|The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players
September 9, 2006 - The Crocodile Café - Seattle, WA
by Melissa Mueller
I only knew two things about the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players when I attended their show at the Crocodile last Saturday. 1) They were from Seattle, and 2) they incorporated some sort of slides into their show. Imagine my surprise when I arrived to the show to find the place packed practically maximum occupancy. Goes to show how little I knew.
An audience spanning a vast age range, from 1-year-olds and their families to middle-age men in business suits, crowded the small venue to see the Trachtenburg Family do what they apparently do best: put on a damned good old fashioned rock and roll show that seemed almost more like an art project.
Hailing from Seattle and later moving to New York, the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players' (from here on out just simply "the Trachtenburgs") strategy is to use slides collected from "estate sales, garage sales, and thrift stores" to illustrate what they call a collection of lives from anonymous strangers turned into pop songs to tell a story.
Frontman (or should I say Dad?) Jason Trachtenburg is practically a musical act in himself--during the set he probably spoke as much as he sang, setting up the next song by explaining what the next slide would be. This left little room for surprise, but judging by the eager audience singing along and knowing every beat, something told me that many of these people had seen the Trachtenburgs many times before.
One slideshow consisted of what Jason described "the corporate and advertising machine," while drummer and daughter Rachel Trachtenburg sang oh-so-adorably in the background.
The family played a bunch of crowd favorites such as "Middle America," "What Will The Corporation Do?" and "Mountain Trip to Japan" and despite technical difficulties and an unexpected, but brief intermission, ("The slideshow needs to be replaced, we'll be right back") the family never missed a beat.
The band has a DVD out now and is continuing to tour. Find out more at: http://www.myspace.com/slideshowplayers.