from Chris Nelson (Dec. '21):
As a long-time friend of 75 Dollar Bill, I was delighted to be asked to contribute a few lines to accompany this release of Social Music at Troost, vol. 3 – most particularly since this entry in the series could be deemed a bit of a curve ball. And I do love a curve ball. Those of us who regularly enjoyed “the Bill” in the remarkably intimate confines of Troost during the heyday of their regular appearances there might have described the shows as hypnotic – featuring relatively long and meditative compositions centering on repetition of carefully developed motifs. But this Social Music compilation of recordings from their 2015 and 2017 residencies catches the band in what I think of as a woolier mood–comprising as it does all covers of material by others. Not surprisingly the selection of source material is disparate and engaging–not sure as of this writing exactly what order the tracks will be in, but in my preview listens the blend of Oliveros, Ono, Coleman, MC5, Neg-Fi, Padgett, Partch, Dylan and others given the 75 Dollar Bill treatment was a warm reminder of the community forged in a love of music to which Rick and Che have contributed so much. And a sometimes raucous listen! In this instance Sue Garner, Cheryl Kingan, and I were invited to join in on vocalizing on some of the numbers collected here, and yes, there is audience participation too. “Friends and neighbors, that’s where it’s at!”
from rick brown (Jan. '22):
We really aren’t a “covers band” but, besides the songs offered here, 75 Dollar Bill have incorporated versions of Ornette Coleman’s “Friends and Neighbors”, and “Touedar Aakli” by the 70's Algerian band Groupe el Azhar into our more “regular” sets (and we’ve started to work on a Carla Bley tune with the Little Big Band, too.) Still, full sets of cover songs are never going to be a regular part of our schtick so don’t expect much from us if you yell out “play that Pointer Sisters thing you do!” at a gig... During the Social Music series at Troost (week-long playing-every-night-with-great-guests experiences), though, we were happy to try some seemingly outlandish detours and “covers night” was one. Che and I hand-picked a small crew of not-shy music lovers and dug for songs we love that might fit our peculiar talents. Here you hear the results, stumbles and tongue-tripping included. Hear you here!
released January 7, 2022
°°•°•°•°•°•°° Che Chen: electric guitar, group chants
°•°•°•°° Cheryl Kingan: sax, group chants
°•°•° Chris Nelson: vocals on "Black to Comm" and both Yoko songs
°•° Rick Brown: percussion, voice on “The Letter” and “Ode to the Futurist Painters and Poets”, group chants
°• Sue Garner: bass, acoustic guitar, perc., vocals on "Don't Worry, Kyoko...", “Yes We Can Can”, “The Ballad of Hollis Brown”, the “9 to 5” part of “Black to Comm” and "We're All Water"
° Tae Won Yu and Victoria Salvador: additional vocals on "We're All Water"
• bar patrons, friends, neighbors, band: spontaneous choir on "Sonic Meditation #XVI", handclaps on "Black to Comm"
Recorded during Social Music residencies at Troost Cafe in Greenpoint, Brooklyn on August 26, 2015 & January 7, 2017.
Recording, editing and cover design by Che Chen
Mastering by Steve Silverstein
Thanks to John Ortiz and Troost/Sundown family, Chris, Sue, Cheryl, Tae and Victoria
75 Dollar Bill was formed in 2012 in NYC by Rick Brown and Che Chen. Played on a deeply resonant plywood crate, Brown’s
elemental rhythms are the foundation and foil for Chen’s ecstatic, modal guitar style. While Brown and Chen are always at the band’s core, they frequently draw on an extended family of players live and on record, from trios to “little big band” to 25-piece marching band....more
supported by 59 fans who also own “Social Music at Troost vol.3: (Other) People's Music”
Me and my friend used to go on drives all the time, and a lot of the time i asked what he was playing, and a majority of the songs were from Yo La Tengo. And since i went and listened to And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out i was fan. Never thought i’d buy one of their records for myself. violetstain