wonka feel of having a miniature tropical rainforest year-round in a beautiful glass structure. Either way…I’m really digging beautiful conservatories right now. How amazing are they? Seriously. We have a decent sized one here in Grand Rapids at the Fredrick Meijer Gardens, its actually quite nice. They have this wild exhibit right now with tons of live butterflies flying all around, landing on you, etc. It’s actually really amazing. But I’ve been doing research on other ones, primarily the Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago. How have I never been there?! Just amazingly beautiful looking. They’re actually celebrating their 100 year anniversary this year…so classic, old-world feeling. The huge ‘Fern Room’ looks amazing. So yeah…thats my post. Thats what is inspiring me right now.

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New interview with Jake and Amir!

Didn’t I just post on these guys?? I guess that’s whats fun about running a blog like THE BRILLIANCE! Just hit-up whoever we’d like to interview…and sometimes they even agree, ha. We thought it’d be funny to do a group chat using 37signals’ Campfire product…and it was. Really random, and really funny. Jake jumps in and out of character while Amir stays in character pretty much the whole time. Or is that his ‘character’? Ha…who knows, but the interview was quite funny. Many thanks to them for taking an evening to chat with us. Keep up the hilarious stuff guys. Everyone else, enjoy the interview. Have a good monday too.

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Graphic Revival!!!

Now that the Justice video for DVNO has properly blown everyone’s minds I am left wanting more inspiration from the 70’s television network logo style. And I ffffound it. This artist James White over at has just started a cool blog showcasing his work and inspiration. Like the Superman opening sequence. Super cool. Watching all this now, on youtube no less, makes you wonder what programs and computers they were making all these killer graphics on. I am here debating if my new Mac has a big enough graphics card and these designers were creating magic outta thin air. Graphics, graphic, graphics….the never ending pursuit of the one.

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I’m sorry. It’s been forever since I posted. I honestly want to blame it on the weather - cause its seriously bumming me out. But I guess thats just an excuse…so instead I’m just going to jump back into it with one of my ‘random’ posts. And…action. So we got like maybe 4 weeks of chilly weather before we hit the 60s here in the middle west. I seriously can’t wait to ride my bike to the office everyday. Speaking of bikes…the small but strong fixed-gear/late night Grand Rapids cycling scene looks like it’ll be growing a bit bigger this season. I’ll be posting on the details in like a month, but its pretty awesome. I’ve also been spending a hair too much on my bike to get it ready for the season, its a bit over the top…I’ll post pictures to our Flickr. Eating healthy. I’d love to start, seriously. I just don’t really have an y direction you know? I’m sick of fast food everyday - so I’d like to have about 4-5 different meals I can make quick and easy at home and the office. Any suggestions? Vans sneakers, I think I might just wear them for the rest of my life. Maybe. A really awesome, kind of victorian, but kind of modern greenhouse…I’d love to have one attached to my home one day. Can you imagine in the middle of winter going out to have a glass of wine at the bistro table in your greenhouse?! Have I ever made a Rapha post? I love when a product is so good it creates its own genre…Rapha has truly done this. Too all the car companies showing off their awesome hybrid concepts: stop showing concepts, and blow us away with a production model. Who wants to go to Paris? I do. Who’s going to be at SXSW? Me. The Beach Boys - Good Vibrations is such a good track. I think I stopped drinking Diet Coke…its been like two days. I think thats it for now…again, sorry for the lack of posts. ***Oh yeah, we have a pretty “ace” interview coming up this week.