The Brilliance!

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#INTERNET Ah, we're back! Like we said, we were just "chilling out" for like 3 years. Feels good to have the team back writing. Still us three: Chuck, Benjamin, and Virgil. Got new interviews coming up, and hopefully we'll be posting on a regular basis, who knows. We also interviewed each other, check: CHUCK, BENJAMIN, VIRGIL...

Darcel Disappoints!!! Still going strong…

“Seriously the most genius blog,” Virgil wrote in his post about Darcel back in January ‘09. So I just have to preface this post with that and say it again, not only because it’s true on a creative level but because, my goodness, the consistency and output from Craig Redman - the man behind Darcel Disappoints - is just amazing. Running a blog is a funny thing - we know this well - it’s so easy to post a bunch and then sort of just…forget about it. You know? One of the most disappointing things to me is visiting a favorite blog after I hadn’t checked it in a while only to realize the last post was like 8 months ago or something. Neglected blogs are just always a bad look…better to just put some graphic up while you figure out if you’re all in or not. Otherwise just looks lazy. So anyways - that’s really why I admire Darcel so much - keeping up with a project for so long so consistently is one thing, but Darcel transcends just being a blog. Every post illustrating a story, a gallery show, a party, a concert, a trip, a museum, or whatever…(funny thing, as I write this I go and refresh the site and there’s a new post up)... anyways - the evolution of the blog has made way for all the great collaborations & projects he’s done too - including the prints/merch you can get in the Shop and especially last years ‘150/15: Colette X Darcel Disappoints Exhibition’ featuring 150 portraits(!!) in the usual Darcel style. It’s just fun - it’s always fun. That’s what I love about it. One of my true ‘staples’ I make a point of checking on a regular basis…make it one of yours too…and check one of my favorite recent posts, ‘Bummer’ ... that 0 / 0 / 0 Instagram buzzkill… ha.

WHY ARE WHITE on WHITE AIR FORCE 1’s relevant again?

Basically every mini-style era has a perfect shoe to go along with it. Girls, flats, stilettos-in-the-club *cues Crime Mob*, Marants, platform heels, TOM FORD vibe heels, or strappy whatevers. For guys, there is that omni-present post American Apparel Vans Eras wave. I never did Stan Smiths but that was a moment, Air max 1, proper running shoe vibe, Jordans (whoa overload), and now white/white uptowns are having their moment but why? I always steered clear of them like the plague in the Rocafella-era when like Dame Dash swapped in for a new pair everyday. The sole was always giving giving me ‘candy-raver-platform’ shoe vibes and the toe is too abrupt. But in 2013 its fine. They are like summer timb boots. I am attributing it your the now new standard silhouette of jeans for kids. Isn’t it crazy that what you once thought were skinny jeans are now crazy baggy. There is something about white going on right now too. Summer crispy and summer crispy turned dirty. I am admittedly addicted by dirty white jeans. Was never into things feeling “brand-new”. Dirty white sneakers. Lets go. This post gonna get real random but thats what THE BRILLIANCE IS. If you ask me the dirt adds a layer of reality. Just a clue of where my heads at. Diamonds are a trends best friend. THE BRILLIANCE CNN of these #streets. Reporting live.

We’re like Sports Center for these Apple events!

Man, this is one of the first keynote I missed watching live - I suck at taking red-eyes from West to East, oh boy.  Feels good to be back writing these.  So yeah, blow-by-blow, too much to cover, nerd-out:

The opening animation: Most important part of the whole keynote.  Perfect, perfect.

iOS 7: Its been a long time since there has been a standing ovation at a keynote.  I want to know how long they worked on this.  I can’t imagine overhauling something like this - so much changed.  Hardware designer doing software design is the magical part of this - feel like only Apple can do it and make it work.  I personally love it.  Love the thought that there are “layers” to it - brilliant - my favorite part.  I’m not, like, 100% on the icon designs - thats that feeling of new stuff, Apple hasn’t felt this new since…I guess iOS came out.  Feels like paper, and I dig that.  So yeah the grid design system, rethinking fonts used, the layer concept, the flatness that matches the physical device finally, motion sensing effect - wow, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc.  It’s all pretty amazing.  So much stuff…too much to talk about.  Actually makes me want to get the white iPhone for the first time.

New OS X Mavericks: Lots of little details.  Important stuff is: tons of detail stuff on power consumption, computing power, memory use, etc.  The “tagging” feature is cool - but I feel like its going to be cluttered unless you’re like super intense about using it religiously.  All this stuff for OS X Mavricks is tilting towards developers/creators/pro users, etc.  Steve Jobs: “Computers are trucks, tablets are cars.”

The new MacPro:  Phil Schiller almost lost it, got super TURNT, lol - they should have played Waka Flocka.  Can’t wait to see how much that thing is going to cost.  It looks brilliant.  I honestly feel like Steve must have had a lot to do with this, for real.  Reminds me of the cube that never really worked out.  Love that it looks like a jet-engine.  Made in the USA!

iRadio: I’m the worst with this radio stuff.  I always looked at the radio as so old school, its: sequential access vs. random access.

iWork for iCloud:  You know they played rock-paper-scissor for who had to do that.  Snoozed out.

That new Belgium store: Interesting they are keeping the theatre in there.

Dress-code: Yoooo, Eddy Cue especially, button that shirt up bro bro!  Then again, dude is on the board of Ferarri.  I can see him in meetings: “guys guys guys, why don’t we just make ALL the cars yellow with red interiors?!”

And a huge shout-out to Craig Federighi & Pixar character Phil Schiller for being actually “human” when presenting and going off-script a bit.  I’m a Tim Cook fan - but he’s a bit robotic for me, and whether Apple wants it or not, these keynotes are a spectator sport, have been for a minute, and that humanness Steve had was a big part of it.

Post was too long, or whatever.

Dov Charney, Americas last business weirdo-eccentric?!

I mean, I honestly feel like this is the first HOUR long video/interview I’ve watched this intensely since the Walt Mossberg & Steve Jobs interviews.  I don’t know, maybe a Karl Lagerfeld one in there somewhere too.  Either way - this is kind of a must watch.  Dov is this fascinating character - he’s every hipster in one.  He’s every kid at the “cool guy” dive bar, every kid riding a fixed gear, every kid on tumblr, every kid in Echo Park/Brooklyn/Portland/Oakland/Austin/etc, every kid that’s trying to “do it different”, every cliche about any scene kid.  But he has this slight shift in his DNA that has allowed him to be both extremely capitalist and socialist at the same time.  Kind of…I think.  He’s so unwavering in doing exactly what he wants, controlling everything, and making it financially sustainable - as a FOR PROFIT business.  I suppose thats why I love listening to him.  For as weird he is, all the bad press, etc, he’s kind of the last business weidro-eccentric we have here in the US.  Maybe him and Elon Musk?  I just love dudes like him - no MBA - just straight up passion and attention to detail and quite obviously from this interview, a deep care for humanity.  So yeah, waste an hour on this for sure and watch him somehow braid being capitalist, socialist, left-wing, right-wing, all into one interesting and sometimes confusing ethos.  ***Fun fact, Dov Charney was actually going to be one of our first interviews when we first launched the site.  He replied to my email with his personal cell - crazy.  Ended up not working out, but I always dug that he handled stuff like that - or at least saw our vision.  Thanks to @adesholamakinde for forwarding this to me.

***Dudes pants from Vice are like, wowzers, wetsuit/scuba-diving Spring/Summer 2013.

Double Scribble!! Feelin like a kid again…

I paid like, 42% of my attention in class as a kid to what was being taught…OK, maybe more like 24.2%...ish…Whatever though, the important part here is that the rest of that time was spent drawing on pretty much anything and everything that was a draw-on-able surface. My favorite being book covers. Remember book covers made out of brown paper grocery bags?! Those were the best to draw on..then you’d take them off at the end of the year and see the ballpoint imprint of a year’s drawings on the scuffed dull plastic of the cover. Ahhh, fun to think about that again. Anyways, a *lot* of those drawings I did as a kid involved sports, namely basketball. I was, and I know Ben & Virgil were, and I know a lot of our readers were, big NBA fans as kids. If you grew up in the 90s in Chicago too, I mean, don’t even get me started. But this blog Double Scribble, man, really bringing me back to those days. Drawing Dennis Rodman in a Bulls jersey, drawing Michael Jordan of course with his tongue out, and of course just drawing the Bulls logo on absolutely EVERYTHING…(I can still draw it perfectly from memory to this day)...I collected basketball cards too of course, so the art on those was always inspiring to me. Shout out the super thick Flair cards…(Actually check this out - found all my old MJ cards at my parents house - pic) I’ve loved this blog for a while and while we were on hiatus w/ the site, it was one of those things I was like..yeah…I’ll be posting about that when we bring it back. Sports, art, internet…duh. According to the About page, Double Scribble is “a daily curated art blog run by Nicholas Kastner. It features dozens of artists from around the globe who all share a common passion for basketball. Our goal is the be the most comprehensive source of basketball art on the internet.” Well, sounds good to me. And it is…it’s really good. It’s got literally every kind of basketball art on there from paintings to quilts to professional illustrators to the worst (aka best) single line pen doodles of players on paper…just whatever. Check it out @ DoubleScribble.com. RAZZLE DAZZLE!

New interview “activation” with Jon Buscemi!

Its weird to interview someone that was first a reader of the site before I knew him personally, you know?  He has a different context.  Jon’s been a supporter since we first started, kind of dude who would just reach out and say whats up - and send me marinara sauce from Gourmet for Christmas every year, ha.  When we started this site we would always be like super stoked/surprised when someone from the industry, on one of the coasts, would hit us up.  So yeah, eventually we crossed paths “IRL” and have been homies since.  Jon’s done so much stuff in this “lifestyle business” space, so much.  Now he’s onto the “2.0”, next chapter as he’s said.  We caught up with him to discuss past, present, future.  Kind of a must read interview for people who are in this space actually trying to make a living out of it.  For real.  Beyond all that, if you ever get a chance to hang with him - the nicest dude with THE best snaps…the best.  Ha.  Thanks for the time Jon.

Uber. Semi-late. Don’t be ultra-late!!!

Catching a cab is a lot easier said than done. Especially when your “just-10-minutes-away” late for a meeting uptown. Increase the degree of difficulty if you rarely carry cash. I first heard of uber like a year ago. Always skeptical of a new app on the iPhone, Uber sounded too good to be true. You just take a photo your credit card and it automatically scans the numbers and your pretty much locked and loaded. Choice of a regular cab, town car, SUV or scooter in Europe. The map pops up and you can see if your guy is driving the wrong way to get you and everything. No cash exchanged cause it all linked to your credit card. The receipt gets emailed straight to you. Ultra-easy. In a world where there are still cabs that don’t take a credit card, this is a savior. Uber so modern. So many cities. I use it in LA, NYC and Paris. Come Basel time Miami better get their shit together. Getting a cab there is a mess. Thank God for Steve Jobs. Again.

Hotels & Chicago, Public Hotel!

It’s weird having taken a break from the site - cause I want to write about stuff that happened while we were on vacation - but I’m like, “Is it old news?!”  Whatever.  I’ve always been fascinated by hotels, remember being a little kids and running down the hall ways as fast as you could?  Vending machines?  Indoor pools that had like a fake palm tree vibe?  Straight Radisson status.  Fast forward to my early/mid 20’s and I started traveling more - experiencing more hotels, etc, kind of getting the vibe for what I dig, etc.  At its core, a hotel is about rest, you know?  Not always sleep - but rest.  And luxury is, by my definition, comfort - not always excess - but thoughtfulness.  I stayed at the Public Hotel in Chicago for the first time like a month or two after they opened - actually booked it cause RSVP Gallery was interviewing me and I liked to color tone from the pictures for place to shoot it at.  Stayed there like 15-20 times since maybe?  I actually stay there on Christmas day now as like a new “thing”, tradition.  Ian Schrager absolutely nailed it.  It’s actually a super old hotel that they’ve converted, read up on it, etc.  Its every little detail.  The cups in the bathroom, painting over the linen wallpaper heavily, the original brass hardware on the closets/bathroom, the double organza floor to ceiling curtains, the hallways!!!!, the neighborhood its in, that CVS you can walk to on the corner in the morning, even the way you enter the place…its gets my like every time I swear.  Though, I can say the Pump Room is good - its more just a better magnet for interesting people.  And I might change the carpet style in the room - would be insanely expensive but chevron, wide plank, wood flooring would be perfect.  Ahhhh, cool, I finally have this post off my chest, ha.  All these over-the-top themed-out hotels have such a short shelf-life - and when they’re times up they look like a joke.  I think Public hit that sweet spot, they’ll get cooler with age.  Stay in the “Loft” style room, and ask for a corner - its better than the 1 bedroom suite.

I actually, no joke, have worked with a developer a bit to better understand if a 10 room hotel can work out financially…hmmmmmmmm.  I already have the flooring and bathroom fixtures picked out, etc, etc.  Ha.  Hmmm.

Friday Randoms!!

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•One of the best things was uploaded to the internet this past week by BRILLIANCE favorite Keelayjams and it’s this video
•It’s not new, but Bootleg Bart is a Friday time killing must-see if you aren’t already familliar
•I love the portfolio of Chris Golden
These photos of Rutile crystals found in quarries in Germany are amazing to look at. I’m obsessed with them.
I like this
•13thWitness killing it as usual
•I feel like Google is overtaking Apple in terms of memorable commercials. Every time I see a Google Chrome commercial on tv or online I don’t rush to skip it or open another tab and wait for it to play out so I can watch whatever YouTube video I’m really waiting on. They’ve done such a good job recently of making spots that connect with you, that are emotional, that are fun, but always super simple and easy. Actually it’s been a while since Apple really, really inspired us I feel like. Virgil’s post a few back about iTunes is true, especially the part about a downward spiral since Jobs passed. Feels like the Post-Jobs-era Apple is searching for identity and inspiration still. It’ll come…
•Unless you’re a web designer and your site is part of your portfolio, you don’t need anything fancy…I feel like a big chunk of artists & designers on the web are really starting to grasp this. Photographers on the other hand…*Seinfeld voice* what’s the deal with still using Flash for your sites!!?!?
•Have a good Friday. Read THE BRILLIANCE. Tell your friends. Enjoy this GIF.

THUMBSUP!!1!

Leif Podhajsky & the new psychadelic aesthetic…

Trends come and go in art & design. With the internet, it seems this is a day-to-day occurrence rather than something that takes months or even years to evolve, so when a new aesthetic, a new ‘look’ starts to stick and really hang around, it’s a pretty exciting thing to me. If you don’t already know Leif Podhajsky, you’ve probably at least seen his work somewhere already…seems like it pops up as the cover of one of the 5 daily Pitchfork-reviewed albums like once a week, I swear…Bonobo, The Horrors, Youth Lagoon, Foals, Tame Impala, Grimes, Shabazz Palaces…the list goes on. Anyways, there’s been a reemergence in recent years of I guess what I’d call a new psychadelic aesthetic. Trippy, choppy, hard to look at in a good way…it’s easy to see why Podhajsky has been tapped to work with so many of these bands. His work match up so well with the music. Probably the best compliment I can pay to his work is that you can easily get lost in looking at it much like you can get lost with a good song playing in your headphones. There’s a lot to discover. Totally unexpected color palettes, classic gothic, grungy, oily rainbows and golds and perfect symmetry and inverted imagery floating in desert landscapes with this beautiful sort of 70’s retro vibe but without the boring-ness that usually comes with ‘retro’ graphics these days…there are some other great artists doing work in this vein as well…Justin Blyth is always doing killer stuff, Sabrina Ratté, I’d even say Eric Wareheim (of Tim & Eric fame) has been one of the champions of this stuff with his videos for Major Lazer, MGMT, HEALTH…Anyways, check out Leif’s site and get inspired.