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cassusriff's Blog

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The Remnants of Uncertainty...
A Taste of the Past
07/14/09 at 02:32 AM by cassusriff
I'm not very old, but I was immersed in the 'glory' days of the scene. I had a band in middle school called "Heroes With Helmets" and we rocked our little hearts out playing punk rawk music. I remember going to see MxPx, The Ataris, Further Seems Forever, Good Charlotte before they got big, Blink-182, The Drive-Thru bands... the list goes on.

The highlight of my life as a musician was when we played an event sponsored by my school and got to open for Locale Am. Many people on this site would recognize that the singer in Facing New York was in this band too. They were the class of the East Bay local pop-punk scene. Their first "hit" song was a scrappy pop-punk song about the bearclaw, where they played their first show. My god those were good times. Playing that show, even as the second band in a six band set, was the coolest thing I ever got to do in music.

Anyway, they came up randomly on itunes and I did a quick search for them online and found this video. Enjoy the brilliance and simplicity of the good times.

Tags: Locale Am, past, music, nostalgia, facing new york, east bay, pop punk, memories
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Previous Failed Endevors and Razia's Shadow
06/14/09 at 01:03 AM by cassusriff
It has been a while. I fear that twitter's microblogging has killed the actual blog. That truly is sad to me, as these blogs used to be my soapbox. It was like I was shouting out loud to no one in particular and the occasional listener was always a welcome sign.

I've always tried to take on fun little projects to give myself a recognizable name on the internet, but they have all failed. There was the collaboration with RyanFTW, the video reviews I tried to do, album reviews I could never edit right, the entertainment blogs, and now the Razia's Shadow thing.

To be clear, all of the things I tried to do before Razia's Shadow failed because I had too much on my plate and I didn't have enough dedication to them. My priorities are finishing school, surviving, and spending time with my girlfriend, friends, and famiy when I can. For the last two years I've been doing double time working and going to school. In about a month and a half I will finally be able to just go to school... though even then I'll be taking two years of courses in one year. To clarify:

Right now I have two semester classes (about 15 weeks) that are online and condensed into 6 weeks. I have three chapters of homework EVERY week in both of them. I'm also working full time.

By the end of July, both the classes end and I will likely leave my job (assuming financial aid works itself out). But the first week of August I start four quarter classes (10 weeks) that are condensed to 6 weeks for summer session. Then I have a week off and start fall quarter, then winter quarter, then spring quarter, then graduation which puts me almost exactly a year from now. In that time I'll be taking 75 units.

This is the only way I can get my degree without going too much in debt or taking 6 years. One year off of work, one year of loans, and then I'm done. Hopefully the economy is better and I can find a decent job coming out of college.

Anyway, back to the thing about Razia's Shadow. It isn't my lack of drive this time. In fact, this has everything to do with the others involved. I put this out as a way to raise money for a scholarship. I got the numbers from the venue to see how much it would cost, I got people to help me with set design, I talked to the groups that would help me get this all together, I talked to actors who I wanted to be in it. And truly, I've been ready to get this thing going. Unfortunately, I've had actors being flaky (as they always are), the theatre group taking weeks to get back to my calls and emails, and no one cooperating with anything. Truly, this show could still happen. But the ball isn't in my court anymore. I need actors to respond to me and actually agree to get together. I need the powers that be to sit down and talk with me about marketing strategy and rehearsal logistics. I can only do so much. As anyone could read above, I don't exactly have all the free time in the world, but I'd be able to make this work if people would cooperate. Seems there is no time to try to do something that would be both fun and for a good cause.

Anyway, that's an update on my life and that.
Tags: razia's shadow, performance, frustration, past, life, college, work
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Look Past the Past to the Future
04/18/09 at 07:28 PM by cassusriff
Business is an interesting thing. It is a mix of old tricks and new ideas. An ever-changing medium that one can never get comfortable with.

I'm thinking about this today because the world of journalism is changing so much. With that, the world of business, technology and everything else changes. I see many reactions across generations. Older generations are mostly stubborn, insistent on doing it the way they know how. They don't want to give up what they've grown up with. They write off the new ideas as unnecessary and harken back to 'better' times. This may be true in some aspects. Newspapers, for example, have a timeless quality to them. There is no news medium more historical and prominent throughout history. But that alone should not be a reason to stay stuck in our old ways. If a person has nothing to do with the world of journalism and just prefers to read a newspaper on his lap until the day he or the newspaper industry dies, then no problem.

The problem comes when you have people involved in the business or teaching it continuing to be stubborn. There is only so much history can teach us until we eventually need to rewrite it and make new history. A professor talking about the history of newspapers may be interesting (not to me), but how will it help those students get jobs in a world that will likely be devoid of newspapers in the next decade?

The same goes for business. Why preach the same old processes that don't work? The world of advertising has never been more confusing or exciting. Television commercials aren't as effective as they used to be due to DVR's and short attention spans. Staying power is extremely difficult these days. So instead of spending 3 quarters learning about the history of advertising, maybe make one of those classes into a brainstorm seminar on the future of advertising. After all, those who go to college now are supposed to be the innovators of the future right?

I'm not trying to blast the older generation by any means. In fact, I think the current generation's lack or respect or knowledge on the older generation's accomplishments is nothing short of a travesty. However, the older generation better get with some of the new ways or they will find that they will get flushed out, no matter how innovative and masterful they used to be. There is a time for pride and a time for survival. I don't know how you could survive in the world as it is now without knowing at least the basics of computers.

For that reason, I keep up with all the trends. Call me a sellout, call me a self-involved kid, call me a follower, but for all that I am also someone who won't be out of touch. That's one thing I hope never happens to me. At some point I will have my ways that I prefer (I already do), but everytime I see a new website, new technology, and new ways of doing things, I check them out. Why be stubborn and get left behind? Many will find this hard because they get sentimental attachment to certain ways things work, and I understand that. But I like change. I like seeing the new ways of the world. I see good business as a model that constantly improves on itself, constantly looks for ways to get better, constantly looks at competition and tries to take the good and the bad and improve.

Because honestly... it's just good business.
Tags: thoughts, business, journalism, future, past, history, innovation, technology
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