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...

Weekend Trips & Product Placement!

Mini-vacations keep things moving. Ben & I wrapped up NYC, both hoppin that early flight on the grey day back to the Midwest. Best believe we hit up the retail landscape hard. Popped in and out of the standard stores as well as the newest additions. I am feeling bblessing on Orchard. A nice mix of styles in combination with a stellar interior gets two thumbs up. As far as dining, that rumor about The Little Owl in the West Village is true. We ate like kings, stay tuned for important developments on that front. The Hotel on Rivington did its thing. It has come a long way from when I first got to peep the unfinished penthouse and skyline views. Shout out to all those who lended their hospitality along the way. Quote of the trip, Benjamin - “Look it’s a squirrel…wait NO IT’S A RAT.” Me – “We couldn’t be more Midwestern.”

Weekend Randoms!

Well, Ben and Virgil are in transit to NYC and that means I can write about whatever I want and they can’t stop me. Like how Ben says he wears Chukkas and Stan Smiths but really he wears ankle-height socks with velcro strap Old Navy sandals…and Virgil talks all about architecture and posts about interesting places in Chicago, but really the only thing he’s passionate about, as far as I know, is his collection of those Livestrong-style bracelets. Why he hasn’t posted about them yet I don’t know…he’s also got a thing for fanny packs. Weird…I just talked to Virgil actually, he said him and Ben just hopped in a cab from LaGuardia…and something about holding hands…I don’t know…you’ll have to ask them about that. AAAAAAnyways…got a few random things to yack about here on this cloudy Friday morning in everyone’s favorite streetwear hub of the US, the southwest suburbs of Chicago. First off, if you’re headed to Magic in Las Vegas these next few days - make sure you stop by the KDU Annex Private Brand Suite - Talib Kweli and Jean Grae will be there - RSVP and more info at this link. Give Dave a big hug when you see him too. Wish I could go…just too busy to travel these last few weeks. What else we got here…ah yes, one of my personal favorites and a favorite of The Brilliance, KAWS has started writing a blog over at Honeyee.com. Extra points to Mr. Kaws for the most recent post about dogs. Corgis are awesome dogs. I mean, look at this one… Speaking of dogs, I am going on Monday to get a volunteer job at a humane society. Hopefully they’ve got an American Staffordshire or a Boxer that I can favor over the other ones…a Dachshund would work too…Moving on, I have to give some love to one of my favorite artists at the moment, Akiko Stehrenberger. Seriously amazing illustrations, very inspirational. Do yourself a favor and check out the James Dean caricature and especially the movie poster for The U.S. Vs. John Lennon. Beautiful work. Alright kids, have a good weekend…

66% of THE BRILLIANCE headed to NYC!

Little weekend jaunt to clear the head a bit. Virgil and I are off to NYC tomorrow…staying at the Rivington, which I’m looking forward too…looks nice. Got a couple dinners planned with friends, etc…and some shopping or whatever. No real purpose for the trip except to goof around for a weekend in someone else’s city. So hit us up if anything wild/fun is going on that we should know about! See you around. ***Chuck can’t go cause his pro roller-skating team is in the semi-finals this weekend – he’s not just a famous designer, you should see how he can ‘shoot-the-duck’! Amazing stuff.

NoPattern is gonna go Platinum!!!

Even if you live under a rock you’ve heard of the kid Lupe Fiasco. The most anticipated record store debut is wasn’t a joke and is really coming out on September 19th. Guess who did my homeys art work? Yep. Mr. Nopattern himself is at it again. If you are good at those games on the back of cereal boxes, you already spotted the logo. The great thing about the cover in my opinion is where Chuck and Lupe took ‘it’ in the realm of hip-hop. They connected the dots from Pink Floyd, Head Porter, the Quran to Cartier glasses in one fell swoop. You don’t need to meet Lupe because everything you need to know about him is on that cover somewhere. Pay close attention to him in general because he’s putting on a lesson in creative control. Imagine having a one-way conversation with your record label and saying here’s my cover, lets use it to sell millions, and them be like O.K. Rarely happens. Or better yet….imagine doing the artwork for something that’s printed a million times over…

Entourage!

How to be super late 101! Seriously…I know this has been out forever. But I don’t watch TV really…I cancelled my cable like 2-3 years ago (not m broadband though!) cause I felt like I wasted too much time watching TV. But I don’t mind catching a DVD whenever. Either way, I’m on www.thatvideosite.com and they had this 9 minute video of all the ‘best’ Ari Gold moments. Are you kidding me…?! Some of the funniest stuff ever. So I signed-up for NetFlix and I’ve watched all of the show except the last disc of season 2. Honestly love this show man. It’s not just Ari going nuts every episode…there is a really fresh flow to the show, love it. And all the cameos that really help blur the lines between reality and it being ‘just a show’ are too fresh…like the Gary Busey parts?! So funny…Ari: “…you’re going to spin right off this planet…” Ha. Anyway, yeah too funny. Check the clip I was talking about at the link below. Yeah, tons of inappropriateness, swearing, vulgarity…and brilliance. SOMEBODY’S GOING TO PAY FOR THE MYSTIC TAN…JESS…

Flying an RC plane with Benjamin!

Ha…don’t ever say we didn’t bring something unique to the ‘blog sphere’. No yacking about web 2.0, hybrid cars, or real estate. I went to Target today to get some tooth paste and Diet Coke and came home with a radio controlled airplane. I’ve always wanted one…and I actually did have one when I was like 10 or whatever…but my dad crashed it, ha. Remember that dad? Anyway, I got this little one here…an Air Hog. I’ll be honest, I haven’t had that much fun in…a long time. I swear man…I was like a little kid today at Wilcox part in East Town with my bro-in-law goofing around with this thing, SO much fun man. Best part about this post?! I took a video of it…and almost getting clobbered by it. Sorry for the quality, took it on my Treo. Check it!!

The New Motivational Speakers!!

Today is a beautiful day. Another beautiful day to be young and creative. This post is purely about sharing two inspiring pieces of web television. Both came to me in the last 30 minutes or so. One of these kids you are already familiar with. The almighty king of No Pattern and co-brainchild of this here BRILLIANCE, Chuck Anderson. This couch conversation with Geoff McFetridge is cool because it’s not an interview, it’s just conversation, which is way more effective at getting to know these artists. I appreciated the talk about being busy. How many of us always say we are so busy and have “no time”. I sure do. The other piece I just caught was fresh off of the newly revamped Heron Preston site. Everyone take note, this is how you update a site with purpose. “If you don’t have a blog, use this as your blog”-HP. His uploaded content is a springboard for us all to jump on. Now that’s really progressive. I can’t wait to see how this evolves. We are all just kids moving onto something bigger than ourselves, and here’s two pieces of proof.

Free Knowledge, Have Some!!

I for one, I don’t have a degree in marketing or advertising but sometimes I “feel it in my gut”. My friends and I always have our 2 cents as to why that commercial is weak and I can readily pick up on that sense when “the man” is trying to selling me something. I swear getting an MBA is gonna be free as long as you have an internet connection and these professionals keep giving up their insider tips. There’s tons of great resources online. I am all about the Adage.com podcasts these days. For starters, check out “What the Year’s Top Marketers Are Doing Right”, 5th from the bottom. For some one like me who has no background in this realm its real exciting to build up a knowledge in this field because it changes the way you aimlessly wonder. So many of us kids have these sidehustles and this independent frame of mind that we can’t solely rely on the internet as the only marketing tool and think we are gonna hit it big BIG. (hint, hint) Instead of listening to music I have been scrolling through these informative podcasts while working…the old two birds, one stone trick…

The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs!

Ha…this is too funny. So somebody starts a blog pretending to be Steve Jobs, offering up what he thinks Steve Jobs would have to say about the world. It’s not like he’s trying to ‘trick’ anyone with by having the URL fakesteve.blogspot.com. Anyway, I follow all this Web 2.0 stuff pretty closely. Ever since tech companies started getting bought again…I remember sitting at a dinner with some mentor friends of mine (thanks for the sailing trip!) and telling them ‘the internet is back.’ I suppose I was right…but I certainly hope its not the ‘bubble’ version this time. Getting off subject…check this blog out. Funny and very insightful…I’m not sure who runs it but they are close to what is really happening. The little ‘slam’ on that now infamous Yelp.com party at SFMOMA is hilarious. This and ValleyWag.com are my new regular visits. No more niche culture for a minute…time to expand kids! ***Does anyone else find it weird that Microsoft applications see ‘blog’ as a misspelled word? ******This one is killing me…ha.

Getting things done!!

We got an email from Dallas of WORLD in NYC telling us about the shop they opened recently at 187 Chrystie Street between Stanton and Rivington. Here’s their site - WORLD. It’s a small spot, just 300 square feet, but they’re doing their thing, trying to make it happen. Now, usually we don’t post up about stores and streetwear and stuff that much, we leave that to Hypebeast. But this email got me thinking about being inspired to start things, to do something, to get up everyday and think of the new day as an opportunity - not just as another boring ‘whatever’ day. Got me thinking about how good I feel when I get really productive with my work and what it must be like for guys trying to open their own boutiques or online stores or galleries or whatever in our amazing creative community. As much as we mock and throw little funny jabs at all the Street X Wear X Colla X Bor X Ations sometimes, on the other hand it’s really good to see young companies and young kids doing their thing, really making something happen. So much better than being out on the street or looking for some crappy night-shift job or laying around playing video games in mom and dad’s basement all day in a bean bag chair with tapered sweatpants on, eating fritos and drinking mountain dew. I’m all about being creative and having fun - so even though me and Ben and Virgil get a good laugh everytime someone emails us and says “Hey check out my new shirt company it’s called Bozworth Chomp$alot NYC we’re doing something totally different and groundbreaking. The first shirt has Wu-Tang Clan inspired stuff on it and the other shirt has a boombox with a gun!”, at least it’s something, right? Not that I encourage market saturation and things getting watered down, but better to be busy than bored. SO. Anyways.