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Marc Ribot (Ceramic Dog): 5 October 2005

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Live Act(s): Marc Ribot (Ceramic Dog)
Event Date: 5 October 2005
Type of Event: Small Club Concert
Venue: Tonic
Rated: *****
Marc Ribot is constantly doing something new. After last years' cuban project Los Cubanos Postizos and his busy tour schedule and recordings with pop charts topping italian folk singer-songwriter Vinicio Capossela and with the great Tom Waits, Marc is back doing his own thing with a band called Ceramic Dog, where he's joined by the great Pakistani bass player Shahzad Ismaily (Wilco, Jojo Mayer's Nerve and many other projects throughout the years) and drummer Ches Smith (God for Cows, among others he's currently playing with). The line up is great: Marc's obviously always stomping on one of his many pedals while making up his mind about the next lick he's gonna play (altough much music was written) and played his seemingly hand-made solid body electric guitar with what looks like a classical guitar neck; Shahzad played his old beat up Fender bass workhorse (which he sampled while playing to be able to play other things at the same time - or which he played one handed while playing some keys - or which he played with a bottle neck in his right picking hand) as well as some minimal percussions and other toys and some cool keyboard parts; Ches' very creative and dynamic drumming featured a standard jazz drum set with toys, a smaller snare drums, bells, a little gong and a pad that triggered electronic sounds that he'd manipulate live by tweaking knobs. Ceramic Dog is a great explosive blend of experimental avantgarde music, heavy guitar post punk and psychedelia. You could also hear the jazz and the latin influences in some of the music, which included pieces in 7/8 and other uncommon time signatures. At any given time the trio may sound like a mixture of Pink Floyd (especially when Marc embarks in vocal performances, which he's seems to be doing more and more in this project and where he tends to sound like Syd Barrett at times), Melvins (for the post-punkish tom toms heavy drumming), John Zorn (of whom they performed a great cover version), Rob Levit, Liars, 6-North and so forth... The night's two sets also featured a guest appearance by the animated and lively Gerard Little (from the The Young Philadelphians), who mesmerized the crowd with his great rubberish dance moves, his emotional, raw and heart felt vocal anthems and his silk skirt and huge diaper safety pin (basically an awesome, eclectic and charismatic stage presence - everything about him screamed seventies!!!). For twelve bucks this was a great night in downtown NYC. Tonic was pretty packed and as always they excelled in their musical offerings!

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