Postmodern Jukebox: Where Gatsby and Edith Piaf Meet Modern Hits

“New music, old style,” reads the tagline on the website for Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox (PMJ). This “rotating collective of musical outcasts” transforms modern songs into 20th century bops that this HC writer has all the time for. Suddenly, with the help of a piano, brass section, and some strings, Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” becomes a 1946 Big Band hit; Iggy Azalea’s overplayed song “Fancy” is given new life as a 1920’s Flapper staple; Blondie’s “Heart of Glass” is now an Old Hollywood classic; “Sweater Weather” becomes an Edith Piaf French cabaret standard. Name a song, and PMJ has probably done a cover of it.

Though Scott Bradlee remains at the center playing the piano and arranging the scores, more than 100 vocalists and musicians rotate in and out of PMJ. This incredible variety of talent lent to the group allows their sound to remain fresh with each new cover. The music can stand on its own, but a big part of the fun is watching the videos to see the costumes, hair, makeup, and (occasionally) dancers. PMJ’s cover of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” includes two tap dancers on either side of the vocalist, and they kill it. And even though he may not technically be a dancer, it’s worth watching the Vintage Motown cover of “Really Don’t Care”  just for the tambourine guy (I have never seen someone jam out with so much… enthusiasm and… fervor. Let’s put it that way).

All of PMJ’s hard work has not gone unnoticed; in the four years since its creation they have accumulated a cult following, with three million YouTube subscribers, 850,000 monthly Spotify listeners, and two million followers on Facebook. They have even toured throughout America and Europe, and are on tour as I’m writing this article. It’s easy to see why they have risen to popularity, what with their ingenuity, talent, style, and humor. Postmodern Jukebox is a YouTube hole I am willing to fall down over and over again.

Fall with me, won’t you? Here are some of my favorite PMJ videos:

 

 

 

 

 

Want more? I can relate. Find their YouTube channel here.