Kurt Ballou Redefines Converge presents:
Tonight from 7pm to 9pm I will only play music picked by the guitartist of Converge, Kurt Ballou, plus offer a little insight as to how some of those puzzle pieces fit into their band history. There are some tracks I think people are expecting to hear like Rorschach or Sick of It All but a traditional Appalachian folk song played by a Gothic Americana band (who knew that was even a genre?)? I don't think so!
The show is a terrific balance of the expected and unexpected and I think fans will be interested to hear which four Converge songs Kurt picked and why too.
The tracklisting will be posted as the show progresses here and at the end of the show I will also post all the notes Kurt has given me about the songs so you can read in his exact words, why he picked each song.
Here is the link to download the show from tonight in case you missed it. :http://www.sendspace.com/file/7oraxz
Song Fun Facts and if you didn't hear one of them during the show tonight, it is because either A) there was a curse word factor or B) I ran out of time to play everything.
All below notes written by Kurt Converge
Favorite Converge Songs:
A fun collab with cave in. it stands out because it has a variety of people and ideas which took it to a place it wouldn't have gone had it just been a 4 piece converge song.
A fun collab with Steve Von Till. it stands out because it doesn't sound much like converge at all and is more along the lines of our current taste in music for our listening pleasure. it's nice to flex some other chops once in a while.
Eagles Become Vultures
Classic banger. one of the easiest writing processes we've ever had. I think we had it down in about 15 min.
I like it because it sounds like Converge, but it's much more dynamic than most of our songs.
Classic banger and lead track from our breakthrough record.
* * * *
Other's songs I feel had a direct impact on the development of converge over the years (mostly the early years). I tried to pick things which aren't too obvious or overplayed: in alphabetical order.
Bad Brains – Soul Craft
I'm obsessed with how this song sounds like it was very much inspired by Van Halen's "mean street."
The Beatles – Tomorrow Never Knows
Something about this song hit me hard. It was made by a very commercially successful band, yet was clearly not designed to appease an audience other than themselves. It's cinematic music at it's core in that my memory of it is of imagery more than music.
The birthday Party – Dead Joe
it's inspiring to hear someone approach the concepts of "abrassive, heavy, and anti-social" from a completely non-metallic standpoint. dead joe is a reminder to me that intensity doesn't need to come from how low you tune or how fast you play.
Black Flag – Gimme Gimme Gimme
Black Sabbath – Symptom of the Universe
Born Against – Well Fed F*ck
From the time period of my life when I was finding the music that really spoke to me and helped exemplify who I was. Born Aainst was one of those bands I really identified with.
Cro-mags – Malfunction
Cryptopsy – Benedictine Convulsions
I Ioved the early Swedish and Florida deathmetal bands, but then that whole scene got cartoonish. This song got me back into deathmetal because it was organic and human, unlike a lot of the overly triggered and edited Hollywood perfect deathmetal which that scene has churned out since the mid 90's.
Cursive – Gentleman Caller
Similar description to "dead joe"
Drive Like Jehu – New Math
DYS – brotherhood
Classic Boston hardcore. when i first got into hardcore, I thought it was only a DC and Southern California phenomenon. When I realized that people from where I were from were doing just as much and just as important to that scene it really struck me that maybe i could do this too.
Echo and the Bunnymen – All my colours
I love the way that bands like Echo, The Cure, Cocteau Twins, etc. can put you into a trance with a kind of mellow intensity.
Entombed – Wolverine Blues
I don't care what kind of music someone likes or what their pretensions are about different music scenes, this song is a totally undeniable ripper.
Failure – Heliotropic
So that's where JR (Cave In) got that drum beat.
Godflesh – Locust Furnace
What? There's no drummer? Why would you do that? He used to be in napalm death? Weird. For most of 93-94, I would chant "locust….. furnace…." over and over during grocery shopping. I have no idea why.
Hoover – Cuts like Drugs
A great example of DC's continued legacy of forging their own path in independent music. this song has an intensity and dynamic not matched by anything else i was aware of when i first heard it. Most of my friends at the time were listening to baggy pants Victory records music. I was so happy to find something that was still super intense, but done in a classy, timeless manner.
Infest – Rabid Pigs
When i first heard infest, I had probably never heard anything that fast before. Maybe Disrupt.
Jerry's Kids – Lysol
Classic Boston hardcore. Another inspirational band to make me get off my ass. PS, they were amazing at the DYS reunion show a few months ago.
The Jesus Lizard – Monkey Trick
I didn't hear this band until the late 90's and was so bummed that I had missed them. I had an ex-GF who loved them and I guess that was my reason to never give them a chance. But yeah, this was classic. They were like the perfect blend of the birthday party and shellac for me.
Knut – h/armless
Undeniably heavy riff.
Lincoln – Sugarloaf
this was another one of those bands that kept me grounded in a scene full of flash in the pan youth crew revival and mid tempo mosh core, somehow lincoln infiltrated my record collection and reinforced my suspicion about how bad a lot of my friend's taste in music was.
Moss Icon – I'm back sleeping or f*cking or something
Same as sugarloaf
Neil Young – Guitar Solo 1 (skip the first four and half minutes of this one. this theme is important. i've ripped it off a few times.)
Yeah, I definitely ripped this one off for the converge song, "first light." It's from the Deadman soundtrack and inspires you to see more than hear things. While it's not a traditional song and doesn't really have a hook, it still manages to do what music is supposed to do – illicit an emotional response.
Pantera – Fucking Hostile
Sometimes you just need to get punched in the face.
The Pixies – Mr Grieves
Part of the soundtrack to my senior year of high school. Intense. Weird. Pop. Yes.
Quicksand – Dine Alone
One of the finest success stories in NYHC trying to redefine itself
Rites of Spring – For Want Of
Revolution summer! Classic.
Rorschach – in ruins
Let's be honest, if there was no Rorschach, there would be no Converge. They are the blueprint for what we do.
Sick Of It All – Injustice System
Blood Sweat and No tears was among the first hardcore albums I ever got and was played until the tape wore out. If you've ever seen the NYHC documentary from the early 90's, it's obvious that SOIA were better songwriters, better performers, better musicians, and a tighter band than anybody else except maybe the Cromags.
Slapshot – Firewalker
Sudden Death Overtime was the current album when I first heard Slapshot. i was blown away that a band like this was from near where i was from.
Slayer – Live Undead
Holly M dubbed her brother's "south of heaven" tape and gave it to me in English class when i was 14. I'm not sure why. We didn't even know each other well but if it hadn't been for that event, i don't know where my life would be today.
Sonic Youth – Mote
Senior year sound track. Sonic Youth and the Pixies were the beginning of my understanding of the two headed coin of heaviness. Slayer was on one side, Sonic Youth was on the other. I suppose if you really dumbed down my influences today, it would still be true. someone who knows SY as well as they know Slayer would see that what Converge does falls somewhere in between the two.
Soul Side – God City
Title track for my studio. When I first started recording, I dreamed that someday my studio would be pro enough that I would have my own answering machine. I thought that the first lyric of this song, "this is godcity…." would sound good on an answering machine.
Starkweather – Tumult
Is it metal? Is it hardcore? Is it weird? Do i like it? Yes, yes, yes, and also yes.
Today is the Day – My First Knife
This surely must be what it sounds like inside the head of a mental patient.
Tom Waits – Misery Is The River of the World
Sounds like James Earl Jones got wasted and started banging on sh*t in a junkyard.
Universal Order of Armageddon – Flux
See Born Against
16 Horsepower – Wayfaring stranger
Another band that continued to expand my definition of intensity and heaviness. but 16 Horsepower do it with a somber sentimentality that reminds me of sitting around a campfire on the last day of camp.
Playlist temporarily unavailable.
January 6th, 2011
Posted In: Music Shows