December 31, 2010

Overdue Music Demo

I mentioned a couple years ago that I was working on a song called "Savior." When I posted that, the lyrics were complete, but I was still working on the music.

Well...I'm still kind of working on the music. I know what direction I want to go, but the middle section I have in mind is a crazy breakdown with some intense drumming and Hendrix chords. Unfortunately, that kind of thing is really hard to write, especially when you can never seem to get around to it.

Anyway, since I'm back in Pittsburgh for a couple weeks and can take some time to jam, I figured I'd record a quick demo of what I have so far. You can hear the beginning of the breakdown at the very end of the track (I kind of played the wrong chord for a couple measures on the left guitar and was too lazy to fix it, but due to the intentional dissonance, it's hard to tell).

Those of you who just slogged through that musical jargon can now check out the demo and leave your thoughts in the comments:

This new embedded Tindeck player is pretty sweet.

Posted by CD at 03:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 31, 2010


I've actually been paying a lot of attention to the news, etc. lately, but haven't had the chance to write about it because there's so much to read. However, I have been working on a new song called "We the People" that was inspired by the Tea Party movement and other events. I already have some lyrics and guitar riffs worked out, and it's probably the fastest and thrashiest song I've ever written.

Because I'm so generous, I'm giving you a sneak preview of the chorus lyrics as they stand now (I'm hoping to improve on them later), as well as a MIDI version of the music I have so far (I can't record guitar at the moment because all but one of my instrument cables broke, and I need at least two for recording). As always, constructive criticism is welcome.

First, the music. This starts off with a double verse (I haven't written an intro yet), then goes into the pre-chorus, then the chorus, then a single verse, pre-chorus, and chorus again:

We the People (sample)

And here's the chorus as it stands now. Like I said, I think it can be better, but I'd like to stay with this idea:

Of, by, and for, the people have spoken
Held down no more, our silence is broken
You can't ignore the beast you've created
Change is in store, and you won't escape it


Posted by CD at 11:14 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

May 12, 2010

More of My Bizarre Thought Process in Action

I'm really not sure how to preface this. Basically, the other day, I was thinking about how the job of most modern politicians is to convince people that they enjoy being financially raped. My mind somehow made the jump from that to Stone Temple Pilots' "Sex Type Thing" (which is about a more literal version of the aforementioned political metaphor), and, thing led to another, and this was the result. For the full experience, listen to the song as you read it, but imagine it in Barack Obama's voice:

Tax Type Thing

I am, I am, I am
I said I wanna bring change to you
I said I'm gonna give hope to you
You wouldn't want me have to fine you too, fine you too

I ain't, I ain't, I ain't
A buyin' into your bags of tea
I'm organizin' the community
You think I care about democracy, democracy?

I know you trust me with your health
I know you want to spread your wealth
I love to talk about myself
I'm O, you know, you know, you know

I am a Dem, a Dem
I'll put your money in the safety net
I said ya shouldn't have achieved success
I said ya shouldn't have achieved success, achieved success

I know just how to run your lives
I know you can't disprove my lies
I'll call you racist if you try
I'm O, you know, you know, you know

Here I come, I come, I come, I come
Here I come, I come, I come

I am, I am, I am
I said I wanna uh...uh...
Uh...I wanna get...
Uh...let me be clear...uh...

The teleprompter, uh...
It isn't, uh...
It's broken, and, uh...uh...
I don't, uh...can someone...

There we go...

Here I come, I come, I come
Here I come, I come, I come
Here I come, I come, I come
Here I come, I come, I come

Here I come, I come, I come
Here I come, I come, I come
Here I come, I come, I come
Here I come, I come, I come

Here I come, I come, I come
Here I come, I come, I come
Here I come, I come, I come
Here I come, I come, I come

Here I come, I come, I come
Here I come, I come, I come
Here I come, I come, I come
Here I come, I come, I come

Uh, I think it's, uh...
I think it's stuck now...
Uh...hang on...



I've also been trying to rework Metallica's "Leper Messiah" as "Obamessiah," but since it's already about a demagogue using religious iconography to fool people into giving him money, I'm really not sure what I could change to make it more appropriate.

Posted by CD at 05:49 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

April 26, 2010

It Shouldn't Be Possible For Music to Be This Good

I've mentioned several times in the past that my favorite band is a woefully underappreciated alternative metal group called Sevendust. I realize that I have a very limited audience, and that most of that audience probably isn't into this style of music anyway, but their new album, Cold Day Memory, is so ridiculously awesome that I feel it would be wrong not to at least give it a plug here.

Seriously, these guys never fail to impress me. Year after year, and album after album, it's as if they take everything I like in music and combine it into something incredibly familiar, yet still new and surprising. If Sevendust didn't exist, and I was asked to describe my idea of the perfect band, I don't think my description would be too far from what they already are.

Regular readers know that I don't have a generally sunny disposition, but when I listened to CDM for the first time, I literally smiled from beginning to end. No exaggeration. The first three songs alone ("Splinter," "Forever," and "Unraveling") are better than what some bands put out in their entire careers. At one point during the bridge of "Unraveling," I actually got chills. This despite the fact that it's the first single and I had heard it a couple of times already.

If you care to give it a listen, here you go (the high point starts around 2:37):

The DVD that comes with the album is solid as well, if only for the part where the bassist decides that they can't be clearly classified as rock, nu-metal, or anything, but that they're "abso-fuckin'-lutely" a country band (his Southern accent makes this actually seem truthful for a second). Good stuff.

Incidentally, I still think I'll end up liking this one slightly less than their third album, Animosity. That's how good these guys are; an album that gave me the experiences described above isn't even their best work.

Again, I know that my limited readership probably isn't interested in this (although if I've changed your mind, welcome to the 7D family), but hopefully someone will come here from Google or something and discover what more people should know about.

I think I'll stop now before this gets too obsessive. Also, I realized while writing this post that I use way too many adverbs.


Another CDM highlight is "Better Place:"

The riff at 0:29...unfuckingreal.

Posted by CD at 09:05 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 30, 2010

Music News

No, seriously, I'm retired from blogging. This post isn't really here. Honest.


Anyway, I'm kind of busy right now, but I thought it would be fun to point out that recent events have inspired me to start writing some new lyrics and music. I've given it the working title of "It Doesn't Matter What This Song Says (You'll Call It Racist Anyway)." Anyone want to guess what topic it addresses?

So, yeah. It seems that anger is my muse.

Posted by CD at 10:44 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 17, 2009

Name That iTune

It's been a really long time since I did this, but since comments seem to be somewhat functional again (I'm not sure why), I figured I'd give it a shot.

Same rules as always: I post the first four lines of ten randomly selected songs from my constantly expanding iTunes playlist, and you name the song and the band if you know them. A single band can have any number of songs, and there will be no clues because I don't feel like coming up with any. Answers from last time are in the extended entry, if anyone even remembers.

Let's get started:

Spineless from the start
Sucked into the part
Circus comes to town
You play the lead clown

One more kiss could be the best thing
One more lie could be the worst
And all these thoughts are never resting
And you're not something I deserve

Life is changing
I can't go on without you
Rearranging, I will be strong
I'll stand by you

This dark room
Another cigarette
The carpet strewn
I'm getting sick of it

It's all I want
It's all I needed
Now it's through
It all comes back to you

Bleeding soul, I feel I'm dying
I persist, I persist
I think I'm hiding
I've lost my soul, no happiness

My personal quest is to make your life hell
Yes dear friend, listen up well
The power I've given
I can take as well

Felt like the earth was alive, felt like a life worth living
Too bad that knife in my back was so heavy
And now the bitch is gone, but still the knife remains
So glad she's packed and gone already

Fruit on the vine
You've got yours, and I've got mine
Meat on your bones
They won't know, they won't know

Pride you took, pride you feel
Pride that you felt when you'd kneel
Not the word, not the love
Not what you thought from above

Last edition's answers:

1. "Headtrip" by Sevendust (again, it's a pretty good bet that at least one song every time will be by this band)

2. "I Walk Alone" by Iced Earth

3. "Falling Apart" by TRUSTcompany

4. "My Hero" by Foo Fighters

5. "This Dying Soul" by Dream Theater

6. "Damn" by Matchbox Twenty

7. "Flame" by The Clarks

8. "Licking Cream" by Sevendust (see what I mean?)

9. "Soul" by Matchbox Twenty

10. "You'll Find Out" by Oleander

11. "Wasting My Time" by Default

Posted by CD at 01:34 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

February 17, 2009

Join the Creative Process

I know that most of you ignore my music posts, but this one is pretty quick and is related to the political stuff I've been writing lately, so you may be interested.

Anyway, as one of the few right-leaning musicians in the alternative metal genre, I feel it's my duty to inject some ideological diversity into the mix, as I did with the Suspended Agitation stuff, etc.

To this end, I've begun writing what will most likely be the first of many songs protesting the Obama presidency. It's called "Keep the Change," and it's going to focus mainly on his socialist leanings and his creepy cult of personality. It's still in the early stages, but I had a fun idea for the intro that I had to test immediately before I forgot it.

Basically, I took a bunch of voice samples pertaining to The One and his rise to the presidency and mixed them together with some effected drums and synth effects in GarageBand (it's admittedly a tribute to Dream Theater's "The Great Debate"), then added some MIDI riffs and drums that I wrote in TuxGuitar.

This is where you come in. I'm posting an MP3 of what I have so far, and I'd appreciate a bit of feedback on how effective it is, how much you can understand the sound bytes, etc.

In addition, there's a bit of a musical "Easter egg" between the samples and the couple of original riffs I've written, but you'll have to listen to find out what it is! Feedback on that would be great as well, if you recognize it. I think it's both funny and appropriate.

Once again, if you have two minutes, check this out. I'm still trying to perfect it, and I want to make sure that it doesn't come across as being somehow pro-Obama:

Click here to download KTC (sample).mp3

So, does it work? Did you laugh at the musical allusion? Let me know what you think. Also, as soon as I have lyrics written, I'll post them as well.

Finally, if you just plain don't care about my music, feel free to comment on that fact so I stop wasting my time writing these posts. I realize that people do read SIT, after all, and I want to accomodate my audience at least a little.

Posted by CD at 03:42 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 11, 2009

Free Music

It's been a long, long, long time since I posted any of my music, so here's some new material. I have a lot more if anyone is actually interested, but since I don't know if anyone actually is interested, I'll leave it at this for now.

I'm going to link to all three files right now so you don't have to wade through a sea of verbosity to find them, but I suggest checking out the backstory in the extended entry just so you know what the hell you're listening to:


Anyway, the first song here is a fun little experiment I've been conducting over the past few days in between getting settled into my apartment and trying to restart my job search.

A few important details: This song was done entirely with GarageBand instruments, but each and every note/beat is from my brain, not a pre-made loop. To put it another way, I didn't play it, but I did write it. I composed the whole thing in TuxGuitar, exported it as a MIDI file, imported the MIDI into GarageBand, tweaked the instruments, reverb, etc., then exported it to iTunes as an AIFF file, converted it to MP3, and uploaded it to the Internet.

...The above paragraph could probably be part of a longer answer to the question of why I've decided to be an editor instead of a writer or a musician.


The song itself, which I decided to call "Entropy" because it was written while the rest of my life was in a state of disorder, was partially inspired by Dream Theater's epic Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence. I wanted to try something in a bit more of a prog vein, but I don't have the resources or the talent to record what I had in mind with real instruments, so I took advantage of technology.

"Entropy" is an instrumental that mixes my usual heavy rock style with some more unconventional stuff. For example, it switches between three different time signatures (try to identify all of them!). Also, it contains all the following instruments, or at least digital approximations of them:

- Electric guitar
- Bass guitar
- Piano
- Drum set
- Timpani
- Triangle
- Shaker
- Vibraslap
- Congas
- Orchestral strings

Incidentally, I have at least minimal experience playing everything in that list except the last one. Have I mentioned that I practically lived in the band room in high school?

So, check that out and see what you think. I feel like this song may have a different kind of appeal than my usual "METAL METAL GRUNGE METAL GRUNGE GRUNGE METAL RAAAAWRRR!!!" approach.

Next up are two related songs in my more traditional metal genre. I mentioned a while back that I was trying to write a concept album based on The Shadow Out of Time, my favorite H.P. Lovecraft story. Since then, I've managed to complete two songs, so it's still a work in progress, but you can listen to what I have so far.

I recorded both of these by playing my guitar through my trusty PODxt (mostly using the Triple Rectifier model) over GarageBand drums and bass (using the same TuxGuitar-MIDI-GarageBand method as "Entropy"). "Shadows," the opening instrumental, was recorded in GarageBand, and "Amnesia," based on Chapter 1, was recorded in my Tascam Digital Portastudio, so it sounds a bit more professional. Also, "Amnesia" has lyrics, which you can check out below if you really care. As always, feedback on any of this stuff is both welcome and encouraged.

My life interrupted
My routine disrupted
Wondering what did
I do to deserve this?

My memory corrupted
I can't reconstruct it
I'm controlled by something
With another purpose

Lost in confusion
Is this an illusion?
Or did an inhuman
Form take me over?

I've seen it in nightmares
My mind travelled somewhere
It seems so familiar
Yet it fills me with horror

Assaulted by visions
I changed in an instant
Remaining insistent
That I did not know myself

But some were convinced
That there was someone else hidden
And watching from within
My body now a shell

I sought arcane knowledge
Though I cannot recall it
Can't see past the wall that
Divides me and those years

Mysterious sojourns
So many were concerned
But one day I returned
And the stranger disappeared

I cannot bear
To face the thought
I've been somewhere
That time forgot
But I must know
I'll find the truth
If this life was my own
There must be proof

It seems I was a puppet
For five years of my life
My friends were frightened of it
I lost my children and my wife

My speech aroused suspicion
That I was not of this Earth
A lurking terror had arisen
From my unexplained rebirth

My pursuit of education
Was relentless and precise
I sought forbidden consultations
And built a strange device

Today I have no memory
Of what my search revealed
But still, the visions call me
I have to know what's real

I cannot bear
To face the thought
I've been somewhere
That time forgot
But I must know
I'll find the truth
If this life was my own
There must be proof

Posted by CD at 11:55 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 15, 2008

Ranting In Song Form

It's been a while since I wrote a complete political song, but there's a topic I've wanted to explore for a long, long time, and certain attitudes/events related to the recent election inspired me to finally give it a shot.

My philosophy is that if I have to tell you what my songs are about, I haven't done a good enough job writing them, so here are the lyrics, and you can see for yourself if the theme is evident:


So many times I've tried
To open up your eyes
To all the forces that were keeping you from the top
I made it easier
Removed the barriers
Instead of thanking me, you tell me I need to stop

How dare you think for yourself
You can't get by without my help
All I want is to run your life
But turn your back, and you'll feel my knife


I held your hand so long
But now your shield is gone
I'll prove to you that you are nothing without my support
You would not play my game
So I'll destroy your name
I'll cast you out, turn friends against you; all's fair in war

Can't you see your mind is flawed?
You're not authentic, you're a fraud
Only those who think like me
Are worthy of my empathy


I just wanted to be your white knight
But you took away my spotlight
What's the point of my good deeds
If I can't be a celebrity?

You liar, you faker
You fucking self-hater
You'll fail sooner or later
Like the other selfish traitors


Don't try to pull yourself up
I'll drag you back down
Poison the water and hold you under 'til you drown
Your success doesn't count
Unless it comes through me
I am your savior
Submit to me
I'll set you free

What do you think? I just finished writing this about 20 minutes ago, so I'm open to suggestions.

Posted by CD at 02:38 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 24, 2008

Name That iTune

Hopefully, I won't have to keep throwing these up every week (I'm slowly making some progress on the apartment/job front), but they're still kind of fun, so here we go again.

I'm trying another new strategy this week: I'm not going to limit each band to one song. Any band can appear any number of times, and to help you out, I will tell you which songs are by the same band, although I obviously won't tell you what band it is. Check the extended entry for this, along with last week's answers.

This week's mystery lyrics:

Forever after
You killed my laughter
All I've done
Doesn't matter

I am your inner fear
Your kind refuse to hear
I am the light, I am the way
But the fallacies of man are easy to embrace

I slipped away, further from you
Trying to find what is real
You’re somebody else that I never knew
And someone that I can’t feel

Too alarming now to talk about
Take your pictures down and shake it out
Truth or consequence, say it aloud
Use that evidence, race it around

Hello, mirror, so glad to see you my friend
It's been a while
Searching, fearless, where do I begin to heal
This wound of self-denial?

This old world, well
Don't it make you wanna think damn?
This cold girl, well
Don't she make you wanna scream damn?

The ceiling's low, the walls are thin
The little stars upon your skin
I cannot sleep, I'm wound too tight
The morning comes and I feel all right

Corrupt my hope
In joyous hell
Between the lines
Lick cream that smells

Hang out my window
And over your head
Stare at your feelings
To see where they end

Even if you turn away
Sweep it all aside under the rug
Nothing ventured, nothing gained
But your problems still remain

Because I'm bored, here's a bonus song (it's not a particularly difficult one either, in my opinion):

I don't want to see you waiting
I've already gone too far away
I still can't keep the day from ending
No more messed up reasons for me to stay

Clues for this week (these will probably just confuse you, but I'll still give partial credit for figuring out anything from the song's title to the band's name):

- #1 and #8 are by the same band, and they're actually from the same album.

- #6 and #9 are by the same band.

- #1, #2, #4, #5, #7, #8, and #10 are all by bands that appeared in the last edition (I really have more music in my collection than it seems, but I leave out the stuff that nobody would recognize).

- Song #2 has the same title as one of last week's songs. In addition...

- The band that wrote the aforementioned song from last week also wrote this week's song #10.

- I posted a cover of song #4 in early 2006.

- The title of song #6 is in the lyrics.

- The title of song #8, except for the suffix of one word, is in the lyrics.

Good luck!

Answers to last edition:

1. "Suffer" by Staind

2. "Point to Prove" by Theory of a Deadman

3. "I Walk Alone" by Oleander

4. "Overdrive" by Foo Fighters

5. "Retribution Through the Ages" by Iced Earth

6. "My Ruin" by Sevendust (Huge hint: It's a pretty good bet that this band will appear at least once in every edition, since they're one of my favorites)

7. "One" by Metallica (solved by The Mulatto Maker)

8. "Constant Motion" by Dream Theater

9. "Anymore" by The Clarks

10. "Side of a Bullet" by Nickelback

Posted by CD at 07:38 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 16, 2008

Name That iTune

Something tells me that this game would be more successful if I had more readers who listened to the same kind of music I do, but if nothing else, it's an opportunity for me to listen to some stuff that I may have forgotten about and give publicity to my favorite bands, so...let's get to it.

Same rules as always, and last week's answers are in the extended entry. Also, no band clues this week, because there are a lot of repeats and I'm running out of ideas. #1 and #2 are the only songs by bands I haven't written hints for, so I guess that might narrow it down.

Anyway, here are this week's lyrics. Quite a few of these songs are really fun to listen to, but that probably doesn't matter to anyone but me:

The more you see, the more you do
The television's feeding you
With what you want to hear
Anger and fear, because you suffer

The country's gone to hell
But believe me, I didn't do it
You left me all alone
And now they call me stupid

I can't take this anymore, and I'm almost pretty sure
I've been here before
I can't take this any longer, I won't heal until I'm stronger
Strong enough to not be afraid

Coming down, I'm coming round
This time I think I'm waking up
Give me loud to drown it out
Before the world starts breaking up

Time, thousands of years pass by
But with the ancient rites intact
Man, mankind has multiplied
Spreading worldwide as planned

Inside my shadow, I can hear you
Am I near you?
Inside my shadow, I can smell you
Can I tell you?

I can't remember anything
Can't tell if this is true or dream
Deep down inside I feel the scream
This terrible silence stops me

Tunnel vision at blinding speed
Controlling my thoughts, obsessing me
Void of any uncertainty
Throughout my very soul

I gave my love everything
I tied an old glass heart to a ring
But she put it on a shelf
And I found it didn't help anything

Uncle Sam taught him to shoot, maybe a little too well
Finger on the trigger, loaded bullet
He hit the stage so full of rage and let the whole world know it
Six feet away, they heard him say “Oh God, don’t let him pull it”

Answers to last edition:

1. "In Loving Memory" by Alter Bridge

2. "If You're Gone" by Matchbox Twenty (mostly solved by The Mulatto Maker)

3. "Watching Over Me" by Iced Earth

4. "Are You There?" by Oleander

5. "Pig" by Seether

6. "We Don't Have To Look Back Now" by Puddle of Mudd

7. "Xmas Day" by Sevendust

8. "In the Presence of Enemies III: Heretic" by Dream Theater

9. "Citizen/Soldier" by 3 Doors Down (I'd just like to say that I'm proud of my "trio of fallen entrances" clue for this one)

10. "Very Ape" by Nirvana

Posted by CD at 07:57 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 12, 2008

First Impressions of Metallica's New Album


Posted by CD at 05:35 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

September 08, 2008

Name That iTune

Since I still have little else to write about, it's time for another edition of everyone's favorite music guessing game. The rules are the same as before, only this time, I'll be using the shuffle function on my iPod instead of iTunes. I figure maybe I'll get a different mix that way.

As before, answers from last edition and clues for this edition's bands are in the extended entry. Here are the new lyrics (it seemed to get some really depressing stuff this time):

Thanks for all you've done
I've missed you for so long
I can't believe you're gone
You still live in me

I think I've already lost you
I think you're already gone
I think I'm finally scared now
You think I'm weak, I think you're wrong

I had a friend many years ago
One tragic night he died
The saddest time of my life
For weeks and weeks I cried

When I feel too far away from where I want to be
There's nothing left for me
And when I feel too close to breathe, like a baby cutting teeth
In you I find relief

Have you ever wanted to die
When you were without your friends?
Haven't you said goodbye
To the one on who your life depends?

I'm so much like you
Restless and reckless
I need a clue
So show me a sign

One step in the dark
Touch her hand just to see if she's all alone again
Still she hasn't seen sun
But I promise you now, when she wakes there will be none

Welcome, tired pilgrim, into the circle
We have been waiting
Everyone's gathered for your arrival
All the believers

Beyond the boundaries of your city's lights
Stand the heroes waiting for your cries
So many times you did not bring this on yourself
When that moment finally comes, I'll be there to help

I am buried up to my neck in
Contradictionary flies
I take pride as the king of illiterature
I'm very ape and very nice

Answers to last edition:

1. "Ain't Talkin' 'bout Love" by Van Halen (I'm surprised nobody got this; I actually posted a short cover of this song a couple years ago)

2. "Times Like These" by Foo Fighters

3. "If Memory Serves" by The Clarks (a great Pittsburgh band that everyone should check out if they haven't already)

4. "Curb" by Nickelback (Haven't heard of this song? Then you may be one of many people who seem to have the impression that Silver Side Up was Nickelback's debut album)

5. "Bottom" by Puddle of Mudd

6. "Take Away" by Revelation Theory (a.k.a. Rev Theory)

7. "It's Over" by Ditchwater

8. "Break My Fall" by Breaking Benjamin

9. "Desertion" by Sevendust

10. "Phantom Lord" by Metallica

Clues for this edition's bands (these may or may not be repeats from a previous edition):

1. Change a card game.

2. A score of toy cars.

3. Frozen third planet.

4. Poisonous flower.

5. Boiler.

6. Pond of muck.

7. Nitrogen powder.

8. Aspiration cinema.

9. A trio of fallen entrances.

10. One with the universe.

Posted by CD at 06:22 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

September 01, 2008

Name That iTune V (UPDATED!)

Since I don't have a lot to blog about right now other than apartment hunting and trying to avoid being attacked by frightened deer at 5 AM, I'm bringing back this feature.

In case you forgot: I will post the first four lines of ten randomly selected songs from my iTunes library, and your job is to name the song and the band that plays it. Each song is by a different band, no song has appeared in a previous NTi, and I'll make sure to only include bands that someone other than me would have a chance of knowing.

My music library has grown quite a lot in the two years since I last did this, so it should be somewhat interesting. Also, if you care for some reason, answers from the last edition are in the extended entry.

Just for fun, I'll try something new. In the extended entry, I added a clue for each song that may help you name the band that plays it. If you figure out the band but not the song, go ahead and write it in the comments anyway. I want to see how helpful these clues actually are.

Away we go:

I heard the news baby
All about your disease
Yeah, you may have all you want, baby
But I got something you need

I'm a one way motorway
I'm the one that drives away
And follows you back home

I couldn't think of someone
That I'd rather see
I couldn't think of any place
That I'd rather be

Have I gone all too far?
Have I been here before?
If I have, let me know
How it goes

Lift your head up from the clouds
I know that you're shaking, breaking down
How could you leave me, garbage can
Never want to be your understand

Is this what you wanted?
You got what you needed, all that's mine
Take it or leave it
Everything's even but what's left of my life

Oh, how I try
To push my feelings aside
Oh, this will go on
Until I open my eyes and realize it's over

You fought me once, but not again
Let me feel your heavy hand
I will clean your fucking mess
And leave no trace of evidence

Stick it in my face and let me see the look
As I watch the lump slipping right down your throat
I wonder how it feels to know I had you pinned down long ago
I want to know why it went wrong

Sound is ripping through your ears
The deafening sound of metal nears
Your bodies waiting for his whips
The taste of leather on your lips

Answers to last edition:

1. "Shame" by Matchbox Twenty (guessed correctly by Stephen Macklin)

2. "Tolerate" by Staind

3. "Pieces" by Sevendust

4. "Drop to Zero" by TRUSTcompany

5. "Useful Idiot" by Suspended Agitation

6. "Endless Sacrifice" by Dream Theater

7. "Seek and Destroy" by Metallica (guessed correctly by Army NCO Guy, a.k.a. The Mulatto Maker)

8. "Invisible Man" by Theory of a Deadman

9. "Monkey" by Bush (I'm sure Larry would have something to say about this combination)

10. "Not Leavin' Yet" by Nickelback


1. If you've got it bad, you might as well jump right now.

2. WWII term for UFOs.

3. If you're not from Pittsburgh, I'll be surprised if you even know this song (it was never released as a single). If you are from Pittsburgh and you don't at least recognize the band, you've probably never listened to a local radio station.

4. Rhymes with "pickle sack" (I made this one easy because there's no way in hell anyone is going to figure out what song it is).

5. Pool of wet dirt.

6. Speculation about the last book of the Bible.

7. Okay, I cheated a little, because nobody is going to get this. I only knew about this band because they added me as a friend on MySpace a couple years ago, and they recently broke up. Just Google the lyrics if you want to know the answer.

8. Injuring the Steelers' starting quarterback.

9. Lucky speck.

10. Part of this band's name is actually in the posted lyrics.

Hope these help!

Posted by CD at 03:40 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

July 10, 2007

Another Music-Related Post

Yep, I'm still alive, and still in the process of figuring out how I'm going to get a job with no previous experience. I'll probably be living in NYC within the next couple months. Holy crap.

Anyway, on to the subject of the post. I recently bought Systematic Chaos, the new album from Dream Theater, and I have to say, it's fucking awesome. Their last album was a little underwhelming, but they've pretty much redeemed themselves now. If you're a fan of metal and long, frighteningly complex instrumental passages (I seriously almost cried during one of the guitar solos in "In the Presence of Enemies Part I" when I realized the amount of practice it would take for me to even begin to imitate it), I highly suggest checking it out.

This post, however, is more to ensure that I can claim credit for a couple discoveries I've made about the album. Guitarist John Petrucci has admitted that he wrote all his lyrics on SC from a fictional viewpoint, and it seems that this means he decided to adapt various literary sources into songs.

For example, this site found that "In the Presence of Enemies" is based on a Korean comic book called "Priest." The song takes various snippets of dialogue from the comic, along with some original lines, in order to fit the tale into 25 minutes of pure awesome.

Based on this, I did a bit of research to see if Petrucci used this strategy for any other songs, and I found that he most definitely did.

"The Dark Eternal Night," for example, is clearly based on Nyarlathotep by H.P. Lovecraft. A few other people on various websites have suggested this, but to my knowledge, nobody has done a direct comparison between the story and the song. I'm going to do that now. If you don't care, don't bother going to the extended entry, but I feel the need to confirm that I was the first person on the entire Internet to do this. Also, if you join me in the second half of the post, I'll reveal my discovery of the inspiration behind another song from the album! Let's begin...

"The Dark Eternal Night" begins as follows:

No one dared to
Speak of the terrible danger
The hideous ancient warnings
Forged in the void of night

While "Nyarlathotep" opens with these lines:

I do not recall distinctly when it began, but it was months ago. The general tension was horrible. To a season of political and social upheaval was added a strange and brooding apprehension of hideous physical danger; a danger widespread and all-embracing, such a danger as may be imagined only in the most terrible phantasms of the night. I recall that the people went about with pale and worried faces, and whispered warnings and prophecies which no one dared consciously repeat or acknowledge to himself that he had heard

Coincidence? Let's look at the next lines of the song:

He is risen up
Out of the blackness
The last of the prophets
A sickening monstrous sight

Compare that to some more lines from the Lovecraft story (note the parts I've bolded):

He said he had risen up out of the blackness of twenty-seven centuries, and that he had heard messages from places not on this planet. Into the lands of civilisation came Nyarlathotep, swarthy, slender, and sinister...
...the crawling chaos...

That's odd, isn't it? Continuing with the song:

Through the stifling heat
Underneath the pale green moon
I burned with a thirst
To seek things not yet seen
Climbing endless stairs
Leading to the choking room
Eager to explore
His most shocking mysteries

Any parallels in the story? Let's find out:

...through the stifling night and up the endless stairs into the choking room
I believe we felt something coming down from the greenish moon...
...I burned with eagerness to explore his uttermost mysteries. My friend said they were horrible and impressive beyond my most fevered imaginings; and what was thrown on a screen in the darkened room prophesied things none but Nyarlathotep dared prophesy, and in the sputter of his sparks there was taken from men that which had never been taken before yet which shewed only in the eyes. And I heard it hinted abroad that those who knew Nyarlathotep looked on sights which others saw not.

Hmm. Fascinating. Let's continue with the song:

Drifting beyond all time
Out of a churning sky
Drawn to the beckoning light
Of the dark eternal night

The Lovecraft story contains references to:

...unlighted chambers beyond Time...

It gets more interesting now. Continuing with the song:

Black forces
Rage in the vortex
Waves of destruction
The echo of the universe

Compare that to this line from the story:

And I saw the world battling against blackness; against the waves of destruction from ultimate space; whirling, churning, struggling around the dimming, cooling sun.

Now we get to the really fun part:

I am the last
Born of the blood of the pharaohs
The ultimate god of a rotting creation
Sent to unleash this curse

Let's see what Lovecraft has to say:

I am the last...
A sickened, sensitive shadow writhing in hands that are not hands, and whirled blindly past ghastly midnights of rotting creation...
And it was then that Nyarlathotep came out of Egypt. Who he was, none could tell, but he was of the old native blood and looked like a Pharaoh.

The song continues with:

Restless crowds draw near
Nameless hooded forms appear
Amidst falling ruins
Grotesque creatures battle
Shadowed on a screen
Yellow evil faces leer
Vacant monuments
Corpses of dead worlds left behind

While the Lovecraft story contains these lines:

It was in the hot autumn that I went through the night with the restless crowds to see Nyarlathotep...And shadowed on a screen, I saw hooded forms amidst ruins, and yellow evil faces peering from behind fallen monuments.

And later...

...corpses of dead worlds...

Shit, son!

It's basically just choruses after that, but there you have it. John Petrucci is a Lovecraft fan, which just makes him that much cooler. I'm actually in the very early stages of attempting a suite/concept album based on The Shadow Out of Time (I just learned how to play pinch harmonics on guitar, and I want to use them to represent the screaming/whistling of the flying polyps) so I can relate to this kind of work.

Moving on...

Another song on the album written by Petrucci is called "Forsaken." Incidentally, this song has some of the best riffs ever, and it actually inspired me to learn the aforementioned pinch harmonics, but that's not what I'm concerned with at the moment...

According to Petrucci, the song is about someone who is visited in the night by a vampiress and taken away on a mystical journey while unknowingly getting his blood sucked. I decided to investigate any possible inspiration, and surprisingly, by Googling a few key lyrics, I was able to find a story by Ivan Turgenev called Phantoms that has pretty much the same plot and is almost certainly the source of the song. Don't believe me? Let's do another comparison...

The song begins as follows:

For a while I thought I fell asleep
Lying motionless inside a dream

While the Turgenev story contains these lines:

After a little while I fell asleep—or I thought I fell asleep. I had an extraordinary dream.

Weird, isn't it? "Forsaken" continues with these lines:

Then rising suddenly
I felt a chilling breath upon me
She softly whispered in my ear

While "Phantoms" contains the following:

...suddenly I gave an involuntary shudder: there was a chilly breath upon me. And then I was not lying down, but sitting up in my bed...
All at once I felt that some one had tight hold of me from behind, and was whispering in my very ear...

And now, the chorus of the song, which pretty much eliminates all doubt as to the relationship between these two pieces of writing:

I have come for you tonight
Look in my eyes and take my hand
Give yourself up to me

A passage from the Turgenev story seems familiar after this:

‘Give yourself up to me, ‘was whispered me again in reply.

‘Give myself up to you! But you are a phantom; you have no body even.’ A strange animation came upon me. ‘What are you—smoke, air, vapour? Give myself up to you! Answer me first, Who are you? Have you lived upon the earth? Whence have you come?’

‘Give yourself up to me. I will do you no harm. Only say two words: “Take me.”’

Pretty interesting, isn't it? The song continues:

I waited faithfully
For night to fall again
Trying to silence the fear within me

Any parallels in Turgenev's story? Let's see:

The day passed somehow. I tried, I remember, to read, to work ... everything was a failure. The night came. My heart was throbbing within me, as though it expected something. I lay down, and turned with my face to the wall.

Seems like the main character is waiting for night to fall again while trying to silence the fear within him, doesn't it? Moving on in the lyrics:

Out of an ivory mist
I felt a stinging kiss
And saw a crimson stain on her lips

Compare that to these lines from the story:

Her face turned and moved towards my face.... I felt on my lips a strange sensation, like the faintest prick of a soft and delicate sting...
Her eyes were closed, and on her tightly shut lips stood a fleck of crimson stain.

And there's more. Moving on again in the lyrics:

I have to know your name
Where have I seen your face before
My dear one don't you be afraid

And from the story:

What is your name, or, at least, what was it?
‘Don’t be afraid,’ said Alice, ‘don’t be afraid, my dear one!’

Fun stuff. More of the lyrics:

Take me far away
Close your eyes
And hold your breath
To the ends of the earth

Let's see if the story is similar:

‘I am to blame, I take back my word. Take me away, Alice, I beseech you.
‘Very well; only shut your eyes and hold your breath.’
Let us fly till dawn, that is all. I can bear you away wherever you fancy—to the ends of the earth. Give yourself up to me! Say only: “Take me!”’

‘Well ... take me!’

Yeah...I don't think I need to do any more work here. It's obvious that this song was inspired by this story, which kind of makes it less impressive from an originality angle, but more impressive from the perspective that it really captures the feeling of the story in both the music and the words.

The only other song on the album by Petrucci is "The Ministry of Lost Souls," and I haven't been able to figure out whether he based that on anything, but I'll be sure to mention it if something comes up.

I can't believe I just spent so much time on something nobody is going to read. No wonder I don't have a job yet...

Posted by CD at 01:36 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 26, 2007

Rough Recordings of the Day

I promise I'll start writing regularly again as soon as my life stops being so uneventful. Until then, here's some more music stuff.

I mentioned in the last post that I'm trying to learn some classic Metallica songs in order to improve my guitar skills. To give you an idea of my progress, I threw together a quick sample of the parts of "Fade to Black" that I'm working on. These also demonstrate the MIDI drum technique I mentioned before.

Incidentally, I had to reduce the quality of these a bit in order to upload them, but it's not too noticeable.

The first sample is the intro and pre-verse. The clean guitar is the PODxt Line 6 Piezacoustic model with analog chorus, and the lead guitar is the Marshall JCM-2000 model with analog chorus and Tube Screamer. Everything else is computer-generated.

I'm pretty proud of this one. I messed up a little in the middle of the solo (I recorded it about a dozen times, and this was the best take), but considering I learned it less than 24 hours ago, that's not a huge deal:

FTB intro

The second sample is the last part of the verse and one chorus. I used the Marshall JMP-1 amp model and the Marshall 4x12 with Celestion Vintage 30s cabinet model for the distorted guitars. Other than the obvious differences in technique, I think it sounds really close to the guitar tone of the original song. Check it out:

FTB verse & chorus

I'm also working on "Leper Messiah" and "...And Justice for All" (which is really, really, really fucking hard to play), and I have rough recordings of some of that stuff, but I'll leave those out for now.

Posted by CD at 04:55 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 16, 2007

Lounge Pirate Comes Alive

This is the third version of this song, but it's something I've wanted to do for a while.

Let me back up. As you may have guessed, I'm home for spring break. That means I have access to my drumset and my dad's recording equipment. I decided to take advantage of this by recording the first full version of Lounge Pirate (I consider this my best song, so what better choice for an update?).

I started by laying down two tracks of drums using professional-quality microphones and a Tascam portable studio. I fucked up the placement a little and lost some of the snare, but it still sounds better than GarageBand loops. Also, this was the first time I played drums since November, so I couldn't do as much cool stuff as I'd be capable of with more warmup time, but I think it sounds pretty good.

I then recorded guitar and bass directly into the Tascam. I had to use all 6 remaining tracks, so it took a while. Due to the aforementioned mic placement issues, getting a good balance was a little difficult, but everything seems to come through if you adjust the volume right. Worth noting is the fact that I used this as an opportunity to test the "Criminal" PODxt amp (based on a Peavey 5150) on the rhythm guitar tracks. It sounds a little spongier than I expected, but it serves its purpose.

I won't go into the other details; Just check out the recording:

Lounge Pirate Live

As usual, comments are encouraged.

Also, I recorded the drums from "Master of Puppets" (or at least my rendition of them, since I don't feel like emulating Lars Ulrich precisely in any way), and as soon as I can actually play through that song on guitar, I'll try to get a cover made. I'm not sure how I could post it, though...

Posted by CD at 03:14 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 10, 2007

Weekend Guitar Recording

I seem to no longer be sick, so I might actually blog next week. Until then, here's another song.

Remember Lounge Pirate? I re-recorded it with the Les Paul and sped it up a bit. Check this out:

Lounge Pirate 2

For those who may actually care, production specifics are in the extended entry:

- Clean lead guitar = Roland JC-120 model ("Jazz Clean") with some type of chorus effect, and the Auto Wah effect in the verses.

- Distorted rhythm guitars = 2 tracks of the Bogner Uberschall model ("Bomber Uber") and 2 tracks of the Mesa Boogie Triple Rectifier model ("Diamond Plate"), all played with the bridge pickup.

- Clean rhythm guitars = Cornford mk50h model ("Connor 50"), with Phaser effect in the bridge before the final chorus.

- Distorted lead guitar = Marshall JCM-2000 model ("Brit J-2000") with Conductor wah effect in the solo and Tube Screamer stompbox throughout the song.

Posted by CD at 09:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 04, 2007

Overdue Awesome Guitar Recordings

All right, like I always say, I know there doesn't seem to be a lot of interest in the songs I post, but I really encourage you to check these out, as they have at least three things going for them:

1. They're full-length, unlike a lot of stuff I've posted recently.
2. They're not covers.
3. The production is the best of any recordings I've done since I started playing guitar.

With that said, on to the backstory/files.

Over the break, I mentioned that I was planning to do some better recordings that included live drums. That didn't happen, but it's because I chose to put my epic song on hold to work on another project.

I've mentioned before that my mom teaches 6th grade. One of her students this year considers herself something of a lyricist, and I volunteered (at their suggestion, but still) to write music to go with a few of these lyrics. There were about 20 songs to choose from, and I ended up picking 3 that stood out and writing guitars and drum loops.

I was pretty much given a choice of what style to go with, but I did make these specifically for the girl who wrote them, and I was told that she likes Evanescence, so I tried to give them a darker vibe than some of the stuff I write on my own. I've been told she's happy with them, so I guess that's good enough.

Anyway, that's pretty much all the background you need to know. I won't post the lyrics since I don't have permission, but as the writer of the music, I can post that. I'm very proud of these, as I think they demonstrate both the progress I've made on guitar over the last year and the awesome power of the Epiphone Les Paul and PODxt. Here they are (for those who don't like reading, just click on the links, but I really like explaining the process behind my work, so...yeah):

1. Revenge of the Derived (Link)

The main riff of this song came to me almost immediately upon reading the verse lyrics, and the rest pretty much wrote itself. It starts off slow and quiet, then kicks in at full power after about 30 seconds. It has kind of a Sevendust feel to it. Be sure to listen after the final chord for the ridiculous Les Paul sustain.

Production info:

- Rhythm guitars = Dual Rectifier amp model; 2 tracks of neck pickup and 2 tracks of bridge pickup.
- Clean guitars = I honestly don't remember the model, but I used the Phaser modulation effect, and that's what's important because it sounds really cool.

2. Open Arms (Link)

This song has more of a Creed-ish feel to it. I also show off my mediocre but slowly improving lead skills with a solo inspired by the chorus lyrics. Full disclosure: I kind of ripped off part of the main riff from "After the Rain" by Revelation Theory, but I changed the chord and added a lead lick, so it's not really that big a deal. Finally, I tuned down to drop-Db for this. Just thought I'd mention it.

Production info:

- Rhythm guitars = Dual Rectifier again, this time with reduced mids and more room/reverb. The lead in the intro is also the Dual Rectifier with the Expo Flange modulation effect.
- Clean guitar = Fender Twin amp model.
- Lead guitar = Marshall JCM-2000 amp model with Tube Screamer stompbox.
- Bass guitar = The crappy bass that my dad "borrowed" from work, probably played through the Fender Bassman amp model.

3. Break (Link)

This is, without a doubt, the heaviest song I've ever recorded. It's an aggressive, up-tempo riff rocker in drop-C tuning, and I'm very happy with the way it turned out. The lyrics seemed pretty angry (I think they're about the girl's parents getting drunk and fighting or something), and I tried to make the music match that.

Production info:

- Rhythm guitars = Dual Rectifier yet again, but using the same preset as RotD and cranked up a bit in the mix.
- Clean guitar = Vox AC-30 amp model (I think) with opto tremolo effect.
- Lead guitar = Marshall JCM-2000 amp with Tube Screamer effect.

That's it. Seriously, I'd really appreciate some feedback on this stuff. These actually sound good now that I have a real guitar to work with.

Posted by CD at 12:04 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 29, 2006

Another LP Demonstration

This guitar kicks incredible amounts of ass

I was feeling inspired last night, so I decided to do some experimenting. You may remember a song I've posted in a couple different versions called "Lost and Found." Well, over the summer, I attempted to use a cheap mic and the PODxt running into my Powerbook as a recording setup (the same thing I did for the Suspended Agitation demos I posted in July) for some drum tracks, one of which was LAF.

I still have the recording on my computer, and it's half-decent, so I added guitar to it, and the result is a pretty close approximation of this song as it originally sounded in my head (I wrote it when I was still in high school and all I could play was drumset), although it's a bit faster than the other versions.

For the guitars, I used the "Master of Puppet" preset in the PODxt, since I didn't feel like making my own. It's a variation of the Line 6 Spinal Puppet amp model that's supposed to sound like mid-80s Metallica, but it worked pretty well for the grunge-metal style in this piece. I only used two rhythm tracks as opposed to the four I always recorded with the Fender, and it still sounds thicker and more realistic. The clean track is my custom Class A-30 TB preset (which also sounds better than ever with this guitar), and the lead track is the Marshall JCM 2000 model with a chorus effect. Check this out:

Lost and Found w/Live Drums

I'm still working on my recording techniques (I think the guitars clipped a little), but this is more like what I'll be posting soon. However, I actually have access to professional quality mics for the next two weeks, so any live drum tracks will be even better sounding. And, let's face it, I'm actually good at drums (shameless self-promotion: Listen closely in the verses of this song for my triple ghost notes on the snare drum; I'm rather proud of those), so I'll spend more time on those when I get around to it.

I know not a lot of people listen to these, but I'm going to continue posting them because I have nothing else to do at the moment.

Posted by CD at 02:31 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 27, 2006

Introducing the Newest Addition to My Musical Arsenal

So, like I mentioned in the last post, I now own an Epiphone Les Paul Standard guitar. As you can see from the picture, it looks pretty cool, but what matters is how it sounds, so I put together a quick test recording. This is the main chord progression from "Lounge Pirate" (an original song I posted a couple months ago), featuring five tracks of Les Paul (two rhythm tracks each with the neck pickup and bridge pickup, and one lead track with the neck pickup) using the Marshall JCM 2000 model in the PODxt. I also added a bass guitar track for more low end. Check it out:

LP Test

I think it sounds decent considering the fact that I just threw it together in about an hour and had to compress it a bit to make it small enough to upload (trust me, it sounds even cooler with my custom equalizer settings in iTunes). However, that's not all. I'm home until January 15, which means that for the next couple weeks, I still have access to my drumset and my dad's recording equipment. Expect some higher quality stuff to be posted soon.

Rock on.

Posted by CD at 04:31 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 18, 2006

Guitar Recording of the Day

I have pretty much nothing to do for a month, so I can once again spend more time on music.

Today's recording is another original that I started writing over the summer and then abandoned for a while, but I felt inspired tonight and managed to write enough stuff for a full song. It's a fairly heavy piece (at least as heavy as I could make it with a single-coil guitar) with some interesting effects and a nice groove. One of the main riffs kind of reminds me of Alice In Chains, so for lack of a better name, I called the song "Chain Reaction."

Production crap that nobody cares about:

- Opening guitars = Line 6 Chunk Chunk amp model with Tape Eater modulation effect

- Distorted rhythm guitar = Same as above, but without the effect

- Lead guitar in verse = Connor 50 amp model with auto wah and some sort of delay and modulation effects that I don't remember now

- Bass guitar = Holy crap, an actual bass guitar (played with a 1 mm Dunlop Ultex rounded triangle pick because my fingers are too small to play bass properly)

Anyway, check it out:

Chain Reaction

Posted by CD at 01:13 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 09, 2006

Weekend Guitar Recording

All I have left to do before I can go home is finish a report for anthropology and write about 80 pages of my TRF script. Luckily, I have until next Wednesday to do it.

Until then, here's something I've been working on in my spare time for the last month or so: The middle section of "Master of Puppets." I think I mentioned that I want to do a full-length cover of this over the break with live drums...except for the second solo, which is freakin' hard.

Anyway, check this out. It goes from the clean stuff after the second chorus to the distorted part before the big solo (I was going to go all the way to the solo, but as you'll hear, I got bored and stopped about halfway there). It's still not perfect (mostly because I suck at pull-offs), but considering the fact that I've only been playing guitar since January, I'm pretty proud of it. If nothing else, it's the most difficult guitar solo I've recorded so far.

MoP Middle Section

Posted by CD at 01:55 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

December 01, 2006

More Fun With Guitar

To counter the depressing previous post, here's something kinda cool.

Last night, I threw together a quick medley of some of the main riffs from "Simple Design," my favorite Breaking Benjamin song. It features genuine drop-C tuning and a seriously overdriven PODxt triple rectifier. Check it out:

Simple Design Riffs

If you want to compare it to the original (which obviously has a lot more to it), go here (ignore the anime clips; I couldn't find anything that was just the song).

Posted by CD at 08:56 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 25, 2006

More Music Stuff

Being home for a few days has given me some extra time to work on my music, and I've finally decided to start putting together something I've wanted to do for quite a while.

I'm writing something of an epic song called "The Messenger." It's based on "Action News," the script I wrote in my screenwriting class last year (here's a copy in RTF format if you haven't read it).

The song is divided into three parts, each based on one act of the script. In addition, each part has a few individual sections. It's actually more of a suite than a single song, since it's essentially three songs covering the same theme. The full piece will probably be about 12-15 minutes long.

Stylistically, it's in the same vein as a lot of other stuff I write (grunge-metal), but it's a bit more complex than the basic "intro-verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus" structure that I use for most of my songs. The guitar parts are a little more technical (or at least what seems technical to me and my 10 months of experience), and it contains a few time signature/tempo changes. I also plan to record live drums at some point, since I actually have some talent on those.

I don't know if there will be bass guitar, since the only way I can play that convincingly is by artificially tuning down my regular guitar. Also, I haven't written the lyrics yet, but since I can't sing anyway, they're going to be more of a guide than anything.

In any case, a lot of the song hasn't been written yet, but I've recorded and posted some samples of what I have in mind so far. Obviously, these aren't the complete parts, but it's enough that you can get an idea of where the song is going.

The first sample is what I plan to use as the intro to the whole thing. It's a basic A-E-D chord progression (with a few twists) that I came up with while I was messing around with the "Jazz Clean" POD amp a couple days ago. Like all these recordings, it's rather flawed in some spots, but the final version will be better:

Part I Intro

The next sample is actually something that I wrote a month ago, but it fit so well with the clean intro that I decided to incorporate it into the song. As things stand right now, this part will immediately follow the first intro thing:

Part I Heavy

The third sample is the beginning of Part II. There will be some other stuff in between this and the intro sections, but I haven't written it yet. This entire section is based on "Echo Chamber," which I wrote almost a year ago and posted at some point in both MIDI and GarageBand form. Like the last part, it fit so well that I decided to use it in The Messenger rather than making it a separate song. I'm really proud of the second half of this, incidentally:

Part II

Finally, here's a quick sample of what I plan to use for the beginning of Part III. It's a thrash thing that I started writing a couple weeks ago:

Part III

Comments? Suggestions? Does anyone actually listen to this crap I post?

Posted by CD at 01:57 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 20, 2006

Monday Guitar Recording

I'm going home for Thanksgiving on Wednesday morning, and until then, I have work to take care of, so here's some music.

If you've been following my music posts (and honestly, who hasn't?), you may remember that I've posted both a MIDI version and a GarageBand guitar version of an old song of mine called "Invincible." Neither is available at the moment because of the file manager thing, but more importantly, I finally got around to recording a decent version with the POD, and it sounds pretty damn sweet.

I tried to improve some of the production values from past recordings to cut down on clipping and balance the drum tracks. It's not perfect, but it's definitely easier on the ears. Also, I've started panning the guitar tracks more widely to get a fuller sound.

Technical info, since I enjoy flaunting how much the PODxt can do:

- Clean lead guitar = Class A-30 TB amp model with Analog Delay effect, and I think I used either a Rotary Drum with Horn effect or a Sine Chorus effect in the beginning.

- Clean rhythm guitar = Connor 50 amp model with the drive at about 4.

- Distorted rhythm guitar = Plexi Variac amp model with Classic Distortion stompbox effect.

- Bass guitar = My regular guitar played through the Tweed B-Man amp model and tuned down an octave with the Bender stompbox effect, then bass boosted with the equalizer in GarageBand.

I think that's about it. Here's a link to the recording. Check it out; Comments are always welcome:


Posted by CD at 08:59 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 01, 2006

Midweek Guitar Recording(s)

I haven't posted any covers for a while because of the whole file manager issue (incidentally, I still can't upload files larger than 1 MB), but this one sounds kinda cool.

I've been trying to learn some more difficult songs on guitar (I can play a good two or three minutes of "Master of Puppets" now), and this week, I decided to spend some time on Van Halen's "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love." Here's a quick, rather low quality recording of what I've got so far (the solo is slightly altered from the original):

Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love: Part 1

This is a pretty sweet song.


Because I'm too tired/busy to post anything else until the weekend, here's a couple more quick recordings.

First, a rough and not totally accurate rendition of the first couple minutes of "Master of Puppets" that I recorded a couple weeks ago:

Master of Puppets

My eventual goal is to do a complete cover of this with live drums (Lars is a shitty drummer and I can therefore play pretty much the entire thing in one take), but I doubt I'll be capable of playing all the guitars for quite a while.

Also, here's a quick series of riffs I came up with using the "Big Bottom" tone on the PODxt:

Big Bottom

I have about five other original songs I'm working on at the moment, including rough recordings, but I'll save those for now.

Posted by CD at 05:57 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 16, 2006

Better Than Average Weekend Guitar Recording

I was going to post this last night, but conveniently enough, MuNu was down, so...yeah.

Anyway, I finally recorded another full-length original song, and I think it may be the best one I've written so far. I decided to call it "Lounge Pirate" (a reference to this post).

The song is a much more complete version of that "Untitled" thing I posted a few weeks ago. I jacked up the tempo, added real structure, and even wrote a guitar solo that's almost two minutes long. You have to hear this. Seriously.

In order to simplify things, I put this one directly on an upload site instead of just SoundClick. Go here and click on "Download," and you'll have the full-quality version. I suggest playing it in a program with an equalizer, because it's a bit on the quiet side.

Anyway, I highly encourage everyone to check this song out. Like I said, it may be the best thing I've written, and I'd like to hear your opinion.

The file, once again, is posted here.

Posted by CD at 05:05 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 10, 2006

Very Short Guitar Recording of the Day

I've been messing around with another simple lead guitar pattern for a couple days, and at one point, I decided to try some dual lead crap with it. It's basically just the same pattern played simultaneously in two different ways, but it sounds kinda cool. I also added rhythm guitars. Check this out:

Dual Lead

Posted by CD at 06:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 03, 2006

Weekend Guitar Recordings

Posted some new originals on SoundClick if you're interested.

"Fender Grunge" is a series of stuff I came up with a couple days ago. It sounds a lot like something from Nirvana's In Utero album. Both the clean and distorted guitars were done with a PODxt tone I made using a model of the Fender Twin (the amp Kurt Cobain used on the aforementioned album). The track also includes bass, which was done by artificially tuning the guitar down an octave with the "Bender" effect on the POD. Fun stuff.

"Choice 2" is a sample of the guitar version of my old anti-abortion song "Choice." You may remember it. I finally started writing real guitar riffs, and it sounds pretty sweet so far. Lots of alternate picking and such.

"Blister" is a sample of another thrash song that I started writing a few months ago. It's one of my most difficult songs to play (my hand started cramping up halfway through the recording process), but it sounds really, really good. Also, unlike most stuff I write, this one is in standard tuning.

The guitars in the last two songs were done with the "Angel P-ball" amp model from the PODxt. It's from the Metal Shop model pack and is based on the ENGL Powerball amp. It's tweaked to the point of being really, really tight and distorted, and I think it thrashes better than the Spinal Puppet model.

Anyway, check those out. Feedback is always good.

Posted by CD at 02:05 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 23, 2006

Band Camp Update

Since band camp is the only thing happening in my life right now, it's what I'm going to write about. Deal with it.

Anyway, you can all bow down to me (I need to stop using that phrase so much), for I am the 2006 SU Drumline drilldown champion.

For those not in the know, a drilldown is when an entire marching band (or in this case, a single section) gets into a block and marches to commands given by section leaders, etc. If you fail to follow a command properly (for example, making a full turn to the left instead of a half turn), you're out, and the last person standing wins. It's basically the marching band version of "Simon says."

Reread the second paragraph of the post and you'll pretty much get the message. I didn't actually win a prize or anything, but it's kinda cool knowing that I'm technically the best marcher in a group of about 30 people.

On the less pleasant side of things, take a look at this picture of my left hand (click for full size):

That red thingy on my middle finger happened during a visual where we bring our sticks up and bash ride cymbals behind our heads. I miscalculated, whacked my finger on the edge of the cymbal, and made that...thing. I think it's a blood clot. Pleasant, ain't it? I also have a massive blister on one of my toes, but I'm not disturbed enough to post a picture of that.

As long as I'm on the topic of band camp related injuries, does anyone know a good way to alleviate intense, spastic, stabbing back pain? I could really use it right about now.

Only one day of band camp to go...

Posted by CD at 10:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 09, 2006

Name That iTune IV

Since people are apparently still reading the site, here's another edition of NTi. Same rules as before: I randomly select ten songs from my playlist and post the first four lines, and you try and name the band and song title. Answers from last time are in the extended entry. Let's get started:

What we learned here is love tastes bitter when it's gone
Past yourself forget the light, things look dirty when it's on
Funny how it comes to pass, that all the good slips away
And there's no one around you can remember being good to you

I don't give a fuck about all of your problems
I could give a rat's ass how you're feeling today
Take your worldly advice and shove it straight up your ass
Thanks for coming around to fuck up my day

Walk that crooked line I see you try to be
The one standing in the middle of the circle
Try and try you ask me to answer
All the time I give you a reason

I feel boxed in
And trapped inside
Feels like the world's closing in
And there's nowhere to hide

How can you exist, it doesn't seem it should be possible
Your thoughts are all so twisted and there's nothing there that's logical
You shout out all your slogans, try to force them on the populace
You can't go it alone and you'd prefer to be anonymous

Cold, lying in my bed
Staring into darkness
Lost, I hear footsteps overhead
And my thoughts return again

We are scanning the scene in the city tonight
We are looking for you to start up a fight
There is an evil feeling in our brains
But it is nothing new, you know it drives us insane

Haven't seen me lately
Stayin' hard to find
Well I know it ain't easy
But you know I don't mind

The mind is all, we kiss everything
We say we love, it's the skin we're in
You're a retrograde, a vacancy
You're the one I love, the hate in me

Come lie next to me, Jesus Christ
Holes in hand where a cross used to fit just right
The meeting called, the topic a lady's fate
You don't have to remind me, I won't be late

Answers to last edition:

1. "Wasting My Time" by Default

2. "Run Away" by Staind

3. "Figure 8" by TRUSTcompany

4. "Swim" by Bush

5. "Already Gone" by Puddle of Mudd

6. "Sister" by Creed

7. "Best of You" by Foo Fighters

8. "So I Need You" by 3 Doors Down

9. "Away" by Breaking Benjamin

10. "Crawling In the Dark" by Hoobastank

Posted by CD at 05:13 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

August 08, 2006

Guitar Recordings of the Day

You may be wondering what I've been doing while not blogging these past few weeks. The answer, of course, is "pretty much nothing," but I have spent a decent amount of time practicing guitar. I wouldn't say I'm good yet, but I suck a lot less than I did at the beginning of the summer.

For example, I posted short samples of two songs I've been working on at SoundClick (my file manager is still screwed up).

"Untitled Song" is untitled mostly because it was assembled from bits and pieces of things I've come up with and only became a song a few hours ago. All I have is an intro and main riff, but it's sounding pretty awesome. The clean intro is just a random picking pattern that sounded good, and the extremely sweet lead guitar is a pentatonic pattern inspired by said clean guitar. Fun fact: I wrote the rhythm guitar for the main riff by recording the clean and lead, then jamming on some power chords until I found something that sounded good. I think the result works well. The whole thing sounds kind of like "Times Like These" by Foo Fighters, and it's probably the catchiest thing I've written.

Wow, that rambled. Anyway...

"Space Coyote" is a series of stuff I wrote a couple months ago and have been messing around with all summer. The title comes from the episode of The Simpsons in which Homer eats Guatemalan insanity peppers and meets his spirit guide, a talking coyote. It has nothing to do with the song, but I thought it sounded cool. There's not much more to say; Just check it out.

Also, the rhytm guitar tone in both songs is a new sound I created with the help of the Metal Shop model pack for the PODxt. It's supposed to sound like a ridiculously overdriven Marshall JCM-2000. I'm still working on it, but it's quickly becoming one of my favorite presets.

Meanwhile, in the "files that are small enough to upload the easy way" department, I recorded a quick cover of the intro and chorus from "Figure 8" by TRUSTcompany the other day, and it sounded so good that I had to share it, so check it out:

Figure 8

It's all about the Dual Rectifier. Line 6 is friggin' amazing.

Anyway, feel free to listen to and/or critique this stuff. I'm interested in feedback from fellow guitarists (Ryan and Spork, I'm looking in your direction), but anyone willing to spend five minutes (that's how long it will take you to listen to all three) on this can comment.


Posted by CD at 06:46 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 12, 2006

The Revolution Returns

After nearly a year, Suspended Agitation finally has new material!

We jammed for a couple hours tonight and finished putting together three brand new songs, which you can check out here.

The recording quality is rather low, and there are still a few rough spots to work out, but these should give you an idea of what to expect in the next few weeks.

- "Crazy" is a pretty basic song with driving rhythm guitars and a cool drum intro that I worked out a while ago. I'm probably going to write lyrics about people who help others for the purpose of making themselves look good and change the title to "Help Yourself."

- "Alternative Truth" is a slower song with the usual heavy guitars. The lyrics, when I write them, will be about people who follow weird conspiracy theories, such as the "9/11 was a government plot" crowd.

- "Blue" is by far the heaviest song we've ever written, with even more raw power and energy than "Chainsaw" or "Insane Inside." It's a chance to give my double bass pedal a real workout. Thanks to the fact that I'm an idiot, this recording really doesn't sound very good even compared to the others, and I messed up the drums a couple times, but the essence is there. The lyrics are going to be about people who teach racist ideas to children, and the vocals will probably consist of a lot of screaming. Good stuff.

Anyway, check those out if you so desire, and feel free to voice your opinions.

On a related note, reviews of our demo from last year are still welcome, if you manage to ignore the fact that neither of us can apparently sing.

Posted by CD at 12:23 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 03, 2006

Off-Site Guitar Recording of the Day

I've been reworking "Peaceful Chaos," which is sort of a power ballad, and I posted a brief excerpt here.

If anyone has been hesitant to listen to some of my songs because they're so heavy, you'll be happy to know that this one is considerably lighter. It also demonstrates two aspects of guitar playing that I'm working on at the moment: Larger chords and single-string picking. In addition, the distorted guitar at the end uses a really cool tone I just created on the POD by adding a "Classic Distortion" stompbox to the "Plexi Variac" amp model.

As always, feel free to tell me what you think of the song if you take the time to listen. Again, keep in mind that the production is much better on this than the stuff I posted a couple months ago, so it won't make your ears bleed or anything.

Posted by CD at 11:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 01, 2006

Name That iTune III

This meme is kinda fun. I think I'll make it a weekly feature, at least until the end of the summer.

Anyway, same rules as before. I post the first four lines of ten randomly selected songs, and you name the band and the title. Answers to last week's NTi are in the extended entry.

I don't want to see you waiting
I've already gone too far away
I still can't keep the day from ending
No more messed up reasons for me to stay

I'm still scared
Afraid of failing, anticipating
The ride to end
Before the wheels begin to move

See that face from across the room
And I can feel you're nothing
Show your fear, it's not hard to see
Intentions pale, it's blinding

Could not believe
Came here today
Helmet was on
You blew me away

I wanna ride through the canyon
I’m on the run with the horses
I’ve gotta change with the season
I wanna live for a reason

Caught up in the middle
Had no choice, had no choice
Birthright forgotten
So silent, no voice

I’ve got another confession to make
I’m your fool
Everyone’s got their chains to break
Holdin’ you

If you could step into my head
Tell me would you still know me
And if you woke up in my bed
Tell me then would you hold me

Cold am I
I'm beside myself because there's no one else
Have I grown so blind
Only God could save you if you knew your way to the light

I will dedicate
And sacrifice my everything
For just a second's worth
Of how my story's ending

Answers to last week's edition:

1. "Break" by Staind

2. "Window Shopper" by Nickelback

3. "Black" by Sevendust

4. "King Nothing" by Metallica

5. "One" by Creed (guessed correctly by Tommy)

6. "Santa Monica" by Theory Of A Deadman

7. "When I'm Gone" by 3 Doors Down

8. "Breakdown" by Breaking Benjamin

9. "Throw It All Away" by Default

10. "Photograph" by Nickelback (guessed correctly by Tommy)

Posted by CD at 01:49 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 22, 2006

Name That iTune II (Plus Answers to NTi I)

Since people actually participated in this last time, and there isn't anything going on at the moment that I particularly feel like writing about, let's play another game of "Name That iTune." In addition, the answers to the first Name That iTune (see link above) are in the extended entry.

Wow, that first paragraph and the post title are redundant...

Anyway, same rules as before: I'll post the first four lines of ten randomly selected songs from my playlist, and you try and identify the title of the song and the band that plays it. Correctly guessed lyrics will be underlined (only two were solved last time, and those were both from the same commenter, so friggin'...try harder this time, dang it!).

Now, on to the lyrics. Once again, iTunes is selecting these, not me, and I will not discriminate very much between easy and obscure songs, although I may skip over one if there's absolutely no chance anyone but me will know it:

I walk alone, I am alone
I think alone, I'll die alone
Don't think I can make it on my own
I think I need someone to save me

Forever's a lonely time
And the dogs aren't always
Aren't always on my mind
'Cause I didn't free them

Voices call, they call out my name
They say I'm different, well I'm not the same
You say you want to be like me
Well boy let me tell you, you don't know what I've seen

Wish I may
Wish I might
Have this I wish tonight
Are you satisfied?

Affirmative may be justified take from one, give to another
The goal is to be unified take my hand, be my brother
The payment silenced the masses sanctified by oppression
Unity took a back seat sliding further into regression

She fills my bed with gasoline
You think I wouldn't notice
Her mind's made up, her love is gone
I think someone's trying to show us a sign

There’s another world inside of me that you may never see
There are secrets in this life that I can’t hide
Somewhere in this darkness, there’s a light that I can’t find
Maybe it's too far away, or maybe I’m just blind

Let the fun and games begin
She is spayed and broken in
Skin is cold and white
Such a lovely, lonely night

This feeling's back today
It's so deceiving like it's never leaving
Same as yesterday
As the pressure's mounting, I continue counting

Look at this photograph
Every time I do it makes me laugh
How did our eyes get so red?
And what the hell is on Joey’s head?

Minor hint: Four of these are from debut albums. I suppose I'll post the answers next Friday or something.

Now, if you continue to the extended entry, you can see the answers to the first edition of Name That iTune. Because I know you've all been dying to know what you...didn't know...yeah. Anyway...

1. "Bitch" by Sevendust (correctly guessed by Ryan, a.k.a. The Best Guitarist In Suspended Agitation)

2. "Illusion" by Creed (also guessed correctly by Ryan. Is it any wonder we started a band?)

3. "Freak of the World" by Puddle of Mudd

4. "Weathered" by Creed

5. "Fight For All The Wrong Reasons" by Nickelback

6. "Crash" by 12 Stones

7. "Arlington Avenue" by Gary Frenay (star of Against the Wind, the greatest student documentary of all time. I have this song because he let me borrow his CDs for research purposes while we were shooting.)

8. "Lounge Act" by Nirvana

9. "Can You Keep A Secret (My Name Is Phil)" by Rick Still

10. "Hey, Johnny Park!" by Foo Fighters

Posted by CD at 11:10 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

June 17, 2006

Another Off-Site Guitar Recording

Yep, I posted another recording on SoundClick. I call it "Instant Metal." Basically, I improvised a bunch of Sevendust-style riff metal and added drums when I was done. It gets a little weird, but there's some good stuff in there. Feel free to check that out.

Posted by CD at 04:37 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 16, 2006

Off-Site Guitar Recording of the Day

Holy. Freakin'. Crap. This PODxt thingy is friggin' awesome.

Seriously, I thought it sounded good already, but that was before I started experimenting with layered guitar tracks.

I repeat: Holy. Freakin'. Crap.

I messed around a bit with the POD and GarageBand, and I think I managed to perfect a recording strategy that compensates for the crappiness of my guitar. It still sounds rather amateurish, but compared to everything I've posted so far, this is practically professional quality.

Unfortunately, my uploads still aren't available, so I can't post a full-quality mp3. However, this particular song isn't a cover, so I was able to put it elsewhere.

Anyway, remember the song called Lost and Found that I posted back in March? I spent a couple hours re-recording it from the ground up with the POD. Every track is brand new, and it sounds about 1000 times better than the original (again, unfortunately, you can't listen to both for comparison at the moment unless you downloaded the first one for some reason).

It took a while to put this together. It uses four individual rhythm guitar tracks (meaning I actually played it four times just for these), one clean guitar track, one solo guitar track, one bass guitar track, and four tracks of drum loops.

Like I said, it took a while.

The distorted rhythm tracks are what I'm really psyched about here. Two of them use the bridge pickup, and two use the half-bridge, half-middle pickup setting for more chunkiness. I also panned two to the left and two to the right, so the stereo effect is better than ever. All four use a tone I created specifically for this song on the POD. Basically, I took the "Line 6 Spinal Puppet" amp model and tweaked it until it sounded the way I needed it to. I won't go into detail about the other stuff, but I'm really impressed at the kind of distortion I'm getting out of my terrible guitar.

Anyway, if you want to hear it, go here and look for it at the top of the page. You have to be a member to download the mp3, but you can click on "lo-fi" or "hi-fi" (I'd recommend hi-fi, because the other one sounds like crap and isn't in stereo) and it will play in your browser. Feel free to review it in the comments or whatever.

I'll post the full quality version here as soon as my file manager is working again.

Posted by CD at 02:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 10, 2006

Guitar Recordings of the Day

So, like I said in the last post, I now own a Line 6 PODxt, which is a guitar amp modeler. I was tired of using the screechy distortion in GarageBand, so I decided to upgrade my equipment.

I've been testing it out for...the past five hours, I think...and although my crappy guitar once again presents some serious limitations to what I can do, this thing can make some really cool sounds.

I threw together three quick samples to demonstrate the POD's capabilities, although thanks to the bastards who screwed up the MuNu servers, I can't upload anything larger than 1 MB, so these are all short and rather low quality (128-160 kbps), but it's the best I can do right now.

Anyway, I made all of these using the USB connection from the POD to GarageBand, and although I did a bit of post-recording EQ, etc., I didn't use any distortion from the computer. Also, each sample consists of one track copied and pasted three times for a fuller sound (two of the three are panned hard left and right). Check these out:

Sample #1 is a chunk of my "Spone Zone" riffs that I played using the "X Tone" preset channel, which is based on the "Line 6 Chemical X" amp model:

Spone Zone X

Sample #2 is an improvised drop-D chugfest using the "Line 6 Modern Hi-Gain" amp model:

Modern Hi-Gain

Sample #3, my personal favorite, is an improvised thrashtravaganza made with the "Line 6 Spinal Puppet" amp model:

Spinal Puppet

As soon as I can upload large, full quality MP3s again, I'll have something better.

Posted by CD at 02:43 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 09, 2006

Name That iTune

My PODxt just got here, so I doubt that I'll be posting anything not related to that for the next couple days, but first, I want to try something I saw on Blather Review that looked kinda fun.

Basically, I'm going to post the first four lines of ten randomly selected (by using the shuffle button and pressing the "next song" thingy) songs from my iTunes library playlist, and it's up to you to name the songs they come from (without Googling, if possible).

I have a mix of extremely mainstream and extremely obscure stuff among the 1,138 tracks in my library (including my own band's demos), so some of these may be very difficult.

As I type this, I have not actually selected any songs, so let's do that now. I may select more than ten and then narrow it down if I got one that doesn't work, but you'll only see the finalists:

I can't imagine to be like you
The pain and the suffering you put me through
I can't imagine to be like you
The pain and the suffering you put me through

The sun rises to another day
My constitution keeps changing 'til it slips away
So I lie awake and stare
My mind thinking, just wandering, is anybody there?

Don't want the sun to shine upon my face
And I see your eyes and their glazy haze
Your lips don't move but I hear what you're saying
I look outside through the razor blades

I lie awake on a long, dark night
I can't seem to tame my mind
Slings and arrows are killing me inside
Maybe I can't accept the life that's mine

Well I wanted you
I wanted no one else
I thought it through
I got you to myself

As I lie tossing in my bed
Lost in my fears remembering what you said
And I try to hide the truth within
The mask of myself shows its face again

7. (NOTE/HINT: Unless you're intimately familiar with the music scene in Syracuse, NY, you probably will not know this one):

When we first met so long ago
I never dreamed we'd last
But as the years rolled past
We'd go on and on

Truth covered in security
I can't let you smother me
I'd like to but it wouldn't work
Trading off and taking turns

9. (Holy crap, I can't believe it got this one. Practically a freebie for long-time readers!):

Hello, my name is Phil
And I'm not so sure I know what's real
All alone upon the mountainside
I close my eyes and go for a ride

Come and I'll take you under this beautiful bruise's colors
Everything fades in time, it's true.
Wish that I had another stab at the undercover
Was it a change in mind for you?

Wow, that got some good stuff (although 2, 4, and 6 are really thematically similar...). All right, if anyone wants to play, just put your guesses in the comments, and I'll underline anything that's guessed correctly. Go!

Posted by CD at 07:50 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

May 29, 2006

Less Crappy Guitar Recording of the Day

To make up for having that lame Sevendust cover at the top for the last couple days, here's a song that I spent a lot more time on.

Today's cover is "Deny" by Default. The band Default, I mean. It's not like I...picked the default...or something. Anyway...

I'm looking after Ryan's amp (a Line 6 Spider 212) for the next few days, and I figured I'd try making a recording with it. Mission accomplished.

Specifically, I used the "clean" setting for the clean guitar (which makes sense). For the distorted guitars, I recorded one center track with the treble emphasized, then recorded a second track with more low end and duplicated it, then panned one copy to the left and one to the right for a nice stereo effect. All three distorted tracks use the "insane" setting.

I used GarageBand for the drums, as usual. I was going to record them myself, but it's a bit late for drumming, and I don't know if I have any mics. I'll try to get something with 100% real drums recorded in the near future. However, I am pretty satisfied with the track I made for this one. It's all about tweaking the loops.

Once again, the crappiness of my guitar prevents this from sounding too great, but it's a bit heavier than some of the other stuff. Check it out:


Posted by CD at 12:34 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 25, 2006

Guitar Recording of the Day

This is a bit different. I somehow managed to get my crappy guitar down to drop-B tuning without totally spaghettifying the strings. This is the tuning used most often by Sevendust, and I've been wanting to play some of their songs for a long time, so I thought I'd give it a shot. I made two interesting discoveries:

1. Without a baritone guitar or a 7-string, this amount of downtuning is really awkward.

2. Sevendust songs are frickin' hard.

I settled on one of the only 7D riffs I can actually play, the rhythm guitar from "Praise," and did a rather incomplete cover of that song. Let me stress that this is not the same quality as the other songs I've posted (I only spent about half an hour on it). I just think the guitar sounds kind of cool tuned this low...although it's not too hard to hear it going out of tune in certain parts.

On another note, I had to craft a completely new custom tone in GarageBand to make this sound more authentic, and I ended up distorting the hell out of it with the "British Gain" amp model. It sounds pretty sweet.

Anyway, in case you're interested for some reason:


Posted by CD at 02:48 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 18, 2006

Guitar Recording of the Day

All right, I'm attempting to get back into my guitar groove with a relatively easy cover, TRUSTcompany's "Running From Me."

There's not really much to say about it other than the fact that I played it in drop-D rather than Db, and I left out some weird lead crap that the original has. Also, I was going to add bass guitar, but the stupid thing died on me and is now essentially an acoustic instrument. Good times, indeed.

Finally, I'd just like to say that I'm proud of myself for pulling off the harmonic at the beginning of this song. Anyway, check it out:

Running From Me

Posted by CD at 12:01 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 16, 2006

Hooray for Plateaus

Son of a bitch. At some point in the last week, I seem to have completely lost the ability to play guitar. That's not an exaggeration; I seriously can't even get a decent sound out of the thing, my fingers won't do what I'm telling them to do, and the pick keeps falling out of my hand.

I know nobody cares, but's fucking frustrating as hell.

Posted by CD at 09:07 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

April 22, 2006

Weekend Guitar Recording #2

I had a couple free hours and decided to throw together a cover of "Hover" by TRUSTcompany. Like the last one, I played it in drop-D, but the original is in Db. Other than that, it's pretty close. This is not a difficult song, but it still kicks ass.


Posted by CD at 05:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 21, 2006

Weekend Guitar Recording

This week's featured song is another cover: "Polyamorous" by Breaking Benjamin. Killer song, but very difficult to play all at once (although it's obviously possible since I've seen them play it live), so I used one track for rhythm and one for lead, then combined them in the chorus to make it twice as heavy.

The BB version is in drop-Db, but the tuning got severely screwed up when I tried that, so I settled for drop-D. It still sounds pretty cool. Check it out:


Posted by CD at 10:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 14, 2006

Weekend Guitar Recording

I decided to do an original this week. It's another one of those songs that I wrote years ago and couldn't fully create until now (although I based this on a MIDI version that I posted last year). Check it out:


I have a Michael Moore sized assload of stuff to do this weekend thanks to my amazing procrastination abilities, so there won't be time for any more full-length recordings, but I recorded a couple quick samples of two other songs I'm working on (both of which were already written, and one of which was included as a MIDI in the post linked above). Check these out:

Echo Chamber

Peaceful Chaos

Posted by CD at 11:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 10, 2006

Straight Outta CTU

For your listening pleasure, my rendition of the "secret agent guitar" music from tonight's 24 (see previous post):

24 Guitar

(As mentioned, this is a loop, not me. My guitar doesn't sound that cool.)

Posted by CD at 10:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 09, 2006

And...One More Song

The Nirvana classic, "Smells Like Teen Spirit." No real introduction necessary.

Although...full disclosure, I played this in drop-D tuning because my guitar is a piece of crap and the first fret is essentially useless with the bottom strings. Also, I cut out the second verse and chorus to avoid being too repetitive. Anyway...

Smells Like Teen Spirit

RANDOM NOTE: I'm (obviously) not learning these songs completely by ear. I mostly use the tabs from this site.

Posted by CD at 08:38 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

April 08, 2006

Another Weekend Song

I've decided to stick with the Foo Fighters theme and learn/cover "Everlong." I honestly don't think there are more than a dozen people on the planet who don't like this song (people who haven't heard it excluded, obviously). Of course, my version isn't as good as the original, but still...check it out:


Also, I figured I'd take this opportunity to once again point out that Dave Grohl looks like a horse:


Posted by CD at 11:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Regularly Scheduled Weekend Guitar Recording

Today's featured song is "My Hero" by Foo Fighters. Check it out:

My Hero

Also...where the crap is everybody? Seriously. Nobody's commented for like a freakin' week.

Posted by CD at 02:35 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

March 31, 2006

Guitar Is Fun

Yep, I'm posting another guitar recording.

This is my attempt at "Rockin' In the Free World" by Neil Young, but it's based on the Suspended Agitation version (since I've heard that one more than the original). In other words, it's a cover of a cover. Think about that.

I think I managed to pull this off fairly well. Other than the obvious sound quality difference, there are only a couple discrepancies:

- My version is in standard tuning, while I think the SA version is in Eb.

- Ryan can actually play lead, so I can't even begin to match some of the solo stuff...but I managed to make up something that at least keeps the song going.

Anyway, here it is:

Rockin' In the Free World

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March 26, 2006

Weekend Song

I'm currently sitting on a half-written stream of consciousness rant about stupid people, and I'm trying to decide whether I should post it.

Until then, here's a song I just recorded. It's based on another song I wrote eight (count 'em) years ago on keyboard. Good times.

The song itself is pretty average, but I'm fairly proud of the production. The tone is better, the instruments are more balanced, and the volume doesn't go overboard. Check it out:


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March 17, 2006

More Recordings

I'll write again when there's actually stuff going on, trust me. Until then, here's some more music.

I decided to record some live drums tonight instead of using the loops in GarageBand. Unfortunately, I didn't have the necessary wires to use condenser mics, so I had to settle for a couple crappy ones that I put on top of a box on the floor. Because of this, the sound quality isn't real great, and the guitar tone had to be modified so it didn't overpower the drums completely. Still, there's some interesting stuff here.

The first is yet another cover of Downfall (hey, I said it was my favorite song, right?). It sounds a little muddy at high volumes, but I think I captured the essence of it...except that I don't know how to play the bass guitar part, so I just made some crap up.

The second is just some random drumming with some random guitar on top of it. I basically had a one-man jam session. It includes a demonstration of my nonexistent amazing double bass drum abilities and my new tremolo picking technique (which I'm still working on). It gets a little weird, but it has its moments.

Also, just for fun, I changed around some of the effects on Lost and Found and made a lighter, drum-free version. Let me stress that it's the same recording as before, but with clean guitar effects rather than distortion. Digital editing is fun.

Anyway, here are the recordings:

Downfall 2
Random Jam
Lost and Found Lite

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March 13, 2006

Yet Another Song

Okay, I know most of you probably couldn't care less about the songs I'm posting, but I'm really, really proud of this one. The chorus, solo, and title are based on music I wrote years ago and haven't been able to bring to life until now, and the intro and bridge riffs are based on some stuff I came up with while I was messing around earlier tonight. The tone in this one is also a bit crunchier and more musical. I think it's my best guitar work yet. Check it out:

Lost and Found

Seriously. Give it a quick listen if you get the chance. It's really quite good.

Posted by CD at 12:06 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 12, 2006

CD's Guitar: Now Easier On Your Ears

Now that I'm home, I was able to get a wire for recording directly to GarageBand, so I re-recorded all of Spone Zone (including an actual bass guitar!). Check this out:

Spone Zone 2

It's still not perfect, but it sounds a lot better than when I used headphones and the computer mic.

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March 05, 2006

More Guitar Stuff

I swear this frickin' guitar is going to destroy my GPA...

I made a couple more recordings over the last 24 hours, and I figured I'd post them.

The first is a cover (I hope nobody from the RIAA reads this blog) of another TRUSTcompany song called "Fold." Not much to say other than I don't think I got some of the bridge chords right, but it sounds pretty similar to the real thing. I had to tune down to drop-C to play it right. It was...interesting getting it up to standard after that.

The second is an original that I just started writing a couple days ago. It's a bit abridged because I didn't feel like repeating everything, but all the pieces are there. I haven't decided for sure what to call it, so for now, it will be known as "Spone Zone."

Also, both of these tracks include bass (which is really just the guitar with the treble turned down and a "bass amp" effect from GarageBand applied).

Anyway, that's enough rambling. Sorry about the rather poor sound quality. I don't have the means to record direct, so I have to make these by setting my headphones next to the computer mic...

Spone Zone

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February 26, 2006

Hooray for Non-Standard Tuning

For the last couple days (in between studying, of course...*cough*...), I've been experimenting with drop-D guitar tuning. I didn't know exactly what to expect, but...holy crap!!! It's frickin' awesome! You can play power chords with one frickin' finger, and it sounds heavier than standard.

As a real test of the tuning, I recorded a substantially abridged version of my all-time favorite song, "Downfall" by TRUSTcompany (although I think the actual song is tuned even lower than this). Check this out:


Seriously. Ryan, I don't know how often you stop by here, but if you happen to be reading...we have to do a cover of this song at some point. We've played it before, after all, and now we could use two guitars like TC did. Something to think about.

Posted by CD at 12:52 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 11, 2006

Music Is Fun

I'm going to be rather busy this weekend (assuming I don't procrastinate...which I will...), so here's some stuff to listen to.

I mentioned earlier that my computer has GarageBand, which is a really cool program for making recordings. One of the tools it provides is hundreds of loops of different instruments. I decided to mess around with these a couple weeks ago, and after a lot of experimentation, I managed to make two decent songs using nothing but the pre-recorded loops the program comes with. Check these out:

Pop Rock

Also, I've been making some more slow progress on guitar, as three recordings I made tonight will hopefully demonstrate.

The first song is similar to the sample I posted before (and it's improvised just like that one), but I used more than three chords this time, and there's a kickass lead solo near the end (fair warning: I kind of made the lead a lot louder than necessary). It's still not much compared to what good guitarists can do, but considering the fact that I've only been playing for a month (not to mention the problem of practicing in a dorm room), I'm happy with it.

The second song is kind of Pink Floyd-esque for the first three minutes. Everything you hear during the intro was made using the guitar somehow, and it's all the same track and take. I just applied a really cool effect to make it sound like laughter, footsteps, etc. After that, it goes into a pseudo-acoustic solo thingy for another few minutes that sounds pretty good at times. Again, totally improvised.

The final song is my rendition of Nirvana's "Come As You Are." It's only a couple sections, and it's not tuned perfectly, but I think it sounds really, really sweet.

Anyway, check 'em all out, and I'll be back...sometime.

Improvised Rock
Come As You Are

Posted by CD at 03:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 26, 2005

All Your Bass Are Belong to Me parents gave me a double bass pedal for Christmas.


However, I've made an interesting discovery...


Seriously. A lot of drummers make it sound pretty simple. Even Lars Ulrich (one of the most overrated drummers on the planet) can do it. But I can't even keep a solid rhythm going.

Obvious conclusion: Those drummers I referred to have a lot of time to practice.

It's times like this that I really wish I was home for more than a couple months a year. Especially now that I have a band.

Incidentally...has anyone listened to the demo yet? Anyone?


Posted by CD at 11:07 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

October 25, 2005

Random Complaint

I miss my drumset. Playing snare just doesn't compare to having an entire rhythmic arsenal at your disposal.

Oh, well. Only a month until Thanksgiving...

Posted by CD at 05:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 17, 2005

The Revolution Has Begun


Remember that demo CD that I've been talking about for months? Guess what?


That's right. The official Suspended Agitation demo is complete, and we decided to make it available to anyone who wants it. It didn't cost anything to record, so we figured it wouldn't be right to sell it. In any case, you loyal readers get to hear and download all 8 tracks from SIT. But first, as usual, a bit of background:

As you know if you've been reading the blog for a while, Suspended Agitation began back in March when an old high school classmate named Ryan found some of my music stuff online and asked about doing a collaboration. From there, we spent the next couple months throwing ideas around and sharing our various recordings. In June, we started writing and practicing songs, and we've spent most of the summer working on a demo. Now, two days before I have to go back to school, we finally have the finished product.

A little more information for those who may be new: Suspended Agitation is a grunge-metal band. Our music is influenced by everything from Metallica and Nirvana to Breaking Benjamin and Sevendust. We like to think that we have a somewhat original sound. Our lyrics (mostly written by me) are semi-political, although we prefer to look at the songs as more anti-idiotarian than right-wing. I play drums, Ryan plays the guitars (all of them), and we both do the singing...for now.

As for the demo, we were originally going to record it in a semi-professional studio, but the owner had personal issues to deal with, so we were forced to self-produce. Luckily, the guy did let us borrow his Tascam portable studio, so we were able to make it sound somewhat profesional. My dad helped out a lot with the recording and production (he teaches music, so he knows what sounds good).

The majority of the recording was done in my basement, and we only had 2 microphones for the drums, so we had to be creative. Luckily, with the exception of "Chainsaw" (in which the drums are barely audible because one of the mics was screwed up or something), all the drumming sounds good. We used direct input for the guitars, so they're pretty much studio quality.

The vocals were recorded in my family room with professional quality mics, so the sound itself isn't a problem. However, keep in mind that neither one of us has had any vocal training, and we had to throw everything together in about 3 days, so the singing is not stellar. It's better to focus on the lyrics themselves than the way they sound.

If you want to know who's singing what part, remember this: Ryan has the higher-pitched voice, and mine is slightly lower. Also, due to time constraints, I ended up singing a lot of parts that Ryan was originally going to cover, so I sometimes go out of my range (like the chorus of "Chainsaw," for example).

If you end up becoming a big fan of Ryan, you'll enjoy "What's Up." He wrote the lyrics and guitars for that one, and he sings it by himself. If you're more a fan of my style (and who isn't?), then check out "Ransom." I wrote more of that song than any others, and I sang it by myself. Most of the other songs are a mixture of both our ideas.

Don't worry, there are songs posted here eventually. I just have to explain all this crap, since we've been working on it for months. Anyway...

About the songs themselves: There are seven original tracks, each with its own style and subject matter. No two songs sound very similar, and there is no filler whatsoever. The eighth track is a cover of "Rockin' In the Free World" by Neil Young.

...I know what you may be thinking. "Why would a right-wing band cover a song that attacks conservatives and was recently given new life by Michael Moore?" Well, I'll explain: We're both in this more for the music than anything else, and no matter what your political ideology, you've gotta admit that Rockin' is a kickass song. So that's basically it. We wanted to play a cool song, and we did. I also think the irony of playing that particular song will help keep us from taking ourselves too seriously. As far as possible legal me when the RIAA comes after Michele and all the emo kids who put copyrighted songs on their Xangas on a regular basis, and maybe I'll give a crap.

We went through a lot to make this thing happen, and a few times, it seemed like we weren't going to get finished (like when the water heater in my basement overflowed while we were recording). But we did. Ladies and gentlemen of the blogosphere, I give you the official Suspended Agitation demo CD:

1. Chainsaw
2. Ransom
3. Fake and Inaccurate
4. What's Up
5. Growing Down
6. Useful Idiot
7. Rockin' In the Free World
8. Insane Inside

I expect all commenters on this post who said they would check out some of this stuff to at least give it a quick listen (seriously, even if it's negative, I want your opinion). If rock isn't your thing, I understand, but we worked really, really hard on this, and it's one of the main reasons I haven't been posting much.

And, if it's any consolation...I'm going to start blogging regularly again in about two weeks. Yay.

FINAL NOTE: You can find more band info here, and if you want to see the lyrics, go here and check out the "music" section.

Posted by CD at 01:45 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

August 12, 2005

It's Almost Time...

We're almost done with the demo CD. We did a test of the instrumental tracks, and I thought I'd share a sample of Ransom. This is the last song I'm going to post before I upload the final product.

Anyway, there still aren't any vocals, but the guitars and drums sound better. We'll be remastering everything over the weekend, so the version on the demo will sound even better than this. Check it out:


Again, the official demo tracks should be posted by the end of the weekend, but don't be surprised if we end up needing a couple more days.

UPDATE (8/14)
As expected, we're not finished yet. The demo will still be posted, but you may have to wait until Tuesday.

Sorry. Singing is harder than we thought it would be.

Posted by CD at 12:07 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 08, 2005

Are You Prepared for the Revolution Yet?

All right, we're more or less finished with all the instrumental tracks for the demo. We just have to do vocals and mastering now. Expect the songs to posted sometime around Friday or Saturday.

On another note, I am going to start blogging again soon. Just be patient...

Posted by CD at 11:45 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 07, 2005

The Revolution Is Coming

Just in case someone is still checking this semi-dead blog, I wanted to announce that we are currently in the process of recording the Suspended Agitation demo CD, and I will be posting the tracks on SIT for download.

That is all.

Posted by CD at 03:43 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

July 21, 2005

Even More Songs


All right, as promised, here are the last two demo tracks from Suspended Agitation, the world's first and only anti-idiotarian rock band.

These recordings sound slightly different than the others because we tried some new microphone positions. The guitars are a little louder and crunchier, and the drums are (unfortunately) a little harder to hear. Also, my dad added some bass guitar tracks, but he just kind of improvised, so those will sound different after Ryan puts them into the final versions. In any case, it would still be best to download and EQ these before listening if you want the full experience.

These are two very different and very catchy songs. "What's Up" is a bouncy track that switches between light and heavy guitars. If we were to release a single, this would be it. There aren't any vocals yet, so you obviously can't hear this, but "What's Up" is the only song that Ryan wrote the lyrics for.

"Useful Idiot" is what I call a "groove-grunge" song, and it almost sounds like something you would find on Nirvana's In Utero album. The main guitar riff in this song is one of my favorites (probably because I helped write it). The lyrics (which, again, you can't hear yet) are a musical adaptation of my Protest This! rant from last summer.

Anyway, as usual, feedback is appreciated. I don't think anyone reads this wasteland of a blog anymore, but if you have a chance to listen to these, let me know. Thanks.

What's Up
Useful Idiot

FINAL NOTE: We recorded a new version of "Ransom" tonight with bass and 3 guitars using direct input instead of mics. I might post that soon.

As mentioned above, here is version 2 of "Ransom." We made this by recording 3 new guitar tracks and a bass guitar track over the original drums, all using direct input to cut down on background noise. It's a little on the quiet side, but it sounds a lot more professional:

Ransom 2

Posted by CD at 11:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 20, 2005

Coming Attractions

The last two SA songs, "What's Up" and "Useful Idiot," have been recorded. I should be able to post them in the next couple days.

We're ready to go to the studio (yes, we actually know a guy who owns a studio) and record our demo album now. Sweet.

Posted by CD at 10:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 16, 2005

Concert Review: Breaking Benjamin, Staind, and 3 Doors Down

Okay, it's time for another SIT concert review. I did one of these last year, and I decided to do it again. Let's get started.

My night began in a rather unpleasant way, since there were a bunch of storms moving through the Pittsburgh area, and it looked like the weather might not cooperate. In addition, there was a crash inside the Fort Pitt tunnel, which caused traffic to back up. A lot. It took about half an hour to drive a couple miles (actually, my dad was driving, but still...). As a result, I didn't actually get to the Post-Gazette Pavilion until about 7:20, so I missed the opening act, No Address. Fortunately, they seem to suck rather hard, so I didn't care. And the weather was clearing up, so I was in a better mood anyway.

Once I got to my seat, I noticed that the crowd seemed a lot less annoying than last time. There were no shirtless hippies or drunk trailer trash in sight. This trend continued throughout the night, and of all the concerts I've been to, this one probably had the most well-behaved crowd. Aside from the numerous chain smokers, of course. Friggin' suicidal idiots. Take your damn cancer clouds elsewhere.


At about 7:45, Breaking Benjamin came on. This band is actually the main reason I went to the concert (if you're a rock fan and you don't listen to BB, you're missing an awesome experience), so I was pretty excited. They opened up with "Natural Life," which is one of their best and heaviest songs. I literally thought my heart was going to explode from the intensity of the bass drum. The rest of the crowd didn't seem very excited, but that's their problem. These guys kicked ass. The rest of their set included these songs (not in order):

"Simple Design"
"Sooner Or Later"

They closed with "So Cold," which really should've been their opener, but...what do I know?

Breaking Benjamin plays some really great stuff live, but they could've had the sound turned up a bit more. I'll expand on that later. Also, Ben Burnley does some really weird hand motions during most of the songs. Most lead singers dance or jump or something; This dude does freakin' sign language. I'm not sure why.

A few minutes later, it was time for Staind to hit the stage. They didn't really make much of an entrance. They just kind of walked up there and started playing "For You," which the crowd seemed to get into. From this, they went straight into "Crawl," which was incredibly loud. They also had some cool lighting effects. At the end of this song, Aaron Lewis decided to talk to the audience for a little while. He didn't really sound very excited to be there:

"Good evening...thanks for having us back...this is about the fifth or sixth or...seventh time we've been here..."

For a guy who claims to have found meaning in his life, he sure sounds depressed. Maybe it's part of his rock star persona. Anyway, Staind went through a lot of their older material, which I will

"So Far Away"
"It's Been Awhile" (if you weren't living under a rock in 2001, you probably know this one. He changed one of the lines to "it's been awhile since I said 'fuck off.'" I'm not sure why.)

They also did some stuff from their upcoming album, Chapter V:

"Falling": Good heavy song, can't remember much more than that

"Right Here": This is their new single. It's a lot like "So Far Away," but it's got a little more of an edge to it. I like it.

"Paper Jesus": This one was kind of funny. Aaron introduced it by saying it was "kind of a ballad," and one of the other guys said "your mom would like it." Then they started playing, and it turned out to be one of the heaviest songs they've ever done. It was awesome.

They played another one too, but didn't say what it was called. Aaron said it was "in memory of someone I never met." I think it's called "Nutshell" or something. Anyway, it was mainly acoustic, and kinda boring.

They closed with "Mudshovel," which really got the crowd going, and then they left.

Staind puts on a decent show. They're not really that animated, but the mix of acoustic and extremely distorted songs keeps it interesting. The lights helped, too. Also, compared to Breaking Benjamin, Staind was really, really, REALLY loud. They had a much better sound than BB, and the vocals were a bit easier to hear. Did I mention the loudness? Holy CRAP.

After this, 3 Doors Down decided to take their sweet time getting to the stage, and every time we thought they were going to get started, it turned out to be an advertisement on one of the projector screens. You know how you go to the movies and have to sit through a bunch of previews and ads before the actual show starts? That's what it was like. Three false starts later, they finally kicked off their set around 10:15.

This was my third time seeing 3DD, so I wondered how they were going to keep things interesting. They've released a new CD since the last time I saw them (which is, honestly, not as good as most of their previous efforts), and I knew they would be doing songs from it, but the rest was a mystery.

They started out with "Right Where I Belong," and I immediately noticed that they seemed a lot better and louder than the last couple times. Brad Arnold actually decided to move around, and their overall stage presence was much better. They must have learned something from touring with Nickelback last year. Also, they had pyrotechnics. Sweet. The rest of their set included these songs:

"Duck and Run"
"Better Life"
"Be Like That"
"Away From the Sun"
"It's Not Me"
"The Real Life"
"Behind Those Eyes"
"Landing In London"
"Let Me Go"

They closed with "Loser," which was weird, because that's usually their encore song. They left the stage after this, but the screen still had the 3DD logo, and the lights were still off, so it was pretty obvious that they were coming back. When they did, Brad pretended to be surprised:

"'re all still here!"

They finished up with "Here Without You" and "When I'm Gone" (this one included a cool video dedicated to the U.S. armed forces), and then they left for good.

I really wasn't expecting a lot from these guys, but I think this was the best of the three times I've seen them. In addition to the improved stage presence, they also seem to have gotten louder and more musical, and I ended up really getting into songs like "The Real Life" and "Behind Those Eyes" that didn't impress me very much on the CD. They've also switched drummers since the last time I saw them. They now have Greg Upchurch from Puddle of Mudd, and their old drummer, Daniel Adair, is now with Nickelback. Upchurch is okay. He's really energetic, if nothing else. I don't think I've ever seen a drummer raising the sticks quite so high. If I tried some of the stuff he was doing on my set, I'd probably break the friggin' thing. He did not, however, play a solo like Adair, so I was a little disappointed. Anyway, if you get a chance to see 3 Doors Down, I highly recommend it. They get better every time.

After the show, a few people were vomiting, so I guess the Pavilion sold plenty of booze. I'm still amazed at how well-behaved the crowd was, though.

Anyway, that about wraps it up. At the end of last year's review, I mentioned how much the concert reminded me that I needed a band. I actually have a band now, so I can't do that. I can, however, point out that my band needs more people so we can do live shows. That looks like a lot of friggin' fun.

Posted by CD at 03:20 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 15, 2005

Hooray For Rock Concerts

In a little while, I'll be leaving to go here:

3 Doors Down with Staind, Breaking Benjamin

Friday, July 15, 2005 at 7:00 PM

Expect a review when I get back.

Posted by CD at 04:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 02, 2005

More Music

All right, time for some more SA samples. These were recorded in my basement like the last ones, but they were done with professional quality microphones. The volume is a little low, and the mixing isn't perfect (so I suggest downloading them, putting them in a program with an equalizer/amplifier, and cranking up the volume), but they actually sound like music this time, and my drums don't sound like absolute crap. Check these out:

Insane Inside
Fake and Inaccurate
Growing Down
Rockin' In the Free World (I figure that since we just did the guitars and drums, and nobody is making a profit, there shouldn't be a problem with posting this)

Seriously, people. It'll only take a few minutes to listen to these, and they actually sound somewhat good this time. Let me have some feedback here.

Also, if you want to follow the progress of the band, we've got separate band blogs going. Check them out here and here.

Later, minions.

Posted by CD at 09:23 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 01, 2005

Hooray for Technology

In the next few hours, I should be able to post some better recordings of my band. My dad managed to get a Tascam portable studio, and we made a couple tracks last night. I've heard them already, and they sound awesome. It's just a matter of getting them mastered now (and adding some reverb for effect).

Just thought you might want to know.

Oh, and the reason I didn't post this yesterday is that MY INTERNET CONNECTION WENT DOWN AGAIN!!!

Seriously, Adelphia. Get your shit together.

We went ahead and recorded 3 brand new songs, so I'm going to wait and post everything on Saturday night.

Posted by CD at 05:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 24, 2005

Music Samples

All right, it's time for a preview of what to expect from my band later this summer. We did a couple recordings tonight, and I thought I'd share 'em. However, before you listen, keep a few things in mind:

1. This was recorded in my basement with a camcorder mic and not post-produced in any way, so don't expect it to sound very professional.
2. This was only the third time we practiced, so we're still working some stuff out.
3. It's just guitar and drums. No bass, no singing.
4. The songs will probably sound different by the time we're finished.
5. Drums = CD, guitar = Ryan
6. Did I mention that we recorded this with a camcorder in my basement?

All right, that's enough. Here are the songs. I recommend downloading them and playing them in iTunes or some other program with an equalizer:

Insane Inside

Feedback is welcome (but please critique the music and not the horrible, horrible recording technique).

Posted by CD at 12:20 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 16, 2005

Band Update

For those who are wondering, we are making progress. We're working on a list of songs, and I'm going to try and make a rough recording next time we practice just so you have some idea of how the final product is going to sound. There's also a chance that we'll be able to record and produce this thing in a semi-professional studio. My dad (a music teacher) has serious connections...

Also, I've taken the liberty of putting some info on a few websites. Check 'em out here, here, and here if you're interested.

Later, minions.

Posted by CD at 04:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 01, 2005

Prepare for the Revolution

I finally got together with Ryan the guitarist tonight, and we started planning how we're going to record the Suspended Agitation songs. This stuff is going to sound friggin' awesome. His amp is loud.

Again, for anyone who's thinking of checking out the recordings when we make 'em, we're trying to go for a distinct sound. Ideally, it'll be like Sevendust and Nirvana had a baby, then Metallica adopted and raised it, and a bunch of right-wing bloggers taught it how to talk. Along with a few other elements, of course.

This is going to be fun.

Posted by CD at 11:09 PM | Comments (1)

May 30, 2005

Band Update

All right, in case anyone has been wondering what happened to the "band," here's a brief update.

We've both been back in Plum for a couple weeks, but we haven't started working on anything yet. Neither of us has a driver's license, so we're having some problems with the whole "being in the same room" aspect of musical performance. We're trying to set something up for this week, though.

We've narrowed the song list down a bit, and we have a pretty good lineup. Our goal is to get between 8 and 10 songs recorded by the end of the summer. And yes, I will be posting those as we complete them. I expect some feedback from all you people who said you would listen. If you've been reading SIT for a while, you should have figured out that the only thing I really want in life is an audience.

Also, after coming up with a bunch of band names and finding that they were being used, we've decided to go with the only unique one I thought of: Suspended Agitation. I even made a logo using Cooltext. Check it out.

So, that's where we are. Hopefully, I'll be able to start posting recordings in a few weeks. Or maybe we'll get pissed off at each other and break up over "creative differences" like so many other bands. Anything is possible at this stage.

Later, loyal minions.

Posted by CD at 02:52 AM | Comments (0)

April 26, 2005

Yet Another Music Post

I've got a couple new songs based on guitar parts written by the other half of the "band." Check 'em out in the extended entry if you want. Both of 'em are political, but the first one is much more literal. You'll see.

...Just read them, dang it.

Fake and Inaccurate
There you go again, trying to pretend
That you own the truth and we all agree with you
But everything you say, every single day
Pushes your agenda, it's all you ever do
You never understood why anybody would
Want to hear someone else's point of view
And now you try to hide from the other side
Covering it up and disguising it all as the news


When you don't have a lead, make up what you need
If you had your say, it's what would've happened anyway
Predetermined course, now you have to force
Everyone to think that you haven't led them astray
And when we ask you why, you always deny
That your own opinions have been on display
But we can see the light, and we have the right
To think for ourselves, and it's time for you to pay


Fake and inaccurate
You just manufacture it
But we know the facts, and it's
Our job to take them back from you
You think you control us all
Your pride will be your downfall
We're standing outside the wall
And soon we will come crashing through

Insane Inside
You thought that you were lost
Now you've been found, but at what cost
They left no room for doubt
And now there's no way out

Single conscience
No thought process
No more life allowed
Unless somebody watches


You only wanted friends
And now you've reached the end
It's time to follow through
When they tell you what to do

You're one of them now
Drink up and calm down
Don't think for yourself
Or they won't keep you around


You thought you'd found a better place
Now you're just another face
Following those you thought were wise
Marching straight to your demise
Can't look back, can't turn around
Do as you're told, don't make a sound
All this time, the choice was yours
But it's too late, they've locked the doors

Insane inside
You never know what's real and what's in your mind
You had to hide
You covered up your eyes and now you've gone blind
You never tried
To understand the world, now you're following lies
Insane inside
You're living in a dream, and you've run out of time

Posted by CD at 12:08 AM | Comments (4)

April 23, 2005

Even More Music Stuff

I got yet another site for my songs. You can check it out here.

Also, if you want a preview of what to expect from the "band," go here and listen to "Insane Inside." The guy I'm going to be working with single-handedly played and produced that (he did the other songs too, but that one sounds most like what we're going to be recording later). Imagine actual drums playing instead of the electronic ones he used, though.

In any case, this is going to be friggin' awesome. Only 16 more days until I go home...

Posted by CD at 10:44 PM | Comments (0)

April 21, 2005

More Music Stuff

Dang it, I'm trying to come up with a name for the "band" I mentioned in the last post, but every time I come up with something good, someone else is already using it.

Can anyone suggest some good names for a right-wing grunge/metal band?

Posted by CD at 07:29 PM | Comments (11)

April 20, 2005

Deep Breaths...

Okay, I realize my last post was a bit melodramatic, but I'm just trying to get through the last 3 weeks of what has been the most painful semester of my college career so far. Bear with me.

Anyway, I wanted to elaborate on something I mentioned a few days ago...

If everything goes according to plan, I'll be able to share some music with real guitars, real drums, and real singers at some point in the next few months.

Thanks to a combination of Facebook and Myspace, I was able to get an online dialogue going with a former high school classmate who shares some of my musical/political ambitions. We're making arrangements to record a few tracks over the summer. He'll provide the guitars, I'll provide the drums, and we're planning to split up the vocals. It should be fun.

I was going to wait and talk about this at the end of the semester, but I needed to post something positive after that "I hate everybody" rant.

Posted by CD at 10:26 PM | Comments (0)

April 07, 2005

Music Endorsement

True Parallels by Trust Company is quite possibly the best CD I've ever heard in my life.

Just thought you might like to know.

Posted by CD at 07:36 PM | Comments (0)

March 27, 2005

Overdue Lyrics

I'm probably not going to blog at all this week. I am now officially buried in work due to my almost superhuman ability to procrastinate, so...yeah. We've been through this before.

However, I did write a couple new political songs over the weekend (it's amazing how creative one can be when one is supposed to be memorizing facts), and I will now share them in the extended entry. Enjoy.


Are you becoming what you hate
Or is it what you've always been
You blame me for problems you think I create
But you're ignoring your own sins
You tell me your side stands for peace
And unconditional tolerance
But now the anger's been released
And the blood of your hatred is on your hands


You laugh at all the little sheep
In line behind their blind shepherds
While you admire the so-called elite
Within your own disgruntled herd
You look down on the close-minded fools
Who fear all things ambiguous
They're all the same, according to the rules
Of your unequaled viciousness


You don't even see people
When you look across the line
It's no wonder you can't keep all
Of this rage held deep inside


And now you've shown me your true face
You try to put me in my place
But this is where you belong
It's been your home all along
You cannot hide your bigotry
It's there for everyone to see
You've held onto hypocrisy
And become the minority


Maybe you didn't yell loud enough
Maybe you made it too complicated
Maybe you need to start getting tough
So you won't be eliminated


Maybe nobody was on your side
Maybe it was all a plot
Maybe it's because the other guy lied
And the masses were dumber than you thought


Maybe you just need to stop the delusion
Maybe you need to rethink your conclusions
Maybe you're wrong and the people are right
Maybe you brought a knife to this gunfight

(Background audio sample of various commentators trying to explain why people don't vote for Democrats)


You say your message can't get out
But we can hear it loud and clear
You never stop to think about
The messages we want to hear
Your ideas are old, they've all been tried
But you're still living in the past
And yet you go on wondering why
You always seem to come in last

Posted by CD at 09:09 PM | Comments (0)

March 18, 2005

Music Time

As I mentioned a couple days ago, I have been working despite the lack of blog updates. I've now managed to make Quicktime versions of 8 of my songs, and I thought I'd share them with you. I don't know if you care or not, but since it's my blog, I'll post 'em anyway. However, I have to start with the traditional "bore you to tears with background information" segment, so let's get that over with.

I assume you're all aware that I'm a musician, so I'll skip the explanation of how I started this. Also, the explanation of how I made these songs in the first place is here.

Now, on to the songs themselves. They're all rock songs, and I'd classify them as "grunge metal," although your name for this style may be different. I'm not really big on categorization. They're meant to sound as close as possible to the drum parts I play in real life (with a bit of double bass thrown in, of course) and the guitar parts I've written in my head. I'd also like to add that it's really cool to hear some of these after they've been playing in my brain for 2 or 3 years.

If you listen to these, keep in mind that they would be a lot louder and more aggressive when played with actual instruments, and that there would be vocals to make some of them less repetitive. The lyrics for these songs are all here, as well as a few drum samples. I am planning on changing a few of the words at some point, but the ones that are posted now are the ones I wrote this music for.

...So, is everyone still here? Great! Let's get to the fun part. I'll post the songs in the order they would appear on an album (hmm...I could call it "CD's CD") so you can get the full experience if you choose to listen to 'em all. They're in MP3 format, if you were wondering.

...Oh, and one more thing: If any of this music sounds familiar, let me know. I may have unconsciously ripped off a few of the guitar parts from songs I've heard. But if I did, it was not intentional. Thank you.

CD's Songs:

1. Turning Point
2. Chainsaw
3. Blink
4. Ransom
5. Invincible
6. Choice
7. Ode to Humanity
8. Peaceful Chaos

Posted by CD at 01:42 AM | Comments (0)

March 10, 2005

Random Complaining

Have I mentioned lately that I really need a band? I feel like my musical abilities are going to waste.

Oh, well. At least I get to play my drums again in a couple days. Hooray for spring break.

Posted by CD at 04:17 PM | Comments (0)

February 23, 2005

Downtime Is Good

Well, I'm still alive. I thought those exams would destroy me, but they weren't as bad as I expected. I finally had some free time afterwards, so I did what anyone in my situation would do: I created a Myspace account for my music.

"What did he say?"

Well, remember all those lyrics and drum recordings I've posted over the past year? I decided to give them their own website. I will have a freaking rock band someday. Seriously.

Anyway, check it out if you're so inclined. I'm too tired to blog.

Posted by CD at 09:19 PM | Comments (0)

January 07, 2005

Totally Random Music Link

This site = Awesome.

That is all.

Posted by CD at 05:30 AM | Comments (0)

November 25, 2004

I Love Technology

Happy Thanksgiving, etc., etc. Now, back to the kind of meaningless self-promotion this blog enables.

You may remember that I wrote an anti-abortion song called "Choice" a few months ago. You can track down the lyrics here if you need to refresh your memory. I said it was going to be a heavy song, but I would need a double bass pedal to get the sound I wanted, so I couldn't record a drum sample.

Until now.

I realized a couple days ago that my computer came with a demo of a program called Sibelius that lets you write music and then hear what it sounds like using Quicktime instruments. I spent the last few hours making "Choice" into a Sibelius song, guitars and all. It obviously sounds pretty weak with these MIDIfied instruments, but at least you can hear what I heard while I was writing the words. Check it out:

Click for MP3 (opens in a new window)

Who needs politics when there's music?

(And in case you were wondering, there's no way I'd be able to play that drum part in real life. I tried it last night and almost had a heart attack halfway through.)

Posted by CD at 10:29 PM | Comments (1)

November 06, 2004

It's That Time Again...

Syracuse vs. Pitt, 12 PM in the Carrier Dome. It's the last home game of the year. And it'll be televised on regional ESPN. Wow.

So, once again, I have to get up at 6:45 in the morning and drum for most of the day after eating nothing but Pop-Tarts and bagels. Marching band is both fun and horrible at the same time.

Now, I'm a bit conflicted here. I go to Syracuse, but I'm from Pittsburgh, so it'll be kind of weird joining the inevitable chorus of "Pitt sucks" and other fun phrases, but since I never really liked anything in Pennsylvania (I've mentioned before that PA will eat your soul if you stay there too long), it shouldn't be too much of a problem. My parents are coming to this game, and they still live in Pittsburgh, so it should be an interesting experience for them.

Anyway, you know where this is going. Think Swiss Cake Rolls. Or, better yet, comment on some of the election posts I wrote over the last couple days, if you haven't yet. This blog needs more discussion.

'Cuse wins in overtime. Yay.

Posted by CD at 01:05 AM | Comments (1)

October 30, 2004

Fanning the Flames

Syracuse vs. UConn, today at 1:30 PM in the Carrier Dome! That means I'm in for another day where I get to wake up at 7 AM, then spend about 5-7 non-consecutive hours playing snare drum. Yay. Also, UConn is bringing their marching band for some reason, so there should be some interesting drumline interaction.

Now, there's apparently some kind of rivalry between SU and UConn, even though the football teams have never played each other before. I've already explained how I feel about sports rivalries. However, as a member of the marching band, I'm required to support the team. Therefore...


Heh heh.


SU: 42
UConn: 30


By the way, UConn's football team may not be that good, but their marching band is awesome. I counted at least nine snare drums (our drumline has seven snares). That's all you need to know.

Posted by CD at 12:35 AM | Comments (6)

October 02, 2004

Some Days, CD Stands for "'Cuse Drummer"

Syracuse vs. Rutgers, today at 12:06 PM.

This translates to marching band practice from 7:30 to 9:30 AM, followed by a brief break, then another 5 hours of almost constant drumming. I'll probably be delirious with hunger and exhaustion by the time I'm done (I'll be doing all this on the energy from two Pop-Tarts, two bagels, and a can of Slim-Fast), so don't expect anything huge.

I do have something else planned for next week, but I really should go to sleep now, since practice starts in 6 and a half hours. I'll go into detail another day.

In the meantime, you're free to use this as an open thread, but since most of those have been catastrophic failures, I'm not expecting much.


Posted by CD at 01:03 AM | Comments (1)