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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How to make a zillion dollars screen-printing t-shirts!

I enjoyed this video here. Say what you want, but when it was younger, Bape was one incredible brand. This video is of some photo-shoot where Nigo is hand-screen printing those 1/100 ‘Bapexclusive’ shirts. So yeah, you look at the empire that was created from, in my opinion, a wildly creative man’s ideas and very little else. And it’s still, to this day, such a random thing to me…the whole ‘bathing ape’ thing is just nuts. As they have said: ‘a brand of nonsense.’ I guess the whole enigma of it all is how unfathomably successful the brand has been. I mean, even Jest of Alife, who has seen the brand go from tiny to huge, still holds a great amount of respect for it. So yeah…reminisce back to the good old days where seeing a Bape shirt on MTV would have made headlines on Superfuture. By the way…I actually own one of these hand-screened shirts, not an exact one in the video, but one of the hundred…if anyone is interested get at me. I have it framed in a ‘floating glass’ frame. A post about Bape. Thanks to Kevin @ Hypebeast for his post.

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Ultimate Ears custom headphones!

These things always look a little weird to me, like the actual shape. Seriously though…I need, need a pair of these. But I am a bit hesitant on dropping $800 on a pair of headphones. But still…I keep hearing the most rave-reviews of these things. Here is the basic run-down: You got to your local audiologist to get impressions made of your ear canals (which I heard is a weird experience), these molds are sent to Ultimate Ears, they then hand-craft a pair of head-phones that are perfectly specific to each of your ears…I have heard the fit is amazing. I believe all their models are ‘dul-driver’ with a high-end component as well as a low-end component. I mean…I don’t have a pair, so I can’t be crazy informative in this post…but I have heard some really amazing things about these. I’m really getting sick of buying the Sony in-ear ones to have the break…I’m on my 3rd or 4th pair right now. So anyone who has these or knows more about them from first hand experience…hit me up, I’m interested in learning more.

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VW x Google Earth!

What a X good idea. Oh my X gosh. So anyway, this really is a good idea. They say the electronics research lab guys from VW have been hanging with the Google Earth team to try and figure out a way to use the whole Google Earth application as an in-car/in-dash 3D navigation system in upcoming VW models. Honestly, that’s a good idea. The link below is to a little story on Engadget about it, doesn’t say too much, but you know these two companies working together is only a good thing. While I can’t say Google is most esthetically focused company, they do have almost perfect execution of their ideas, and VW is really, really doing their thing with interfaces in their cars…my sister just got the new Jetta and I have to say, it is quite nice. So yeah, navigation systems in cars are usually somewhat boring…the LR3 one is pretty cool, but other than that they are boring. So this could be a nice little change. What they really need to do is figure out how to have it find restaurants, points of interest, etc in real time when the car is in a WiFi spot…or something like that. I’m back to posting! And I got another one coming…

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Just some links…

I didn’t really think any of these were good enough for their own post. Or maybe I just didn’t feel like coming up with a paragraph for each one. Plus they’re all random…but so is the trill brill.
-…I mean, what can I say. I could, and do, waste hours on this site. Chuck and I exchange at least a link a day from this thing. Sometimes 50.
-…I cant be the only one who thinks the execution of this site, all the info they packed in there, the logo(!) and all that…I just love this site.
-…I think I have posted this before. Simple little site, the dude updates it himself. Beautiful lots for dreaming about.
-…kind of relates to the one above. I love modular stuff right now. Don’t like the design of the site that much.
-…funny name. I can’t read anything and Google’s translate tool is hilariously…so I just look at the pictures. I like jeans.
-…just a good read you know? I love listening to these guys talk, in effect; they decide the next ‘hot thing.’ Good insight.
-…I check this site too much.
- Nat’s MySpace…a constant flow ‘internet type pics’ which range from cringingly offensive to some of the funniest shit I’ve seen on the internet.
- Glob…dude updates a lot doesn’t he? Never not working. Just something to look at, entertaining.

This post is hard to read isn’t it!?

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Selected Selecter Selections!

I love bringing back old stuff I used to listen to. I used to be crazy into the whole 2 Tone label back in the day, like 10 years ago. Wow, makes me feel like I’m getting older. Anyway… The Selecter was one of my all time favorite groups. Yeah it’s that poppy English ska and club-beat stuff from the 80’s to the early 90’s. Sometimes I wish we had a club environment that played music like this…can you imagine? Instead of like that bullshit ‘Jock Jamz’ and techno songs from, no joke, 7 years ago…what if they played something fun like this stuff? Bring da riddim forward, one step forward! Like, no 80’s music nights, just good music nights. There isn’t a real solid point to this post…just to state the fact that I am back listening to The Selecter again, and I missed them. That track ‘Celebrate The Bullet’ is nuts. Oh yeah, when I first bought ‘Selected Selections’ at the old Record Swap around the corner from Off The Alley (!) I bought a used copy and opened it to find it signed by the lead signer…but I think I lost it.

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Kilowatts, I got ‘em for cheap!

I’m not even trying to get into like a political / energy resource crisis post. I just have been looking at the more entrepreneurial side of the ‘energy crisis’ as of late. I’m thinking that next boom similar to the dot-com era thing will be small energy start-ups that have both really dumb and really innovative ideas to completely circumvent our traditional ways for getting it. And watch out for companies like VW, Scion, and maybe even Honda to start sponsoring these little companies. It’s really like ‘virgin-territory’ for the entrepreneurial world. Something to think about. So whatever…I want to spot light this company called Sky WindPower Corp. They have the idea of placing huge tethered flying windmills in the jet-stream….35,000 feet up. Kind of an ‘out there’ idea. But their proposal would suggest it’s limitless energy at less than 2 cents a KWh. Again…I’m sure this isn’t the first weird/wild idea we’ll see in the coming years. I just really think its going to be some dude in his garage who is making bio-diesel from McDonalds vegetable oil, or some dude who starts a solar car company with like a $100k loan and it catches an iPod style fever with the public…these are the people who will change how we spend on energy. Okay…this post was kind of long, and a little philosophical maybe. SO!!!?! SO WHAT?!?! U MAD!?

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Mark Romanek is better than you.

More than any other artist I can think of at the moment, Mark Romanek has inspired me in a tremendous way. I don’t do film at the moment, but my desire to do it after getting more and more familiar with Romanek is through the roof. The way he works, the way he puts things together, uses light and color…just amazes me. Essentially, one of the reasons I believe he is one of the greatest directors alive is the fact that you could freeze frame any single moment of any video he has ever done and it would make a gorgeous photograph. Anyways, Hillman-Curtis has a new little feature on Romanek, his process, and his work. Integrating interviews with him, clips from his work, and some chill music in the background, it’s definitely worth the few minutes to watch it. While you’re at it, you should also buy his Director’s Label DVD. Just search Mark Romanek on Amazon. Brilliant, really. Anybody have a connection with him and want to tell him he has a big fan who’d like to interview him for The Brilliance?

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Alife - The Upset online store!!

We love ALife here at THE BRILLIANCE - especially Jest (check out our interview with him here). So I have to give some love to them for opening a new online webstore - check it out at ALIFE NYC and click The Upset. Got to love the simplicity of their line. And those New Era hats are fresh, and course the lighters and all the accessory stuff. Those giant pills are cool - I should get some and give them to someone who is really sick and see what they say!? Anyways, what else can I say about Alife? Go check out the webstore and buy some stuff. YA RLY!

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Music and some other things…

What a dreary weekend here in the Chicago area. Gray and rainy out…just…eh. Anyways, I like doing these random thoughts posts and now I’m going to tell you some music I’ve been listening to and you’re going to read it and agree with everything I say. So - an old favorite that I rediscovered this weekend. The Bad Plus. The album ‘These Are the Vistas’ is one of my favorite all-time albums. Amazing experimental jazz that is great to work to. Let’s see here, what else. Well - I’ve been listening to a nice mix of Aphex Twin, Botch, Brad Mehldau Trio, and Isis - these 4 on a mix CD together is pretty much a perfect thing. I forgot how good Botch was, shoot. So good. I’m still enjoying Slim Thug a lot - he’s making guest appearances all over the place too…Love that laid back attitude. More rappers need to chill like that. When I want to feel like a huge sissy and get my Myspace on, I am usually listening to Matt Pond PA or Sufjan Stevens. And last but certainly not least, I have been listening to The Sea and Cake non-stop. Perfect music to work to and drive to in my opinion. Also, the new Ghostface will be out soon and I’ve got a bunch of tracks from it - keep your eye out because it’s going to be a hot album. I am going to maybe get Chinese food for dinner tonight

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More deep thoughts…

It’s been a while. I need to do one of these…I’ll just go off on a tangent now.

-Kobe Bryant is officially alright in my book after that 81 point game the other night. But…he hasn’t played me yet…sooo…yeah…
-Kanye West got his Jesus gear on for the cover of the new Rolling Stone. Kanye X Jesus. I don’t really know what to say about this.
-The American version of The Office is likely the greatest TV show ever aired. In my opinion right up there with Seinfeld and Un:CUT on BET…But hey seriously, I can’t get enough. I AM KING OF FORWARDS. It’s how I like to do business. Ha…
-Motorola RAZR’s suck…really, really bad. On my third one already and it will be my last. Keeps breaking and just…I don’t know. Sucks.
-American Idol is too funny…anybody watch tonight and see the chick who got all pissed after they rejected her…in her silver boots and too-shirt white skirt, crazy blonde hair…I mean…wow…that was bad.
-Both me and Ben are traveling a lot this year…As of right now, I have plans to head to New York, Mexico City, Toronto, Barcelona, New Jersey (family), and who knows where else. Maybe someday my Antarctica vacation dream will come true…maybe…
-Last, but certainly not least, on a more personal tip…I got engaged about a week ago. I know Holly wanted me to mention that on here, so…fine. Here you go Holly. Hope you’re happy. Haha…but for real, I’m really excited about it. Great feeling.

Aaaaand that’ll do it!