Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog — YRU Still Here?
(Northern Spy , 2018, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2018-06-09
Guitarist Marc Ribot has a recorded history that is so diverse as to be of little use in predicting what a new album might sound like. His group Ceramic Dog consists of Ches Smith (drums, percussion, electronics, vocals) and Shahzad Ismaily (bass, synth, percussion, vocals), two members of Secret Chiefs 3, so it would be reasonable to expect some features of that band’s experimental pan-global genre-stew to be present. That expectation is fulfilled in numerous ways and infused with a ragged, angry punkish energy more concerned with angsty expression than precisely rendered compositions. Rhythms touch on funk, dub reggae, African, Middle Eastern, and thrashing rock, all spliced together in varying ways. Ribot’s playing has a core of blues, folk, and rock, but mutated with a lot of atonal noises and dissonance, that has won him many jobs as a sideman (Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, John Zorn, David Sylvian, and more). In addition to this wild guitar work, he contributes Farfisa organ, a bit of bass, and vocals. Guests provide a number of other instruments, including sitar, woodwinds, brass, and percussion. The vocals are often more shouted than sung, and touch on social and political topics as well as personal ones, so they often resemble the chanting at a protest march. Some highlights are the sitar-driven “Orthodoxy,” the messed-up funk of “Freak Freak Freak on the Peripherique,” and the oddball grooving of “Oral Sidney with a U.” I’m going to call it all Global Freak-Rock, and leave it at that. Probably not for everyone, but if you’ve got a tolerance for edgy noise and a fondness for non-rock elements tossed in, YRU Still Here? is a fascinating release.
Related artist(s): Marc Ribot / Ceramic Dog
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more
Osanna - Preludio Tema Variazioni Canzona (Milano Calibro 9) – This album represents the intersection of a number of trends going on in Italy at the time it was made. One was for rock bands to adopt Classical forms, sometimes even involving actual orchestras (New... (2006) » Read more