Outside the Jukebox
From the creator of the sensation Postmodern Jukebox--with millions of fans globally--comes an inspirational memoir about discovering what you love and turning it into a creative movement. With student loan debt piling up and no lucrative gigs around the corner, Scott Bradlee found himself in a situation all too familiar to struggling musicians and creative professionals, unsure whether he should use the little income he had to pay his rent or to avoid defaulting on his loans. It was under these desperate circumstances that Bradlee began experimenting, applying his passion for jazz, ragtime, and doo wop styles to contemporary hits by singers like Macklemore and Miley Cyrus--and suddenly an idea was born. Today, Postmodern Jukebox--the rotating supergroup devoted to period covers of pop songs, which Bradlee created in a basement apartment in Queens, New York--is a bona fide global sensation, having collected more than three million subscribers on YouTube while selling out major venues around the world and developing previously unknown talent into superstar singers. From its Etta James-inspired rendition of Radiohead's "Creep" to its New Orleans jazz interpretation of Meghan Trainor's "All About That Bass," the group has established a sound like no other, crafting hits as exquisitely sublime as they are humorously absurd. But it wasn't always as easy as the YouTube videos make it look. As he worked to establish Postmodern Jukebox, Bradlee struggled through the obstacles that every self-employed artist or entrepreneur with a vision faces: how to collaborate successfully on teams with divergent visions, how to outrun the naysayers, how to chase the next innovation when your reputation makes others start to pigeonhole you, and so many of the other challenges lining the path to success. Taking readers through the false starts, hilarious backstage antics, and unexpected breakthroughs of Bradlee's journey from a lost musician to a musical kingmaker --and presenting all the entrepreneurial insights he learned along the way--Outside the Jukebox is an inspiring memoir about how one musician found his rhythm and launched a movement that would forever change our relationships to our favorite songs.

Outside the Jukebox Details

TitleOutside the Jukebox
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJun 12th, 2018
PublisherHachette Books
ISBN-139780316415736
Rating
GenreAutobiography, Memoir, Nonfiction, Music

Outside the Jukebox Review

  • Diana
    January 1, 1970
    I think I should just start off with saying that Postmodern Jukebox is the only reason I listen to (and am even familiar with) some songs. As I said last Christmas when suggesting them "It's the songs you like, in the styles I love. Who doesn't win?" I have always joked that I was born in the wrong era because I am obsessed with the past. Especially the music; so finding Postmodern Jukebox was the greatest thing ever (I believe my first was the Shake It Off cover. Make me like a Taylor Swift son I think I should just start off with saying that Postmodern Jukebox is the only reason I listen to (and am even familiar with) some songs. As I said last Christmas when suggesting them "It's the songs you like, in the styles I love. Who doesn't win?" I have always joked that I was born in the wrong era because I am obsessed with the past. Especially the music; so finding Postmodern Jukebox was the greatest thing ever (I believe my first was the Shake It Off cover. Make me like a Taylor Swift song and you've definitely got something). If possible this book made me a bigger fan of not only Scott Bradlee but everyone and anyone involved in turning Postmodern Jukebox what it is today. He keeps it so real and down to earth. The way he tells his story left me with a "tell me more, tell me everything' feeling. It's basically the same rabbit hole with the videos; you can't just watch one.I can't not admire this success story that literally started off as a one man operation. It's come so far for something that started off on YouTube. This book tells how it all happened, from the humble beginning to, what is obviously still, the humble present.Within the story of his ups and downs; it has a great message for both creative people (like myself) and anyone with aspirations; it's not easy but you never know what might happen if you work hard enough and don't give up.
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  • Cheryl
    January 1, 1970
    By all appearances, Scott Bradlee and his ensemble cast of sheer talent and unbridled energy, Postmodern Jukebox, were an overnight success; but the real story is far more revealing and entertaining. “Outside the Jukebox” is an intimate and insightful look into the unexpected and often chaotic creative process that transforms a one-man-show into a collaborative phenomenon.Scott writes with such keen self-awareness and refreshing candor, it feels like a casual chat at the piano bar. Between stori By all appearances, Scott Bradlee and his ensemble cast of sheer talent and unbridled energy, Postmodern Jukebox, were an overnight success; but the real story is far more revealing and entertaining. “Outside the Jukebox” is an intimate and insightful look into the unexpected and often chaotic creative process that transforms a one-man-show into a collaborative phenomenon.Scott writes with such keen self-awareness and refreshing candor, it feels like a casual chat at the piano bar. Between stories of behind-the-scenes antics and Scott’s quick wit, I was entertained until the very last note (I mean page). As an arts educator, I’m always on the lookout for inspiring personal stories from creative leaders. From sharing his core values that maintain a positive reputation to his strategy for building a loyal fanbase, Scott offers practical and relatable advice for any creative entrepreneur. And when things don’t go as planned, he also shares how he embraced the creative chaos and quieted his internal critic. Scott’s memoir honors the musicians who influenced him and the fans whom he inspires – which itself is proof why Postmodern Jukebox has become a global sensation that’s both timely and timeless.Encore, Scott Bradlee. Encore!
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  • Kindred St.Germain
    January 1, 1970
    As a Postmodern Jukebox megafan, I was ecstatic when I first heard Scott Bradlee decided to write a book. I got my copy as soon as possible, and quickly realized this read would be impossible to put down. “Outside the Jukebox” translates every aspect of Bradlee’s genius from the stage to the page, serving as part-memoir and part-how-to book on creating a successful project. This book whisks the reader through various chapters of Scott Bradlee’s life, culminating with the viral fame of Postmodern As a Postmodern Jukebox megafan, I was ecstatic when I first heard Scott Bradlee decided to write a book. I got my copy as soon as possible, and quickly realized this read would be impossible to put down. “Outside the Jukebox” translates every aspect of Bradlee’s genius from the stage to the page, serving as part-memoir and part-how-to book on creating a successful project. This book whisks the reader through various chapters of Scott Bradlee’s life, culminating with the viral fame of Postmodern Jukebox. While I already knew the abbreviated backstory of how PMJ began, I really enjoyed obtaining an inside perspective on the group’s growth over the years. There are so many unbelievable and hilarious anecdotes, both of failure and success, tucked in this book that I gained an entirely newfound appreciation for the group by the time I finished reading.My favorite portions of “Outside the Jukebox” contained stories about how some of PMJ’s most notable members became a part of the group. Scott Bradlee speaks of each artist so highly and respectfully, highlighting how their individual personalities make up the imperfectly perfect rag-tag team that is the PMJ collective. This book also allowed me to relive some of the most magical concert experiences of my life (most notably seeing PMJ play Radio City Music Hall). Some of my fondest memories of the group are forever immortalized through Scott’s writing, and I need only reread the pages to be reminded of such incredible experiences.“Outside the Jukebox” truly offers something for everyone. You don’t have to be a musician or entrepreneur to take away the valuable lessons Bradlee teaches about finding your own voice in the world. Much like Postmodern Jukebox itself, this book is an ode to all the “creeps and weirdos” out there who feel like they don’t fit in well elsewhere. Scott Bradlee sees us, knows us, and has finally given us a home.
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  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    Scott has a knack for storytelling (in addition to his skills as a musician, arranger, producer, etc.) so naturally I found myself smiling throughout reading Outside the Jukebox, unable to put the book down. The stories are captivating, entertaining, and informative. While I have no ambitions as a musician beyond a hobby, as an engineer I have always appreciated the behind-the-scenes look at how things are made. In his book, Scott is humble and honest as he shows the good, the bad and the crazy Scott has a knack for storytelling (in addition to his skills as a musician, arranger, producer, etc.) so naturally I found myself smiling throughout reading Outside the Jukebox, unable to put the book down. The stories are captivating, entertaining, and informative. While I have no ambitions as a musician beyond a hobby, as an engineer I have always appreciated the behind-the-scenes look at how things are made. In his book, Scott is humble and honest as he shows the good, the bad and the crazy parts of his journey. (The Walmart story, “Aunt” Agatha, Alan Alda, and the flame-o-phone are a few of my favorite moments. As a side note, as many times as I’ve heard PMJ’s Burn cycle through on Pandora, I had never actually watched the video, but after reading that story I had to track it down just to see Adam’s reaction.) Important life lessons, for anyone:- Pay your bills.- Maybe try to not share a wall with neighbors when turning your living room into a recording studio.- Learn when to lean on the support and expertise of others, and when to trust your instincts.- Be your own authentic self.I’ve been a Postmodern Jukebox fan for awhile and have been to a couple shows, so I may be a little bit biased, but I can’t recommend this enough; for creative types, casual listeners, or someone looking for a good story of a guy figuring out how to make his dream a reality.
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  • Trevor Fox
    January 1, 1970
    This book is fabulous! I discovered Postmodern Jukebox a couple of years ago when my music teacher did a lesson based off of them. Afterwards, I went home and spent hours watching their videos and listening to their amazing music. As a jazz, rock, and pop piano player, it's great to see all the different techniques and styles that Scott Bradlee and PMJ incorporate into modern-day hits! Ever since I've started watching PMJ, I've always wanted to learn more about Scott and how he created this amaz This book is fabulous! I discovered Postmodern Jukebox a couple of years ago when my music teacher did a lesson based off of them. Afterwards, I went home and spent hours watching their videos and listening to their amazing music. As a jazz, rock, and pop piano player, it's great to see all the different techniques and styles that Scott Bradlee and PMJ incorporate into modern-day hits! Ever since I've started watching PMJ, I've always wanted to learn more about Scott and how he created this amazing group. When I heard Scott was going to make a book I was thrilled and so happy when I was given the chance to read it before everyone else! It's really wonderful to learn about how he got started and the inspirations Scott had as a child. From his early years as a pianist being bored out of his mind in piano lessons to being the massive success Scott is today is fascinating and truly inspiring to me as a pianist. This book is filled with so many uplifting tips and one-liners for anyone that wants to be successful at something that they're truly passionate about. Outside the Jukebox is not only a fantastic read, but one that will really inspire and enthrall anyone who reads it! I highly recommend you read this book if you are a fan of Postmodern Jukebox, Scott Bradlee, or music in general! Happy reading and kudos to Scott!!
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  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    As a fan of PMJ for a long time now, this book gives a lot of fascinating behind-the-scenes detail of their creation that I was fully unaware of. But you do not need to have ever even heard of Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox to appreciate his journey and hard-earned wisdom of how to be creative in this crazy new world of social media. Bradlee's writing is as authentic as his music, making this a fast, enjoyable, and inspiring read, even when I did frequently have to put the book down to watch As a fan of PMJ for a long time now, this book gives a lot of fascinating behind-the-scenes detail of their creation that I was fully unaware of. But you do not need to have ever even heard of Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox to appreciate his journey and hard-earned wisdom of how to be creative in this crazy new world of social media. Bradlee's writing is as authentic as his music, making this a fast, enjoyable, and inspiring read, even when I did frequently have to put the book down to watch all of the YouTube videos that are mentioned. Overall, I hope this book is able to find its audience outside of current PMJ fans because I think it can be inspiring to creative people from a variety of different backgrounds to find your voice, stay true to yourself, and most importantly, find your collaborators to help make your wildest dreams come true.
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  • Cassidy
    January 1, 1970
    As a long time Postmodern Jukebox fan, I devoured this book. I loved hearing all the backstory of how one of my favorite artists--one I admire most for their creativity and uniqueness--came to be. Scott Bradlee is funny, honest, and self-deprecating throughout the book and downplays the massive amount of effort and skill it must have taken to become not only an incredibly accomplished jazz pianist but a big-time music producer. As someone who works in health care with modest musical abilities an As a long time Postmodern Jukebox fan, I devoured this book. I loved hearing all the backstory of how one of my favorite artists--one I admire most for their creativity and uniqueness--came to be. Scott Bradlee is funny, honest, and self-deprecating throughout the book and downplays the massive amount of effort and skill it must have taken to become not only an incredibly accomplished jazz pianist but a big-time music producer. As someone who works in health care with modest musical abilities and no show biz ambitions, I enjoyed the parts about Scott Bradlee's story in particular more than the bits about how to succeed in music, but those were few and far between and did not impede my enjoyment of the book one bit. Would highly recommend reading this to a soundtrack of Postmodern Jukebox--really rounds out the experience.I received this book as part of a Goodreads giveaway.
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  • Jessica Samuelson
    January 1, 1970
    A Jazz version of Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop”? Sure. Tap dancers? Of course. Flaming saxophone? Yes, please. A sad clown with a golden voice? Umm, Yeah!Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox (PMJ) is a musical company known around the world for their vintage covers of mainstream songs as well as their lively concerts. His memoir gives readers a front row seat into the wild ride that eventually became Postmodern Jukebox. As a fan of PMJ, I found it really fun to learn about the genesis of the group as A Jazz version of Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop”? Sure. Tap dancers? Of course. Flaming saxophone? Yes, please. A sad clown with a golden voice? Umm, Yeah!Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox (PMJ) is a musical company known around the world for their vintage covers of mainstream songs as well as their lively concerts. His memoir gives readers a front row seat into the wild ride that eventually became Postmodern Jukebox. As a fan of PMJ, I found it really fun to learn about the genesis of the group as well as how some of its best-loved members came aboard. (Tambourine Guy, this means you.) Scott also sprinkles in valuable insights he picked up as a musician, YouTuber, promoter, producer, and people manager. Note: I received a NetGalley edition of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    This behind the scenes look at Postmodern Jukebox and its creator, Scott Bradlee offers the highlights (and lows) of Bradlee’s life and career in an easy-going, relaxed and often amusing memoir. Bradlee doesn’t delve deep into his private life or thoughts, but provides ample stories that share how he went from struggling artist, about to give up his dream, to a successful pianist and producer for PMJ. Amongst the pranks and antics of his band mates, Bradlee provides insights into what he feels i This behind the scenes look at Postmodern Jukebox and its creator, Scott Bradlee offers the highlights (and lows) of Bradlee’s life and career in an easy-going, relaxed and often amusing memoir. Bradlee doesn’t delve deep into his private life or thoughts, but provides ample stories that share how he went from struggling artist, about to give up his dream, to a successful pianist and producer for PMJ. Amongst the pranks and antics of his band mates, Bradlee provides insights into what he feels is necessary for artists today to accomplish their goals.He seems to take care to give credit to others, PMJ members or not, for their efforts that added to the success of PMJ and it appears that there is a lot more he’d say about his colleagues given the space. It did seem like Bradlee was trying to pack a lot into a short book!*Thank you to Hachette Book Group for a few review copy.
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  • Kristine
    January 1, 1970
    Outside the Jukebox by Scott Bradlee is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in early June.Bradlee initially gained fame on YouTube for posting mashups between modern pop and vintage music styles before touring globally with performance groups. His easy, chill narration covers stories from his life vignette-style that point toward his future path (piano lessons, losing himself in jazz, already doing mashups in his teens, posts pop tunes mixed with ragtime on YouTube in mid-2009) noodling with self Outside the Jukebox by Scott Bradlee is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in early June.Bradlee initially gained fame on YouTube for posting mashups between modern pop and vintage music styles before touring globally with performance groups. His easy, chill narration covers stories from his life vignette-style that point toward his future path (piano lessons, losing himself in jazz, already doing mashups in his teens, posts pop tunes mixed with ragtime on YouTube in mid-2009) noodling with self-promotion, live stream concerts, creating the soundtrack for bio shock infinite, playing live inhouse pre-shows for Sleep No More, and suggestions for others to promote themselves and find fame in music/online.
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  • Angeliris Zayas
    January 1, 1970
    I’ve seen PMJ live in Florida, France and Portugal, and when I thought I couldn’t get more inspired by this group, I got the chance to read this book! Beyond the amazing content in itself, it's like having a warm cup of coffee with Scott while he's sharing with you his long way to success in the face of all adversity. It’s awesome to get to know the story of how he built this amazing project step by step with hard work, creative vision and consistency. It’s time to see each PMJ video with a new I’ve seen PMJ live in Florida, France and Portugal, and when I thought I couldn’t get more inspired by this group, I got the chance to read this book! Beyond the amazing content in itself, it's like having a warm cup of coffee with Scott while he's sharing with you his long way to success in the face of all adversity. It’s awesome to get to know the story of how he built this amazing project step by step with hard work, creative vision and consistency. It’s time to see each PMJ video with a new perspective…As a musician I recommend this book 100%!
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  • Rebecca
    January 1, 1970
    Fantastic, fun and filled with practical advice for living life; it is like have Scott in your living room telling you the tales of his musical adventures. A quick read with lots of inspirational one-liners this book is really for everyone. It makes you want to listen to all his music again with the increased knowledge of how he came to be where he is now. From misfit kid to a wonderful world famous musician.
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  • Johanna Rothman
    January 1, 1970
    If you are a creative person, read this book. It has chapters about how to create an independent career, including managing perfectionism and how to find and nurture your audience. Terrific book. And, if you're a PMJ fan as I am, a fascinating look inside how they became a phenomenon.
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  • Thomas De Ceglie
    January 1, 1970
    A behind-the-scenes memoir of one of my favorite musical acts of all time!
  • Cindy
    January 1, 1970
    What do you get when you mix vintage jazz with hip-hop? What happens when you mash up ragtime with '90s pop? In Outside the Jukebox: How I Turned My Vintage Music Obsession into My Dream Gig, Scott Bradlee explains how he turned his ability to expand musical boundaries into an international musical sensation.Bradlee scorned music lessons when he was young. He did, however, enjoy "putting music where it didn't belong," and, as a teenage Wal-Mart employee, organized a rogue performance in the stor What do you get when you mix vintage jazz with hip-hop? What happens when you mash up ragtime with '90s pop? In Outside the Jukebox: How I Turned My Vintage Music Obsession into My Dream Gig, Scott Bradlee explains how he turned his ability to expand musical boundaries into an international musical sensation.Bradlee scorned music lessons when he was young. He did, however, enjoy "putting music where it didn't belong," and, as a teenage Wal-Mart employee, organized a rogue performance in the store. This, not surprisingly, resulted in his termination but solidified his belief that music had "the potential for rebellion." After college and as a struggling musician, he uploaded a medley of '80s pop hits performed in ragtime to YouTube. The reception was overwhelmingly positive, and he began performing for a growing YouTube audience. Relying on college friends for his performers and recording in his apartment, this was a wildly successful formula, and Postmodern Jukebox was born. Bradlee eventually made the leap from successful Internet band to live touring, and gives an authentic recounting of the challenges and victories he experienced.From Miley Cyrus's "We Can't Stop" performed as '50s doo-wop, to Radiohead's "Creep" as a bluesy ballad, the world can't get enough of Bradlee's compositions that "celebrate and explore much-maligned songs without mockery." Fans of Postmodern Jukebox will certainly enjoy this, but anyone who is ready, as Bradlee says, to "go out and make art" will appreciate his optimistic tone as well.-reviewed for Shelf Awareness 7/10/18
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