Scott Bradlee’s Post­mod­ern Juke­box

Public News (Houston) - - CRAMPTON’S MUSICAL MUSINGS - by Mark Cramp­ton

I ran across Scott Bradlee’s Post­mod­ern Juke­box, as I so of­ten find new and (some­times) cu­ri­ous mu­sic in­ter­ests, while surf­ing on YouTube Mu­sic. That day, I was specif­i­cally search­ing for cov­ers of modern rock/pop in Jazz, Blues, or Swing style (re­mem­ber – I do NOT par­tic­u­larly like modern rock/pop and find the ra­dio dial gen­er­ally to be a waste­land!)

Boys and girls, I hit the freakin’ JACK­POT when I stum­bled across Scott Bradlee’s Post­mod­ern Juke­box (PMJ)! http://post­mod

ern­juke­box.com/ Bradlee leads what he calls a “mu­sic col­lec­tive” – more than just a com­pany or team or sta­ble or even as­so­ci­a­tion of mu­si­cians, more than just shows on the con­cert cir­cuits, PMJ is es­sen­tially a fam­ily of mu­si­cians, singers and dancers!

Bradlee said his in­ten­tion is to bridge a gap - to take modern(ish) rock/pop style songs and fun­da­men­tally trans­form them into some other style of mu­sic.

Be­cause peo­ple who don’t like a par­tic­u­lar mu­sic group or singer ques­tion ALL that groups’ mu­sic!

They may not like a good song just be­cause THAT group is play­ing it, not ac­tu­ally dis­like the song it­self! So, per­haps some­one didn’t like the song in its orig­i­nal form by the orig­i­nal recorders, but will like the way PMJ cov­ered it in an en­tirely dif­fer­ent style. [NOTE: Which is, in­ci­den­tally, pretty much how I feel about much modern mu­sic! I mean, for some ex­am­ples, I re­ally can­not stand Steely Dan, Lady Gaga, Ce­lene Dion, Bruno Mars, Wheezer, Back­street Boys, My­ley Cyrus (well, who CAN stand her?) – yet PMJ has done cov­ers of songs from all of th­ese that I DO re­ally like!]

At the most re­cent count, PMJ’s YouTube chan­nel has over 3.1 Mil­lion sub­scribers (in­clud­ing yours truly!) with over 800 Mil­lion – that’s Mil­lion with a very big M in both cases! – col­lec­tive views since the be­gin­ning! PMJ started back in 2009 when Bradlee and a group of friends (Chris An­der­son – up­right bass; Ben Golder-Novick – sax; Brandee Younger – harp; and Emma Walker – vo­cal­ist) be­gan shoot­ing self-made low-bud­get mu­sic videos in the liv­ing room of his tiny NY base­ment apart­ment.

In 2010 PMJ re­leased their first video to YouTube, a cover of Lady Gaga’s “Pap­parizzi” https://youtu.be/CnFQdDl5qEg. How­ever, PMJ’s big break re­ally came on Novem­ber 24 th , 2011, thanks to the lo­cal pub­lic dis­cord caused by the Cana­dian band Nick­le­back http://www.nick­el­back.com/ be­ing booked to play the Thanks­giv­ing Half­time show at Detroit’s Ford Field – there was ac­tu­ally a pe­ti­tion that raised over 55,000 sig­na­tures to stop them from play­ing be­cause they weren’t Amer­i­can and it was an Amer­i­can sport on an Amer­i­can hol­i­day!

Bradlee quickly filmed and re­leased - on Thanks­giv­ing morn­ing BE­FORE the dis­puted half­time show (which, yes, Nick­le­back DID go on and play) the video “A Mo­town Trib­ute to Nick­le­back” https://

youtu.be/3KzP4bC1Ypg – play­ing one of the ma­ligned groups’ songs in 60s Mo­town style – which pulled over 1.5 mil­lion views the first week on YouTube! [NOTE: PMJ later recorded an en­tire al­bum – 7 songs – of Nick­le­back cov­ers!

Af­ter sam­pling each of them sep­a­rately - I just or­dered the al­bum on Ama­zon. I had re­ally only liked ONE of th­ese songs as orig­i­nally done by Nick­le­back!]

Af­ter the suc­cess of this video, PMJ be­gan re­leas­ing other videos recorded over the pre­vi­ous year or so, with other artists who drifted in and out of Bradlee’s apart­ment, to YouTube, as well as ramp­ing up cur­rent/fu­ture record­ing ef­forts!

The next video was Mack­le­more and Lewis’ “Thrift Shop” https://youtu.be/4Cn­m0t­d­kJEU with Robyn Adele An­der­son http://www.

roby­nadele.com/ singing, done in “Vin­tage Grandpa Style” - drums, elec­tric pi­ano, up­right bass. Singer Lorde gave her ap­proval and recog­ni­tion to PMJ’s ini­tial cover of “Roy­als”

https://youtu.be/VBmCJEe­hYtU by Pud­dles Pity Party http://www.pud­dle­spi­ty­party.com/. Since then, sev­eral other PMJ singers have also made cov­ers of “Roy­als” in dif­fer­ent styles. [NOTE: Many orig­i­nal artists – and, ob­vi­ously, their record com­pa­nies - have given nods of ap­proval – and even ap­pre­ci­a­tion - of PMJ cov­er­ing their mu­sic.]

Cos­mopoli­tan mag­a­zine re­quested PMJ come to their NYC of­fice to film a mu­si­cal trib­ute to 2013 https://youtu.be/FStVXiu

0bQ - in­ci­den­tally, this mash-up was set up and filmed in one take – no do–overs! https://

youtu.be/V1nL_Ry7z5k Meghan Trainor’s funk hit “All About That Bass” https://youtu.

be/iyTTX6Wlf1Y was PMJ’s next hit, with Kate Davis http://www.kate­davis­mu­sic.com/ singing while play­ing up­right bass in 40s Jazz style, with only pi­ano and drums ac­com­pa­ny­ing. [NOTE: this song is now the of­fi­cial fi­nale of all PMJ’s shows on tour.] Four of my fa­vorite singers are PMJ mem-

bers, here to­gether in another video take on “All About That Bass” https://youtu.be/

aLnZ1NQm2uk : Ha­ley Rein­hart https://www.ha­leyrein­hart. com/home-1 ; Mor­gan James http://www. mor­gan­jameson­line.com/ ; Ar­i­ana Savalas (yes, “Ko­jak”s daugh­ter! If you don’t know who he is, ask some­one else!) https://www. ar­i­anasavalas.com/; and Casey Abrams (from Austin!) https://casey­bassy.com/. And some videos from each of them in­di­vid­u­ally: Ha­ley Rein­hart do­ing a Mar­i­lyn Mon­roe-styled cover of “Oops I did it Again”

https://youtu.be/g_HN50TLuaI ; Mor­gan James do­ing a 60s Beach Boys Surf cover of “Bar­bie Girl” https://youtu.be/4ReSV3CCRzg ; and “Rox­anne” as soul https://youtu.be/

VeLD3ZCpC30 ; Ar­i­ana Savalas do­ing a Bob Fosse-styled jazz cover of “Sin­gle Ladies”

https://youtu.be/yQGFeRI0qbg ; Casey Abrams do­ing a clas­sic blues cover of “Sweet Child ‘O Mine”. https://youtu.be/bZpdXg

sI6C0 ; Robyn Adele An­der­son do­ing a 50s Do-Wop cover of “I Kissed a Girl” https://

youtu.be/GW0zsiNUrz8, 20s rag­time cov­ers of “YMCA” (with tap dancer) https://youtu. be/efk7YnGDPZs, “My Hump” https://youtu. be/bRsDIUji_sw, and “Call Me Maybe” https://youtu.be/5meWI3iX1sE. How about: “Toxic” cov­ered as a 30s style Torch song https://youtu.be/ZILsHowUjpQ. “Danc­ing in the Dark” in 50s Do-Wop Diner style https://youtu.be/X-Zi­w_TwXrM. “Stacey’s Mom” https://youtu.be/T2kOjGFN8k, “Care­less Whis­per” (with Dave Koz) https://youtu.be/lVXz­iMFEqX0 and “Thriller” (com­plete with zom­bie tap dancers!) https://youtu.be/td-_pUPVjdo all cov­ered in 20s/30s Hot Jazz style. “Gang­ster’s Par­adise” https://youtu.be/ Rve03u7oEvI and “Wig­gle” https://youtu.be/ pDl9SDd1FJY in 20’s Chicago Jazz style. So, per­haps you are jaded with the lack of se­lec­tion on lo­cal ra­dio sta­tions – or you just don’t like the mu­sic be­ing played – get out of your rut - try some­thing dif­fer­ent - give some­thing new by PMJ a lis­ten.

Cur­rently, there are two sep­a­rate PMJ tours, Europe and Amer­ica. At times, there have been up to four tours go­ing on at the same time. Bradlee says that ev­ery show is dif­fer­ent, that he him­self never knows who will ap­pear when or where on tour. He ex­plains it in the FAQ sec­tion of the web­site http://post­mod­ern­juke­box.com/faq/.

Singers, dancers and mu­si­cians move in and out of PMJ, for fam­ily com­mit­ments, solo ca­reers, on and off-Broad­way stage shows, re­turn­ing for spe­cific videos, shows and tours.

The PMJ 2017 Amer­i­can tour will play at Austin City Lim­its Live at Moody The­atre on De­cem­ber 3rd and at the Tobin Cen­ter for Per­form­ing Arts in San An­to­nio, Texas on De­cem­ber 4th

Post­script: I am al­ready work­ing on another ar­ti­cle – The bur­lesque mu­sic/com­edy duo The Skivvies http://www.theskivvies­nyc.com/ . Lau­ren Molina (also a mem­ber of PMJ) and Nick Cear­ley per­form on stage clad ONLY in un­der­wear https://youtu.be/XghRPQMKsI4 – as do all their guests: https://youtu.be/k8NBjUjyub8 and https:// youtu.be/Sao2ixZi8_4 ! What do you think?

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