Ches Smith

Born in San Diego, CA and raised in Sacramento, Ches Smith came up in a scene of punks and metal musicians who were listening to and experimenting with jazz and free improvisation. He studied philosophy at the University of Oregon before relocating to the San Francisco Bay area in 1995. After a few years of playing with obscure bands and intensive study with drummer / educator Peter Magadini, he enrolled in the graduate program at Mills College in Oakland at the suggestion of percussionist William Winant. There he studied percussion, improvisation, and composition with Winant, Fred Frith, Pauline Oliveros and Alvin Curran. One of Winant’s first “assignments” for Ches was to sub in his touring gig at the time, Mr. Bungle (here he met bassist / composer Trevor Dunn who would later hire him for the second incarnation of his Trio-Convulsant). During his time at Mills, Ches co-founded two bands: Theory of Ruin (with Fudgetunnel / Nailbomb frontman Alex Newport), and Good for Cows (w/ Nels Cline Singers’ Devin Hoff). He currently performs and records with Xiu Xiu, and Secret Chiefs 3. He has also performed with Ben Goldberg, Annie Gosfield, Wadada Leo Smith, John Tchicai, Fred Frith, and Trevor Dunn. In addition to Ceramic Dog, he also leads his two of his own projects, Congs for Brums and These Arches. He currently spends his time between Los Angeles, San Francisco and Brooklyn.
from chessmith.com

 
Related News

You are in for a treat if you are in New York this week – Marc Ribot is having a 55th birthday celebration and festival at venues all over town. Go to our Events page for all the listings. He’ll be revisiting many of his various projects, the sheer breadth of which is astounding. You can read more about them in The Village Voice, Time Out New York and Billboard.

Happy birthday Marc!

posted on May 8, 2009 by Yulun

 

Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog recording has been listed #1 by Ted Drozdowski in his Boston Phoenix 2008 Listravaganza, ahead of recordings by Mars Volta, Ani DiFranco, The Black Keys and Guns ‘n’ Roses (well now that one surprised us).

posted on December 30, 2008 by Seth

 

With Labor Day around the corner, we thought we would sum up some of this summer’s better reviews as a way of saying goodbye summer hello Fall.

We start off with a 4 star review by Ted Drozdowski in the Boston Phoenix. Ted describes Party Intellectuals and Marc’s playing as “…’70s funk echoes of “Todo el Mundo Es Kitsch” and “Pinch” to the campy Eurotrash arrangement of “For Malena” to the ambient “SHSH SHSH.” Humor, melody, and weirdness rule, and that makes Ceramic Dog lighter than both Ribot’s Los Cubanos Postizos Afro-Cuban band and his aggro-noise outfit Shrek, even when his playing — supported by percussionist Ches Smith and bassist Shahzad Ismaily — is impossibly heavy.”

Read the review here.

posted on August 26, 2008 by Seth

 

Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog was reviewed on NPR’s Day to Day by David Was on the 4th of July. Calling Marc “…Mercurial in the best possible sense…” David hypes the new Ceramic Dog recording Party Intellectuals with this pretty weighty line, “… one expects this recording to be nothing less than a meditation on modern music.”

posted on July 8, 2008 by Seth

 

Our week was capped off with this great review of our latest release: Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog’s Party Intellectuals in the New York Times Sunday Playlist where Nate Chinen wrote: “…the musicianship is intense regardless of the subtext, with all three players hurling themselves into their effort. They have an equally convincing way with bruising thrash punk, one-chord-vamp heroics and brooding atmospherics. And with one Cuban-flavored ballad, “For Malena,” Mr. Ribot expresses evidence of a heart to match his reserve of wits and soul.” Thanks Nate!

posted on June 22, 2008 by Seth

 

This has been a good week for Marc Ribot and Ceramic Dog. A nice feature in The Village Voice and Time Out New York and then a killer show in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park.

If you haven’t heard Ceramic Dog yet, you will. Pi Recordings will be releasing their first recording Party Intellectuals next week. Curious what they sound like? Here’s how Marc describes their origins, “..apparently born out of a quasi-freakout regarding his sudden need to rock. “It was one of those blinding, post-9/11 revelations of: ‘Oh my God — I’m going to die someday, and I haven’t directly tried to do a rock band,’ ” he recalls. “And as with many of those blinding revelations, it turned out to be partly valid and partly bullshit.”

posted on June 20, 2008 by Seth

 
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