A Shot in the Dark

I’m sitting in a little coffeeshop (called “Main Street Bistro and Coffee”) in downtown Silverton. There’s a blinking traffic signal off to my left. It’s not swaying in the breeze but it may as well be. I sip my “shot in the dark”—so-named as it’s a shot of espresso in a cup of brewed, black coffee—and listen to Clean Bandit’s “Rather Be”, featuring the same expression in the lyric. It’s all coming together. The coffee shop takes up the first two floors on the corner of the Wolf Building on E. Main and N. Water St.

I was given the last week of February off from work. I had forgotten I had the time but as my boss is decent, she made sure I didn’t lose something that was rightfully mine. I wonder, had I not been given the time off, how I would have been able to hold up under the slow landslide of homework that marks the end of the semester. But I got the time and so I was able to give my assignments their due and then think about and plan a mini vacation.

So I drove up to Portland and stayed the night at a hostel on SE Hawthorne. It’s amazing how a couple hundred miles removed (as opposed to the “thousand” spoken of in the aforementioned song) from one’s “comfort” zone serves to “switch up the batteries”, if recharge the ones that lay dormant in my heart and mind. The hostel felt the same and so did the neighborhoods through which I ran this morning after I got up. Downtown Portland yields itself up after a brief stroll here and there: gray. But it’s a good gray. And thank God it wasn’t raining like it was yesterday when I arrived. I took a stroll then as well and got soaked to my socks. My shoes are still drying out. I was effectively cleansed from the grit and grim of the quotidian and the mundane that silted up in my soul while in Medford.

I subscribe to Multiverse Theory, but not in the way you might think. There’s such a thing as “distance” and then something altogether different called “time”. Though in the case of the latter, the difference from the former is a metaphorical one. Here’s the thing: both distance and time are covered through movement. And if one spends the necessary time to get where they’re supposed to be with reference to activities and responsibilities (like in the case of my homework), then they’ll get to a place where time will still flow the sixty seconds to a minute and sixty minutes to an hour. But alongside this, another dimension will open up of possibility and potential. All the beautiful things that lay dormant in your heart and mind will begin to unfold like the moist wings of a butterfly emerging from the cocoon. Let them stretch in those minutes and hours. You don’t necessarily have to be removed geographically but take that time and make it work for you now. Everything else that you temporarily leave behind will be waiting for you, don’t worry about that. But give it up for a few moments and give yourself time and space to breathe. Try it. It’s a shot in the dark but trust me, it sounds great.

It’s also delicious.

Lionizing Jesus

To lionize someone means that you treat them other than what they really are. Humanly speaking, it means that you see them in an unnatural light and maybe perhaps think they’re more than human, more than down-to-earth and approachable.

Halo effect

“When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, He departed again into a mountain himself alone.” (John 6:15)

Reading through the testaments, one gets this idea that the children of Israel wanted nothing more than a physical representation of that which God the Father promised to them in eons past: namely, that of a king, on a throne, dispensing judgment and edicts, etc. But, true to form, God did things different than expected. He sent His Son to be born in obscurity and grow up among the hoi polloi (yes) and, after that incident in the temple with reference to that long-forgotten prophecy in Isaiah (see Luke 4:21, Isaiah 42 respectively), Jesus is on the scene. He’s the Messiah and all of humanity is left to deal with it the only way they know how. Thank God He sent the Holy Spirit to truly discern the nature of Christ and what it means to approach Him on His terms (see the passage at the bottom of the page).

“The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when He is come, He will tell us all things. Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am He.” (John 4:25)

Throughout the Old and New Testaments, the knowledge of just who Jesus is with reference to history and humanity seemed to come to a select few—those whose hearts were ready to hear it. The woman at the well referenced above was eminently set in her ways and yet with a simple realigning of her priorities (and a little bit of sin-conviction), she was lit from within and ended up going out and evangelizing a city that most likely would not have heard the Gospel till God-knows-when (they were Samaritans and they didn’t mix with the Jews; racial tensions, you understand). But think about it: The children of Israel were promised many times—if they had read the scriptures (see Psalm 132:11, Isaiah 7:14, et al.)—that God would send a Savior, a Messiah. And here you have the man himself walking “through Samaria” (John 4:4b) and looking into the eyes of one individual (of many), telling her that He is that One. How then is this example different than the one from the sixth chapter of John above? The rabble, gripped with a mob mentality that looks to hoist Jesus high on their shoulders in order to take him somewhere and make him something other than what the Father had in mind when He sent him, is the wrong response. I can imagine the ignition, the pilot light that started in the eyes of the woman from Samaria when Christ leaned in and whispered those words. Evidently she didn’t see him as anything special before that.

There are several prophecies in Isaiah that describe a multi-faceted individual. Someone altogether human and yet concerned with one thing. The forty-second chapter, second verse says “He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause His voice to be heard in the street.” This means that doesn’t have to do what normally a person seeking an audience would be inclined to do. Yes, he had an entourage of twelve disciples but that was only because he was a teacher and it was tradition to find students and teach them. All throughout his time walking the streets of Israel, he was affecting the change talked about back in the prophecies of Isaiah. Another one from that book (53:1b-2) says “To whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.” In other words, there’s nothing about the outward appearance to Christ that suggests a knight in shining armor or an individual who has an unfounded messiah complex. He’s simply here to do what he was sent to do. It took a widescale realigning of the human experience by those who knew Him to understand, to apprehend the enormity of his person as he went about his day, doing things that were totally ordinary. He asks Philip (one of the twelve) “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip?” (John 14:9) It takes time to have the light of God diffuse into us to where we see Christ for who he is while we’re here and as we are.

Help is on the way

Here’s the thing about Christ: He’s amazing. He’s the Man. There is a gravitas to His person that keeps one from being flippant and glib in His presence. But this isn’t to say that He inspires a mindless hero-worship bereft of our faculties. To see Him in what light one is accustomed brings a peace and a beauty that nothing else in this world is able to substitute. And He loves you. Don’t be fooled: He is the “Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David” (Revelation 5:5) and due all the worship one is able to wring out of their person. But He’s also a friend. He’ll help you see Him for who He really is.

“These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:25-27)

The Other Side of the Coin

“The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the Lord of hosts.” (Haggai 2:8)

I have a somewhat cavalier and nonchalant attitude when it comes to money and finances. Don’t get me wrong, I save and I budget (maybe a little) and give and spend wisely. But when it comes to “squeez[ing] every last drop” (to quote Prince John from Robin Hood) of usage out of my money, I sort-of, uh, turn off. Blame it on the fact that I am predisposed to live in the moment and you might understand that, while I know I have a future, I’m not overly concerned with “making it in this world”. But before I go any further and lest you think I don’t “get it”, let me quote Jesus here (Luke 16:9):

“And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.”

Almost sounds scandalous doesn’t it? Here, Jesus is talking about dealing wisely with reference to money and finance and capital and whatnot. I suppose the gentleman (Jesus; I was gonna say “guy”, but that sounded a shade disrespectful) who can tell Peter to go drop a line and pull up, not just dinner, but both of their taxes as well, needn’t worry about such things (see Matthew 17:23-27). Think about how He calls it “the mammon of unrighteousness”. The context of the verse quoted doesn’t really flesh out the idea of our failing as an inevitability (“when ye fail”). It’s the unique individual in this world who isn’t under some sort of financial auspice or in the employ of a person “signing the check”. Yes, the man in the parable “had done wisely” (16:8) but there are all sorts of unwise things that we do with money—things that don’t play into the future the Father wants to give us—when we know deep down that there are other, better ways to spend and to save. That being said, here’s the next verse in the parable (Luke 16:10):

“He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.”

Quick question: Does that have to refer only to money? What about time and patience and joy and a thousand other beautiful intangibles we have flowing out our ears because our God is just so generous? If you tithe regularly but look the other way when passing a person who might need a smile, what does that mean? I think often of Paul’s response to the chief captain’s declaration of “With a great sum obtained I this freedom” (referring, of course to citizenship in the Roman Empire). Paul says: “But I was free born.” In other words, Paul did nothing but emerge from the womb in order to be at the same privileged level for which the chief captain had to give God-knows-how-much (probably a lot) in order to procure. By the same token, I did nothing to get the look in my eyes and the smile on my face—two of the things that God uses to bless others. These things are of inestimable value. They’re also the very things that glaze over and become gray, dry and ineffectual when once we get our focus too far out on things like money and status. Seriously, don’t lose the light in your eyes.

“For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” (1 Timothy 6:10)

Paul went one further and informed the world that, while love may make the world go ‘round, if one, uh, invests that love in money, said person gets pulled down to the center of the earth by way of some evil gravity (I’m not kidding). Referring again to what Jesus said about “Mak[ing] to [ourselves] friends of the mammon of unrighteousness, depending on what phrase you heard first growing up, you might not get what He said. Jesus isn’t saying to “love money”, He’s saying that it needs to be respected for the tool it is.

“Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.” (Proverbs 23:5)

What about memories? Even if I make a costly mistake, I get the privilege of living through it and watching it work together for my good (Romans 8:28). Not only do I get a story to tell, but I also gain a window on the inner workings of a system I’d not get to experience otherwise. The truth is, we don’t know where all the money’s going (see Psalm 39:6). Even that bottom layer of our bank account that we don’t have to touch because payday rolls around sooner than later is like some sort of miraculous dimension wherein God can work miracles in the lives of those less fortunate. Think about it. I’m not telling you what to do with your finances: just be wise.

“Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.” (Acts 3:6)

Head in the Clouds

“And what He hath seen and heard, that He testifieth…” (John 3:32a)

That was John the Baptist speaking of Jesus. He leads into that statement with “he that cometh from Heaven is above all.” (John 3:31b) It isn’t just that we see Jesus as descended from the clouds (i.e. Heaven), but that we understand all He went through in order to be ordained a “high priest” (see Hebrews 4:15-16).

Silver linings

There’s a scene in Luke’s Gospel (12:14) where this guy calls on Jesus to talk to his brother so that he would “divide the inheritance” (verse 13) with him. Jesus answers back and says “who made me a judge or divider over you?” Evidently the guy trusted Jesus enough to be able to settle the dispute but we also see that Christ was more pragmatic than that. Jesus goes one further and warns everyone there about getting caught up in wordliness an an overreaching materialism. The thing that you’ll find as you read through the gospels is that Jesus is always changing the subject, derailing long-established trains of thought and generally disrupting patterns and norms with, as John described up top, “what He hath seen and heard.”

One of the most amazing incidents happens in the Gospel of Mark at which time we see Jesus tell a palsied man that his sins are forgiven. The thing about that statement I find so remarkable is that it looks, for all intents and purposes, to be a simple religious-sounding utterance. Like, “Blessings be upon you!” In other words, something purely platitudinal and that’s great. Those that were there (whose hearts were blinded) thought Jesus was crazy for saying something so outlandish, thinking that only “God” could do something like “forgive sins”. In other words, it was like Jesus was opining on something He wasn’t qualified to talk about. What happens next is pretty cool however: He parries the scribes’ petty complaints and then goes on to prove that He can reach into another realm for wisdom and inspiration. He tells the paralyzed man to “Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.” (Mark 2:1-12) Which the man does, proving that the former statement Jesus made carried weight. One cannot simply say these things and have them take the intended effect unless they really know what they’re talking about. And Jesus definitely knows what He’s talking about. “What He hath seen and heard…”

“And they answered Jesus, and said, We cannot tell. And he said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.” (Matthew 21:27)

Jesus knew stuff, He had been around. His parable about the steward who was audited, so to speak, by the man for whom he was employed (see Luke, chapter 16) not only includes some very practical instruction on dealing with debt (pay it down little by little) but also allusion to a higher kingdom, one that doesn’t revolve around money and capital (see verse 8). Where does He get this stuff? Probably from the same place one gets cloudberries. Just joking, cloudberries are common in the northern hemisphere. But one would necessarily have to go higher in order to be able to talk about stuff of another plane and have it make sense in light of ours.

“Whence then cometh wisdom? And where is the place of understanding? Seeing it is hid from the eyes of all living, and kept close from the fowls of the air.” (Job 28:20-21)

I haven’t the foggiest

The following paragraph comes to us from Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason:

“We can a priori and prior to all given objects have a knowledge of those conditions on which alone experience of them is possible, but never of the laws to which things may in themselves be subject without reference to possible experience.” (my emphasis)

Suffice it to say, Kant is looking to explain away the idea that there can be knowledge of things without actually having experienced them for ourselves. I think we all encounter that temptation to merely “talk the walk”. The implication behind everything (true) written about Christ is that He actually went through the things He talked about. But He wasn’t alone in doing so: His Father was with Him.

“Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself (i.e. from myself): but the Father that dwelleth in me, He doeth the works.” (John 14:10, emphasis mine)

God the Father ensured that Jesus went through everything necessary in order to be your advocate, my advocate (see 1 John 2:1). God was not about to allow someone to die on behalf of everyone if that person wasn’t willing to live everyone’s life. See, Jesus has secrets (see Deuteronomy 29:29). Things He’ll share with you if you endeavor to get close to Him. It says in Hebrews that because of what He did, we can “come boldly unto the throne of grace” (4:15). Paul’s letter to the Colossians (2:3) says “in [Him] are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” I have found Jesus to be the most giving and generous person in this (or any other) world and more than willing to answer what questions I have.

“Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” (Colossians 3:2)

Phantom Pain

“It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.” (1 Corinthians 15:44)

Having a heart

Paul is writing to the Christians in Corinth (for the first time) and he’s using the metaphor of seeds and harvest and whatnot (as Christ was wont to do on occasion; see Mark 4:26-29) as a means of helping us wrap our minds around the fact that we are more than our physical body. Let me just skip ahead a little bit and show the end result of what Christ came to do and what Paul sought to elucidate throughout the letters and missives he sent off that make up about half of the Protestant New Testament:

“For He is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in His flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in Himself of twain one new man (or woman), so making peace.” (Ephesians 2:14-15, emphasis mine)

Have you ever thought about the seeming-dichotomy inherent to life? There looks to be this fissure between our insides and our outsides. Even for Christians, it looks sometimes for-all-intents-and-purposes that the body in which we live would look to supplant every good thing that we would like to do for the Lord. Paul talks again (this time to the Christians in Rome; Romans 7:20-22)

“Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:”

I other words, Paul is talking about the very real thing known as desire. This is something—much like Jesus’s parable alluded to in the big paragraph up top—that grows in us slowly upon receiving Christ. And the King James version is admittedly a little archaic (400 years old) but when Paul says “when I would do good”, it literally translates to “when I have the desire to do the right thing…” (the word “would” being the past tense of “will”). This is so much more than just doing charitable works and helping those who are less fortunate; it refers to having a heart in synch with the Father. This is from where true motive springs. And it is also from where we struggle with a malady or handicap, call it “spiritual phantom pain”, that is flat-out against the newfound life of Christ that has altered us down to the very fiber of our being.

“We are confident, i say, and willing to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 5:8)

Look again at the passage from Ephesians. This dawned on me the other day, but Christ was complete when He died. It says in that little verse that He made “in Himself, from two, one”. This means that He was perfect inside and out when He died. As we were born in sin, the Father sees us on the inside and likes what He sees. This is purely by virtue of the perfection of Christ. The body dies. But the spirit lives. And yet, how come we still feel the effects of this thing known as sin?

“Behold I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, Thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part Thou shalt make me to know wisdom.” (Psalm 51:6-7)

Here’s the thing. That God allows us to feel the pain and the struggle and that He even lets us make mistakes on the road to where He’s bringing us—all of these things are gifts. He’s waiting for our mind to catch up. It isn’t about becoming smarter, it’s about filling our mind with what He said on whatever matter we’re dealing with. And if the Bible doesn’t contain some pointed scripture that addresses your situation verbatim, then there’s a deeper issue it does address. An issue that has its root in a lack of closeness to Him. Draw close to Him through praise and worship and meditation (quiet time in whatever way you choose) and He will reveal just what it is that’s causing that elusive phantom pain. He knows, and He loves you.

“Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” (James 4:8)

Day Labor

“I must work the works of Him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.” (John 9:4)

Dawning on us

What does that mean to you? When I read it—it’s also good to take in the next verse—I think about how the things that Jesus was doing (i.e. “work[ing] the works”) were so bright that they pushed the forces of darkness back out into the recesses of space (see Colossians 2:13-15). It would seem that Jesus only had a short time in which to do things we’re still talking about and learning from over two thousand years later. Here’s the next verse:

“As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

Earlier on in your Bible, in Matthew’s Gospel (Matthew 5:14a), He brings the disciples in on this truth: “Ye are the light of the world”. What He’s looking to show us is that we have the right to do the same things as He. It isn’t about standing up from your seat at the restaurant at which you just had lunch and walking across whatever body of water is nearest in order to prove a point. It’s simpler than that. The “works” to which He’s referring, the ones done “in the daytime”, so to speak, begin with an understanding of who you are by virtue of being one of God’s children, and, subsequently, whence you came. Paul speaks to that in his first letter to the Thessalonians (5:5-6):

“Ye are all children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.”

High noon

Jesus understood the seriousness of the state of the world. He grew up for thirty years in the company of peers and neighbors that made up the community in which He was known as “the carpenter’s son” (Matthew 13:55). He then stepped foot on the world’s stage one day when He announced to the audience in the temple that the prophecy concerning the Messiah was really about Him (see Luke 4:17-20). That’s huge. All around this event, this same little inconspicuous (globally speaking) community had been overrun by the first world superpower—you gotta know they were feeling it. After thirty, He began to do things that clashed with the establishment. The seemingly-insignificant references to His interactions among the “chief priest and scribes” (see Matthew 2:4, John 3, et al.) and the Roman Empire (see Matthew 8) were like tiny cracks and fissures that would end in the widescale destruction of everything that had been built up at that point in history. This, among other reasons, is why we demarcate our calendar with B.C. and A.D., but that’s beside the point. Jesus gives us the standing confidence and also brightness in order to affect the same kind of changes in our world as did He. But it begins with the elementary, childlike things of kindness and warmth and playfulness, and love, that were resident in Him with each interaction He had with those whose hearts were right. These are the things that scale and grow and cause widespread, permanent change. You can do this.

“And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.” (Mark 15:33)

That crepuscular feeling

“The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.” (Isaiah 9:2)

In closing, that deep-orange, sort-of gamboge/blood hue that makes sunsets so romantic is called Rayleigh Scattering. Feel free to look it up if you want to understand the particulars. Thing is, though, as days come and go in our lives (seasons, too) the Lord will envelop you in an atmosphere (made possible by Christ alone) that is intended to see you through a forthcoming night season. David talks a little about that:

“I will bless the Lord, who hath given me counsel: my reins (i.e. the lessons I’ve learned) also instruct me in the night seasons.” (Psalm 16:7, emphasis mine)

Jesus, Paul, David. They were in tune with a broader understanding of what was going on with reference to the rotation of this world. Trust God to keep you in the right place at the right time and you’ll make it through this night.

Judging a Song by its Cover part one

I was reminded, aurally, of The Fugees’ suburb rendition of Roberta Flack’s Killing Me Softly two nights ago while out with a friend. I bought it the next morning. Lauryn Hill brings her strong persona to a song about an unassuming woman who goes to see a celebrated young musician only to find herself undone by the end of the evening. Flack must be acknowledged as the initial purveyor of the song—the one who introduced into the public consciousness—but Hill’s expression is, in my opinion, much, much better. She may have been “miseducated” but she is in consummate control on this track. She knows what she’s doing. Her melodic vocalization from 3:12-3:48 against a simple R&B backbeat is worth the price of admission–it might leave you undone as well, be careful.
How can an artist take an original track and improve on it? I mean, the vision was birthed, so to speak, in the heart and mind of the initial performer and yet, somehow, someone can catch that vision and bend it ever-so-slightly and produce something familiar, yet altogether refreshing, and in some cases, better. Consider Aretha Franklin’s exceptional version of Simon and Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water. The original has long been a great strength to me: one of those few songs in my phone that will actually clear up any mood in which I may find myself—should I remember to listen to it amidst the bustle of a miserable day. Franklin opens with a little-bit-different introduction (“Still waters run deep…if you’ll only believe”) then proceeds to express a minute-or-so long ditty on the piano with a somber organ accompanying; this is the Gospel according to Aretha. She says towards the end, “sail on Silver Boy” (as opposed to “Silver Girl” from the original) and it feels like she’s speaking right into me. Then again, as I take in the original in contrast, I am reminded of one of the purest expressions of selfless friendship I know. Either one, however, is pure poetry set to music that heals the heart.
Then there’s Cream’s reimagining of the seminal blues tune Crossroads. While it’s mythologized in Americana that Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil for a little musical acumen (it could be that he stole it from Satan, who knows?), Eric Clapton takes it one further in adding his Sixties rock sensibility to one of the greatest blues songs of all time. Taking on such a heavy responsibility as representing the flagship song of an entire genre is sobering and Cream pulls it off with aplomb. Going further, Rush’s rendition from their 2004 album Feedback is even better and, dare I say it, the live album from that year’s tour features a performance that edges out the studio version ever so slightly.

What about those songs that may not have been given the best polish in subsequent recordings? I was impressed with Guns N’ Roses Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door when first I heard it. Upon discovering Dylan’s original, however, that admiration was broken. I don’t mind the aforementioned cover but Bob Dylan is that total package of hopeless yearning somehow extruded in an honest way and that Axl Rose and his crew cannot hope to touch. Dylan’s Maggie’s Farm is done up right by Rage Against the Machine but again, his resignation and subtle carelessness is not to be found in De la Rocha’s complaint over working for a tyrannical family. Doesn’t mean that either cover is bad, just that in my opinion, Dylan’s emotional vein was not tapped and therefore the author’s original intent may not have been conveyed as well as it could have (or was).

For lateral covers—songs that are reimagined without respect, so to speak, to what the first artist had in mind—nothing impresses me more than The Punch Brothers’ Bluegrass take on Radiohead’s Packt Like Sardines in a Crush’d Tin Box (Amnesiac, 2000). Thom Yorke said it well when he said “I’m a reasonable man, get off my case”. And yet the Punch Brothers take the original and imbue new life into what is essentially a song about a crazy man coming to his senses a little after the fact (this is my interpretation). The way The Punch Brothers translate Radiohead’s gamelan-sounding (Indonesian orchestra) first track to fiddle, guitar and banjo (and upright bass) is brilliant.