Proving that everything new can be old again, pianist Scott Bradlee has become a viral pop sensation after creating a series of clips for YouTube that finds him and his ad hoc group Postmodern Jukebox reworking 21st century pop hits in a variety of vintage styles — transforming Miley Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop” into a ’50s-style doo wop number, giving Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop” a ’20s jazz accent, crossing Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” with Irish folk music, and showing how Ke$ha’s “Die Young” would work as a classic country tune.
Bradlee writes, “My goal with Postmodern Jukebox is to get my audience to think of songs not as rigid, ephemeral objects, but like malleable globs of Silly Putty. Songs can be twisted, shaped, and altered without losing their identities — just as we grow, age, and expire without losing ours.”
Long Island-born Scott Bradlee grew up with a taste for jazz and classic standards, and he rose to a successful career playing supper clubs and night spots in New York City. By his own admission, Bradlee regarded most pop and rock tunes as unrefined, but, as he himself put it, “As a relentless devil’s advocate, I then found that by simply altering the context of such songs, I could find quite a bit of artistic merit inside of them.”
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