Five years after their debut release, Ceramic Dog, the power trio featuring Marc Ribot (guitar), Shahzad Ismaily (bass/electronics) and Ches Smith (drums), returns with this exceptional album merging rock and improv Downtown NY style.
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Label: Northern Spy
Catalog ID: CD-NS-038
Squidco Product Code: 17440
Recorded at Rivington Studios, Noise Studios, and Brooklyn Recording. Mastered by Scott Hull at Masterdisk.
Marc Ribot-guitars, vocals, Eb horn, banjo, trumpet, melodica, bass
Ches Smith-drums, percussion, electronics, vocals, keys
Shahzad Ismaily-bass, vocals, Moog, keys, guitar, samples
Dan Willis-oboe, zurna
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1. Lies My Body Told Me 5:30
2. Your Turn 3:59
3. Masters of the Internet 4:05
4. Ritual Slaughter 4:04
5. Avanti Populo 0:58
6. Ain't Gonna Let Them Turn Us Round 3:54
7. Bread and Roses 5:17
8. Prayer 5:39
9. Mr. Pants Goes to Hollywood 4:31
10. The Kid is Back! 3:07
11. Take 5 5:26
12. We Are the Professionals 3:54
13. Special Snowflake 1:40
Related Categories of Interest:
Rock and Related
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
Song Based Music
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
sample the album:
"Your Turn features 13 tracks, several written solely by Ribot (Los Cubanos Postizos, John Zorn, Tom Waits) and one by Smith. Others are group efforts by Ribot, Ismaily (Will Oldham, Laurie Anderson, Jolie Holland, Yoko Ono) and Smith (Xiu Xiu, Good for Cows, Secret Chiefs 3), two of the best young players on the New York/California underground improv/experimental rock scene. One track, "Bread and Roses," is based on a 1911 poem by James Oppenheim. Perhaps the oddest but most fascinating track is the trio's enlightening re-imagination of the Paul Desmond-written Dave Brubeck jazz classic "Take Five.
"Ribot, who describes Ceramic Dog as a "free/punk/funk/experimental/psychedelic/post electronica collective," says that Your Turn was two years in the making. "Second records are notoriously hard to nail down," he explains. "We tried to make it a few times. Finally we got it right - meaning, we got it to sound wrong, exactly like us.
"In Ismaily and Smith, Ribot has found ideally simpatico compadres. All Music Guide, in its review of the trio's 2008 debut Party Intellectuals, said, "Shazhad Ismaily and Ches Smith are able to give Ribot just what the songs need whether it's hazy atmospherics or ferocious rocking and have no problem heading down whichever musical path Ribot chooses."Where some bands flounder on their sophomore release, Ceramic Dog coalesces into an even tighter unit on Your Turn. In the years since they first played together, Ribot, Shahzad and Smith have each been down many divergent roads artistically, and when they met up again to record this new set they found they had a renewed purpose and a fine-tuned focus.
"If you listen closely, you can hear the rage, hope, disappointment, ritual excess, love and anarchy that were in our personal and collective airspace during those years," says Ribot. "There were (and, we hope, will continue to be) several kinds of riots going on ('Lies My Body Told Me,' 'Bread and Roses'). And yes, the CD is 'political' ('Avanti Popolo' - a traditional folk song the Italian labor movement adopted as their anthem, 'Ain't Gonna Let Them Turn Us 'Round'). But what fun is raging against the machine if you can't also rage against the bar line and the tonal system ('Take Five,' 'Ritual Slaughter,' the title track)?"
Adds Shahzad, "I love the songs on this record. Pain is an inevitable part of life. It follows us grimly and attaches. I'm fighting its ability to consume, and making this record was one way of doing that. Listening to it is the other."
From the opening track, "Lies My Body Told Me," through the closer, Smith's "Special Snowflake," all three perform with a rare intensity and telepathy - with plenty of fuel to power them. In "Masters of the Internet," Ceramic Dog rails against those who feel entitled to free music, perfectly willing to screw the artists they claim to love: "The masters must be entertained/they hunger for digital content/we must labor night and day for the glory of the masses and the masters of the internet." And in "The Kid is Back," love was never quite as brutal as this: "I love you like old Nixon loved his Pat/love you like ol' Hitler loved his pretty little Eva/I love you like a beater loves his bat/love you like the beast in the jungle loves his fever/c'mon baby let's just pop the cork."
One of the indisputable highlights is "Bread and Roses," which was released last fall to commemorate the first anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement. "'Bread and Roses' is an old labor song," comments Ribot, "associated with the IWW Lawrence Massachusetts textile worker's strike of 1912. The lyrics are based on a poem written by James Oppenheimer. We changed the music, and a few of the lyrics (we figured anarcho/syndicalists wouldn't mind), but the sentiments are the same."
Recorded at three different New York-area studios, Your Turn was produced and mixed by Greg Saunier, the drummer of buzzy indie band Deerhoof; Smith suggested that he should produce the record. "I've known him and his music since our time in the same Bay Area scene in the late '90's/early '00s," says the drummer. "I was always impressed with his unique approach to composition and recording - how he combines the two - and with his crazy-ass drumming. He's also a longtime fan of Marc, so he has a valuable vantage point in terms of understanding where Marc's music had been and where it could go. As far as mixing, I fully agree with Greg's aesthetic. He has mixed several albums I have played on and written for, and I have always been a fan of his band Deerhoof. This album sounds and feels real to me."
As it undoubtedly will to anyone fortunate enough to bathe in its glorious racket. "Those searching for rigorously applied formal constraints may have to wait," says Ribot, and then he channels a bit of Cyndi Lauper: "Ceramic Dogs just wanna have fun." "-Northern Spy
• Show Bio for Marc Ribot
"Marc Ribot (pronounced REE-bow) was born in Newark, New Jersey in 1954. As a teen, he played guitar in various garage bands while studying with his mentor, Haitian classical guitarist and composer Frantz Casseus. After moving to New York City in 1978, Ribot was a member of the soul/punk Realtones, and from 1984 - 1989, of John Lurie's Lounge Lizards. Between 1979 and 1985, Ribot also worked as a side musician with Brother Jack McDuff, Wilson Pickett, Carla Thomas, Rufus Thomas, Chuck Berry, and many others.
Rolling Stone points out that "Guitarist Marc Ribot helped Tom Waits refine a new, weird Americana on 1985's "Rain Dogs", and since then he's become the go-to guitar guy for all kinds of roots-music adventurers: Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Elvis Costello, John Mellencamp." Additional recording credits include Soloman Burke, Neko Case, Diana Krall, Beth Orton, Marianne Faithful, Arto Lindsay, Caetano Veloso, Laurie Anderson, Susana Baca, McCoy Tyner, The Jazz Passengers, Medeski, Martin & Wood, Cibo Matto, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, James Carter, Vinicio Capposella (Italy), Auktyon (Russia), Vinicius Cantuaria, Sierra Maestra (Cuba), Alain Bashung (France), Marisa Monte, Allen Ginsburg, Madeleine Peyroux, Sam Phillips, and more recently Joe Henry, Allen Toussaint, Norah Jones, Akiko Yano, The Black Keys, Jeff Bridges, Jolie Holland, Elton John/Leon Russell and many others. Ribot frequently collaborates with producer T Bone Burnett, most notably on Alison Krauss and Robert Plant's Grammy Award winning "Raising Sand" and regularly works with composer John Zorn.
Marc has released over 20 albums under his own name over a 35-year career, exploring everything from the pioneering jazz of Albert Ayler with his group "Spiritual Unity" (Pi Recordings), to the Cuban son of Arsenio Rodríguez with two critically acclaimed releases on Atlantic Records under "Marc Ribot Y Los Cubanos Postizos". His avant power trio/post-rock band, Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog (Pi Recordings), continues the lineage of his earlier experimental no-wave/punk/noise groups Rootless Cosmopolitans (Island Antilles) and Shrek (Tzadik). Marc's solo recordings include "Marc Ribot Plays The Complete Works of Frantz Casseus" (Les Disques Du Crepuscule), "John Zorn's The Book of Heads" (Tzadik), "Don't Blame Me" (DIW), "Saints" (Atlantic), "Exercises in Futility" (Tzadik), and his latest "Silent Movies" released in 2010 on Pi Recordings was described as a "down-in-mouth-near master piece" by the Village Voice and has landed on several Best of 2010 lists including the LA Times and critical praise across the board. 2013 saw the release of "Your Turn" (Northern Spy), the sophomore effort from Ribot's post-rock/noise trio Ceramic Dog, and 2014 saw the monumental release: "Marc Ribot Trio Live at the Village Vanguard" (Pi Recordings), documenting Marc's first headline and the return of Henry Grimes at the historical venue in 2012 already included on Best of 2014 lists including Downbeat Magazine and NPR's 50 Favorites.
Marc has performed on scores such as "The Kids Are All Right," "Where the Wild Things Are," "Walk The Line (Mangold)," "Everything is Illuminated," and "The Departed" (Scorcese)." Marc has also composed original scores including the French film Gare du Nord (Simon), the PBS documentary "Revolucion: Cinco Miradas," the film "Drunkboat," starring John Malkovich and John Goodman, a documentary film by Greg Feldman titled "Joe Schmoe," a feature film by director Joe Brewster titled "The Killing Zone", and dance pieces "In as Much as Life is Borrowed", by famed Belgian choreographer, Wim Vandekeybus, and Yoshiko Chuma's "Altogether Different". Marc is also currently touring his live solo guitar score to Charlie Chaplin's "The Kid", which was commissioned by the NY Guitar Festival and premiered Jan 2010 at Merkin Hall, as well as a program of new arrangements of classic Film Noir scores commissioned by the New School Noir Arts Festival 2011.
In 2009, Marc was named curator and musical director for the year's Century of Song Festival, part of the Ruhr Triennale in Germany. The concert series sparked new collaborations with Iggy Pop, Marianne Faithfull, David Hidalgo of Los Lobos, master cajón player Juan Medrano Cotito, Carla Bozulich and Tine Kindermann.
Marc's talents have also been showcased with a full symphony orchestra. Composer Stewart Wallace wrote a guitar concerto with orchestra specifically for Marc. The piece was premiered by the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington DC in July of 2004 and also appeared at The Cabrillo Festival in Santa Cruz, CA in August of 2005.
Marc is currently touring with several projects including the Marc Ribot Trio, a free jazz group featuring legendary bassist Henry Grimes and Chad Taylor on drums, his power trio Ceramic Dog with bassist Shahzad Ismaily and drummer Ches Smith, the Philly soul meets the harmolodics of Ornette Coleman's The Young Philadelphians with Jamaaladeen Tacuma and Calvin Weston, and with Caged Funk, a project of funk arrangements of John Cage's music featuring Bernie Worrell of Parliament Funkadelic fame."-Marc Ribot Website (http://marcribot.com/bio)
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• Show Bio for Ches Smith
"Born in San Diego, CA and raised in Sacramento, Ches Smith came up in a scene of punks and metal musicians who were listening to and experimenting with jazz and free improvisation. He studied philosophy at the University of Oregon before relocating to the San Francisco Bay area in 1995. After a few years of playing with obscure bands and intensive study with drummer / educator Peter Magadini, he enrolled in the graduate program at Mills College in Oakland at the suggestion of percussionist William Winant. There he studied percussion, improvisation, and composition with Winant, Fred Frith, Pauline Oliveros and Alvin Curran. One of Winant's first "assignments" for Ches was to sub in his touring gig at the time, Mr. Bungle (here he met bassist / composer Trevor Dunn who would later hire him for the second incarnation of his Trio-Convulsant). During his time at Mills, Ches co-founded two bands: Theory of Ruin (with Fudgetunnel / Nailbomb frontman Alex Newport), and Good for Cows (w/ Nels Cline Singers' Devin Hoff). He currently performs and records with Xiu Xiu, and Secret Chiefs 3. He has also performed with Ben Goldberg, Annie Gosfield, Wadada Leo Smith, John Tchicai, Fred Frith, and Trevor Dunn. In addition to Ceramic Dog, he also leads his two of his own projects, Congs for Brums and These Arches. He currently spends his time between Los Angeles, San Francisco and Brooklyn."-Ches Smith Website (http://www.chessmith.com/)
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• Show Bio for Arto Lindsay
"Arto Lindsay (b. 1953) has stood at the intersection of music and art for more than four decades. As a member of DNA, he contributed to the foundation of No Wave. As bandleader for the Ambitious Lovers he developed an intensely subversive pop music,a hybrid of American and Brazilian styles.. Throughout his career, Lindsay has collaborated with both visual and musical artists, including Vito Acconci, Laurie Anderson, Animal Collective, Matthew Barney, Caetano Veloso and Rirkrit Tiravanija. Having been involved with carnaval in Brazil for many years in 2004 he began making parades."-Arto Lindsay Website (http://artolindsay.com/bio)
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