Marc Ribot rants and raves in Ceramic Dog’s “The Activist” video (catch them on tour)
Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog released Hope earlier this year, a terrific album that was made during the darkest times in recent memory (2020) but yet found light and humor, all through Ribot's unique, charmingly cantankerous worldview. If you haven't checked it out you can listen below.
One of the standouts on the album is "The Activist," a skronky, seven-minute rant that goes off on more than a few tangents and pokes fun at some aspects of activism while being very much the work of an activist. Marc notes that the views expressed in this song may not be the views of himself and the band. "We're narrators, but we've never pretended to be reliable," he says, offering up these lines from the song as evidence: “I don’t accept my shoes. I don’t accept my age, my hair, my weight, my breath, my face. I don’t accept my language, my religion, or my death. I vote no! I break consensus! I refuse! I resist!” He adds, "We love fighting for our rights. And we love rockin the house. And we hate bullshit. And we love rockin the house. And we love Antonio Gramsci because he said 'The truth is always revolutionary.' And we love rockin the house."
You can read more from Marc on the song below. You can also watch the new video for "The Activist" which was directed by Adam Deyoe and has Marc preaching with a megaphone from the comfort of an easy chair while news footage from the last 60 years plays out behind him. The video premieres in this post and you can watch below.
Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog will be at San Francisco's Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival this weekend (stream it live), and then have East Coast shows next week, including Brooklyn's Bell House on 10/7 with Messthetics (tickets), and Baltimore and Philadelphia. They also have European dates in December, and all are listed below.
Marc also recently released a book, Unstrung, earlier this year, and "The Activist" features in Part III of the book.
Marc Ribot on "The Activist"
One very sincere critic in a Jazz Magazine was upset that we could shout “I don’t accept ANY aspect of capitalist society”…and yet perform on commercially available (if not always commercially successful) recordings.
Perhaps “The Activist”’s original title, “Rant,” might help clarify this apparent contradiction.
But If listeners really want to understand our political intentions, they should cut right to: “I don’t accept my shoes. I don’t accept my age, my hair, my weight, my breath, my face. I don’t accept my language, my religion, or my death. I vote no! I break consensus! I refuse! I resist!…”
We're narrators, but we've never pretended to be reliable.
Still wondering? Try: "Other items I do not accept include but are not limited to: shoehorns, sperm, razors, and giraffes. I don’t accept side- walks, I walk on my hands in heavy traffic, and even that is a compromise. I don’t accept gravity—or teeth! I don’t accept you or what the mainstream media refers to as your cute little (and I quote) 'doggie.'”
It's not that we’re opposed to political activism! Come to think of it, some of us are political activists!
In summation: we submit this manifesto:
"I don’t accept the lesser of two evils, or the greater evil, or the greater good, or the lesser good, or the greater less- ness, or the evil good good evil live dog god anagram Ana- heim Heimlich maneuver spamarrest cardiac mammogram anodyne or any other possibilities or impossibilities here- under hereafter whatever..."
We love fighting for our rights. And we love rockin the house. And we hate bullshit. And we love rockin the house. And we love Antonio Gramsci because he said “The truth is always revolutionary”. And we love rockin the house.
Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog - 2021 Tour Dates:
October 2 Hardly Strictly Bluegrass - Livestream ONLY from San Francisco, CA
October 7 Bell House - Brooklyn, NY w/ The Messthetics (ex-Fugazi)
October 8 Creative Alliance - Baltimore, MD
October 9 Johnny Brenda’s, Philadelphia, PA
03.12.2021 TALLINN/Estonia - Kumu Auditorium
04.12.2021 OSLO//Norway - Nasjonal Jazzscene, Victoria
05.12.2021 BIEL/Switzerland - Le Singe
06.12.2021 BERLIN/Germany - Kesselhaus -Kulturbrauerei Berlin
08.12.2021 DRESDEN/Germany - Die Tonne im Kurländer Palais
09.12.2021 EBERSBERG/Germany - Altes Kino Ebersberg e.V.
10.12.2021 WELS/Austria - Alter Schlachthof Wels
11.12.2021 LILLE/France - L´Aeronef
12.12.2021 AMSTERDAM/Netherlands - Bimhuis