Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog
Look out for band's much awaited third album and first in five years to be released in April 2018: “I got a right to say F$%K YOU!!!” is how the new album from veteran guitarist Marc Ribot’s trio Ceramic Dog starts off, with Ribot howling in anger at corruption, tyranny, life in general, and nothing in particular. Ribot certainly isn’t the only one piling-on, but if you’ve got a serious case of outrage fatigue, Ceramic Dog’s explosive cocktail of balls-to-the-wall abandon, chameleonic disregard for style constraints, political commentary, and absurdist humor is just the shot you might need. In fact, Ceramic Dog’s new album -- titled YRU Still Here?— directed in equal parts at themselves, the commander in chief, and the listening public -- arrives just in time to remind us that now is a moment when anger is not only necessary, and unavoidable, but also good for house plants . Thanks in no small part to the fire, brimstone, and dextrous facility summoned by kindred spirits Shahzad Ismaily (Secret Chiefs 3, Will Oldham, Ben Frost) on bass and drummer Ches Smith (Xiu Xiu, Secret Chiefs 3, Trevor Dunn’s Trio Convulsant), YRU Still Here? comes to the table armed with more than just sloganeering rhetoric. By way of stylistic explanation, Ribot comments: “Yes, we too are subject to the post-modern condition, but we see it as a kind of psoriasis.” Alongside his monumental career forging his peerless guitar style with the likes of Tom Waits, John Zorn, the Lounge Lizards, etc, Ribot has also worked for decades as a tenant union and artist rights activist, where he mastered the agit-prop skills used to such dazzling effect on hits such as “F$%k La Migra” and “Muslim/Jewish Resistance”. As much as it is a rallying cry, though, YRU Still Here? also further consecrates Ribot’s bond with Ismaily and Smith, referring to them as his “musical conscience” and to the band as a “family...although not always in a good way”. “After all the playing I’ve done,” Ribot explains, “there’s just something about this group that still manages to shock me.”
Ceramic Dog's sophomore album, Your Turn, landed on several 'Best of 2013' lists including PopMatters, Alarm Magazine, and Something Else. PopMatters writes: "The scary thing about Marc Ribot and his new(ish) band is that all of these styles and quirks are pulled off so convincingly... with their first album well behind them, they are even fiercer than before... 8 out of 10 stars." All Music calls the album "an absolute scorcher... this band can do nearly anything," and Robert Christgau says "Ribot's new hard-rock album with Ceramic Dog ranks amongst his most daring," in his review on NPR's All Things Considered which can be heard here.
"Guitarist Marc Ribot’s wildest project doesn’t mess around. The guitar legend, with bassist Shahzad Ismaily, and drummer Ches Smith, merges funk backbeats with the taut chaos of Sonic Youth and flashes of Woodstock Santana."
(NY Magazine, 2018)
"Marc Ribot's new power trio, filled out by the remarkable versatile rhythm team of bassist Shahzad Ismaily and drummer Ches Smith, is his rawest band in ages."
"Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog, whose style is experimental...though much more pleasing on the ears, was one of the best surprises of the festival." - AV Club review at All Tomorrow's Parties Festival 2011 curated by Portishead
Since 2002, Ahleuchatistas has been making music that sounds like little else emanating from the mountains of their Asheville, North Carolina home, or indeed, anywhere else. Starting as a trio, the band was soon paired down to the duo of guitarist Shane Parish and drummer Ryan Oslance. Yet somehow the two often manage to sound like a much larger band. Tuneful melodies collide with experimental detours as Parish makes the most of his fretboard and pedals and Oslance fuses rock beats and jazz polyrhythms.
Having released a number of albums on evergreen avant garde houses Cuneiform and Tzadik, their latest album, Arrebeto, teams them with International Anthem, a new Chicago-based label committed to cutting edge jazz and impro. You might not remember how to pronounce their name, a mashup of Charlie Parker’s “Ah-Leu-Cha” and Zapatistas, but you’ll never forget their performance.