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RE: Connections -- Haley's Musical Buddies - Miguel - 04-16-2015

The Ask Me Anything is about to start.

I likely won't be able to participate as I'll soon be in transit.

What I am most curious about is how Scott compensates the musicians/performers who accompany him.


RE: Connections -- Haley's Musical Buddies - john - 04-16-2015

(04-16-2015, 05:53 PM)Miguel Wrote: The Ask Me Anything is about to start.

I likely won't be able to participate as I'll soon be in transit.

What I am most curious about is how Scott compensates the musicians/performers who accompany him.

http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/32v794/im_scott_bradlee_creator_of_postmodern_jukebox_ama/

You can go to the site and read these and more...

Quote:I'm Scott Bradlee, creator of Postmodern Jukebox. AMA!
submitted 38 minutes ago by scottbradlee
Hey folks, I started Postmodern Jukebox - a rotating cast of musicians and vocalists that put modern hits into a time machine- out of a basement apartment in Astoria, NY, and now I have a million YouTube subscribers and a touring show. Reddit was a big help in spreading the word- so I wanted to stop in and say hi.
I post all my song remakes to YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/user/ScottBradleeLovesYa
This is my first AMA (if you exclude the time I turned redditor song requests into ragtime piano), so talk to me!
Proof

Quote:Hey, Scott! Big fan here. I especially loved your covers of "Creep" with Haley, and "All about that bass" with Katie.
Who writes the arrangements of the songs you guys perform with PMJ?
Do you have any funny stories while working with Casey, Haley, and Katie?
Keep up the great work. Smile

scottbradlee 2 points 7 minutes ago
I guide the creative process and typically write a big chunk of the arrangements, but I'm a strong believer in collaboration and incorporating ideas from other talented musicians. So, it varies by arrangement. I almost always come up with the reharmonizations and horn section parts, but I like to leave enough space for others to do what they do so well.
stories with Casey... he's amazing- just naturally super gifted and so much fun to have on tour. one time, he licked a fan's leg at a meet and greet in Europe. not in a creepy way, either. it's hard to explain unless you were there.

Quote:HUGE FAN! I have everything you guys put on iTunes.
I'm most impressed when you guys cover a song from an artist I (normally) don't enjoy and turn it on its head. That cover of Kanye West's "Only One" had me in fucking tears. TEARS! Props to Emily West, that woman is amazing.
That said, how do you and your band choose what songs you cover?

scottbradlee 1 point 2 minutes ago
Thank you! Good question, and one I get asked a lot.
Sometimes, I'll have an idea for an arrangement and then go find the musicians and vocalist(s) that I think would be a perfect fit for a song (All About That Bass with Kate Davis, Rude with Von Smith, Royals with Puddles are all good examples). Other times, singers will come to me and pitch their ideas and then we'll make it happen, like in the case of Wiggle with Robyn Adele Anderson.
What I look for is a song that is familiar to a lot of people - that way, the contrast to the original is readily apparent - done in a style that still fits the lyrics or subject matter. For instance, in Sweet Child O' Mine cover, the framework of the lyrics are similar to the framework of old blues and folk songs - verse, refrain, verse, refrain, etc. So, I brought in Miche Braden to sing it Bessie Smith-style and turned it into a New Orleans blues song about a child.

Quote:How often do you hear from artists who's song you've covered? And is the feedback usually good?

scottbradlee 6 points 24 minutes ago
Quite often, actually. We've gotten shares from Beyonce, Tove Lo, Meghan Trainor, and a bunch of others. Lorde once said in an AMA that the Puddles cover of "Royals" [i'm not sure how to link things on here, otherwise I'd link that] was her favorite cover. Haven't yet heard from any artists that downright disliked any of our versions. we did have an irish-style cover of "Get Lucky" get pulled, but that was because we thought it would be funny to throw in some stereotypical product placement like Guinness and Lucky Charms, and Daft Punk thought we got paid to do so. Daft Punk- if you're listening, we didn't!! we were just being silly.

Quote:Hey Scott! My friends and I love your music and as a result were planning on entering a talent show and would like to cover one of your arrangements. Is there a way to get the sheet music of your covers and if so how would we go about doing it?
Thank you for all of the help in advance and keep doing what you do!

scottbradlee 2 points 5 minutes ago
I'm working on getting a PMJ songbook made- we'll have it available at our North American shows this Spring

Quote:Easy one: Is the "Creep" cover in 4/4? I'm doing an analysis of it and the original, and for some reason I can't get the counts right in my head.
Also, any chance there is a Led Zeppelin cover on the horizon? I would love to hear your take on "Achilles Last Stand" or another classic hard rock song.
Thanks.

scottbradlee 2 points 5 minutes ago
12/8!

Quote:How pro are you guys planning on going? Will you be getting a label and doing big shows or is it a more low key business you have in mind? Love the music though, been listening to it for a year or so.

scottbradlee 2 points 3 minutes ago
My goal right now is to bring the Postmodern Jukebox touring act to the entire world, so that everyone can get to experience it. The show is just so FUN - we tour with a dozen amazing musicians that really bring the arrangements to life, and I'm really passionate about sharing their talents with the world. We've already done that with the videos, so expanding the tours are the next step. As for labels, etc...I'm not convinced I need a label to do this. Not hating on major labels, I just don't think I need them, and I like to do things on my own terms, anyway.

Quote:I do love me some PMJ music and videos. I think you and your whole crew have so much talent. I think my favorite video is the compilation video with every one pretending to be office workers. Keep up the great work! We love it!
My questions : Any plans for more NA dates than what's currently posted?
What song or artist would you love to cover, that you been able to yet?
Thanks for the AMA!

scottbradlee[S] 1 point 4 minutes ago
We're definitely going to expand our tours in the coming year- we'll likely have another North American PMJ tour in the fall / winter, and we should be announcing a new Europe tour soon, as well. In the future, PMJ tix are ALWAYS going to be on sale at http://www.pmjlive.com, so that even if a show is a year away, you'll know exactly when you can see PMJ

Quote:Hey Scott - big fan, saw you on tour a couple months ago and it was a stellar experience. What were some of your favorite songs to arrange/record and what are some of your favorites to perform live?
PS: An 8-second clip of Burn live in concert is one of the best things on my phone, period. Just saying.

scottbradlee 2 points 26 minutes ago
Thank you! which show were you at? Burn is definitely one of my favorites, both live and on video. i risked my security deposit with that flame-o-phone, after all...
I believe he is referring to the flaming saxophone

Quote:What happened to Robyn Adele Anderson? Read somewhere you 2 were dating, so I was real surprised when she stopped touring and doing video with the crew!
Will we hear more of her? Love her voice.

scottbradlee[S] 3 points 23 minutes ago
she's in today's video - check my channel. she's doing a big part of the North American tour, so she hasn't stopped touring or doing videos with us at all

Quote:Hi Scott, love your work!
Australian tour...any idea if/when?
EDIT: Oh, and more of Mr Von Smith too please. Damn that guy can croon!

scottbradlee 2 points 24 minutes ago
fingers crossed for september...

Quote:Hi Scott,
I'm a big fan of your work and am glad to see you bringing the art of arranging into the spotlight.
What you think would be better: making albums with all songs roughly in the same style/genre/era so that the full album can be played without radically altering the mood, or putting different styles/genres/eras on the same album for interest or diversity?
In particular, will PMJ be doing any more klezmer covers?

scottbradlee 3 points 16 minutes ago
good one! since i don't put out albums in the traditional sense, a bunch of different styles appeals to me more. our albums are mostly grouped chronologically, so each one is kind of just a random snapshot of a few months of my life, rather than a grouping of similar genres. there will definitely be more klezmer covers; Robyn's klezmer rap is a def highlight of PMJ arrangements

Quote:Hi Scott!
I have somewhat recently become a big fan of your work and will be at the show in Cleveland (please bring Haley!). I love how you can take songs I don't normally enjoy and make them completely enjoyable, as well as take some great songs and remake them into something amazing and different. I was watching your YouTube channel and cracking up while hearing some of the song choices and styles they are made into.
My question is how do you choose who to work with on a song?

scottbradlee 4 points 14 minutes ago
thank you- can't wait to see you!
i've been fortunate to be surrounded by so many world class performers, all with unique styles. so, at this point, it's sometimes as simple as picking a song and style, and then reaching out to the singer that i think would be the best fit stylistically. other times, there will be a singer that i know i want to work with- even without having any ideas in mind- so we'll come up with song ideas together. that's how "maps" with morgan james came together.

Quote:Scott, love your stuff, very cool. Hoping to come see you in Michigan in June. How do you get hooked up with such great artists? How do you get involved with people who have been known before, such as Haley and Casey from American Idol?

scottbradlee[S] 3 points 12 minutes ago
talented artists always know other talented artists, so it's usually just a matter of time. in the case of haley and casey, my buddy mike cottone recommended jacob scesney as a sax player, and jacob tours with casey. so, he introduced me to casey, and casey introduced me to haley. now we get to tour together, which is awesome. it's a lot like 'captain planet.'

Quote:What led you into being a fan of ragtime, jazz and oldies music, besides Rhapsody In Blue?
Also, what's your opinion on fair use, parodies, piracy and copyright in general, being as you do covers and all that?

scottbradlee 3 points 25 minutes ago
Rhapsody in Blue was the catalyst, but from there, I really got into the New Orleans sound- Jelly Roll Morton, in particular. I used to go to the library and borrow CDs of all those great musicians and then sit by the piano and try to pick out what they were doing. It was time consuming, but it wound up being the perfect education for the stuff that I do.

Quote:What's your favorite chord progression? Scale?

scottbradlee[S] 4 points 29 minutes ago
random, but i actually have a favorite: the chord progression from "if you want me to stay," by sly stone.

Quote:hello!! big fan here!! I love what you are doing!! I'm from Chile, any possibility of a tour to Latin America? >_<!! keep it awesome Big Grin!

scottbradlee 1 point 3 minutes ago
yes! i want to bring Postmodern Jukebox all over the world, so that includes youSmile

Quote:Hey Scott!Let me start by saying I absolutely loved your show in Troy last Fall, and was planning on grabbing tickets to your show at Clifton Park this coming May. How different are your setlists going to be between the two shows? Specifics not needed, but as a college student conscious about his budget, I can't really afford to spend money for two very similar shows, considering I'd be buying tickets for two.
P.S. I got all my housemates hooked on your covers this semester. It's great. Keep it up!

scottbradlee[S] 3 points 18 minutes ago
well thank you for spreading the word!! the setlist will likely be very different, since some of the vocalists will be different, and there are a lot of new songs that have come out since then. switching things up keeps us on our toes. Always different, always amazing is what we strive for when it comes to live PMJ shows

Quote:Hey Scott! First things first - thank you for all your amazing covers - you bring a bit more anachronisity in to my life. Big Grin
Anyways, have you ever thought of covering the songs Happy or Uptown Funk? Those two are really the only big pop songs from 2014 that you guys really haven't covered, and I think they'd sound awesome in doo-wop or jazz or something.

[–]scottbradlee[S] 1 point 28 minutes ago
thank you! I'm happy to make music sound old for you. i've been consciously avoiding uptown funk because i have no idea how to make it retro in a way that adds anything to the song. it's pretty retro as is. happy is another one. but, who knows? it could still be remade by us at some point, if inspiration strikes.

Quote:Q1: What was your job before starting the Postmodern Jukebox? What makes you decide to fully devote to making these covers?
Q2: What is your schedule like creating the covers, from drafting process to finish?

scottbradlee[S] 4 points an hour ago
my eyes thank you for organizing this in list form.
1: in the early days of my youtube channel, i played occasional gigs and taught children's music classes; tim kubart ("tambourine guy") was also a teacher there, funny enough. the covers gradually picked up steam online, and before long, i was able to focus entirely on them. it only took 7 years.

scottbradlee[S] 4 points an hour ago
oops, i forgot part 2. still, the list form was helpful.
2: the first part - the idea stage - takes the most time. it's unpredictable; sometimes i get writer's block (or cover's block, or whatever). writing the arrangements could take a few hours or a few days- depending on what i have in mind. the recording process always takes 2-3 hours, oddly enough
permalinkparent

Quote:Did you ever receive any response or follow-up from the BBC, producers of The Voice UK, or the star coaches, as a consequence of your disappointment at the lack of credit for "borrowing" your arrangement?

scottbradlee 2 points 45 minutes ago
noSad but i was encouraged by the fan response. it makes me think that those shows will be more careful in crediting people in the future. EDIT: just heard that The Voice in Croatia ripped off my arrangement of "Creep." oh well..

Quote:Have you ever done a cover that you absolutely loved but were surprised to find the reaction less enthusiastic than your own?

[–]scottbradlee 3 points an hour ago
yup, sometimes! i think i can usually tell which songs will resonate with a lot people, but i'm not always right. no regrets, though- i try not to base things on sheer statistics. some of our lesser known videos are actually the biggest crowd pleasers on tour.

Quote:Do you resent being known as "the old-timey covers guy from Youtube" rather than someone who does original songs? Has your viral success allowed you to explore other musical avenues or restricted you to doing gimmicky (but excellent) covers?
(sorry if this question sounds mean, I don't mean it that way. I'm interested in your response)

scottbradlee 3 points 2 hours ago
not really. i'm not too attached to labels, and i don't really have much desire to do original songs at this point in time. not saying that won't change, but for now, i treat these covers as my originals...just ones that i didn't write!
viral success has definitely opened a TON of doors for me, but i'm actually pretty selective of what projects i get involved with-- if i feel like i don't have something to add or if i'm not particularly well suited for something, i prefer to let it go.



RE: Connections -- Haley's Musical Buddies - Miguel - 04-16-2015

Thanks for the updates John.

Quote:I just wanted to ask how you usually find the singers you work with, since they all seem strangely amazing (especially Cristina, she's unbelievable).

Quote:thank you! i find singers a lot of different ways. i actually met cristina at an open call when i was the music director of sleep no more in nyc. i hired her instantly, even though she had never sung in a show before. she has a rare natural talent.

Later, I'll move these reddit questions to the PMJ thread.


RE: Connections -- Haley's Musical Buddies - XAtlantic - 04-17-2015

(04-16-2015, 06:19 PM)john Wrote: You can go to the site and read these and more...

Thanks though for taking the time and trouble of posting a lot here, John! I was/am very interested and these answers are great. Scott's an exceptional guy, I think. He knows what he wants, has style, judgement, decency, talent.

(04-16-2015, 05:53 PM)Miguel Wrote: What I am most curious about is how Scott compensates the musicians/performers who accompany him.

Me too! Even beyond the tour: does Haley get any money from the YT success or is it "just" name recognition (also worth a lot)?


(04-16-2015, 07:38 PM)Miguel Wrote:
Quote:I just wanted to ask how you usually find the singers you work with, since they all seem strangely amazing (especially Cristina, she's unbelievable).

Quote:thank you! i find singers a lot of different ways. i actually met cristina at an open call when i was the music director of sleep no more in nyc. i hired her instantly, even though she had never sung in a show before. she has a rare natural talent.

Yes, yes, I heard Cristina in Berlin live and she was totally awesome. Very different style from Haley or Morgan, but wow - when I think back, I definitely have the sound of her voice in my head. Too bad she doesn't have an album.


RE: Connections -- Haley's Musical Buddies - Tusk - 04-17-2015

(04-15-2015, 10:19 PM)Tusk Wrote:
Quote:Scott Bradlee ‏@scottbradlee 2m2 minutes ago
@IamJoeyCook congrats on all your success!! Any chance you're in LA the next couple of weeks?
Good for Joey Big Grin

Quote:Joey Cook @IamJoeyCook

@scottbradlee I'm with my fam in VA but I'll be back for the finale of the show!! Hopefully we can talk music soon!☺️



RE: Connections -- Haley's Musical Buddies - My Alter Ego - 04-17-2015

(04-17-2015, 05:22 PM)Tusk Wrote:
(04-15-2015, 10:19 PM)Tusk Wrote:
Quote:Scott Bradlee ‏@scottbradlee 2m2 minutes ago
@IamJoeyCook congrats on all your success!! Any chance you're in LA the next couple of weeks?
Good for Joey Big Grin

Quote:Joey Cook @IamJoeyCook

@scottbradlee I'm with my fam in VA but I'll be back for the finale of the show!! Hopefully we can talk music soon!☺️

By the time the finale rolls around Scott will be on tour on the East Coast.Undecided


RE: Connections -- Haley's Musical Buddies - Tusk - 04-29-2015


My favorite is when a woman doesn't feel the need to lather on make up...Morgan is a natural beauty...it seems hilighted when she's presented in black and white Smile


RE: Connections -- Haley's Musical Buddies - Kevin - 04-29-2015

(04-29-2015, 02:22 PM)Tusk Wrote:

My favorite is when a woman doesn't feel the need to lather on make up...Morgan is a natural beauty...it seems hilighted when she's presented in black and white Smile

I agree, she is the whole package
It is also a great interview, well worth watching


RE: Connections -- Haley's Musical Buddies - john - 04-29-2015

Quote:We spent about a year trying the shit out live...trying these songs live...an audience will tell you if your stuff is wrapped tight...if your stuff is good...I don't want to just go invent something in a studio and not feel what like human beings feel about it.

I like that.


RE: Connections -- Haley's Musical Buddies - My Alter Ego - 04-29-2015

(04-29-2015, 06:45 PM)john Wrote:
Quote:We spent about a year trying the shit out live...trying these songs live...an audience will tell you if your stuff is wrapped tight...if your stuff is good...I don't want to just go invent something in a studio and not feel what like human beings feel about it.

I like that.

I liked the interview. It felt honest to me. I would disagree with her about her operatic voice. She's correct about struggling with languages From that video that was posted, I could tell that she had to work hard on enunciation. I think she was singing in Italian, and if that's hard for her, then trying to sing in French or German would be really trying for her.

But she's got the vocal chops for opera. Obviously, it's not something that she loves to the degree that she wanted to pursue that path. And that's understandable. But I think she discredits herself a bit on that point.

Of course, had she chosen that avenue, what's the likelihood we'd be discussing her here? Not good.