By José Luis del Río
Last Monday, I was at the Scott Bradlee and the Postmodern Jukebox's performance at the Sala Caracol in Madrid. It was awesome, one of the best shows I've been to. It was Scott Bradlee's first time in Madrid and… Sold out! It was a freezing Monday but it was completely sold out and packed.
For those who don't know anything about the band, you must to know that before working in the New York Jazz Scene, Bradlee began to translate popular music into his style. So, in 2009, he released Hello My Ragtime '80s, in which he incorporated popular music from the 1980s with ragtime-style piano. He would finally begin to gain popularity with his release of A Motown Tribute to Nickleback, and in this album Scott Bradlee arranged Nickelback's songs in the Motown style.
In 2013, Scott Bradlee began to work more seriously on forming Postmodern Jukebox, a rotating group of musicians producing covers of pop songs in the style of jazz, ragtime, and swing. The group broke out with their doo-wop cover of the Miley Cyrus´ We Can't Stop. In October 2013, Postmodern Jukebox's collaboration with Puddles Pity Party, the sad clown with the golden voice, on a cover of Lorde's Royals generated particularly strong interest. This song has about ten millions hits on Youtube.
But it was also in 2013 when Scott Bradlee began taking an interest in geek culture. He was in charge of introducing the arrangements on BioShock Infinite´s soundtrack. He arranged a piano cover of Tears for Fears' Everybody Wants to Rule the World, a jazzy ragtime cover of Gloria Jones' Tainted Love and R.E.M.'s Shiny Happy People. The songs sounds like you were in 1912 and when you play the game it makes you feel like you are having a spooky dream.
When I saw the band perform, it was amazing to hear them play hits by Ke$ha, Katie Perry, Michael Jackson, Bon Jovi, Lorde, etc… Scott Bradlee has an awesome band. They describe their sound as An Alternative History of Pop Music, and this is what you get at the concert. Bradlee turns Miley Cyrus's We Can't Stop into an amazing Doo-Wop song, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis's Thrift Shop becomes a fresh jazztune. You can experience pop music turned back to the 20´s or 30´s or 40´s. I can tell you that I´m a real headbanger and I didn´t stop dancing at the concert. Their interpretations of hits of all kinds have been viewed hundreds of millions of times on Youtube, their concerts in the USA, and now in Europe, are legendary.
You can find out more about Postmodern Jukebox on their website.
Here are some videos of their performance:
Wiggle – Vintage 1920s Broadway Jason Derulo / Snoop Dogg Cover:
Thrift Shop (Vintage "Grandpa Style" Macklemore Cover):
Bioshock´s Tainted Love:
Bioshock Infinite Music – Everybody Wants to Rule the World (1985) by Tears For Fears:
And here are a few more photos of the concert:
José Luis del Río Fortich is a child of the seventies who grew up with comics and MSX. Then he moved to the Commodore Amiga, Twin Peaks and finally to Macintosh. In his nearly 40´s he keeps reading comics, playing computer games and reviewing series. He loves Star Trek, Star Wars, Doctor Who, Zombies, Horror Movies and all those things that are not necessary in an apocalypse but we all love. He is @jldelriofortich and on Facebook.