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.

868 small

Hot cup of Reggae and Dub!

So yeah, February here in the middle west. That time of year where you’re starting to get a little tired of the cold, the cabin fever is getting to you, and you’re constantly looking at Travelocity’s Last Minute deals to somewhere warm. It’s cold, its snowing all the time, it kind of sucks. So to all my middle west family, before you pack everything up and move, try a little reggae therapy as I do around this time of year. I don’t know if it was growing up to my Dad always listening to Bob Marley and having a profound respect for ‘just-relax-beach’ culture…but reggae music always helps me zone out the cold a bit, and think of warm beaches and a relaxed vibe. I swear, I feel just a few degrees warmer when I listen to Augustus Pablo while driving in a wicked snow storm. What a funny juxtaposition, right? Island music playing loud when its 18F outside. So I thought I’d put together a little playlist…something to help you warm up a bit. Some of my favorites. I think all of them are available on iTunes and AmazonMp3. I mean, this and some hot microwaveable chicken noodle soup, pretty much all you need.

Barrington Levy - Under Mi Sensi
Augustus Pablo - East of the River Nile
Augustus Pablo - King Tubby’s Meets Rockers Uptown (This track is amazing.)
Bob Marley - Trenchtown Rock (Live at the Roxy)
Bob Marley - Soul Captive
Mr. Vegas - Lean Wid It
Tenor Saw - Ring the Alarm

867 small

DKNY’s Bike Campaign!!!

Such an impressive ‘outside-the-box’ idea. I just got hip to DKNY’s latest ad campaign going on in NYC. Their latest angle is to promote bicycling in the city which is all together healthy and environmentally friendly. Who could possibly disagree with that sort of stance. On their site they have a bunch of important information if you live in NYC and want to make the switch to bikes rather than cabs & subway. What really make this ad campaign impressive to me is the painted orange bikes they chained up all over the city during fashion week. Word is the NYPD isn’t too happy. While on the topic of guerilla marketing, you see this story on that Murakami billboard? I would have kept that for myself too. Very cool.

866 small

Jake and Amir, who needs cable TV?!

I seriously haven’t had cable TV in 3 years, maybe 4? Who needs it when you have the internet. And it doesn’t get much more ‘internet’ than Jake and Amir. It’s actually a bit hard to define what they do…these like 1-2 minute shorts that are reality style, but not reality…they are hilariously bizarre and kind of addicting. So yeah, I won’t pretend to know the entire back story on these guys, but they work at Connect Ventures in the ‘division’ if thats what they’d call it and apparently they started doing these little short films for fun. They became popular, and are now actually part of their ‘job’ at by way of a reoccurring series called ‘Hardly Working’. I swear, the whole Connected Ventures lifestyle is crazy…new business at its finest. Ehh…I feel like explaining all this is making it less funny. It’s easier to just enjoy their perfect-subtle-witty-weird-humor for yourself and go from there. Here’s one of my favorites. Might not be ‘Safe for Work’.

865 small

Necessary Documentary: OFF BOWERY!!

So I’ve only seen a little bit of documentation on this whole A-Ron evolution. I am interested because he’s been BRILLIANCE family since this site started. Thanks to Heron for getting that video interview the other week to kind of resurface that rogue New York energy. I have always been a fan of this swagger and in 10 years when we look back at these times he’s gonna be the one of those people, people reference. Too many times in this modern age of “being cool” its all about knocking trends, telling people they are late and sitting on the sideline trying to keep something secret. Instead A-Ron looks at the ‘scene’ like a participation sport. You get what you put into it. I respect that and I respect the hustle it takes to get back in the game after what seems to be a rocky start with aNYthing, once “the only brand that mattered”. That no longer seems to be the case, the new kids are back on the block, again. His pop-up store/performance space will exist somewhere in Soho/LES for like 2 months and be torn down….the only thing left after it’s gone will be a Playboy documentary?!?! Only in NYC and only A-ron.

864 small

Chicago: NoPattern & ElectricHeat gallery openings this weekend!!

This Thursday, January 31st I will be on hand at Country Club Chicago along with Ben, Virgil, and a ton of other good people (did somebody say Nat Thomson!?!? ha, see you there Nat) for the one-night only gallery showing of some of my illustration work. Going to have some enormous canvas prints that hopefully everyone enjoys. This show is in collaboration with Mountain Dew’s Green Label Art artist bottle program. There will be a bunch of really cool giveaways - trust me - we’ve got some really awesome stuff you’ll get for free if you’re one of the first 100 people in the doors. So definitely come on out, say hi, and have fun. The show runs from 7-10PM. See more info on the flyer - here. But hey kids, the fun don’t stop there! Ha…The next night, Friday Feb. 1, my good friend Nigel Dennis of ElectricHeat will be hosting his gallery opening at the Threadless Store from 7-10. So come out for that too! Myself, Ben, and Virgil should all be there for that as well. So come say hi, have a fun filled art weekend in Chicago, and give Nigel a wet willy when you see him. I should also mention a big huge thank you on behalf of both myself and Nigel to Michael and Brad over at Elevate Printing for being an amazing printer and working so hard to get stuff done for our shows. If you need art prints - big or small - definitely go with these guys…amazing quality and great dudes.

863 small

Minor Threat/Dischord Records eBay auction!!

Friend of the Brilliance Ryan Sievert just emailed me today about a pretty crazy auction going on on eBay. Jeff Nelson of Minor Threat/Dischord fame has put a bunch of rare and classic punk/hardcore memorabilia up for sale including old flyers, 12” and 7” records, original pressings, and test pressings from bands like Minor Threat, TSOL, The Vibrators, Scream, and more. Even if you’re not interested in buying any of this stuff, which will surely end up going for a good bit of $$$, it’s really cool to see some good shots of this stuff. Not sure what exactly is motivating him to get rid of all this but hey, whose complaining? Definitely a fantastic chance to own some great pieces of punk rock history. Link below.

862 small

Say Cheese…The Sartorialist!!!

For me The Sartorialist has been a daily read for easily more than the past year. Scott Schuman a photographer started his street style blog and its blown up to turn around and really start to effect fashion. Based out of NYC he’s gotten a ton of notoriety which has sent him to all the major shows to shoot the people behind the scene. All the people with wyw catching style in their element, on the streets. The best element of his site are almost the comments…people really start to breaks down the looks and get into the small details. The only reason I have been waiting to post this is cause I’d rather have had an interview, but judging by the latest agencys that have picked him up, it may be a bit difficult to nail down. Conde Nast sends him to Pitti Uomo in Milan which is like the Super Bowl for men’s fashion which was last week. It’s cool to see what far out runway looks that debut on the runway one season end up on real people like the Comme triple layer suits. So if you see him on the streets, smile and get your shirt cuff length just right, and be glad you wore that outfit that day.

861 small

So can I. New NoPattern stuff!

I usually don’t like to post about my own work on here…I always ask Ben to do it for me. But I’ve been working on this stuff for months and I am in ‘get it off my chest’ mode and am excited to share it with people. So that said, I just put 12 new pieces of work up at NoPattern, and all the work is for sale on my online store, NP&CO. 8 of them are archival quality giclee prints on Hahnemuhle photo rag - and if you’ve ever seen a print on that up close, you know it’s some beautiful paper. Anyways - check it out and enjoy. Also - if you’re going to be in Chicago on January 31st, I will be having a one-night only gallery show at Country Club Chicago. I will be there and hopefully Ben and Virgil will too, so come by to see some new work, hang out, and have a good time. The next night, Feb. 1, one of my BFF4LIFEs, Nigel Dennis of ElectricHeat, will be having his gallery opening at the Threadless Store so come out for that too.

860 small

I can post anything I want… J. Crew model girls!

You can add this post to the ‘really random’ folder. I don’t care man…ha, I can post whatever I want. And matter of fact, we used to make a lot more random-type posts. So, I’m not really like an ‘oogler-googler’ over the ladies…mainly cause I’m stupid picky. Whatever. I mean, unless its St. Barths, which is just…something else man, wowzers. I guess I have an appreciation for understated beauty…enter J. Crew model girls. Now the reality is, their clothes fit pretty poorly, its a ‘mall’ brand, and their demographic is actually pretty corny…but all that aside, lets live in the catalog world they’ve created for a minute, dream with me. Without question, the best ‘curated’ female models for a brand with sweaters under $100…ever. I get their little catalogs in my mail box every month or so, and I’m always stunned at their photos/models for the women’s collection. It’s this perfectly created alternate reality with yellow trench coats, skinny jeans, flats, perfect fitting stripped cardigans and classically beautiful girls that don’t wear make-up casually enjoying life with their only concern being which sailboat they’ll be taking a sunset cruise on. Like the quintessential ‘good life’ you know? Ha…this has got to be one of the weirdest posts I’ve ever made. Nothing wrong with appreciating really beautiful girls mixed with good branding. Bottom line is, J. Crew is killing the catalog and model curating game - they build such a perfect image. Other brands take note. ***Quick disclaimer: their mens line is a 6 out of 10…step it up.

859 small

Somewhere 13 hours ahead, Tokyo!!!

I am still in the building….just in another one on the other side of the world! So yeah with about 13 hours notice I was sent out to Japan which is a 13 hour flight and 13 hours ahead of Chicago. Good thing I am not superstitious. I love traveling and the past few months have ben pretty crazy. Like yesterday I reached in my pocket to fing my hotel key and pulled up 3 different cards, none of them for the hotel I am actually in, Grand Hyatt Roppongi Hills the number one contender for my all time favorite hotel. Its bound to happen when you borderline live in a hotel where every detail is considered. I have been here for almost a week and finally made it out of our make shift studio out to hit some spots. Check out Flickr for some Flicks.