Well, I just looked up “ceramic” and “dog” on Wikipedia, and full disclosure, I am no closer to understanding what a “Ceramic Dog” is. Apparently it’s got something to do with the French phrase “chien de faïence,” but, seriously, who even speaks French? I can tell you one thing though: whatever it means, it’s got layers, man.
What I do understand is that Ceramic Dog is a band consisting of guitarist Marc Ribot, bassist and electronics guru Shahzad Ismaily, and drummer Ches Smith. They’ve described themselves as a “free/punk/funk/experimental/psychedelic/post electronica collective” (layers!) and unlike all the fake rock bands he’s been in over the years, Ribot says Ceramic Dog “is the first time since high school I’ve been in a real rock band.” Ceramic Dog has got a new album, a follow-up to their 2008 debut Party Intellectuals (TMT Review), coming out on Northern Spy Records on April 30; it’s called Your Turn.
There’s obviously a lot going on here. According to Ribot, the band spent nearly two years trying to get the album just right. He says:
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.
For those of you who did better in school than I did, there’s even more to hear:
The astute listener will note our wry comment on the contradictions of producing a recording during the collapse of the industry which once paid for recordings to be produced (“We are the Professionals,” “Masters of the Internet” and the attached manifesto).
That’s right! The album comes with a manifesto! But wait, there’s more:
The very astute listener with really expensive headphones may hear the water pipes in the basement on Rivington and Allen where we recorded about half the tracks (the guitar amp isolation booth looked a lot like a bathroom).
And, apparently, if you have just the right kind of stereo and stand just close enough to the speakers in your living room, you can hear Marc Ribot’s soft voice whispering things like, “You think that’s a guitar solo? That’s pathetic. Check this out.” Bose store here I come!
Your Turn tracklist:
01. Lies My Body Told Me
02. Your Turn
03. Masters of the Internet
04. Ritual Slaughter
05. Avanti Popolo
06. Ain’t Gonna Let Them Turn Us Round
07. Bread and Roses
09. Mr. Pants Goes to Hollywood
10. The Kid is Back!
11. Take 5
12. We are the Professionals
13. Special Snowflake