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2nd Shift Concert: 75 Dollar Bill

Doors open at 7:30pm and the show begins at 8:00pm. Arrive early and enjoy a self-guided tour of the museum!

75 Dollar Bill is a duo from New York City featuring guitarist Che Chen and percussion player Rick Brown. Using an array of cheap, homemade and found instruments, they channel Mississippi drone blues and Arabic modal music in hypnotic, frequently ecstatic explorations. It’s some of the wildest, most mesmerizing music you’ll hear this year.

"It’s hard not to slip into ridiculous hyperbole when it comes to 75 Dollar Bill. Best band in New York City? Best band in the USA? Best band in the universe? Whatever conclusion you come to personally, you’re gonna love the instrumental duo of guitarist Che Chen and percussionist Rick Brown. – Tyler Wilcox, Aquarium Drunkard

Beverages are included in the ticket price, non-alcoholic for everyone, and beer & wine to those 21+.





Are there ID or minimum age requirements to enter the event?

The event admission is all ages. For beer and wine service, you must be 21+ with valid proof of age presented upon entry to the Museum.

What are my transportation/parking options for getting to and from the event?

There is NO Museum Visitor parking at the Francis Cabot Lowell Mill facility where we are located. We ask that you use the nearby public parking facilities.

Maps and directions to both the Museum Visitor Entrance and Parking can be found here:


New York Times Profile of 75 Dollar Bill  

“They’ve definitely nailed down a thrillingly original sound, centered around Chen’s specially designed quarter-tone guitar — something about his tone cuts right to the quick, with North African riffs blending into juke-joint boogies into more avant territory. Brown’s impressively minimalist setup (he mostly plays a wooden crate) is a perfect fit, adding a hypnotic thump to the mix. The whole thing is a little hard to describe, but trust me on this: 75 Dollar Bill is amazing” –– Aquarium Drunkard

"A scorching adventure into where Rock & Roll should be. It’s unfamiliar, laden with risk and rebellion, and embodies the cross cultural collision that we should all hold as an ideal." –– Bradford Bailey, The Hum

“As Mr. Chen stood playing hypnotic guitar repetitions, moving with the stresses of the riffs, the drummer Rick Brown sat on a square wooden box, open in the back, and attacked it from above. Sometimes he used his heel to bounce on a kick-drum pedal, pointing backward toward the box; mostly he was striking the sides of the box with his hands and a homemade mallet, hard, finding different pitches in different places. He cued transitions in the music, building odd or compound rhythms, turning them around and blurring distinctions between downbeats and upbeats. On the surface, the rhythms were only secondary to the guitar lines; deeper down, they were enfolded. One couldn’t do without the other….

This band has a more specific reference point: Mauritanian music played by Moorish griots on electric guitar at weddings and special occasions. Last year, Mr. Chen, who is Taiwanese-American, studied briefly in Mauritania with one of that music’s great practitioners, the guitarist Jheich Ould Chighaly. What Mr. Chen and Mr. Brown have done since then — releasing an excellent four-song cassette on Bandcamp, and playing at bars, nonprofit spaces and on the street in Chinatown — has something to do with that Moorish tradition, but it’s also distinct by feel, temperament and material.

Musicians like Mr. Chighaly use specific ancient modes for specific functions; Mr. Chen used only a few on Saturday, on a guitar refretted like Mr. Chighaly’s to produce quarter-tones. For the rest of the set he played a regularly fretted 12-string guitar, working in scales that suggested any number of other musical traditions — including what could have passed for American blues or metal in “Water in the Lock,” which swung between an odd meter and a slow, nasty stomp.” –– Ben Ratliff, New York Times

"...[A] gloriously mind-frying, ritualistic splatter of Zen blues and Arabic and African music-influenced riff-rock repetition… –– Brad Cohan, The Observer


Later Event: September 3
East Coast River Relay