Since making their debut in 2008, Punch Brothers, the bluegrass ensemble led by Nickel Creek’s virtuosic mandolin player Chris Thile, have gained a reputation for diving headlong into the most unexpected of covers. Below is a compilation of the best, the silliest and the most left-field of 'em all. Have a favorite? Let us know, or be sure to share it with the band when they play the Fillmore April 3 and 4.
1. Radiohead's "Kid A" - If you figured it would be impossible to recreate the electronics of Radiohead's digital masterpiece with a fiddle and a banjo, think again.
2. Beyonce's "Love on Top" - This old-school soul jam from Beyonce's 2011 album 4 translates startlingly well to a pop-bluegrass tune, even if there aren't any backup dancers on hand.
3. Wilco's "Poor Places" - The group takes Wilco's sprawling track and boils it down to its essential elements: a gorgeous melody and a delicate finger-picked chord pattern.
4. The Beatles' "Paperback Writer" - Those harmonies were just made for a bluegrass twist, and the chugging mandolin proves you don't need Ringo to make this song shoot off like a rocket.
5. The Strokes' "Reptilia" - Paul Kowert's bass sounds just as menacing as the Strokes', and the fiddle somehow recreates the surge of feedback in the intro perfectly.
6. White Stripes' "Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground" - Picking up the tempo of the White Stripes blues-rock anthem, Punch Brothers turn it into a romp that would sound right at home in O Brother, Where Art Thou?
7. Of Montreal's "Gronlandic Edit" - Perhaps the least expected of them all, the group keeps the song's funky bass line, and nails the absurdly-high harmonies, while still making it their own.
8. The Cars' "Just What I Needed" - Even when they're goofing off, as in this live performance at the AV Club, Thile and Co. can't help but totally kill it. Plus, if you have any doubts that Punch Brothers are ready and willing to laugh at themselves, just wait for the end.
9. J.S. Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 3, "III: Allegro in G Major" - While many of Punch Brothers' covers reveal their sense of humor and their willingness to ditch bluegrass conventions, this Bach performance showcases their virtuoso talent.
10. "The Auld Triangle" - With their pal Marcus Mumford, Punch Brothers reach back into the annals of folk music to treat fans to this a cappella tale of making love in a state prison.