Interview: Janet Klein

Past perfect


Janet Klein’s ukulele is no gimmick. Nor are her “obscure, lovely and naughty songs from the ’10s, ’20s and ’30s.” Klein and her L.A.-based band, The Parlor Boys, are about as real a deal as it gets. More than just fans of phonographs and sepia tone, Klein and company are musical archaeologists, taking crumbling sheet music and 78 rpm records from their private collections and performing it with sincerity and authenticity.

Originally choosing the life of an artist, Klein fell into the life of a chanteuse by accident when she began adding old-time numbers to her poetry readings. Her love of the music and her lilting alto drew many suitors, including like-minded musicians such as Tom Marion and Robert Armstrong of underground comic artist Robert Crumb’s band, the Cheap Suit Serenaders. By 1996, Klein’s Parlor Boys numbered a dozen, performing nearly forgotten ragtime, vaudeville and other gems from Tinpan Alley.

Klein’s first two CDs, “Come Into My Parlor” and “Paradise Wobble,” were released on her own Coeur de Jeanette label, with her new album, “Put a Flavor to Love,” released in Japan this week on Buffalo Records. Later this month, Klein and Marion will play four shows in the Kanto region. She took some time to talk with us.

Read the full interview at The Japan Times Online.

Janet Klein: past perfect | The Japan Times Online

About Jason Andrew Jenkins

In 1997, Jason left his home near Atlanta for a year abroad. He liked it so much that he never went back. After three years in Taiwan and 13 years in Japan, he and his wife quit their desk jobs in Tokyo, pulled their kids out of local schools and traveled as a family for six years, living in Malaysia, Spain, and Mexico along the way. They returned to Japan — Osaka this time — in the summer of 2019. Jason loves Google Maps, carry-on luggage, and most dishes registering on the Scoville scale.
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