July 25, 2005

Chronic Beal

In case you haven't noticed, I don't blog much anymore. SIT has been through a lot, and I'm really not sure where to take it from here. Honestly, I don't think I have any readers left.

I don't know when I'll post again. It could be today, it could be tomorrow, it could be a month or more, and it could be never. Until then, here's a picture of a weird pretzel I found:



Posted by CD at 07:38 AM | Comments (8) | 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

Meme Commentary

I don't care what anyone says. I think the HA! HA! Guy is hilarious.

Posted by CD at 04:48 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 19, 2005

Dubya Comes Through

I know I haven't been doing a lot of political blogging lately, but I have to write a quick post about this:

President Bush on Tuesday picked Judge John G. Roberts Jr. to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

Roberts, 50, is a conservative who currently sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. A former clerk to Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, his name has been floated for months as a possible Bush selection for the high court.

I'll admit that I'm surprised. I was sure Bush would pick some "moderate" judge that he was friends with at some point, but he actually went with a conservative. If you look around the blogosphere a bit, you'll see that liberals seem to hate Roberts (see the Daily "Screw Them" Kos) and conservative politicians have supported him. And he seems to believe that Roe v. Wade was a mistake, which is a huge plus.

I don't really have a lot more to say about this right now, but I wanted to give Bush the proper kudos for actually making a good choice for once. It's about time he started using that mandate.

Posted by CD at 10:39 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 list...now:

"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:

"Hey...you'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 12, 2005

What Is This "Blogging" You Speak Of?

Man, I've hardly posted anything for the past few weeks.


...And it appears that trend will continue.

In other news, my band is up to 8 songs. We're almost ready to hit the studio now. Woohoo.

Posted by CD at 11:41 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 10, 2005

You Know What to Do

Posted by CD at 10:34 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 07, 2005

Terror Hits London

As I'm sure you're aware by now, I sleep really late, so I just saw this.

I really don't have a lot to say. These fucking terrorfucks just don't fucking get it. I'd like to briefly address a part of this post to them:

Look, you sadistic subhuman shitbags, your whole fucking ideology is futile. You're not going to win. All you're doing is condemning yourselves and thousands more like you to death and pissing off millions around the world. Every time you do this, it turns more people against you. Your days were already numbered, and now they're even shorter. Fuck you, fuck your fraudulent death-cult, fuck your supporters, and fuck everyone who has even an ounce of sympathy for you. You are nothing. DIE.

Okay, back to business.

The reaction to this has not been uniform, and it will only get worse. Some will properly blame the terrorists, some will blame Bush and Blair, some will blame the Jews, and others will find new scapegoats. Some will say this proves we need to fight terror, while others will say this proves we were wrong to fight it. You know where I stand, but whatever the case may be, the most important thing to remember is that terrorists did this, and terrorists deserve to take the heat for it. We don't even know for sure if it was Al Qaeda, but it was undoubtedly terrorists. They are the true enemy, and nobody should have any excuse to believe differently.

I know this isn't the most profound post ever written, but with all the bullshit we've been through since 9/11, I thought I'd remind everyone that evil still exists, and it's more dangerous than any of the childish domestic squabbles happening on a daily basis.

And in case they missed it, a final message for the terrorists:


Posted by CD at 03:55 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

July 05, 2005

CD's Guide to Firework Ruiners

I hope all you loyal minions out there had a good 4th of July weekend. I'm sure that most of you went to a fireworks display tonight, and I thought I'd write a quick post about some of the more annoying people you may have encountered there. This should help you identify the offender more easily in the future. Here we go (note for PC fanatics: I will be using "he" to describe all these people, but they can be male or female. Thank you):

The Tard Family: This is actually a group. They usually arrive in a van and unload about 12 people, 8 of whom are children. The children are allowed to roam free without any regard for safety, and at least one child appears to be either mentally disabled or just completely out of control, running around in front of cars and making strange noises. The one I encountered tonight, for example, periodically slapped himself in the face and made a loud growling noise. And he appeared to be about 10 years old. Meanwhile, the rest of the family ignores the small tard until one of them threatens him with physical violence. During the display, the tardlings react to each individual firework by screaming "WHOA" and imitating the sounds of the explosions. Their natural habitat is on the roof and/or hood of the vehicle they arrived in.

Captain Obvious: This delightful character decides that it's his duty to let everyone in the general area know that he's paying attention. He likes to point out what color each firework is, and will often shout "grand finale!" as the finale begins. He may be an adult or a child, or there may be several. A related species is the person who just repeats the words "grand finale" every few seconds throughout the display.

Mr. Uninterested: This guy drives all the way from home to watch a fireworks display, but before it starts, he decides that he doesn't want to be there, so he proceeds to talk to his companions throughout the entire show at a volume that lets everyone know the topic of conversation. It's usually something completely useless like sock darning (yes, that is an example from real life). He often has a cell phone so he can communicate with fellow ruiners at other displays.

The Music Man: This brilliant specimen thinks that the fireworks and screaming tards aren't providing enough audible entertainment, so he opens all his car doors and cranks up his stereo so everyone can listen to his crappy hip-hop music while they watch the display. If you encounter this firework ruiner, slash his tires.

The Tardy Tard: This ruiner thinks that nobody will care if he shows up five minutes into the display and takes several minutes to park his car while his headlights blind everyone around him. No matter where you are, he will find you, and he will park in front of you. It is his only reason for existing.

The Early Bird: A relative of the Tardy Tard, this ruiner decides to leave five minutes early to beat the traffic, and much like TT, he blinds everyone around him when he pulls out. Apparently, it's more important to get home early than to watch the whole freakin' display.

There are many more firework ruiners out there, but these are the most egregious offenders. I hope this guide will help you identify and deal with the ruiners at future displays.

Thank you.

Posted by CD at 12:28 AM | Comments (5) | 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