"We're an indie-vaudeville-conceptual-art-rock-slideshow band," says singer/songwriter Jason Trachtenburg. "We've got the market cornered! There's no band that can hold a candle to us in that department."
The Trachtenburgs are a domestic trio (dad Jason, mom Tina Piña, 15-year-old daughter Rachel), who play quirky indie pop songs in the key of unironic good, clean fun with one major catch: All the songs carefully rhyming lyrics come from the vintage slide collections they've found at estate or garage sales that accompany their performances.
What's more, including their retro fashion sense inspired by Mom Tina, the Trachtenburgs are a charming relic: a vintage throwback to a simpler, more self-sufficient, family-oriented time . just like their music.
Tina Piña and Jason met at a Greenwich Village open-mic in 1989, and the pair later relocated to Seattle. They had a daughter, Rachel, and ran a dog-walking business while Jason worked Seattle's open-mic circuit. When his eccentric indie pop was failing to find an audience, Tina suggested he augment his act with slide imagery. 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 family's 1959 mountain trip to Japan.
The next morning, 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 remarkably favorable reaction to the family act was nearly unfathomable. The local press went wild; their coffee house shows boasted lines out the door. In July, 2002 the family relocated to New York's East Village and befriended artists like Regina Spektor and Nellie McKay. After being covered by The New Yorker, Spin, EW, the Village Voice, and others, Bar/None released their full-length debut, which showcased Jason singing about topics as varied as enjoying fondue in Switzerland to training employees to work at Wendy's.
Vintage Slide Collections From Seattle, Volume 1 (2003) was recorded in Seattle before the big move and features guest spots from the city's local stars. Six months and a lot of DIY-campaigning later they were the first unsigned band to appear on "Late Night with Conan OBrien."
Thanks to a grueling tour schedule that has the act playing approximately 150 shows a year, "We became a really tight touring outfit," Jason says. "We wear tight touring outfits, as well, which is why we don't eat too much before shows." Theyve played Bonnaroo, the Edinburgh festival, the alt-comedy circuit,practically every city in 48 states - all the while winning over famous fans like Meg White, The Simpson's creator Matt Groening, comedians David Cross, Eugene Mirman, and John Waters.
After playing all around the US the Slideshow Players have toured England, France, Ireland, Scotland, Holland, Wales, Norway and Australia all to international acclaim. They also performed with UK's Kate Nash on her first US tour! More bookings are coming in everyday so please stay tuned to this page~
CHECK OUT THE TRACHTENBURG'S E-CARD
You can see a video, an MTV spot and a live performance HERE!
NY Times Article on Rachel's Speech at City Hall
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