Jan 25, 2019 | 8:00 PM | Friday
The work of Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox has been viewed on the ensemble's YouTube channel well over a hundred million times. Most of those doing the viewing, however, are not fully aware of the method to Bradlee's madness.
In fact, Bradlee's method runs deeper. He's educating his audience about 20th-century song styles; he's commenting on the elasticity of the pop form; he's confounding cultural context; he's uniting generations; he's breaking the rules. He's manifesting postmodernist ideas in his approach to production and business as well as music. But as far as the fans are concerned, it's just fun (and sometimes funny). Bradlee himself will tell you, simply, "I reimagine a song in another style because I want to hear it that way."
Asked what appealed to him about the popular music of the 1920s, ragtime especially, he says, "I could play it fast and loud. It was brash. And it had contempt for rules, which really appealed to me."
How does he come up with this stuff? "A lot of pop songs are constructed of elements that lend themselves to a certain feel," he points out. "The simple progression of the bass line in 'Blurred Lines,' for instance, reminded me of bluegrass. 'Sweet Child' sounds like an old blues song – the structure, the way the chorus repeats …" With Cyrus, it was more an instance of tongue-in-cheeky cultural criticism: "She'd gained all that notoriety from her 2013 VMA appearance. I had to recast her song for the '50s, which everyone thinks of as this squeaky-clean era."
The PMJ scene is more reminiscent of a speakeasy, with swells in vintage threads swilling Prohibition-era cocktails. "It's a variety show, a musical revue featuring special guests," Bradlee illuminates. "Coming to a PMJ show is like time-traveling back to Old Hollywood – it's an experience." Creating that for audiences appears to be PMJ's ultimate mission.
Upcoming Events at Charleston Music Hall
Women's Adventure Film Tour
The Women’s Adventure Film Tour launched in Aspen, CO on September 14, 2018, and includes stops in dozens of U.S., Canadian, Mexican and South American cities, wrapping up in June 2019.
Greensky Bluegrass w/ Cris Jacobs Band
The Charleston Music Hall and NS2 are excited to present Greensky Bluegrass on Wednesday, January 23rd at 8PM!
Neko Case w/ Kimya Dawson
The Charleston Music Hall and NS2 are thrilled to present Neko Case on Wednesday, January 23rd at 8PM! “Soaring” [Entertainment Weekly] … “Gutting” [New York Magazine]
Stroke n Sip: Paint and Sip with Nude Male Model Charleston
-All attendants must be 21+ with valid ID -Includes canvas and painting supplies -LIMITED SEATING! No tickets will be sold at the door
The Fab Four: Ultimate Beatles Tribute in Charleston, SC
Tickets are available by calling 800-745-3000, in person at the Charleston Music Hall Box Office or online at Ticketfly: https://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/1763244