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...

Jet Blue, that private feeling!!

Ha. My verdict is in. Jet Blue is my favorite airline along with Singapore Airlines. Who knew the glory days of flying were when I was a kid. Everything has been cheapened on all the major airlines. So evidently, the cheap airlines are where it’s at. It’s like Jet Blue accepts its position and puts their money where the CONSUMER wants it. Free internet & tons of power outlets(!!!) at the terminal, unlimited drinks and snacks, Direct TV, XM radio and legroom!! Judging by flying any other airline you’d think Jet Blue are a bunch of rocket scientists. I am a fan how the screen savers on the do-it-yourself check in kiosk says, “What’s up?” too. Jet Blue is new to Chicago so I am technically not late on this. All in all Jet Blue is cool, the founder is even hip enough to do the Superman, Youuuuu!

Making the suburbs cool!!! It can be done…

The new Dwell came in my mail today and every time a new Dwell comes, I know I’m in for a load of inspiration, motivation, and some new artist or architect to admire. This time around, what I’m loving is the article ‘The Suburbs Strike Back’ by Jane Szita. The headline reads “Swedish prefab specialists Smedshammar + Holmberg are on a mission to rescue their compatriots from boring suburbs - and their deep-seated suspicion of architects.” Having grown up in the suburbs with my parents, moving out of their house to an apartment in another suburb, and now being married and recently having moved to yet another suburb, I can personally vouch for the completely boring approach to the look, feel, and architecture of suburban design. I understand the practicality of what most suburbs offer, but as a creative person there is nothing appealing to me about living in a place that is identical my next door neighbor, their next door neighbor, and everyone else in the neighborhood. So this article - actually, the entire new issue of Dwell - really grabbed me because I can relate to this whole issue. Carl-Johan Smedshammar and Anders Holmberg are attempting to tackle the issue in Sweden (granted, everything in Sweden is probably a million times more well designed to begin with than the Illinois suburbs that I’m used to…but anyways…) and it seems as though the residents are taking the bait. One of their innovations in their first development - Silverdal Terrace I - was to alter the color and angles on each side of the house, thus creating a façade that was unique depending on where you saw the house from. It’s kind of difficult to explain, but go to their site, linked below, click ‘storre projekt’, then ‘silverdal I’ for pictures. I just really love the idea of more sustainable, modern, clean looks in suburban areas. Bring a little city flavor into the cookie-cutter ‘burbs. I’d love to see this kind of thing sweep through the states in the future…making the suburbs cool and updated, but for some reason I just don’t think it will happen, at least not in a widespread manner. Ah well. Maybe time to move to Sweden.

Post-event updates! Jay-Z show and NoPattern gallery!

Sheesh…sorry for the lack of posts, we’ve all been crazy busy since the day before that Jay-Z show at HOB. Speaking of which, it was nothing short of amazing. Well, well worth the money. What can you say about Jay that hasn’t already been said? His stage presence, his delivery, the swagger, the never-ending collection of ‘oh-this-is-my-jam’ tracks, the charisma, etc. I’d never seen Jay live before, so to see him perform ‘You Don’t know’ was seriously a highlight in hip-hop for me. And yeah, Kanye came out and the floor at the HOB almost broke. Kanye and Jay on the same stage? Who cares what that ticket cost! ***Only a couple days later on the other side of town, Chuck threw a fantastic gallery opening at the new Threadless store. I love the Threadless store setup, seriously, it’d make a great living space. But yeah, Chuck had some really fantastic pieces, some new stuff I hadn’t seen - the black and orange print was nuts! Tons of great people out to see his stuff and show support. Chuck’s big now, as if the internet didn’t already know that, but its always way more fun to see stuff in person. And for me, being a close friend, its really great to see him become more and more successful doing what he loves. Take notes from him kids!! So how does a mega-ultra-hugely-successful-celebrity-debutant artist celebrate after the opening of a gallery space?? Word on the street is he was at the I-Hop down the street from Threadless. Now that is balling. ***Check the link below for some video of Jay and Kanye performing.

An ad campaign you can’t ignore? GM makes fun of itself.

American car companies, except for maybe Saturn and Jeep, are…not interesting. Nor are they producing any products I want to buy. But, with that being said, they do…every once in a great while…have a good ad campaign. And GM’s latest for the Chevy Malibu is one of them. Titled ‘The Car You Can’t Ignore’ it pretty openly makes fun of what they have made in the past - making fun of their own products. In this case it’s a late 90s Cutlass I think? Which is a GM product. They’ve got two great ads running right now where (1) a jogger runs into a parked late 90s Cutlass as it is such a boring, poorly designed, car she didn’t even notice it. Funny. (2) My favorite, which is linked below, the bank robbers who slide past the cops in the same type of car for the same reasons. Pretty brilliantly executed ad campaign. All this to illustrate that their new Chevy Malibu is indeed the care you CANNOT ignore. Great…I most likely won’t ignore it now. Job well done. And seriously, congrats to whatever agency/firm that came up with the campaign and got GM to buy into the idea of making fun of themselves, seriously, good stuff.

Stack them Euros!!

Was I the only one who saw Jay and Pharrell flashing wads of Euros instead of dollars in the Blue Magic video? I almost don’t want to make this post cause I’m really just not that educated on this stuff. Maybe to a degree, but by no means an expert. I guess I just find it interesting and feel like writing about it. That’s why we blog right?? Ha. Anyway…something far from a joking matter: 7 different countries, and not small ones, are considering abandoning the US Dollar and instead converting their holdings to the Euro. They’re feeling the same pain a US traveler feels when going on vacation to Europe…the dollar just doesn’t get you much anymore. And its getting worse. So simply put, to protect their assets, in this case liquid cash, they’ll be buying Euros with their American money to keep things steady…this of course means the demand for the dollar will drop and so will it’s value. Not good…like, at all. ***I can’t seem to find the link, but I also read somewhere that some huge super model (Naomi?) will only except payment in Euros now. Ehhhh.

Jay-Z @ HOB Chicago…yeah, we’ll be there!

My man. I mean, how many Jay-Z posts have I made? Just a few more than I have about Steve Jobs. And you know what’s wild? I’ve never seen him perform. In fact, I had nice floor tickets to the Madison Square Garden “Fade to Black” show, yeah THAT show…and I sold them on eBay for a very, very tidy profit. Jay would have been proud right? Ha. That won’t be happening with these tickets for tomorrow’s HOB show. Are you kidding me? Only like 1,000 tickets sold? Such a small spot, not a bad seat in the house. After all these years, finally getting to see Jay perform…no shame in sounding fan-boy…I can’t wait man. Just thinking about it has me reminiscing about skipping homework and freelancing during high-school listening to Jay-Z. Ha, that internet hustle if you will. So yeah, check for Virgil and myself signing each and every word to each and every track. ***I think there are tickets still for sale on StubHub.com, yikes!!! Check the link…

I like Robert Longo’s work!

True story. I just got put onto his stuff today by my man Rick who saw his work at the MCA in Chicago recently. I haven’t seen Longo’s work in person, but the pieces on his site looks amazing…really inspired stuff. The current series he has on his site are moments in time via a photograph (no?) done quite large in charcoal…really large in fact, like 6ft in some instances. Man, let me say it again, I love big artwork. To the point where small pieces don’t really grab my attention. So yeah, Robert Longo’s stuff is beautiful, I love the movement and starkness in his current series…I just got put onto him, but he’s one of those ‘love right away’ artists. Time to figure out how much these lithos are…hmmm.

Mint.com, in more ways than one!

Yeah – if they keep the pace they got going now, and stay flexible to what their consumers want…they are going to make a mint themselves. That was kind of cheesy, but seriously…their service is nuts (!) and its growing like crazy. Quick and simple of it all: sign-up with them for free, give them the username and password to your e-banking account stuff with whatever bank you use, they import all your historicals and then grab it every night so you’ve got refreshed information daily. The magic lies in how they present it. I’ve used it myself and the way it breaks out your spending habits and classifies the purchases is almost unreal – I have no idea how the classifying feature works, but its uncanny. After looking at my spending, I am indeed the ‘corner store king’ as I’ve stated in the past. Anyway – I’m not really trying to write a whole post on it when their site explains it much better. With that being said, I co-sign mint.com, its fresh. No pun intended. ***Plus the whoel naming and branding thing?? Mint.com, refreshing money management. A mint, where they print money..etc. Brilliant and simple.

Boy Better Know!!!!

I am still on the Grime music thing outta the UK. In my book this kid JME is has waltzed straight to the top of the game alongside Wiley & his brother Skepta, Dizzie, & Kano. I listen to BBC religiously and whenever I get bored listening to the Hip Hop stations I have been all about the Grime & UKG channels for that alternative Hip Hop sound. The mixtape game over there is wildly popular like the 50 Cent days stateside. But where JME his ‘Boy Better Know’ camp have taken it to another level is the T-shirt game. Yea, t-shirts. So much so that the boolteggers are not only bootlegging the mixtapes but the T-shirts as well. So what does JME do, flip the logos and sell T-shirts directly off his myspace after a quick paypal transaction straight to his account. I love it. So many people claim t-shirt in general are ‘overdone’ etc. That’s like saying water is played out. T-shirts will always be desired no matter how many you have. JME is smart, why not capitalize on 2 of the most important things in young entertainment demographic, music and fashion. Ha…my favorite line at the end of this freestyle session, “I do a lot like ACME, my brain is like an everything factory”.

Live and direct from the S33D conference!

First things, I don’t really like conferences. They always have this feeling like: ‘Oh hey, come to this conference and learn how to be successful! Take a bunch of notes and then go back to your work-place with some one-liners and be smarter sounding than everyone.’ So yeah, needless to say that’s not my style. So with all that negative stuff said - I have enjoyed this little conference today. Just observing how the people that run 37signals act, talk, move, dress, interact with people, an ultimately what they have to say has been fun. 37signals is one of my favorite companies - and hearing Jason speak about how he’s grown the company has really re-affirmed my love for what they make. And then there’s Jim Coudal. I honestly hope I’m as cool as he is when I’m his age, ha. Is he old? If not, my bad. Seriously though, Coudal Partners is one of those ‘Peter Pan’ companies. Seems like they are always having fun right? Love that. And this video right here is nothing short of brilliant. Alright, back to this conference.