Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog – the visionary post-fusion rock trio comprising guitarist / songwriter / activist Marc Ribot, bassist Shahzad Ismaily, and drummer/percussionist Ches Smith – has announced the release of their fifth album. Connection (Knockwurst Records) drops on Friday, July 14. Pre-orders are available now.
Declared by Ribot to be “the best record we’ve ever done,” Connection sees Ceramic Dog furthering their long flirtation with various strains of rock ‘n’ roll while remaining fully entrenched in their signature approach to improvised music, augmented by contributions by such special guests as singer-songwriter Syd Straw, keyboardist Anthony Coleman, saxophonist James Brandon Lewis, organist Greg Lewis, clarinetist Oscar Noriega, and cellist Peter Sachon. The album is heralded by today’s premiere of the ferocious title track, “Connection,” a loose, lo-fi instrumental deeply informed by the scuzz-fueled history of Lower East Side noise rock from the Velvet Underground to White Hassle.
“This song’s (and the album’s) title began with a sculpture by our friend (and Ceramic Dog bassist Shahzad Ismaily’s daughter) Anika (age 6),” says Ribot. “A kind of house made by sticking toothpicks into Halloween candies. It’s an odd-shaped house, kind of like the frame of a geodesic dome…if it wasn’t a dome. The little structure is home to a drawing of a smiling gingerbread man. Very homey. But, as we all know, it was the gingerbread man’s problematic home that caused him to ‘run as fast as he can.’ And what struck us about this home, apart from its odd beauty, was the fragility of its toothpick design, in which Anika perfectly captured the fragility of our contemporary attempts at human connection, the shadow hanging over our post-everything ‘homes.’ Everything else, the words, and the beat — which, music nerds take note, lays a 4/4 drum beat on top of a 3/4 melody — came later. Thanks, Anika.”