Converge at the Troubadour.
The rantmen of Boston's Converge are classic refusers to some extent: no pretty singing, few steady rhythms, none of your worthless society, thanks. But they pull off what many negators neglect, uniting (converging) their harsh fragments of riff and rhythm into an identifiable entity. You can yank me in any direction, they seem to stay, but I'm not gonna break. Having begun several years ago in more of a rat-a-tat-tat thrash-punk direction, these intense and intelligent (without being inhuman) soldiers broke through in 2001 with the more organized and metallic feel of Jane Doe, and continue to mature satisfyingly with the surprising instrumental choices and textures of the new You Fail Me. Bassist-screamer Nate Newton hopes you'll also take this occasion to examine the recently released Christmas by his side band Old Man Gloom, which imaginatively perpetuates the OMG tradition of doomy sludge juxtaposed with meditative ambiences. (Greg Burk)