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Thread: If you could ask Chris Thile and the Punch Brothers one question.

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    Registered User flymolo0's Avatar
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    Default If you could ask Chris Thile and the Punch Brothers one question.

    ...what would it be?

    I ask because my wife and I decided to treat ourselves to VIP passes to the Punch Brothers concert in St. Paul this weekend, which includes a Q&A session, and I'm trying to decide what question(s) I might want to ask!

    I already thought of "what pick are you using" and "what strings are those" so I'm curious to hear other ideas/suggestions (also promise to come back with an update/answers after the show)!

    Thanks everyone!
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    Default Re: If you could ask Chris Thile and the Punch Brothers one quest

    Ask him if he charts everything out. Someone in another thread mentioned seeing them with the fiddle player, Gabe, not being there and the guy who sat in played everything flawlessly. I feel like to play that music on short notice you'd need to be reading music. I've also wondered if he often chops on just muted strings instead of chords. Kind of sounds like it to me although someone on this site could probably answer that question. Lastly, ask him if he had to sell someone else's soul to the devil in addition to his own to play like that.

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    Registered Loser blawson's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you could ask Chris Thile and the Punch Brothers one quest

    (1) Whose music are you currently listening to? (2) Which author are you currently reading?
    /* no comment */

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    Moderator JEStanek's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you could ask Chris Thile and the Punch Brothers one quest

    What do you like to do to unwind and have fun?

    He posted a playlist to Spotify so, I know who he listens to (I just assume damn near everything).

    Jamie
    There are two things to aim at in life: first, to get what you want; and, after that, to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind achieve the second. Logan Pearsall Smith, 1865 - 1946

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    Default Re: If you could ask Chris Thile and the Punch Brothers one quest

    Quote Originally Posted by flymolo0 View Post
    ...what would it be?

    I ask because my wife and I decided to treat ourselves to VIP passes to the Punch Brothers concert in St. Paul this weekend, which includes a Q&A session, and I'm trying to decide what question(s) I might want to ask!

    I already thought of "what pick are you using" and "what strings are those" so I'm curious to hear other ideas/suggestions (also promise to come back with an update/answers after the show)!

    Thanks everyone!
    Trust me, pick just one that means something to you because there will only be time for half a dozen questions in total and you may just have to speak up to get yours asked. I recommend asking something that applies to the group as a whole because Chris will likely answer it anyway (in long-form since he tends to ramble) but you might get interesting insights from the others too, usually Noam or Gabe.

    I got to ask about the evolution of their rhythmic style since I am curious how Chris approaches the percussive side of the mandolin beyond the usual basic offbeat chop. It was right after they played Three Dots and a Dash and he was able to explain how the inspiration for the song in Noam's opening banjo riff is in 6/8 but he heard it in threes (check how he counts off in the below video). They evolved through 4 or 5 rhythms trying to get it to sound 'right' and were able to demonstrate what other options they tried and how each affected the tune, even showing how the bass line is crucial to knowing where the actual downbeat starts.

    It's hard to really explain what it took 10 minutes for them to show us and it was not at all what I expected but it was more than I could have hoped for. Good luck with your question and enjoy the concert!



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    Default Re: If you could ask Chris Thile and the Punch Brothers one quest

    When I got to talk to Sam Bush I asked him about rolling Brian Sutton's pant legs up at Merlefest in front of fifty thousand people. Probably not the sort of question you were looking for but it started a good, happy conversation with Sam.

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    Registered Loser blawson's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you could ask Chris Thile and the Punch Brothers one quest

    Quote Originally Posted by JEStanek View Post

    He posted a playlist to Spotify so, I know who he listens to (I just assume damn near everything).

    Jamie
    Have a link to share, for those in the audience who may be unawares, or for those who do not (regularly) use Spotify?
    /* no comment */

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    Registered User Roger Moss's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you could ask Chris Thile and the Punch Brothers one quest

    Spare change?
    When the sun beats down and I lie on the bench, I can always hear them talk.
    Me, I'm just a lawnmower - you can tell me by the way I walk.

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    Moderator JEStanek's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you could ask Chris Thile and the Punch Brothers one quest

    Quote Originally Posted by blawson View Post
    Have a link to share, for those in the audience who may be unawares, or for those who do not (regularly) use Spotify?
    I don't use Spotify and it's a 29 Song list and I couldn't Copy/paste the text so, log in!

    Jamie
    There are two things to aim at in life: first, to get what you want; and, after that, to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind achieve the second. Logan Pearsall Smith, 1865 - 1946

    + Give Blood, Save a Life +

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    Some Ability - No Talent MikeZito's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you could ask Chris Thile and the Punch Brothers one quest

    "Can I sit in with you guys?"

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    Default Re: If you could ask Chris Thile and the Punch Brothers one quest

    "Do you ever lurk on the Mandolin Cafe?"

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    Default Re: If you could ask Chris Thile and the Punch Brothers one quest

    Ask if he ever considers "playing a song at either a slow or moderate pace---one that allows the listener to embrace the melody?"

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    Registered User Michael Neverisky's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you could ask Chris Thile and the Punch Brothers one quest

    Have you ever been pulled over for playing too fast? 8-)

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    Registered User Darren Bailey's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you could ask Chris Thile and the Punch Brothers one quest

    How many songs did you record with Michael Daves and how do I get a copy of the unreleased stuff?

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    Default Re: If you could ask Chris Thile and the Punch Brothers one quest

    Northfield F5S Amber #347 - 'Squeeze'
    Flatiron 1N Pancake - Not just for breakfast
    Kentucky KM-270 - Not just for whisky
    Epiphone Mandobird IV - Djangly
    Cozart 8-string e-mando - El Ch(e)apo
    Lanikai LB6-S Banjolele (tuned GDAE) - Plinky and the Brane

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    Default Re: If you could ask Chris Thile and the Punch Brothers one quest

    I'd ask him to tell some of his favorite anecdotes about his ancestor, Baseball Hall of Famer Samuel "Big Sam" Thompson.

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    Registered User MissingString's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you could ask Chris Thile and the Punch Brothers one quest

    I went to the vip segment in Boston before the show a couple weeks back. Someone mentioned only about six questions will be taken which is consistent with my experience. Expect about 50 folks in there with you and many will have their hand up. I was in the front row and got lucky to have made eye contact with my hand raised. I asked...”what is the last concert you paid to attend?”. The band (and audience) seemed to like the question. It allowed all members to answer and potentially gave many of us a new band to explore. Personally I like questions such as current listening pleasure and favorite author as BLawson suggested. Have fun - it was a phenomenal show and the vip package was a great treat.
    “Without music, life would be a mistake” Neitzsche

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    Registered User MissingString's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you could ask Chris Thile and the Punch Brothers one quest

    Quote Originally Posted by jesserules View Post
    I'd ask him to tell some of his favorite anecdotes about his ancestor, Baseball Hall of Famer Samuel "Big Sam" Thompson.
    Good one! I saw them at House of Blues which sits behind Fenway Park in Boston. Noam said “is it fair to say we almost sold out Fenway Park?” Or something like that...baseball is a great topic for Mr. Thile.
    “Without music, life would be a mistake” Neitzsche

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    String-Bending Heretic mandocrucian's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you could ask Chris Thile and the Punch Brothers one quest

    Who's your all-time favorite sax player....Coltrane, Rollins, Ornette, Art Pepper or someone else?

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    Default Re: If you could ask Chris Thile and the Punch Brothers one quest

    "If I went back in time and started learning a year before you did, would I be better than you now?"
    Bren

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    Some Ability - No Talent MikeZito's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you could ask Chris Thile and the Punch Brothers one quest

    Quote Originally Posted by pelone View Post
    Ask if he ever considers "playing a song at either a slow or moderate pace---one that allows the listener to embrace the melody?"
    Amen!

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    Registered Loser blawson's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you could ask Chris Thile and the Punch Brothers one quest

    Quote Originally Posted by MissingString View Post
    I asked...”what is the last concert you paid to attend?”. ... It allowed all members to answer and potentially gave many of us a new band to explore.
    Do you recall their answers?
    /* no comment */

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    Default Re: If you could ask Chris Thile and the Punch Brothers one quest

    If you weren't "primarily" a mandolinist what would have been your instrument?

  30. #24
    Registered User MissingString's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you could ask Chris Thile and the Punch Brothers one quest

    @dlawson

    Thile said Radiohead at MSG. Noam, Critter and Gabe said Vasen (that was a new one for me) who has an excellent Tiny Desk concert. And Paul mentioned a fiddler/violinist whose name escapes me at the moment. I do have it written down at home.
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  32. #25

    Default Re: If you could ask Chris Thile and the Punch Brothers one quest

    Do ask him about the pick! He's using a new one in this new video: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FWCH_h8SEuo (clearly visible starting at 1:39:25) Doesn't look like the usual Wegen/Bluechip

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