The New ClassicsPostmodern Jukebox
PMJ originally found massive success online, with new videos added weekly that continually find inventive new ways to put creator Scott Bradlee’s trademark vintage twist on modern pop hits. But it’s onstage that the project has really come to shine, with the band and its rotating cast of multi-talented singers and musicians playing hundreds of shows to sold-out houses across the globe, from intimate standing-room gigs to large-scale, theatrical extravaganzas. After one recent show, MusicInsight.com raved, “Go see Postmodern Jukebox. Stop whatever you’re doing, right now, and go see them!”
That “anything can, and will, happen” vibe is fully captured on The New Classics, which features lively performances of a wide range of reimagined hits in the party-like atmosphere that has come to characterize the band’s shows. These include everything from the grunge rock of Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun” to the feud-fueling pop of Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood,” from Cyndi Lauper’s classic ‘80s ballad “Time After Time” to the disco anthem “I Will Survive” – all given their own time-warping twist.
The unique result of pianist/arranger Bradlee’s novel concept has generated over three million subscriptions to PMJ’s YouTube channel since its 2013 inception, not to mention over one million Facebook likes and nearly 850 million views.
Bradlee’s inspired ensemble has also released 14 albums, and with a rotating cast of performers is almost constantly on the road. The New Classics offers newcomers a glimpse of what exhilarated audiences see on stages around the world, 300 nights a year. The album and special are a snapshot – you’ll hear and see what happened on this night in this room, but there are new surprises, performers, repertoire and combinations at every single show. Meanwhile, new cast members continue to come onboard, adding to the variety of talent that can be seen on the road and in PMJ’s extensive catalogue of videos — which continue to be produced at a staggering clip of one per week.
Despite that unflagging pace and ever-growing membership, PMJ continues to feel like a family, both on the road and in their weekly videos. That camaraderie and playful chemistry shines through these live performances, which breathe vivid life into antiquated styles.
“The New Classics was all recorded live in front of an audience in the middle of the tour, so everybody got to know each other really well and feel the energy and camaraderie,” says Bradlee. “Listening to it now, it sounds like an amazing radio broadcast from Carnegie Hall from many years ago—a journey through all the vintage styles, whether it’s 1920s hot jazz or ’50s doo-wop or ’60s soul and everything in between. So it’s a great way to experience PMJ if you haven’t been to a live show, with some extraordinary performances by some of our best-known performers as well as some newer ones.”
As any of their legion of fans can tell you, the PMJ live experience is never the same twice, with new songs, new sounds, and new members added to the ever-growing family each time around. It’s something that should be experienced in the flesh – but The New Classics offers the next best thing.
“It’s one thing to be in your living room and making videos, but to interact with both the cast and the audience really makes our music come to life,” Bradlee says. “This first live album is not only representative of our work, but it’s completely unique in the sense that if you’re new to PMJ, you’ll love it for exposing you to an amazing new universe, and if you’ve been part of our community for years, you’ll relive that night when you first saw us.”