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.

537 small

BioPower Hybrid Saab!

I’ll keep it short cause I write about Saab too much (I ditched the SUV, catch me in the 9-5 getting 35mpg on the highway – I feel so green!). So Saab is taking it to yet another level. First was the crazy supercar that was BioPower…now an ‘everydayer’ is in the works giving the general public access to a BioPower Hybrid. That’s about as good as it gets right now. A vehicle that runs on e85 and electric. I’m into it! Seriously, start buying empty/farm land in the southern states…its going to triple in value pretty quickly if this e85 thing really happens. We’ll be growing corn ANY and EVERY where. Anyway…hats off to Saab, keeping it green and sharp looking at the same time. THE BRILLIANCE loves Saab!

535 small

Coyotes by Ted Conover.

Whoa…where have my posts been? Almost finished with this book…it’s a pretty fast read. Quick run down, a ‘Coyote’ is basically a courier of the specialist type…they are the people who transport illegal aliens both to the USA form Mexico as well as transferring them around the USA once inside. We are certainly in a political climate right now that makes this book a bit more interesting. I’m from the school of hard work and hard knocks. Raised in a family that ‘made it happen’ when times may have been tough financially. That mentality and lifestyle now permeate all aspects of my life. That’s why I was drawn to this book. Can you even imagine the lifestyle these guys live here in the states?!!? Illegal or not its amazingly inspirational to see what this beautiful culture will do for their family. Sad? Of course it is from our perspective…hard to ignore that aspect. But yeah, the book is a simple but in-depth read about a 27 year old American journalist who takes up life in Mexico to cross back into his home as an illegal alien and live state side day-in-day-out as a illegal alien. Every aspect of the life is documented. Unreal. Check it on at the link before. It’s a super fast read…week or two. Respecto a la cultura Mexicana.

534 small

Find Space and Sell!

So across the street from my apartment there is this vacant lot right under the Blue line train. During the week it looks just like any other vacant lot except its got banners branding it as ‘The Lot’ a streetmarket outlet for Chicago’s creative community. I like the sounds of that. On the weekends different vendors inhabit the space each week trying to recoup their $325 fee. It’s a mix of random art hipster stuff…t-shirts, skateboards, records and collectibles curated by the two founders. I like this concept a LOT…its nothing crazy new either (remember Vacant?) but so simple and tons of possibilities to make them very unique for low key vacant spots around the world. Actually, visit any 3rd world country and the space between cars is a place to make money…but there is so much under used space in 1st world cities its just refreshing to see people take advantage of it. So show some love to your local starving artist or start one of these up.

533 small

The ‘Cool’ List! NICE!

This is a new post I’m going to start doing on a more consistent basis. A list of things that I’ve deemed cool, fresh, funny, whatever. Ask Ben how many emails I send him every day that pretty much only have a link in them. There are a lot. So anyways…here goes.
-Tablet Hotels - we’ve posted about this site before but it’s worth checking out again and again…really comprehensive site for finding hot hotels around the world for when you’re vacation planning…
-VANS ‘Era Surf’ shoes. VANS is always a progressive thinking brand, but these shoes are on a new level. Perfect with your favorite clamdiggers while you’re ‘metal detecting’ on the beach!
-Drew Flaherty - my man Drew is doing some really nice work…one of my new favorites on the scene. Truly taking a popular look/style and making it his own - something that is absolutely critical these days in design…
-Jim Phillips - one of my all time favorite artists, most notably for his Rob Roskopp boards…So awesome…Classic, mean, fun, in-your-face…A legend.
-This ‘The Drones - Just Want To Be Myself’ album cover.
-Bill Gates with Jay-Z. There’s an energy to this photo, is there not?!
-Imaginary Foundation’s shirts. Always so nice.
-Andy Howell’s new book ‘Art, Skateboarding, and Life’. Get it.
-Bohemian Modern : Living in Silver Lake book with illustrations by a good guy and a great artist Geoff McFetridge. Saw this book in a store the other day and had to buy it. Beautifully laid out, good read, and admirable community they’ve built in Silver Lake…
-JAMES QUIGLEY - get to know the name now…another amazing artist. Yes, there are still some out there…
-Oxy Cottontail’s performance tomorrow night in NY sponsored by Filter magazine.
-The new Cobra Snake shirt.

That’s it! That’s all I got for you! Until next time, broham!

532 small

Super Soft Sweatshirts!

Nowadays the shift in streetwear has gone from colorways and such to quality and Loopwheeler is by no means late or really even ‘streetwear’. Ever since I found their website a few years ago it hasn’t been updated and is still their main selling point. Nothing too fancy, just the story of how the goods are made since their launch in 1999. I know they are still in business because Wonderwall did their flagship store in Tokyo last year. I really dig the inspiration on the graphics they design. Simple and timeless. Although, what makes them special is what they print on. They follow the tedious process of producing their fabrics to give them that super supple feel. The loopwheeler machines they use rotates only 24 times a minute, knitting the fabric with no tension, letting the relaxed cotton do the work…and here we thought American Apparel was the second coming of t-shirts…

531 small

Frank M. Ahearn, How to Disappear.

I left off the ‘!’ to make it more scary, serious and looming…ha. Seriously though this stuff is nuts. I was reading that GQ with Will Farrell on the cover and they had this whole feature on taking extended vacations – and ‘kind of’ disappearing…giving yourself the feeling that you have disappeared from your ‘regular ass’ life. They also had a little 2 page (I think) write-up on a guy named Frank M. Ahearn who used to specialize in tracking people down…but now offers a consultancy service to do just the opposite. Help people completely, COMPLETELY disappear. Seriously, so interesting. He sells a little CD type thing…kind of like a do-it-yourself Catch Me If You Can setup…but he also offers his services in a more hands on manner. The article itself is pretty interesting stuff. I would love to sit down with him and hear stories about his clients – supposedly there are over 20 he has helped. Yeah, wild stuff. I bet he could make a movie about himself…honestly. Check the article and his site at the link below. ***Hard to find a picture about disappearing…I guess I would head somewhere tropical if I was in the position vanish.

530 small

OMG NYC Real Estate!!

Ahh…remember these posts? I’m bringing them back…something vicious. ONE – Unreal. The beam-work and the staircase in this place…too much. Not to mention that 20 ft window and the terrace space. The black leather sofa…did they get it at a liquidation center?! $14.5M. TWO – Almost feels attainable doesn’t it? I love spaces like this, the ‘cheapest’ spot in the development but tastefully done…you make the most money on these places too. Not into their furniture…go more sparse and it would feel even bigger. And get rid of that Franks Nursery palm tree thing. I seriously like this one. THREE – 2800 square foot of complete open space…like living in a huge shoe box. This one is perfect. Do everything on wheels and modular or whatever. And I would have some college kids come in and do a crazy installation piece…so much space. Seriously this is bigger than most bars. I bet the bathroom needs to be redone.

529 small


Remember when albums came out on Tuesday? If you were lucky your local shop would sell you the double Wu-Tang disc the night before. Wow are those days over…today was Tuesday. That Pharrell “In My Mind” album is filling a huge void, but imma use this post to highlight one of my favorite websites since I’ve been on the internet, Okayplayer. Talk about a record company’s marketing dream, that forum is the distorted but the true voice of hip-hop elitists. Of course they hate on everything, but some amazing stuff comes out of those discussions. Questlove (insider tip, he posts as 15ok), The Roots drummer guy with the afro, started the site in ‘99 instead of buying a car with the paychecks and has been hands on ever since. Those who read the site regularly get an inside view into the hip-hop industry…and when The Roots albums leaks you get the interesting tidbits that most will never know. Talk about Web 2.0….‘Game Theory’ their President Carter, Def Jam debut. The first listen has me super-impressed and reminded that hip-hop is music. It comes out in that local shop August 29.

528 small

You really like Project Runway?

I find this show pretty entertaining. Why? Cause its cool to see fashion designers whip up some crazy concept and intricate garment ready to show in a couple hours. It plays into the fact that I am design junkie. Summer TV is always lackluster and not much is really catching my attention. I don’t even have a TV in my place, its at her house, but I don’t really mind, too busy for TV. However, this Project Runway show just started up again last night and I am already into it. My mom is a seamstress so I grew up around sewing machines and all that. Watching the show last night I couldn’t help but wonder what this show would be like translated to the streetwear fashion industry. Could you imagine…the judges would be A-ron, Lupe, and Hiroshi. A challenge would be to design a hoodie that wasn’t all over print…or design a logo straight cut & paste style without any Adobe products…ha ha. They could call the show… ** paging Benjamin or Chuck** What should we call this show? By the way, I am suing if I see this show on Bravo next season. Although, if you cut THE BRILLIANCE a check it’s a go.

526 small

Making of Reasonable Doubt!

When did this issue come out? I don’t check for hip-hop magazines really anymore…but I did read this one. The interview with Jay is a great read, some really ‘to-the-point’ questions asking about what is truthful, what isn’t, etc… But the track-by-track making of Reasonable Doubt with commentary from the people that were involved at the time…wow, amazing little read. What I think is wild is getting Dame and Biggs to talk about it. I have no idea when they put this together – but Dame even doing this suggests there isn’t any animosity?! Whatever, not trying to get soap opera with this. So interesting to read this track-by-track break-down, reads almost like a movie. But does anyone else find Irv Gotti annoying?!