My sister was the one whose reach all the way from Japan pushed my bro and me to check out the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players when they played the Viper Room several years ago, even though neither of us had heard of them before or knew what they were about. But we trusted her unfailing good, albeit quirky, taste in music and didn’t want to prevent her from living “vicariously through us.”
And quirky they were. Trachtenburg is a family trio of musicians: dad (Jason), mom (Tina Piña), and 12-year-old daughter Rachel. They perform songs with stories illustrated by a collection of old slides that they picked up from various garage sales, thrift stores, etc. You don’t know the people in the slideshow but their vintage lives of cocktail parties and family vacations are brought to life and humor by the Players’ songs.
On a subsequent dog-walking trip with Rachel, she found an old slide projector at a garage sale, and a box of slides from a random familys 1959 mountain trip to Japan. One morning in 2000, Tina awoke to find Jason had spent the entire night writing a song to accompany the slide presentation (appropriately titled Mountain Trip to Japan, 1959). Six-year-old Rachel was recruited to play harmonica; (she later moved over to drum duties), Tina was appointed projector operator/backup singer, and the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players were born.
The thing that also makes the show is how the family members react to one another. Like, dad will be going on and on about something and daughter Rachel will tap her drum impatiently and say, “Can we get on with the song now?” That informality and familiarity on stage is charming and fun to watch.
EVENT: SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 3 at 8PM