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Jazz - Released June 25, 2021 | Yellowbird Records

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A jack of all trades, a transformer, a chameleon, larger-than-life, and utterly avant-garde: Marc Ribot is the most mercurial musician of his generation. At 67, the New Yorker is still a charming student of the guitar, and an expert in XXL riffs. From his beginnings supporting soul legends like Wilson Pickett and Solomon Burke, followed by a brief stint in John Lurie's Lounge Lizards in the post-punk/no wave New York of the early eighties, he went on to be a regular sight alongside Tom Waits, John Zorn, Marianne Faithfull and the late Bashung. This punk among jazz guitarists also goes after Cuban music with his Cubanos Postizos, rattles jazz and rock with the Rootless Cosmopolitans and even appropriates classical Haitian music in a sublime tribute to the composer Frantz Casseus! His CV, already as thick as a Bible, now features yet another outfit: Ceramic Dog. A power trio launched around 2008, with bassist Shahzad Ismaily and drummer Ches Smith, they deal in music that's pure and hard. It is a return to the roots for this wandering craftsman who defines Ceramic Dog as a "free/punk/funk/experimental/psychedelic/post electronica collective".Constrained by the pandemic, the three friends managed to lock themselves in the studio in May 2020 to record Hope. This collection of eight original pieces reflects of the uncertainties of the time, and includes a spoken-word version of Wear Your Love Like Heaven by Donovan. The result is often an enigmatic portrait of Ribot: we find his no wave roots on They Met in the Middle (with alto sax by guest Darius Jones); his love for cavernous Blues (B-Flat Ontology) or voodoo groove (Nickelodeon), and his political commitments, on The Activist ("I wrote that after sitting at the millionth political meeting that didn't get anything done. So, in this song, I was channelling people who really enjoyed mouthing a bunch of radical sounding shit, as opposed to actually doing what urgently needed to be done"). This might all seem like a higgledy-piggledy random assortment, but Ribot's cerebral meanderings are always a great pleasure to get lost in. The times might be out of joint, but so is Marc Ribot. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released April 27, 2018 | Yellowbird Records

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From the start of YRU Still Here?, Marc Ribot proclaims his intent, sneering "I got a right to be unhappy/I got a right to say 'Fuck You!'/I got a right to ignore everything you say, my feelings are political." Titled "Personal Nancy," as in Nancy Spungen, the doomed paramore of Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious, the song plays as an anthem for the fractured psyche of America in the Trump age. Which is exactly the point of YRU Still Here?, the pugilistic, stylistically expansive third album from Ceramic Dog, guitarist/singer Ribot's punk-infused trio with bassist/singer Shahzad Ismaily and drummer/singer Ches Smith. Grounded by Ribot's mutative, buzzy guitar lines and the band's taut, often humorous lyrics piping with literate rage, YRU Still Here? has the feel of an '80s hardcore punk 7" recorded on a four-track over an intense few hours. While the band's dissonant, MC5-esque brand of punk, improvisational jazz, and avant-garde rock has always evinced a kind of leftist artistic ire, it's never been as overtly politically and socially minded as it is here. On the blistering "Muslim Jewish Resistance," Ribot and his bandmates (egged on by Briggan Krauss' fiery saxophone squelch) present a unified vision, bucking authoritarian oppression and cultural divisiveness with the proclamation "We say never again/Believe it." Of course, Ceramic Dog's intent is never in doubt here. Cuts like the kinetic, rap-inflected "Fuck la Migra," a pro-immigration, anti-ICE anthem that sounds like the Beastie Boys backed by Sonic Youth, make that explicitly clear. Elsewhere, there are equally thrilling forays into Afro-beat ("Pennsylvania 6 6666"), Cramps-style surf rock insanity ("Agnes"), noise funk ("Oral Sidney with a 'U'"), and psychedelic raga ("Orthodoxy"). Despite its title, YRU Still Here? is less about asking questions and more about Ribot, Ismaily, and Smith taking a defiant stand. © Matt Collar /TiVo
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Rock - Released April 12, 2013 | Yellowbird Records

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Party Intellectuals was a stellar debut album and it seems Ceramic Dog was pretty geared up for the follow-up, Your Turn. It's just as eclectic, just as rocking, and just as twisted, and has plenty of raw, noisy guitar. Your Turn is just a bit leaner with no songs even close to breaking six minutes. Easing in with "Lies My Body Told Me," the tune quickly gathers steam and snarling guitars until the band is pretty much at full-throttle for "Your Turn," an absolute scorcher. "Masters of the Internet" is a hilarious, sarcastic commentary on today's music business set to an ominous Middle Eastern dirge. "Ritual Slaughter" threatens to go off the rails at any moment but somehow manages not to. Ribot is just burning while Ches and Shahzad kick it hard. "Avanti Popolo" is a short little march that leads to "Ain't Gonna Let Us Turn Them Around," a sparse little ditty set to a reggae beat with clanking percussion and a guitar tone that sounds more like the distorted mbiras of Konono No. 1. "Bread and Roses" is an angry sort of protest tune inspired by a poem originally written in support of women's rights in 1911 but which was later given music and adopted by the labor movement in the '70s (this one features another great guitar solo). "Prayer" alternates loud and soft (but it's always pretty raw and nasty) before finding a groove and some great white-noise fuzz-wah guitar. "Mr. Pants Goes to Hollywood" is a loopy, elliptical track with a tick-tock rhythm and crazy sonic palette. "The Kid Is Back" is funny, bent vocal jazz with Cole Porter-esque phrasing which leads to the skronkiest "Take 5" you're likely to ever hear (yes, it's great). "We Are the Professionals" is another funny one with Ceramic Dog showing off their Beastie Boys side. The album ends with a Ches Smith-penned stomping. The whole album is a blast. Ribot's vocals have never been anything to write home about, but they suit this material perfectly. Instrumentally, this band can do nearly anything. Party Intellectuals may have set the bar high, but Your Turn is definitely a worthy follow-up. © Sean Westergaard /TiVo
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Jazz - Released June 4, 2021 | Yellowbird Records

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Jazz - Released May 28, 2021 | Yellowbird Records

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