Into the Postmodern Past Present

I’m a few hours away from attending a concert I’ve been prepping for for more than six months. As much as I am happy to attend a concert solo, I have to admit that it’s a lot of fun to attend with a group–especially one that enjoys playing dressup.  Because this is Postmodern Jukebox, and they actively *encourage* that sort of thing.

For anyone that doesn’t know PMJ (and from the number of friends attending with me tonight or who caught last night’s show in Ottawa, I suspect that they’re very well known amongst history geeks like me), Postmodern Jukebox takes a variety of contemporary and classic pop songs and historicizes them. They came to prominence with a classic lounge rendition of the Meghan Trainor song “All About That Base” and have since released a whole panopoly of songs in styles ranging from 20s-style swing/jazz to classic 50s/60s nightclub.

Here’s their latest:

This one particularly makes me happy because I am a confirmed Pinky and the Brain fan, and the guys at the bar are, indeed, the original voice actors.  I adore Emily Goglia’s soft, sexy utterance of “Narf!” at the end.

As a New Order fan, I can’t forget this one:

Postmosdern Jukebox now includes more than fifty musicians in a variety of projects, so they’re not precisely a band.  This particular tour has a 1920s theme, which helps bring a unity to their costumes and the particular musicians they choose to bring.  A friend who saw the Ottawa show last night tells me it was spectacular.

For me, of course, this is an excuse for vintage-style clothing.  Here’s what I’ll be wearing tonight:


This dress was completely sewn and decorated by me, using the Folkwear Tango Dress pattern #237.  The fabric is a silk twill.  The star appliques were purchased, but the rest of the beading is done by hand using Czech glass bugle beads.  There are also beaded details on the back.  I will also be wearing my cocoon coat, gloves, and my American Duchess 1920s shoes.

Here’s my headpiece:


I can’t claim credit for Galina Olginova here (yes, I named her).  My gorgeous little firebird, done in leather, was made by Truly Carmichael, milliner extraordinaire.  I added the headband and feathers.  And because I’m nerdy that way, I have to explain the name:  Galina is a pun.  It’s a perfectly good Russian name, but it is also a pun on galinha, a Portuguese word for chicken.  My first car was a red Pontiac Firebird, and while my car didn’t have one, a common decoration for Firebirds was the huge decal on the hood, fondly referred to as the flaming chicken.  I couldn’t resist. Her matronymic second name makes her the daughter of Olga–in this case,  Olga of Kiev, badass and saint who is tired of your sh*t;  just look at that expression

My only regret is that Massey Hall wasn’t available for the concert–that would have been the perfect ambiance.  So instead we’re in the cavernous, modern Roy Thompson Hall–same venue as for the TSO concert one week ago.  At least we have main-floor seats, so if we feel like busting out a Charleston, we won’t fall down the steep inclines like we might in the balconies.

I will close with a quote from F. Scott Fitzgerald, in The Great Gatsby:

“Can’t repeat the past?…Why of course you can!”

One comment

  1. A few years ago, I saw the Carolina Chocolate Drops, and Rhiannon Gibbons danced the Charleston. She made me understand why the dance was scandalous in the 20’s.


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