It was a few months ago when I came across Scott Bradlee's, Postmodern Jukebox on YouTube. The group had recently put out a vintage remix of Macklemore's song Thrift Shop and a British artist had in turn, created a techno remix of the vintage remix. In short, a modern remix of a vintage remix of a modern song had been born. Now try saying that five times fast.
Since then, Postmodern Jukebox has gone out to produce 31 YouTube videos, nearly approaching a grand total of one million combined YouTube views. Most of these Postmodern Jukebox videos are all various vintage remixes encompassing a variety of styles of modern songs. There are however, a couple of videos such as the group's call for pledges so they can continue to produce more quality YouTube remixes.
Each song the group produces is done with a different feel that is present both in the sound of the song and in the filmography and the way the musicians dress. For instance, Gentleman by Psy is done in Gatsby style with a couple of dancers performing the charleston (with some variation). Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke is done as a vintage "Bluegrass Barn dance" with Robyn Adele Anderson (the lead singer) dressed up in her full cowgirl gear.
While you can (and absolutely should) browse the Postmodern Jukebox YouTube channel yourself to see all their incredible videos, here are some of our favourites.
1. Thrift Shop
This version of Macklemore's song is the obvious first choice as it is what introduce me to the group in the first place. The song is performed in an old time, jazz style with "cleaned up" lyrics to replace some of the more vulgar ones in the original.
2. We Can't StopThis doo-wop cover of Miley Cyrus does what the original artist cannot; make herself appear classy. The song is easily better than the original and comes with the disclaimer that "Scott Bradlee does not twerk in this video." Thank god for that.
3. Just (Tap) DanceThis Lady GaGa cover of her 2008 song agani uses a jazz style to create a different feel for the song. With a twist, it also features a tap dancer by the name of Alex MacDonald who is actually pretty good.
4. A Motown Tribute to NicklebackI normally would not list this as one of Postmodern Jukebox's best work except for the fact that this song introduced "tambourine guy," possibly the single happiest person on the entire planet. Tambourine guy loves his job.
5. Die YoungThis cover of Ke$ha's song is done in a bluegrass, country western, saloon-style type of way and features talented violinist, David Wong who has been in a number of the group's videos. Anderson once again proves that she can adapt to the look and country feel required for this remix.
6. Get LuckyThis last recommendation is of Daft Punk's song and is also one of personal favourites. There has been some debate over whether the male singer, Mitchell Jarvis can really pull off the Irish style and voice required for this song (personally I think he does a great job) but either way it is enjoyable. He certainly sings much better than I ever could.
There you have it, Postmodern Jukebox is your go-to YouTube band for vintage remixes of modern music. What song by the group do you like the best?
By Jonathan Holowka