Each year when the IBMA Awards nominations are announced, there are a couple of glaring absences in the roll call. For 2008, neither Cherryholmes nor any members of Punch Brothers were nominated, and Punch received only a single nomination, for Graphic Design, which it did not win.
Perhaps The Bluegrass Intelligencer has stumbled onto the reason for Thile’s shutout this year in a piece entitled Punch Brothers Compose Ambitious New Piece.
Punch Brothers, hot young pioneers of through-composed music for bluegrass instruments, have begun work on their most ambitious piece so far.
The band, which features Chris Thile on mandolin and vocals, will build upon the vast achievements of its previous 40-minute suite, "The Blind Leaving the Blind,” this time employing even more advanced compositional tools towards a singular objective: to estrange every single traditional bluegrass enthusiast without exception.
Later in this article, the uncredited author explores the techniques in advanced alienation which the group has refined.
According to Noam Pikelny, Punch Brothers’ banjo player, the group has been tirelessly refining its new concepts and execution. Pikelny, a former engineering student, has established an advanced theoretical basis for Punch Brothers’ effort to alienate all bluegrassers, coining the phrase "Radical Acute Conceptual Metamorphosis (RACM)."
Briefly, RACM is a technique for quickly and unexpectedly shifting between bluegrass and various mutually exclusive genres in order to minimize traditionalists’ enjoyment.
Hmmm…. They could be on to something here.