Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog today announced their new album Hope will release June 25 via Northern Spy and shared lead single “B-Flat Ontology”, which flexes minimalist storytelling skills to sketch life’s ennui—a kind of pointlessness that goes far beyond existentialism.
Ribot explains: “B-Flat Ontology examines the work of 1000’s of “aspiring rock stars”, “boy guitarists”, “singer/songwriters”, “contemporary poets”, “post-modern philosophers”, and “performance artists” (including some i may know personally) under conditions of late capitalism and finds it all…”amazing”. It’s the most depressing song ever written. Much more depressing than Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder. Way, way more depressing. When our ordinarily laconic drummer, Ches Smith heard it, he looked at me and mournfully asked: “don’t you think anything is good?” I responded by silently gazing at my shoe. But, for what it’s worth, it does have the best chorus lyric ever written. Way, WAY better than any other chorus lyric. Want to know what it is? OK: “Oh what will Zizek think of next? What will Latour [Bruno, that is] and Zizek think of next? Vegetables are people in a Flat Ontology, isn’t it amazing, it’s just amazing, I’m just amazed.”
By May 2020, Marc Ribot had begun to find being depressed depressing. The guitarist and his Ceramic Dog trio—bassist/multi-instrumentalist Shahzad Ismaily and drummer Ches Smith—hadn’t played for months. So, all involved decided to head to Ismaily’s Figure 8 Recording studio in Brooklyn to record what would become Hope. “Originally,” Ribot says, “we were going to call it Better Luck Next Time, but that felt… somehow unnecessary.”