75 Dollar Bill is quickly becoming a staple in New York’s rich improvised and experimental music scene. They’ve got one proper LP, Wooden Bag (out on Other Music Recording Co.), and a few self-released tapes to their name, but it’s their live performances that are creating a splash that even the New York Times is picking up on. Though they’ve been known to incorporate other musicians in their live shows, 75 Dollar Bill proper is a duo, with Che Chen on guitar and Rick Brown on homemade percussion and horns. While that description may give you the notion that the band trades in minimalism, the rich textures of Chen’s guitar played through a small practice amp combined in complex rhythms with Brown’s improvised and homemade percussion will set you straight. This set from Trans-Pecos, opening for the equally mighty Bill Orcutt and Tom Carter, finds the duo exploring some material off their first release, the simply titled cassette (“Every Last Coffee or Tea” and “Water in the Lock”), along with a shorter improvisation and a finale of “I Was Real,” which doesn’t appear to have yet seen release. Though the technique to the music is intricate, it’s not fussy in the least bit—what’s clear is that Chen and Brown are having infectious fun and it’s sure to rub off on you.
I recorded this set with the AKGs at the stage lip and a soundboard feed from Trans-Pecos FOH Max. The sound quality is excellent. Enjoy!
Catch 75 Dollar Bill later this month at this can’t-miss show also featuring Eleventh Dream Day and Antietam at Mercury Lounge, August 21. Tickets on sale.
Stream the complete show:
75 Dollar Bill
Exclusive download hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded and produced by Eric PH
Soundboard (engineer: Max) + AKG C480B/CK61 (stage lip) > Roland R-26 > 2xWAV (24/48) > Adobe Audition CC (align, compression, mixdown, normalize) > Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, imaging) > Audacity 2.0.5 (fades, downsample, dither, tracking, tagging) > FLAC (16/44.1, level 8)
01. Intro / Every Last Coffee or Tea
02. Water in the Lock
04. [untitled improvisation]
05. I Was Real