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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Deep Thoughts 2.0!

It’s been a while, and I thought it would be appropriate to do a new ‘Deep Thoughts’ post. How ‘bout it?

-The new Red Hot Chili Peppers album Stadium Arcadium is really good.
-Speaking of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, have I mentioned their video for “Can’t Stop” is my favorite music video of all-time? Directed by my favorite director of all-time Mark Romanek.
-I’ve been listening to Fugazi, Bob Dylan, Live, Crystal Skulls, Tool, Minus The Bear, and ‘Reasonable Doubt’-era Jay-Z lately. Also this new Sufjan Stevens “Outtakes” album is really great.
-I am trying, but I can’t get into the Arctic Monkeys. My brother likes them a lot though - what’s up Eric.
-Taylor Hicks winning American Idol is pretty funny to me. With the current state of popular music, it’s really quite interesting to see someone with his style win such a popular competition. When we were in Barcelona, Ben caught me looking at the American Idol website. I was kind of embarassed. Just like I am actually writing this.
-The new Kanye West/Paul Wall video for “Drive Slow” is…slow. Not one of Kanye’s better videos in my opinion. Beautifully shot though, I love the colors in it. It’s also, as Ben said, a commercial for Lincoln. See it here - video.
-The new issue of Beautiful/Decay is really, really nice. Please do a great magazine a favor and go pick it up. It’s carried at most all Borders now. What’s up Amir!
-Vitamin D and Vitamin P are pretty much absolutely essential books to have, I don’t care how into art you are . You will love these books.
-I will be at Lollapalooza this year for sure. RHCP, Wilco, Broken Social Scene, Secret Machines, Gnarls Barkley, Mute Math, Mates of State…and more…should be good. I love that it’s here in Chicago too.
-Please, if you email me and Ben, stop assuming we’re from New York. I don’t know why everyone does that. People assume we’re both from NYC when in fact we’re not. He’s in Grand Rapids, and I’m in the Chicago suburbs for God sakes. Ha…
-I turned 21 on Tuesday. My fiance Holly threw me a surprise party. It was great. Don’t take any of your friends or family for granted, ever.
-Design Within Reach, Berloni, and Ulterior Mode. Three great modern design/furniture/home furnishing sites. Beautiful stuff on all those…
-Make sure you check out and buy things from the aNYthing store!!

That’s it! That’s all I got! I’m the juggernaut, bitttccchhh!

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Mr. Clean Magic Eraser!!

Alright - so there’s been some drama here at the BRILLIANCE headquarters lately. Ben almost fired me because I have been pretty bad about not posting very often. So my promise to Ben, Jesus, and the people who read this site is that I’m going to step my posting game up. Which leads me to how great Mr. Clean Magic Eraser with Extra Power is. As an artist who works on a desk all day, apparently grime and soot and specimens grow on my hands because theres like these invisible layers of scum on my desk. But no more, when I wipe it off with the ol’ Magic Eraser. We really should be getting paid for these types of posts…anyways…also being an artist - I use my big wood desk when I draw - and I always get paint or marker on the desk, then forget about it. So it’s really nice to use this extra power Magic Eraser to get that stuff off - seriously - if you are an artist not only using a computer, but pens/pencils/paint/marker, you have to make sure you keep a box or two of these around if you like to clean up after yourself. So hey - Mr. Clean/Proctor & Gamble - maybe send me a big free supply of these babies…it’s the least you could do. Seriously. Come on.

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Pelon Pelo Rico!

Once again, solidifying my position on the throne as the reigning ‘corner store king’ and the official ‘bodega baller’… I present you with Pelon Pelo Rico. I don’t know how many people have ever had this stuff, but if you need a little variety in your junk food diet… ¡esto es lo que necesitas!. Check the main ingredients: sugar, corn syrup, milled pepper, salt, and citric acid. Milled pepper…that’s right. It’s like this paste, a sticky reddish brownish paste. And it comes in this fat cartoonish looking syringe. Honestly, what the hell?! Who was like ‘yo, I got an idea for some new candy’ and this is what they came up with…ha? Honestly though, it is so amazingly good. My man who grew up in southern Texas put me onto it when I was in high school and I pick it up when ever I see it, which isn’t often. So yeah…I just got three, you should too…and act like you knew!

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This BMW “no” campaign?

Hmm…not sure on this one. Honestly, like the overall feel of it…I like it. It’s certainly different for BMW. I would have expected this from Saab, Volvo…maybe even Audi. But not really from BMW. Remember that commercial a year or two ago where they show the guy in the 3 series fixing his hair in the mirror forever while the other guy jumps in his A4 and adjust his mirror to actually see behind him rather than fix his hair? I always liked that commercial. I’ll be honest, BMW makes a really amazing car, facts are facts. But they have always had a very ‘punk’ feel about them, or rather their consumer does. It’s those 25-30 year olds with an extra $150 a month who stretch for the 3 series lease rather than the Accord, or Civic, or whatever…and then acts like they’ve ‘made it’ you know? You’re not impressing me when you pay $8 for valet and don’t tip the guy. Whoa, I’m ranting. Anyway…but check this out, I think it’s cool, I think it’s a ‘neat’ move on BMW’s part, trying something new. And regardless of anything, the M6 is one of the wildest cars out, hands down…beautiful ride. Weird post, whatever. I’m also really into their web site layout, hasn’t changed for a while…doesn’t need to.

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Zena Holloway’s Underwater Photography!!

Wow… I’m constantly impressed these days with a lot of photographers…but every now and then I come across one whose work makes you shake your head in confusion as to how they do what they do, get the colors they get, the composition…everything. Even if there is post production involved - sometimes it doesn’t matter because they make it so seamless. Take, for example, Zena Holloway’s photography. It’s all based underwater - and it’s pretty breathtaking I must say. The picture I used for the thumbnail of this post is one of my favorites - the divers with all those fish swarmed around them! Wow…what I like about her work - not only is it beautiful but it’s fascinating because it all takes place deep in the sea - somewhere that I don’t spend a great deal of time, ha…Anyways - it’s also important you take a look at her films. Beautiful! Make sure to check out my favorite photo on her site - Set #1, the middle photo in the bottom row. The divers with the shark in the middle…for Greenpeace. I love that…Anyways, check out her site. below…

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Jay-Z on this Hustlin’ remix!!

Good lordy. This track is too much for me. We don’t resort to violence, we on resorts and islands. How is Jay-Z so good…seriously? And how is his ‘reach’ so far? Seems like everyone respects him…I was chilling with this girl the other night who is very ‘college’ with some sort of International Relations major – very proper, etc – and she said if she could meet one person it would be Jay-Z. That just blows my mind. This guy is talking about the rawest street stuff, straight up drug trafficking, real deal crime. And then you see him and Billy Gates laughing together. Absolutely unreal. Jay-Z defines finesse, but he doesn’t do it in an egotistical manner…he embodies anyone who ‘hustles’ to better their life. Yeah, so that’s my feeling this morning on El Hovito. I don’t even really know what to write up in this post about the actual song…just go check the track. Actually, I’m not really into this Rick Ross guy, I hadn’t even listened to the non-remix version of this song, mainly because I cant really get into any new hip-hop you know? But yeah, Jay-Z is one inspirational dude…saying his Gulfstream IV is white on white? Come on… Check it below at

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Free SkypeOut!

This is kind of a big deal. Free SkypeOut within the states (and Canada, no?) till the end of the year. Having just been in Europe, Skype has kind of been on my mind…hot topic for sure with the international travelers (I’m a rookie!). It’s funny cause I don’t really use Skype much personally, not much at all in fact. But it’s funny how they are kind of poised to render even cell-phones obsolete to a certain degree you know? I mean, for example, if you live in a super populated city, or say you live in SF where they are doing the free wifi or whatever all over the city…or even if you had to pay for it – whatever, why would you need a cell phone if you could just get a little PDA with built in wifi and have Skype installed on it?! I mean, seriously. Plus they are making SD cards that are exactly the same size as any other SD card but they have a full wireless card built into them. Gives you an idea of how small or maybe just embedded these new communication devices could be. Also, we all get previews of these amazing cellphones right? Moto Q, Benq, etc…they take forever to come out right? That would quite certainly be a thing of the past if manufactures started making Skype phones…its just a wifi chip, no long FCC or service carrier exclusivity or anything you know? Uhh…this post was long, I love Skype, I think it’s a super serious application, service or whatever. That’s my post…I am at Divani eating that chicken flat-bread…and an Ephemere. And that’s my post.

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Barcelona on the free wifi!

Oh mannnn! I was missing out, honestly. Reporting to you live via some free hotspot at the OFFF event in Barcelona right now. Just amazing. This city is so amazing. Everyone is so…good looking. That’s like the only I can say. The girls here are amazingly good looking, yikes. But yeah, the city, our amazing little loft/apartment (!), the streets, the mo-peds, the buildings, the heritage, the shops, the weather, etc…everything. Just mind blowing. Really. I guess ‘attention to detail’ would be a really good way to describe the city. And the conference is quite nice as well..huge shout to them for all the hospitality. Quite generous. Alright, I’m off to lunch… Chuck (sitting next to me) says: Barcelona is better than any US city… ***We are back state side, and either Chuck or myself will be doing a little flickr page type thing with all the pics and maybe some YouTube for the videos… MANY thanks to everyone we chilled with and everything…!

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THE BRILLIANCE heading to Barcelona!

What’s up dewdskis? Ben and I are heading to Barcelona on Wednesday. I am speaking out there at the OFFF Festival. Should be pretty incredible…I have not yet been to Barcelona. I was going to be bringing my fiance Holly along but she has finals this week, so I asked about 10-25 other friends and none of them could come, so I settled for asking Ben and unfortunately he obliged and accepted my invitation. Totally kidding brohams, Ben’s my boy! We’re going to be so obnoxious on the plane. We’re flying Chicago to Amsterdam. They’re serving dinner and breakfast on the same flight. Going to be hilarious, we’ll be laughing at everybody who walks down the middle of the plane and trips, or when we watch movies on my little DVD player…we’ll be more annoying than the fat sweaty guy who sits next to you eating kit-kat bars and getting crumbs everywhere or the screaming baby sitting behind you spitting up all over the place. You know!? And I’m sure I’ll come back and post pictures from the trip on my Flickr and post about it. Anyways, Formula 1 is this weekend too. Whoa….crazy trip ahead for sure!! Ben - here’s some room for you to add anything if you want to, Brobot. ***Chuck sounds like he’s never flown on a plane before…ha. Uhh, a lot of things I could snap on in this post…but I won’t cause I’m 50% nice and 100% fist-pumping-excited!!! Yeah, it’s gong to be fun…I don’t know about the fat sweaty guy, sounds like we’ll be upgrading those seats. I’m into it!

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The gourmet section on this site. Hmm, we had big plans…but since my diet consist of Diet Coke, KFC, Ritz Koney, Burger King, grilled cheese at Bar Divani, Noodles & Co, and pretty much anything at your favorite corner store…this section didn’t work out. Chuck doesn’t eat very proper either. He also never posts on this site anymore, cause he’s too busy emailing me links to stuff. OMG J/K BFF! This post has gotten off on a terrible foot. Speaking of feet, I just bought those Air Max 90 ‘Clerks’…not bad. ANYWAY, I had to post about my favorite new candy, as I am quite the connoisseur…Pico-Balla. Their tag line says it all: ‘Kids and grown-ups love it so.’ What? Anyway, they are like these weird kind of clay bead looking candy, in fact, they kind of have the consistency of clay. They come in a perfect variety of Bape colors (I said Bape thing so the google bots will find it, get it?) and they are just plain delicious. I mean, they aren’t exclusive, they aren’t expensive, not gangster like a pair of Dickies either…they’re just really good. If you live in GR, go ‘cop’ some at that new market spot on Monroe Center next to Jimmy Johns. Tell them THE BRILLIANCE sent you…but don’t though for real.