Punch Brothers

Episode 263: Mount Royal - Julian Lage and Chris Eldridge

Episode 263: Mount Royal - Julian Lage and Chris Eldridge

PledgeMusic is a crowdfuning platform that aims to help artists of every genre and creed achieve their dreams. Every artist except Wheeler Walker, Jr. it would seem. In an unprecedented move, the artist friendly org recently cancelled the country star/comedian's campaign to raise funds for his upcoming sophomore album, and we've got some questions.

On their second album as a duo, guitarists Julian Lage and Chris Eldridge (Punch Brothers) are travelling down well worn musical paths, but still manage to kick up some dust along the way. We journey deep into Mount Royal and find out where the music they're making is taking bluegrass and folk, and contemplate a new dawn of acoustic music in a super-untz age.

PLUS! Son Volt is BACK. Crank up "Back Against The Wall" off of their new LP, Notes Of Blue, and be ROCKED.

Episode 99: Punch Brothers - The Phosphorescent Blues

Episode 99: Punch Brothers - The Phosphorescent Blues

On our latest podcast, Astra Via’s Jarret Nicolay joins the gang in the basement to talk about the The Phosphorescent Blues, the latest album from prog-grass forerunners Punch Brothers! PLUS! Bjork tells the pirates where they can stick it by officially releasing Vulnicura months before it was due, and new music from much hyped up-and-comer Natalie Prass! The curmudgeon flows strong in Episode 99 of ChunkyGlasses: THE PODCAST!

Best Of 2012: Andre's Picks


Hundred Visions – Permanent Basement

Good morning class, my name is Dr. Jim Sullivan and I’ll be your instructor for this semester’s class; Introduction on How to Rock Face 101. Here is your first assignment. I want you to go home, put on Hundred Visions Permanent Basement and loosen up your rock maneuvers along with some serious rock face. Although, there is one condition, you cannot, and I repeat, do not, at any point in this exercise rock face to this album into or near a mirror or any other reflective surfaces.  I’ll see you all tomorrow for our discussion.

Welcome back class. Well, based upon the look on all of your melted faces, you probably think that I’m disappointed to see that you all have failed to follow the instructions. Billy, what was the last instruction I gave? Uhhhmmm, don’t look into a mirror or reflective surface while rocking face to Hundred Visions? Correct Billy, and based on your experience, why would I give you that instruction? Uhhhmmm, because even the reflection alone of how hard this album makes us rock face would cause us to melt our own faces off? Correct Billy, but sometimes the best education is experiencing the true power of rocking face first hand. You can thank Hundred Visions for that one. Good job class, now let me tell you about an album I like to call U.F.O.



Damien Jurado - Maraqopa

Similar to Jim Sullivan’s 1969 masterpiece U.F.O., Maraqopa is a lush, multi-layered and mysterious sounding folk album that may not get the credit it deserves in its day and age.  This album is also one of the few examples of how to tastefully use strings and choirs in modern music. But, like a fine wine, this one will definitely age well and stand the test of time so that it can be lauded when the Space Jesus returns (listen to podcast 17, time stamp 52 minutes for further explanation on that front.) I just hope Damien doesn’t mimic Sullivan and decide to walk into the desert and get summoned back to another planet where the general public appreciates his music in the time when it is actually happening.  So, as Carrie would say, sometimes you have to ask yourself What Would Alien Jesus Do? Well, apparently he would listen to Damien Jurado. 

2012 Newport Folk Festival Recap: Part 2

2012 Newport Folk Festival Recap: Part 2

Words by Andre and Kevin

Saturday may have brought the rain - and oh boy did it rain - but it also brought stellar performances from artists old and new alike.

Sunday proved to be no different, with acts ranging from the raucous rock of Rhode Island's own Joe Fletcher & The Wrong Decisions to the scorching guitar blues of Gary Clark, Jr.. There was pop-folk aplenty with bands like  Trampled By Turtles and The Head And The Heart taking over the main stage, and if you were willing to go off the beaten path a little bit you could catch acts like Of Monsters And Men, traditional sets from The Kossoy Sisters, Spider John Koerner, or a blistering performance by ex-Rage Against The Machiner Tom Morello. It was, as everyday at the Newport Folk Festival is, a celebration of music writ large.

Andre's Top 10 of 2012 (so far)

We're back! After a much need break from the rawk, the crew is rested and restored and ready to dive into this increasingly daunting back half of the year. Before heading out on break, we unleashed our collective top ten unto the world and all was good. But that list was made up of over sixty submitted albums, across any and all genre's you could think of. Taken as a whole, it paints a pretty clear picture of the personalities here and how everything fits together. Beyond that though, there are some great (and not so great) albums that didn't quite make the cut that are well worth a mention.

Kicking things off is Andre's top 10 list. It's a little more cosmic than most, but we wouldn't expect anything less from the good Doctor. So strap in and prepare for liftoff, because you're about to head through the looking glass and into the heart of the sunrise with your cosmic captain at the helm. Safe journeys. We'll see you on the other side.

LIVE MUSIC: Punch Brothers @ The 9:30 Club - 4/27/12

Taking the stage with a grin so ebullient it managed to infect the room with its cheer and enthusiasm, bandleader/ mandolin phenom Chris Thile announced “I have been waiting SO long to do this!” It was certainly a long time coming, but Friday night, the Punch Brothers finally, FINALLY, delivered a headlining performance proper in the nations Capital. Since forming in 2006, the group has skated along the outskirts of what most would consider mainstream music, and thus mainstream venues. They’ve built their following slowly, playing to the more traditional bluegrass crowds and festivals along the way, yet they’ve never compromised the underlying evil genius mastery of their instruments that provides the bedrock of their music.

Who's feeling young NOW - Punch Brothers tearing it up at the 9:30 ClubWith a sound that has often been described as “prog-grass”, listening to a Punch Brothers record can be a cognitive workout that simultaneously leaves the listener both satisfied and exhausted – and that’s sort of the point. This is a band that’s all about balancing acts, and this years Who’s Feeling Young Now was a delirious example of the bands willingness to balance the intellectual with the populist, and in the process subvert the listener’s expectation of what a “pop” song can, and should, be.  That delicate balance was on full display Friday night at the 9:30 Club as the band delivered a set that touched on just about every point of the bands career as well as a few other bands careers just to show that they could.


There's so much we could say here but we're gonna save it for our coverage of the festival. Suffice to say The Newport Folk Festival is not only one of the oldest fesitvals of it's kind in the country, but one of the most respected. Last years lineup was enviable for even the most shrewd of concertgoers and the question that was on everyone's lips was "How are they gonna top that?" 

Well the answer to that question was revealed when they released the lineup today, and it it seems to be simple: They're gonna go big. REAL BIG.

With acts like My Morning Jacket, Jackson Brown, Punch Brothers, Iron and Wine and more on the bill, this is sort of a no brainer. So make with the ticket buying (link below) because it WILL sell out, and then you'll be sad.

Check out the press release below for all the details. We'll see you by the sea at the end of July!

PRESS PLAY: Sara Jarosz (w/Punch Brothers) - The Tourist

Sounds like: Distilled awesome witha dash of Punch Brothers and just a smidgen of Radiohead (duh)
Why you should care: ummmmmm.

Given that later today Radiohead is kicking off their world tour down in Florida (w/Other Lives opening!!!) we figured now is as good a time as any to show the band some love in the form of other people showing the band some love. 

Introducing ChunkyGlasses: THE PODCAST

Well now we gone and done it. Yes folks, it's official! Today we're proud to announce the ChunkyGlasses podcast, available now in a variety of formats for you to shove into your earholes. 

To say that you can expect the same intelligent and informative discourse that you've come to expect from the site (you have, right?), would, to put it mildly be an outright lie. No people, this podcast is for fans of music, beer, and smoked meat products - in that order. There's nothing to see here except the raw unedited opinions of a bunch of guys who were stupid enoght to start a music site and then failed to get off the stupid train until it reached it's logical end: This podcast.

So, if you've got some time and want to be (mildly) entertained by our musings/rantings/what have you, then tune in below or subscribe to us via iTunes/or your favorite podcast catcher. We're shooting to release a new edition every two weeks for now, and have plans for special guests on upcoming episodes that we think you're gonna like. So strap in, make sure your beer is full, and join us as we continue our magestic journey through the world of music as we know it. 

This station is officially ON!!!

Subscribe via iTunes | Subscribe via any other podcatcher (copy link)


REVIEW: Punch Brothers - Who's Feeling Young Now?

The most frustrating thing about the Punch Brother’s new album Who’s Feeling Young Now? is how immeasurably close they came to creating a work that could stand easily alongside the records that it is drawing inspiration from. And maybe “frustrating” is too strong a word, because by all accounts Young is a record that’s full of the typical sonic wonder and musical mastery you’ve come to expect from this band. But about halfway through the record it becomes awkwardly clear that somewhere along the journey of making this record, Chris Thile and friends took a trip down ADD Lane and there was nobody to help them find their way back, making Young an undeniably fantastic record, just one that feels like it was made by 3 slightly different bands.

Press Play: Punch Brothers - "Movement and Location"

Sounds Like: A lightning bolt of awesome going through your brain; psychopopabillygras; Punch Brothers
Why you should care: Punch Brothers are one of the most exciting bands performing anywhere. True.Story.

Originally a sort of post Nickel Creek side project for mandolinist extraordinaire Chris Thile, Punch Brothers, it turns out, has developed into one of the most exciting American bands in recent memory.

In 2010 the band released Antifogmatic to widespread critical acclaim. Blending the familiar sounds and song conventions of bluegrass with some whole-heartedly pyschotic pop sensibilities that would make Frank Zappa proud, Thile and his band of lunatics created a challenging yet compelling work of art that sounds unlike just about anything that came before it. In fact the only way you can accurately describe a Punch Brothers record is to say that it sounds like Punch Brothers and leave it at that.

"Bruuuuuuuuce!": Bruce Hornsby w/Punch Brothers @ Wolftrap - 8/28/11

Take THAT Irene!

This past Sunday, the day after it was threatened  by one force of nature, the DC area was rewarded by two musical forces of nature as they took the stage at Wolftrap. 

First up, Punch Brothers. Starting their set as the lawn slowly began to fill up, the band took note that they normally don't have the opportunity to play venues the size of Wolftrap. Why this is, is anyone's guess though. Playing a style of music that can best be described as "extreme bluegrass" this band, led by mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile, is made up of some of the best players on ANY scene that's around today. 

Their 2010 album, Antifogmatic, ranked as one of my top albums of that year, and the bands set pulled heavily from that record as expected. But that didn't stop them from throwing in a few new tunes. One of those new songs, "Movement and Location", built slowly from a drone but soon developed into some sort of weird bluegrass/Radiohead hybrid that sounded nothing like the band has done before yet exactly like something you would expect them to come up with. 

All in all it was a fantastic, albeit short, set that highlighted just why they were picked to tour with a legend like Hornsby this trip out. 

As the lights came up on Hornsby's set, calls of "Bruuuuuuuce" echoed around the wooden interior of the shed at Wolftrap. By now using the term legend with Hornsby isn't just expected, it's demanded. The man has played with or written for a staggering amount of musicians in his career and his stylistic range can best be described as "all".