Artist Reviews

Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players
The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players is a cozy family trio, taking slides found at local estate sales and performing funky and eclectic songs lampooning the deceased subjects. Featuring the unique musical talents of Jason Trachtenburg on keys and vocals, Tina on slide projector, and their 8-year-old daughter, Rachel on drums.

Reviews of "Vintage Slide Collections from Seattle Volume 1" (Orange Recordings):

"Believing in You," the final song on Vintage Slide Collections from Seattle Volume 1, has Jason Trachtenburg giving a "shout-out" up to the rock and roll heavens. He thanks the local music scene for supporting his family's band. He confesses to being full of himself.

The piano line sounds like an anthemic "My Best Friend's Girl" by the Cars. Trachtenburg goes as far as asking the press to write about his band.

As I fulfill his request I am unable to find a valid criticism. While referential, this bizarre local family affair is a unique project unto itself. And yes, the idea that Trachtenburg's eight-year-old daughter, Rachel, plays drums is precious, until one actually hears her play. She's excellent.

The songs recall the Beatles, Camper Van Beethoven, and even the Dead Milkmen at times. On "Eggs," Jason and Rachel sing together, his voice adult and assured, hers childlike and infectious.

The guitar-playing is propulsive: "Vietnam and Watergate and eggs," they sing. "Agent Orange blue and red and eggs--legs/You're gonna have to watch/for a kick in the crotch."

The refrain on the proletarian "What Will the Corporation Do?" is "What will the corporation do?/It-schmit!" It's a tongue-in-cheek manifesto for the entire family. All is silly here. Vintage Slide Collections is something small and perfect and brilliant. -JEFF DeROCHE

The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players are one of those acts you must see live. This is how I was first exposed to their work, and I don't know if their songs would make much sense, had this not been the case. But disregard all of this because there's no denying that "Vintage Slide Collections From Seattle; Volume 1" is a great album.

Here's how it works: The Trachtenburg family buys slides from peoples' estate sales, and writes songs about the projections. The brilliant Jason Trachtenburg quirkily sings and taps out lovely piano tunes. His drummer-genius daughter, *8-year-old,* Rachel Trachtenburg, drums and, occasionally, sings. Mom - I mean - Tina Pina Trachtenburg works the slideshow that appears behind the act at live performances.

Anyway, back to the album. Smile and bop to stories of family vacations, global controversies, even a six-song rock opera about the fast-food wars. All the slides and their stories are pre-80's, so they're even more charming!

To add to the gimmicks, the disc features guest musicians Mike Musburger (of the Fastbacks), Robb Benson (of the Nevada Bachelors and Dear John Letters), and Chris Ballew (of the Presidents of the USA, the Giraffes, etc).

Still not enough? How about hearing lil' Rachel sing, "You're gonna have to watch for a kick in the crotch?" That should be reason enough, no matter how much you don't want to admit it."

Stuart's Coffee House