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[Concert] Janet Klein & Her Parlor Boys

janetk.jpgJanet Klein & Her Parlor Boys performs at The Steve Allen Theatre (in Hollywood near Los Feliz) on the first Thursday of every month. We went to the July one few weeks ago. This is the 2nd time I saw their show. When I saw her performance last year at a cafe in Pasadena, it was an intimate and charming show even though there were no more than 15 people in the audience (most of which made up of friends I dragged along). This time it is much different. It's a much bigger show with a lot more audience (at least 100?), and it was a full house! More band members show up as well. Before Janet and the band came on, there was an hour of Jerry Beck's Rare and Scintillating Film Gems as pre-show.

Animation historian Jerry Beck showed five rare old animations and films dated back from the 1930s. I absolutely love these forgotten gems tided off with time and technology. I always love the look of vintage cartoons very much. The character designs have a guileless charm and the animation quality were lovingly fluid, detailed and precise. They sold these old films in DVD at the show for about $10 and I was lucky to grab the last one.

PDVD_000.jpgThe Peanut vendor (1933) is my favorite. It is also a karaoke where you can follow the bouncing ball to sing along this bizzare funny peanut song, which ended as an advertisement.

PDVD_011.jpgBosko in person (1933) is an old loony tune musical featuring a character calls "Bosko" (who looked rather like a caricature of a black person). The part where his glove comes off and turn into a character is absolutely adorable, the audience were roaring (still making people smile)!

PDVD_017.jpgWoodland Cafe (1937) was the only color piece. It was a classic Walt Disney musical with human-like insect characters swinged and swayed. All of the insects of the jazz band looked like caricature of black musicians (they're grasshoppers that have dark skin, big lip and skinny legs ^^;;) while all the dancing and partying ones are lighter skin...back in the days indeed.

After the intermission, Janet and her band came on. The show was magical. Janet was a darling! They performed a lot of songs that weren't on any of their released recordings. The audience were much more diverse than last time too. It still made up of majorly middle age to white hair folks, but this time there were a group of college students, 20+30-something people and even several people in punk attair. For the price of $15, you get to see rare forgotten animations and great performances of quirkiness and nostalgia. Rollicking in he Swing and Ragtime tunes were almost like travel back in time, at least for one night.

Joan | July 27, 2005 05:05 AM | Music


the show seems like its worth so much more than 15 bucks☆☆!!
I would love to see animation like that before a concert!

tomoko | July 30, 2005 05:18 PM

Wow, almost like time travel back to the 30s. Would love to've been there~~~! So they are not as unpopular as I thought? When you said only a dozen people turned up in their live I worried about their finance situation. ^^;; But 15 dollars is still too cheap!! How was your seat?(there were seats, right?)

seat | July 29, 2005 08:01 PM

There's a weird sculpture outside of the theatre, it has symbols from all types of religion (including witchcraft, quiji board, tarot card....) ^^;;; not sure what it's about. There's a bookstore selling all these books about religion as well, but again I can't make out what they're about...since it's not on any specific relgion.

Joan | July 29, 2005 10:12 AM