Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox

Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox

13 September 2015
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An ever-growing, rotating collection of talent, Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox has been viewed on the ensemble's YouTube channel well over two hundred and fifty million times. Most of those doing the viewing, however, are not fully aware of the method to Bradlee's madness. On the surface, the method is video-clips of full-band performances shot in the bandleader's living room with a single stationary camera. The madness: pop hits of the present performed à la pop hits of the past. Miley Cyrus' "We Can't Stop" assayed as a doo-wop number; Macklemore and Ryan Lewis' "Thrift Shop" tricked out in flapper jazz; Sam Smith's "Stay With Me" rendered a 1940s big-band standard. In fact, Bradlee's method runs deeper. He's educating his audience about 20th-century song styles; he's commenting on the elasticity of the pop form; he's confounding cultural context; he's uniting generations; he's breaking the rules. He's manifesting postmodernist ideas in his approach to production, business and music. But as far as the fans are concerned, it's just fun (and sometimes funny). Of his unique process, Bradlee himself says, "I reimagine a song in another style because I want to hear it that way." Clearly, so does everyone else, as evidenced by the fact that PMJ have sold out more than a hundred shows in more than thirty countries worldwide and dominated Billboard's Jazz Albums chart, where six of their albums concurrently charted at the Top 10. Adding fire to their success are their impressive social media statistics and features in the media. Having amassed more than 1.35 million subscribers and over 276 million views on YouTube, PMJ are a force to be reckoned with. They have been featured in highly-regarded publications such as Billboard, The Huffington Post, the Los Angeles Times and NPR Music, all of whom sang praises of their musical talents.