CERAMIC DOG - CONNECTION Vinyl LP
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On their 5th studio album, Connection, Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog have pushed their long-brewing tension between traditional pop songcraft and avantgarde improvisational music to the breaking point, bridging their customary genre-agnostic approach with elements of glam boogie, minimalist disco, psychedelic boogaloo, garage-punk-against-the-machine agitprop, and so much more. Recorded at Figure 8 Recording in Brooklyn, NY and mixed by Ben Greenberg (Danny Elfman, Depeche Mode, Lamb of God) the album sees Ribot – whose prodigious, impossible-to-categorize body of work as bandleader and musician spans no wave and jazz, Brazilian and Cuban music, roots and avant-garde and protest songs (often at the same time) alongside legendary collaborations with Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, The Lounge Lizards, John Zorn, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, Caetano Veloso, and Laurie Anderson (to name but a few) – continuing to utilize Ceramic Dog as the vessel for his distinctive stream-of-consciousness songwriting, penning three out of the album’s four vocal tracks including the groove-infected “Ecstasy” (showcasing Anthony Coleman’s slinky Farfisa and longtime friend and associate Syd Straw behind the mic). From the anthemic manifesto “Soldiers in the Army of Love” to the unhinged ranting of “Heart Attack” andindescribable “No Name,” Ceramic Dog unleash a fury of complex time signatures, blues abstraction, and free-blowing energy to create their most unapologetically audacious collection thus far, their one-of-a-kind daring evidenced by the unlikely cover of Arthur Schwartz and Howard Dietz’s “That’s Entertainment,” written especially for the 1953 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer musical film The Band Wagon but here, in Ribot and Co’s hands, deconstructs Hollywood cliches while simultaneously winking at both the post-punk and post-Cultural Revolution iterations of the Gang of Four. Fueled by what Ribot calls “several bolts of creative lightning,” Connections stands as a vibrant, odd, and in many ways definitive milestone in what is truly a singular creative journey for Marc Ribot and Ceramic Dog, its zeitgeist-busting sound and vision not only affirming their place in the musical universe but raising the stakes for whatever comes next.