Music News

Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players

Most folks would rather shove their hand into a whirring garbage disposal than check out other people's vacation snapshots. But not singer-songwriter Jason Trachtenburg, who uses photographic slides -- a previous generation's chosen method of preserving memories -- as musical inspiration. (Judged by this standard, Head Like a Kite, which employs home movies in much the same way, is positively high-tech.) The result is material with titles like "Fondue Friends in Switzerland," which Jason renders with the assistance of Rachel Piña Trachtenburg -- who was hardly bigger than her drum kit when she began playing percussion -- and Tina Piña Trachtenburg, the person charged with running the slide projector. Obviously, this concept is aided immeasurably by visuals, which helps explain why the Trachtenburgs' latest release, Off & On Broadway, is a DVD. Yet the ditties sound pretty good on CD, too, as proven by Vintage Slide Collections From Seattle, Vol. I, a charmingly odd little platter that received national distribution in 2003. Appearing alongside Paramore and This Providence, the Trachtenburgs make Family photos fun.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts