Organ Thing of The Day? Grab hold of this one now, Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog have an album that really lives up to the name they gave it, Hope. Now the thing to do here is to just skip our words and the so-called “review” and just hit the play button and soak it all up for yourselves, give it more that the now customary 30 second slice of your attention span now, let it flow, let it unfold, cut our crap, cut to the chase and let his word play begin, listen to it all, you can’t just take bites, you need it all, you need the cake and the fish.
The review? The so-called review? Well the word no is not acceptable and this new album has been out for a week or two already but hey, release dates aren’t that important and what’s six weeks late between friends? We are friends aren’t we? You come around here to see what’s what now and again, are we friends? Oh brothers and sisters of the heavenly mantra, coming around here for the endless parade and the endless performance of it all, are we friends yet? Let’s do the twist like we did last year or last week or last month or was it yesterday? Look up in the sky, its a bird or a flame and there’s lots of things to like here, the wordplay does grab and then the details within the music, the different places it all goes, the jazz, the bite, the peaceful bits next to the slightly wild (but never too wild) bits. and the (never too) blissful bits, right now there’s some beautiful guitar playing that’s jazzy in a way that flows like Hendrix when he wasn’t being the showman, something called The Long Goodbye, something that grabs your breath when the sax joins in with the other layers and the sublime playing and the power of it all, and wow! No words needed in that piece, no words needed here, you’re not still reading this so-called review are you? You have ears, cut to the damn chase already.
I love this album, love the whole thing, every second of it, even the silence between tracks, even the silence is just right, just the right amount of silence. I love the whole album and the whole body of work really does flow as one big whole thing but each piece has something different, something high-end good, something rather special actually. Some of it graceful jazz guitar, some of it fuses with slightly different flavours, some of it instrumental, some of alive with such colourful word play, words that really do catch you, and dare I put the horse before the cart and dare to dare say some of it feels like early Beck before it all went to wrong for Beck? He probably doesn’t accept that (or the choices at Trader Joe’s), Marc Ribot i MEAN, not bECK, Beck lost THE MEANS TO WALK To tRADER JOE’S AGES AGO, actually THIS IS BRILLIANT, the whole album is brilliant, genius, AH SHIT, THE capital letter thing is out of control, I don’t accept it, I’m done, I’m going on strike, at least listen to The Activist, that is probably the track of the year, yes sir, o la la! Poetry or poetic justice (and coffee on Second Avenue) and a tasteful dig at a thousand boy guitarists and each one’s technique is better than the next, and a thousand singer songwriters and contemporary poets and a thousand tongues and a thousand post modern philosophers and isn’t it all amazing and sure by now you’ve passed on from the so-called review and what will they think of next? And who did what to who on YouTube? Aren’t they amazing? Social commentary as well as everything else, what’s wordsworth? Love it, love it to bits, this so-called review comes too you with much respect and well just cut to the chase and listen for yourself and The Long Goodbye, wow, The Long Goodbye! (sw)
“When these recording sessions began in the last week of May 2020, I hadn’t left my house to go anywhere other than the grocery store in over two months. I hadn’t taken a cab or subway. I’d lost several friends to COVID-19, and was afraid I’d also lose more thanks to the non-response of our would-be dictator/“president”, whose deliberate embrace of untruth fed tens of thousands of lives to the pandemic, and also reduced what little hope was left for avoiding global warming catastrophe.
I hadn’t seen my partner since February (our plans to fly to each other’s countries shut down) and it would be July before we finally got together. Our difficulties were nothing compared with others. When me and fellow Ceramic Dogs Ches and Shahzad figured out a way to record, we entered the studio separately, sat in separate, isolated rooms from which we couldn’t see each other, communicating through mics and headphones. We were careful to wash our hands: one of us has respiratory issues, so fuck-ups could’ve been bad. We wound up with two record’s worth of material, some released on Bandcamp in October on the EP What I Did on My Long Vacation, and the majority of the music here on this full CD-length recording.
If/when people look back on these times, maybe they’ll seem unreal… foreign, alien: the way I, as a child in the 1960’s… more…”
“Ribot was born in Newark,NJ in 1954. As a teen, he played guitar in garage bands while studying with his mentor, Haitian classical guitarist and composer Frantz Casseus. He moved to New York City in 1978. He was a member of the soul/punk Realtones, and John Lurie’s Lounge Lizards. Ribot has worked extensively with Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, composer John Zorn and producer T Bone Burnett”.