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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Lumen Chicago!

If I make a post about a local establishment, I am really into it. Like my AVEC post or Momofuku, pure heavy weights. This time I am posting about a bar so its gotta live up my other recommendations. Lumen is this newer spot in my second favorite neighborhood, the industrial West Loop. You’d think opening a club/bar/whatever is rocket science since so many places get it wrong. You know the whole miserable bouncer or clipboard girl, $20 cover, Ikea furniture. Well Lumen is that spot that feels authentically MOMA-ish inside. Concrete floors and super clean lines everywhere and their focal point…tons of LED lights that do a bunch of crazy effects to the music etc, hence the name. Its no Sustainable Dance Club but is equally as cool. No stress at the door, just pure good fun. I like their whole branding thing too. The best part about their website is the photos and the calendar that links up to djs myspace pages so you know what your getting into.

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Applefella? RocaPod? iHov?

Ha…the title was corny, but I kind of had to do it. So…if Jay-Z wasn’t already kind of amazing – now he is hanging around with Steve Jobs and building a new ‘super label’ with Apple?! Too funny – the two individual people I post about the most are now supposedly working together. Not a ton of information available – but apparently Jay-Z (eventually we’ll have to call him Shawn right?!) and Beyonce will be ‘heading up’ the new music division at Apple and it will obviously be based entirely on digital distribution. What’s wild is that I guess Jay has rights to Kanye, Jeezy, Rick Ross, Rihanna, probably Beyonce somehow, and others…so he can just snatch them from Def Jam or their respective labels. Crazy stuff. Honest…who knew?!!!? Jay-Z and Steve Jobs doing business…yeah, I’m kind of into it. ***Microsoft: It’s all good, you guys still have that big-ass table computer.

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Flight of the Conchords!!!

“I can’t believe I’m sharing a kabab with the most beautiful girl I have ever seen with a kabab.” Ha… Jemaine and Bret’s act/characters/whatever it is they are doing on their HBO series Flight of the Conchords are funny enough to keep me watching after Entourage is over on Sunday nights…It’s one of those shows where you ask all your friends “hey have you seen this show yet!?” and then you watch an episode with them sitting there hoping to God they will find it as funny as you, much like I’m hoping Ben and Virgil will find it funny as I am posting this…this is the kind of thing I could get an email from Ben about that would be like “eh…I like Cedric the Entertainer more.” And I’ll be like “Oh…” So anyways, just go to HBO’s Flight of the Conchords site to watch full episodes. Two awkward dudes in NYC from New Zealand and their overzealous manager Murray…Ha. Watch the 4th episode on that HBO site and tell me Murray isn’t one of the funniest characters you’ve ever seen. When I see him on the show it’s almost like when Kramer entered the room on Seinfeld. You knew he was going to say something embarrasing, awkward, or dumb…Anyways… Check it out. Make sure to check out the “If You’re Into It” video on HBO…

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New NoPattern site!!…with a story!!!1

New site, new store, new prints, and for the first time ever – t-shirts. I’m wearing one as I post this. Before I chat up the new site…Chuck’s been a close, close friend of mine for like 4 years now I think, but we’ve known each other for literally like 10+ years (that’s nuts isn’t it Chuck?!). I probably do a little reminiscing every time I do a post about his work – sorry I can’t help it. So yeah, I’d love to gush about Chuck’s new site and its design, interface, custom backend, etc – but I’ve never been one to brag, ha. Chuck hit me up a few months back requesting me to take a design/vision he had for a new site and turn it into a reality with its own custom backed developed specifically for him. I don’t really freelance anymore, and working for friends can be weird…but this was an awesome project to work on. Chuck and I really share the same vision on keeping things simple so it was a blast to make a backend as well as the front end with that in mind. And it’s always cool to work on a site that gets pretty high exposure – in fact Chuck literally JUST emailed with some stats, whoa. It’s just too cool to have a bunch of friends doing amazing things and being able to collaborate with each other on stuff, seriously. I’m continually amazed with what my friends have cooking (Virgil, I can’t wait till everyone gets the bigger picture view of what you are doing right now, whoa.) it’s probably my number one source of inspiration – the company I keep. Long post…but whatever, its our blog we can talk about ourselves, ha.

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Andrej Belic - Underwater photography!!!

First off, I love the background of Andrej’s site. The sunken ship in the dimly lit sea is a beautiful backdrop of the photos of amazing deep sea life, coral, fish, and everything else that’s here. I’ll keep this brief because photography like this should speak for itself, but make sure to check out the St. Johns set. Some really amazing things there…

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One of the most interesting parts of having a website is checking your site stats. I find it fascinating to see where people are looking at my site from around the world, what kind of platform they use, where they got linked from…etc. Most everyone has some kind of simple stat counter/tracker that is a part of their site’s backend, but Reinvigorate does it best, if you ask me. It’s a beautifully designed stat tracking site…I believe it’s still in beta stage right now but you can apply for an invite and most likely begin using it within a few days of that. They also just put out a small, helpful app called Snoop that attaches to your Reinvigorate account and feeds real-time visitor info so you dont constantly have to check the website if you want an easy way to see where people are coming from at least. Anyways, much respect to Sean, the creator, and the idea of pushing good design into usable and simple things like this.

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Kazuki Kuraishi freelance & Fragment professional!!!

Keeping with our theme of steadily uncovering inspiration we present an insightful interview with Kazuki Kuraishi. Some people are gonna be like “who?” while some others are gonna be like, “whoa!”. Definitely seated atop niche design culture its cool how this interview just kinda fell into place. I first came to know who Kazuki was years back with an awesome interview on the trendsetting beinghunted. It was a privilage to catch up with him in person and see where his motoviation comes from and what inspires his personal work and his contribution to Fragment. Enjoy this interview we had fun putting it together.

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Get more familiar with Michael Arrington.

The undisputed blogging champ…Mr. TechCrunch. I think I’ve said this before: blogging is a funny thing. I didn’t ever think I would be writing a blog on a regular basis and beyond that, writing for one like THE BRILLIANCE that a few people actually read. I bet Michael Arrington would say the same for himself – except its not just a few people that read his blog…it’s everyone and anyone that matters in the technology and its respective venture capital world. I know this post is probably a bit late, but Wired magazine did a fantastic write-up/interview on him in the latest issue…check the full story below. Beyond all of the power/pull/income he has generated with TechCrunch…I just love how he started it to network and build relationships. Now look at him – he’s literally Mr. Make-Or-Break-You. Hit the link for the full story.

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Mr. Hudson & The Library!

Ahhh…some new music. Different style, different feel. Virgil put me on to these guys last weekend when he was in town. I’m not sure exactly what ‘style’ of music I would classify this as…its chill, but its not just like acoustic or mood music, etc. It’s actually got some tones of like Madness and The Specials but has absolutely no reference to ska or 2tone at all – just a feel. Maybe its just me cause they are out of the UK – which always has a ‘thicker’ and maybe slightly more introspective style to it…no?! Its different, relaxed, fresh – good. All my trying to explain their style aside, they are just really good music. I’m digging the track ‘Bread & Roses’ and ‘Ask the DJ’. Check it out at the link below on, although I’m sure you can get it on iTunes, just haven’t checked. Its crazy taxed on for some reason…so yeah, check iTunes.

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Paper Route Recordz – Wood Grain?! Weirdo rap!

My goodness…thank you to Paper Route Recordz for this song…And yeah, I’ve never heard of Paper Route Recordz either, but The Fader has…and they steadily put me on to brilliant new music. So yeah…this song is ‘perfectly weird’ as Virgil called it. I would have to agree. This kind of like grade school choir of kids singing as the foundation for the track with some classic southern style snares and bass lines…and my favorite part, of course is the chopped (both ways - screwed down and up!) vocals. I’m just…really into this. The part around about at 4:05?!? Come on man…that’s perfect. So yeah, check the link to The Fader below with a full version. All you ‘right-click-view-sourcers’ know what to do – keep it really internet!!