I'm extremely bored and want to rant about a musical group that I care way too much about. Bias may or may not be involved.
The Early Days (Apr. 2009 - Feb. 2013)Edit
When the PostmodernJukebox YouTube channel was originally created, it was still known as ScottBradleeLovesYa and didn't feature much other than Scott Bradlee's own recordings. These included mashups and collaborations with other NYC-based musicians, many of whom would become PMJ regulars. "A Motown Tribute to Nickelback" was uploaded in late 2011, and featured now PMJ regulars Adam Kubota, Allan Mednard, and Tim Kubart, as well as semi-frequent PMJ collaborators Drue Davis and Steve Sweat. The idea of taking modern-day music and turning it into a vintage style was prevalent all over Bradlee's early works, but this was his first true viral hit that included a vocalist. Shortly after that, some more instrumental videos, as well as an entire Motown Tribute to Nickelback EP on Bandcamp and a sequel, A Motown Tribute to Avril Lavigne, were all posted, unofficially starting PMJ.
PMJ Beginnings: The Age of Robyn (Feb. 2013 - Feb. 2014)Edit
On February 10, 2013, the ScottBradleeLovesYa channel uploaded a "Vintage Grandpa-Style" cover of Macklemore's "Thrift Shop," featuring Bradlee himself, Kubota, Mednard, and a vocalist named Robyn Adele Anderson, who turned out to be Bradlee's girlfriend. The video was an instant hit, and quickly gained over one million views on YouTube. After the video's release, Bradlee posted quite a few more covers of modern hits in older styles featuring the same four musicians, as well as some occasional guests. The 2013 Mashup posted at the end of the year foreshadowed some of the upcoming singers who would eventually collaborate with PMJ.
The Golden Age (Feb. 2014 - Jul. 2014)Edit
Shortly after 2014 started, the channel truly started to come into its own. Videos were uploaded much more regularly, eventually becoming weekly occurrences, and Bradlee started to experiment with more styles than just straight jazz, as well as more singers, creating a much more unique variety of music on the channel. This age boasted some of the most originality and creativity when it came to the covers, featuring everything from doo-wop to French pop to torch songs to authentic Jewish klezmer music. In addition, many talented new vocalists were featured - despite a couple misses (such as Ashley Stroud, who may or may not have vanished off the face of the planet), names such as Cristina Gatti, Von Smith, and Ariana Savalas became channel mainstays, in addition to the videos featuring Robyn that were still posted regularly. At this point, PMJ got itself into a great groove, and produced some of its greatest material (the "Drunk in Love," "Talk Dirty," "Rude" and "Sweater Weather" covers immediately come to mind).
A Brief Slump (Aug. 2014 - Sept. 2014)Edit
Following this amazing streak, PMJ found itself in a bit of a (thankfully brief) slump. A new singer, Morgan James, was introduced to the channel, and Bradlee proceeded to post four videos featuring her in the span of around a month. Vocal ability aside, all the videos were in the same Motown style featuring the same person, and stopped feeling special after a bit. Even the videos featuring other singers were overwhelmingly homogeneous and there was a shockingly low amount of variety on the channel. It all culminated in the channel releasing a trainwreck of a "Waterfalls" cover, and proceeding to get reamed in the comments. There were a few diamonds in the rough, however - the "All About That Bass" cover featuring bassist and singer Kate Davis captured YouTube's hearts and became the channel's biggest hit yet, being covered in a variety of media and currently boasting almost 15 million views, and the "Stay With Me" cover featuring Cristina Gatti was obviously amazing.
Move to Los Angeles and the PMJ Renaissance (Sept. 2014 - Mar. 2015)Edit
In the fall of 2014, Postmodern Jukebox - Bradlee, Kubota, drummer Chip Thomas, and a few vocalists (including Anderson, Gatti, and Stroud, who were at the point the main "PMJ trio") - relocated from New York to Los Angeles after Bradlee was evicted from his apartment due to complaints about noise. The move did not originally affect the group, as they continued to produce their quirky weekly covers. In addition, the group worked on a Christmas album, which was partially funded through Patreon and turned out well, featuring a good combination of the trio at the time and a couple others who tended to appear more sporadically. In the last few months of the year, it became evident that the venues were becoming more elaborate, with Bradlee moving from shooting in his apartment to various fancy setups in bars and houses. In addition, due to being in LA, PMJ discovered some "bigger" names, most notably former American Idol contestant Casey Abrams, who brought with him some talented instrumentalists as well. Abrams's covers of "Stacy's Mom" and "I'm Not The Only One" quickly became well-received on the channel, and fans eventually demanded his co-star Haley Reinhart to make a PMJ appearance. Sure enough, Reinhart arrived in January for a cover of "Habits," which naturally became extremely popular. Also of note was Robyn Adele Anderson and Ashley Stroud's essential disappearances from the videos. Anderson's leaving was speculated to be due to a potential breakup with Scott Bradlee, though she ended up returning in later videos after the new year (but much more sporadically), while Stroud's leave remains shrouded in mystery to this very day. The channel's renaissance continued through the new year, bringing in new stars and posting great, creative covers, eventually finishing off with a bang with a Roy Orbison-style cover of a Kanye West song and a near-flawless take on One Direction's "Steal My Girl."