and by old people, I of course mean anybody with decent musical tastes 😄
Meet Scott Bradlee, the Youtuber mastermind behind the band Post Modern Jukebox…a band that takes modern pop hits and redoes them in radically different (and artistically complex) genres. I’ve linked you to “Prohibition Britney,” a HOT jazz rendition of “Till The World Ends.” but to understand the full range of their talent and whimsy, you should also at least check out their Mariachi cover of Avacii’s “Wake Me Up” in Spanish or their Motown rendition of Avril Lavigne’s “Sk8tr Boy”.
As someone who takes a guilty pleasure in most top 40 radio but also has a deep love of swing dancing, this is kind of a dream come true I didn’t even know I was dreaming. It’s kind of the contrapositive of electroswing. These videos don’t have enough views. They couldn’t possibly have enough views.
It really makes me wonder what most pop star vocalists could do if they just decided to belt a number with a really hot band behind them instead of synthesized music just keeping time in the background. I mean, I never cared much for this particular song, but you can really tell what Lady Gaga’s capable of when she sings “The Lady is a Tramp,” in a truly traditional and jazzy rendition.
Some of their songs seem to be riding the coattails of The Great Gatsby soundtrack and the beautiful mashup of contemporary and jazz influences which that exhibited. I think that the American public is jonesing for something more than what we’ve been getting. We’ve totally distilled so much of our music to the bare bones, removing melody and inventing rap or removing instrumentation and calling it techno…and I’m not going to complain that music has “gotten so bad” because there has always been silly, uncomplicated songs shooting to the top of the charts. The point I’m making is that pop music is seeing a sort of modernist draw to minimalism in a lot of respects, and that’s unsustainable. We need to evolve and move forward artistically, but first we’re going to go back and look at our roots. Take a look at the way Gaga is going so starkly back to an 80s sound with “Art Pop” and you’ll realize that everyone is turning over old rocks looking for that little spark of inspiration that is going to send them in a totally new direction. Post Modern Jukebox is part of that, even if they are just a cover band. They’re showing us how much experimentation is still allowed and available.
Art doesn’t stagnate. It’s not about “what’s next” it’s about living in the moment and watching the flux…and I love it.