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...

I want my BBC!

My musical attention span is like .2 seconds and for as much time I spend sitting in front of a computer screen I need new music regularly. iPods are great but I can’t refresh mine fast enough. Funny thing is my solution predates ipods to when I had the same issue with my super-hyped mini disc player. One day I came across the Gilles Peterson show and have rarely missed a weekly show in 3 years. His show connects the dots playing tracks from soulful hip-hop, broken beat to obscure jazz greats. His show is a lesson in music. I basically learn as much as I listen. But the BBC doesn’t stop there. If your are like me and feel like your missing out on the whole NYC mixtape radio listen to Tim Westwood. Once you get used to his humor its actually very entertaining and hilarious. Make your way on to 1xtra too. All the hip-hop
shows are money. Don’t pass up the Garage section either, its where you can here what the UK kids are up to…I’ll do a proper Grime/UK hip hop post later. The clutch thing about the BBC radio shows is that they are new every week and the fact that the music is presented, not just played, it makes a difference. Listen, you’ll get the gist.

SUMMER!!!

It is officially summer! Enjoy it! Go to the beach, go exercise, go sit outside with your laptop on a wi-fi connection for all I care. Just go outside and enjoy the sun! BBQ’s and sunburn and long days and the windows down - nothing like it… Happy beginning to the best season of the year from your favorite dewdskis at THE BRILLIANCE!!!

Oh…do yourself a favor and check the link below….classic

Mark Cuban’s blog and the NBA Finals…

Two posts about sports in one week on a site mostly about vacations and cell phones and artists!? NO WAI!!! I followed the NBA finals this year fairly closely. I went into it rooting for the Mavericks because I like Cuban’s enthusiasm and unique approach and think the team is really solid - Stackhouse and Dirk are so good…anyways, this led me to check out Cuban’s blog, which I think is a brilliant one to say the least. Specifically his comments about cursing and his right to do so…I mean, talk about someone being bold and unafraid to speak their mind… “Then someone asked “Is this your worst loss ever” . What the fuck kind of question is that ? Is this for a VH1 special ? “Worst Losses Ever ?” If it was, then maybe it was a decent question. Otherwise, how do you answer that question…” I mean, come on. That is hilarious…and this is coming from a businessman. He owns the team and represents them to the fullest… you have to appreciate that kind of attitude, love him or hate him… I almost want to compare him to Kanye… Sure, it’s a business and he should act professional and all that, but the NBA has been so void of anybody like this, is long overdue, in my opinion. Anyways, the officiating in the Finals was pretty awful…If you’re interested at all, check this write-up to read about it. Congrats to the Heat and everyone in Miami for the big win and all, but there’s another side to it all, you know? Just my thoughts. I wonder how long it will be until I post about sports again…Maybe something about what it was like to grow up as a kid in the Chicago area in the 90’s while the Bulls were kicking everyone’s asses… still inspires me! Be like Mike!!! (Although…I was always a huge Rodman fan and John Paxson was the man…)

Books!!!

Hi! Been a long while since I posted. I do apologize, I was on a trip to see family in New Jersey and this is pretty much the first chance I’ve had to post since I’ve been home. I would have posted from there, but my aunt had a 56k dial-up connection and no Photoshop, so I couldn’t make a little image for the post. Look at me complaining. I sound like an old man. Anyways! I spend a lot of time at Borders and/or Barnes & Noble just looking at books and magazines. But usually not regular books…more like art books and music books and things like that. It’s just relaxing to me. So here are some of my recent favorites. American Hardcore. This book is great…takes a look at early 80’s harcore music in America. First off, the opening pages with all the old band logos/marks are great…but the comprehensive interviews and overviews about this era/niche is what impresses me. Interviews with Black Flag, Minor Threat, Fear, Cro-Mags, Youth Brigade, Bad Brains, Negative Approach…all these classic bands - I kind of wish I grew up in the place and time this was at its peak, but since I didn’t, this book does its job filling me in a bit on how it was…Enough about that one, how about this for a transition? This book LOFTS is great…not much to say, just lots of beautiful floorplans and photos of amazingly well-designed small loft spaces. Nothing like seeing what can be done when you have space limitations in a living area - I love it. And my third and final book is this Andy Howell book, Art, Skateboarding, & Life. Beautiful book, first of all…and comes with 2 DVD’s. One of those books you just pick up and sit around with for a few hours thumbing through, reading, and just enjoying…by the end of it you wanna go get a notebook and doodle…I miss sitting in junior high and high school and drawing on all my notebooks - that’s what this book reminds me of. You know? I leave you with this awesome book I found at a comic book store. Wolvertoons.

Lexus Hybrid & those rich ‘earthy’ people!

See…was it really that hard?! Maybe it was. Thing is, I don’t like Lexus, never really had. Heritage? Give them some time, because they are certainly moving in the right direction. But anyways, this was my whole thing – just make a hybrid out of one of your EXISTING models! That’s it. Seriously. An Audi A4, one of the Saabs, or a Jetta as a hybrid would sell crazy…look at all their Frisbee playing, mountain bike rack having, super-strappy back packs, hackey sacks, etc…you know the type! The earthy rich-folk type. You know they want to have a hybrid. If anything it just makes them think they look even more shrewd, you know? Use those people to get this whole new direction going! Or am I the only one who is seeing this!? Seriously use the ‘campy’ people…they always have money, or front like they do. And you thought a dude spending too much on rims was bad? They spend their last on some crazy carbon fiber bike…wearing all sorts of jersey’s with logos all over them when they ride. Ha. I’m telling you that’s the demographic to market hybrids too. This post kind of lost its direction about halfway thru. Thank you for doing this Lexus, the ball is rolling.

Brazil football, what a global brand!

A World Cup post is definitely in order. Did you see how Ghana handled the Czech Republic? Having soccer take over my life growing up has led to a deep appreciation for the sport. Even with the decent number of Americans playing soccer our culture can’t really understand how football rules the globe. Now is the time to get hip. What about Nikes branding approach to the world’s biggest sporting event? The Joga Bonito or “play beautiful” campaign which has been bubbling for the past year leading up to the Cup has been superb. It’s no coincidence that Brazil is the focal point, and from a branding standpoint I find it very interesting. Brazil has a plethora of superstars on their national team, but it’s their intangible style of play that Nike is getting more bang for their buck. It’s like watching them play streetball in the NBA Finals, except they are playing by all the rules. In a world dominated by patriotic love for football, the style of play that the Brazilians posses equates to trillions of fair-weather fans and the nicest of Nike productions. The Ping Pong video near the bottom is a must see. Good thing I can’t rap, otherwise I would try to using Ronaldinho in some sort of punchline.

Chicago Weekend…

Just got back into GR like an hour ago. I hadn’t been back downtown Chicago in months, close to a year it felt. Felt good to get back into it…spend some time with my father and run around the city a bit. I forget the culture that Chicago has. Francis the cab driver, the whole tourist thing on Michigan Ave, the North side a bit, the South side for sure, Puerto Rican Day Parade, the cool cats at Kozy’s Cycles, and man…Millennium Park. It was seriously about 95 degrees and beating sun on Saturday afternoon. So we rolled the cooler from the garage on Wabash and Monroe to the park…9,000 little kids running around in the water, including my wild little nephew. I was even out in the water with the rolled-up, clam-digger style jeans cooling off a bit. I just loved watching all the kids/people do their thing at such a beautiful ‘installation’ right in the middle of the city, a perfect downtown summer day vibe. It’s so weird, cause I can’t even remember what was there when I was growing up…right off the Randolph & Michigan stop on the University Park line Metra…we used to take that all the time. Ha, I’m rambling over here reminiscing. Anyway, good weekend…summer days for sure. That’s my post.

Man made Icebergs!!!

Being a fan of architecture, you gotta be careful when getting too excited about the fancy renderings you see. When I first saw the renderings for BLUE in the LES I was like"SNAP!”, Tschumi is makin moves, the form is on point. After walking by the construction site last month I couldn’t help thinking the façade was lack luster and lookin’ real suspect, I left uninterested. The glass detailing looks like it could have been done in the 80’s but this is 2006. Anyhow it looks like my faith is restored by this other project I came across. The Iceberg add this to the list of things designed better in Japan. It’s the work of CDI a well rounded Ayoma, Tokyo firm who has adopted the more than just designing buildings approach. Check out their other stuff. The difference between the two projects are the finished product. The latter is real dynamic. The detailing of the glass and the concept are on the same page. Who else needs to learn Japanese?…at least the pictures by Jean Snow are in Engilsh.

Hotels in the Yucatan Peninsula!

Every time I think about beautiful beaches and Caribbean paradise I think of like St. Lucia, Bahamas Out Islands, St. Thomas, St. Kitts, etc…all those islands you know? I always forget about the Mexican side of the Caribbean…should start thinking about it more. Some of these hotels are just nuts. Stylish, amazingly next-level, and pretty cheap in comparison. (1) Basico. I love the design of this place…check the pools/soaking tubs on the roof! (2) Deseo. Another beautifully designed hotel…loving the free-standing tubs in the room. And everything is white. (3) Maroma Resort & Spa. More classic, more relaxed looking. Classic architecture and set on an amazing beach. So yeah, there are bunch of others as well, these were just a few I was into. I love TabletHotels.com. Just searching around is a like a vacation to all the different places…seriously. Very well designed site. That’s it…that’s my post.

Remember the Big Tymers?

I swear I post about stuff like this just cause I can. So like, the 1998-2001 Big Tymers…remember this stuff? You know, tracks like: I Rock Ice, Stuntastic, How Should I Ride, How U Luv That, Sunday Night, Get Your Shine On, I Got That Work, and of course classics like Still Fly. The list goes on. Terrible lyric content, or lack there of. Drum slapped-out beats by Manny (was he ahead of his time?). And then the album covers?! Too much. Looking back…its almost surreal. At least they were different and had a coherent brand image. I mean, I have a penchant for this ignorant ‘rap music’ you know? I can’t lie, I like this stuff when the mood is right. They made true riding music. Something to throw in the deck after you applied the final swipe of Armorall (or if you’re like Juve, Black Magic) to your tires…ha. Maybe that was just me. Don’t you ever wonder what people will think 20-30 years from now when listening to this ‘music’? Seriously, how will it be classified? So yeah…a post dedicated to having 50 cars with automatic starters, private jets with Lorinser packages, Helicopters with leather covers, and living rooms with hot-tubs instead of sofa-sets.