Great music can be a challenge to find these days.

 The radio bludgeons you with a short loop of successful monotony, popular music blogs revel in the esoteric, streaming music playlists are made by robots, and you're left wondering WHERE HAVE ALL THE GOOD TUNES GONE?!

Allow us to offer the road map to music that doesn't suck.

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Punch Brothers - Movement and Location

Punch Brothers - Movement and Location

-Movement and Location-

"Did he ever live, 
In those three and twenty years,
For a thing but movement and location?"

It's been a while since I've come across a song that has caught my attention the way this one has. Movement and Location features the sort of polyrhythmic groove you'd find on a math rock record, but with bluegrass instrumentation and the sweet chilling vocals of Chris Thile. A friend said upon first listen "It's like Radiohead circa 1930", which I thought was a fun way to characterize the track.

The music nerd in me perks up at the opening rhythm right off the bat, but is stolen away entirely at 1:18 when Thile comes in on mandolin with a lazy dotted half note pattern that bounces against the rhythm of the guitar and bass. The washed out banjo melody that follows at 1:31 is a spine tingler too. Hngggghh! But if you have a soul, you were already welling tears when the melody hit its apex at "...for a movement and location". This song will make you feel some feels.

-Punch Brothers-

Founded in 2006, Punch Brothers has 6 studio releases. You should listen to all of them. The latest one as of this post is Phosphorescent Blues and features a guilty pleasure track called Julip that will have you humming an undeniably country melody all day. Get ready for your friends to make fun of you for being a hick when you can't stop singing "Heaven's a Julip on the porch".

Punch Brothers is led by one of my favorite genre-transcending musicians, Chris Thile. Thile started playing mandolin as a child in the bluegrass outfit Nickel Creek, and if you're not familiar, it's time to load up a playlist with some of those records and marinade in some of the best contemporary folk music to be released in the past 20 years. Nickel Creek's 2002 studio release, This Side, was produced by Allison Krauss and won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Album. 

If you dig this tune check out:

Nickel Creek, The DecemberistsChris Thile, Okkervil RiverCrooked StillBrown Bird, Bèla FleckParker Millsap, and J. Tillman (you may know him better as Father John Misty... More on that tomorrow )

(all links go to youtube videos that stand as the best representation of the artist so you don't have to hunt music that doesn't suck)

Punch Brothers
Father John Misty - Nothing Good Ever Happens at the Goddamn Thirsty Crow

Father John Misty - Nothing Good Ever Happens at the Goddamn Thirsty Crow