Diagnose an OS X Slowdown

So my new shiny Mac has been wonderful since I've got gotten it - but in the last few days I've had something very weird going on. The machine will lock up for about 4 minutes. Music keeps playing, but I can't do anything. After about 4 minutes I gradually get control back. This happens about twice per day, normally about 2-3 hours apart.

So this smells very much like an errant process acting up. I haven't added anything new to my system lately, but it is definitely new phenomenon.

So I know how to run the Activity Monitor, but when the "event" happens, I don't see anything being updated.

Does anyone know of a way to log activity over time? Or perhaps have another hint on how to find this bad process?

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