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...

Abelardo Morell & Camera Obscura!

Man, this is nuts. Just got the new issue of Dwell in the mail…was flipping through and saw what appeared to be a room with a big photo projected onto its walls upside down. I love this…it’s actually this guy who completely blacks out the windows and any source of light to a room and then puts a tiny pin-hole in the material covering the windows to in essence turn the room into a camera. The results are simply beautiful. I’m assuming from there he simply places a camera in the room somewhere to photograph the results…looks like maybe it’s a long exposure? Either way, the results are amazing – and the process is, relatively, simple. I just love anything innovative like this.

Stephen Wiltshire, Riverside Gallery!

We usually don’t just post up emails and all that we get from people about this-and-that gallery show. But I just can’t get over Stephan Wiltshire. We posted on him a while back when he was doing the whole ‘Not A Camera’ series…honestly just some amazing work. Search ‘Stephen’ here on our site for more info. He’s honestly just an amazing artist…yes, he is a ‘savant’ but I honestly I look at him as a miracle or maybe even a ‘gift’ to all people who appreciate art. He loves what he does, and we love what he does. Seriously amazing. Wish I could hit this opening as originals will be for sale…bummer. Either way, here is the info: 20 January - 11 March 2007, Riverside Gallery, Richmond. Check the link below for more info. Thanks to Mark for the email.

SEI Water gets it!!

I am a sucker for good packaging. The best example since the Philippe Starck consulted Vitamin Water is this SEI water product. A-MA-ZING design. Water flasks. I dig their whole approach. The coolest thing for me about this packaging is that they dodged the marketing to masses formula (mountain-esque paper wraps) and are catering only to people that are into “subtle” design furthermore “get it”. We all understand all water is really the same, so you gotta differentiate with the look and attitude. Their website is nice too and dictates what their brand is about. They are on point with the product placement but what’s up with their distribution?

Nas, Who Killed It?!

The true art of story telling – this is some amazing hip hop music right here. I want more tracks like this!! I’m stilling ‘studying’ some of this lines and concepts in this song – I am honestly just amazed at Nas and how he came from a totally different direction on this…and yes, that really is him rhyming on the track. This is the pure creativity that hip-hop is missing – it’s perfectly weird. I miss ‘weird’ hip hop. Songs like ‘The Sun’ from Ghostface – love that stuff. Anyway, yeah – not a whole lot to say about this song except give it a listen. I actually haven’t listened to the new Nas album yet, but the few songs I’ve heard are pretty amazing. And yeah, to all the rappers out there – start doing more ‘weird’ and concept stuff! ***Sorry, no link. Check the AllHipHop.com boards…

INDISTR.COM, pre-launch!!

So yeah…wow, wow. This is a hard post to start. For the past 5-6 months I have had this project under wraps, working myself absolutely crazy and loving it to death. This is it…my new project, my new baby, and without question my new obsession and passion – INDISTR©. I officially own a dot com. I mean, I love the web, its paid my bills and allowed me to live a great life for the past 8 years…so I had to jump out there and risk it myself. So a quick run down, INDISTR© allows any artist to distribute their music instantly, keep 75% of all income, get paid instantly (!!!), and remain 100% independent. Artist remain in total control of everything; release dates, price of their albums, art work, number of tracks on an album, and some much more. I mean…I think I’ve said it here before…record labels just don’t really work. So I put my money where my mouth is. CD’s are done, artists not making money is done, record labels suing their customers is done, etc…it’s time for great artist to make great music and make a living from it without signing their creative control and passion away. Honestly. We make “making it” pointless. So yeah, we launch officially for use in the first week of January. I’ve got a lot of ideas for the next 6 months, a couple tricks up my sleeve, and too much passion. Big shout to my designer, Mike at CarnevaleID and my whole development team at NuSoft. Ch-ch-ch-check it out. ***And yeah, I know about Snocap…there is always room for competition right? David and the top-heavy goliath right? Plus I pay out more…ha.

Wedge card – support your community!

I really like this. I suppose before I wouldn’t have been as hip to this…but after living in downtown Grand Rapids for about 4 years and watching what makes a young city actually work day-to-day…I am way more tuned into things like this. Wedge is a UK based company, but I certainly think they could fare well here in the states too. Real basic run-down – the card is a sort of ‘rewards’ type setup where stores can signup to accept it – but stores that accept it can’t have more than 10 branches and most be locally owned to participate. Card owners who use it at the stores who accept it rack up points and can save at all the participating stores. Pretty simple stuff – but I love community support systems and awesome small-business, locally run shops. As Grand Rapids struggles to find its retail market downtown you can really see where something like this might help. Check it out… Oh yeah, and big shouts to a small shop: Charlie’s Tailor Shop right next to Big-O’s Pizza downtown off Monroe Center – they are making me a custom cashmere peacoat for $575!

Polo’s new project!!

So Polo opened up one of their new concept shops in Chicago called Rugby a few weeks back. I really like how they segmented their market. They targeting the kinda post-college-Polo-kids that posse’s edgier style. Basically preppy kids that are down with skulls and cross bones. What takes their approach to the next level is this concept of customization. In the shop they have a wall of Polo patches. So you can have at it and basically turn anything you’d like into a 1 of 1 garment. Every season the patches change. Letting people strut their creativity is always a plus. Overall, the stuff isn’t as expensive as you would think and is a refreshing shopping experience. But newsflash…you don’t need Polo to give you this freedom…its called ebay and a tailor and anything you buy you can make your own…duh.

Adam Cvijanovic…unreal.

Chuck sent me a link to this guys stuff yesterday…just blew me away. I’m certainly becoming more and more a fan of the ‘photographic’ like paintings, and I have always loved surrealism that has some sort of tangible feel to it – and this guy has taken that and more to entirely different heights. Different worlds. His ‘Love Poem (10 minutes after the end of gravity)’ is almost hard to comprehend. First you’ve got the sheer size of his works, 75 foot long installation pieces – unreal. But I think what got me most was reading how he doesn’t use photographs or anything for reference. I have a really hard time just wrapping my head around the idea that he does all this from a mental vision. The level of detail, the ‘proper physics’ of how things might break in mid-flight, the lighting, the vanishing-points, the odd sterile/stark feel?! I honestly just can’t get over it. Amazing.

Favorite quotes Thursday.

The first song on Mogwai’s album “Come On Die Young, “Punk Rock”, contains one of my favorite quotes ever. It’s from Iggy Pop apparently taken from a bootleg Stooges video. I just have always enjoyed this and wanted to share. In my opinion, this speaks not only to a punk rock crowd , but to youth, specifically those who are passionate about something they do to the point where they become numb to what is going on around them. The attitude of a young, passionate person doing what they want with no regard as to what others might have to say about it. This is a portion of the quote:

“I don’t know Johnny Rotten but I’m sure… I’m sure he puts as much blood and sweat into what he does as Sigmund Freud did. You see, what sounds to you like a big load of trashy old noise is in fact the brilliant music of a genius, myself . And that music is so powerful that it’s quite beyond my control and ah… when I’m in the grips of it I don’t feel pleasure and I don’t feel pain, either physically or emotionally. Do you understand what I’m talking about? Have you ever felt like that? When you just couldn’t feel anything and you didn’t want to either. You know? Like that? Do you understand what I’m saying sir? “

Swivel.com, they’ll get bought…

You know I keep my eye on all this stuff - I can’t help it. I’m seriously on Techcrunch hourly. But yeah - lots of stuff going on with mobile/texting stuff, so social networking stuff still, video stuff, etc - but I found this Swivel company to be pretty interesting. I personally can’t see myself using them much, but data is king and the net is of course the best aggregator of it. Real simple, Swivel lets you compare and contrast data - any data. Like consumption of red-wine vs. occurrences of violent crime. Anything random, really. It’s not just some kitschy tool - they are launching a professional version which will be wildly, wildly popular with large Fortune 500 companies as much as it will be with small/medium size companies. The professional version will allow you to keep all your data private while comparing it whatever public data is out there - and like we have seen with sites like this, it will be FILLED with all sorts of data. I can only imagine. And just like how we’ve seen Google Earth used by news stations, I think we’ll see the same here. Honestly, congrats to these guys - really simplistically brilliant stuff. I’m betting it will be a nice 9 figure sum they’ll be purchased for in the next 24-30 months.