Thursday, January 14, 2010

Slideshow Players: family art

By Meredith Deliso

The family that plays together stays together.

That, at least, seems to be the case with the Trachtenburgs.

Even as they juggle more and more creative projects, the trio keeps at their shtick, the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players, as they’ve been doing for the past 10 years ago.

Between dad Jason’s own swing band, The Pendulum Swings, daughter Rachel’s girl band, Supercute!, and mom Tina’s steering of their children’s program, “Rachel Trachtenburg’s Homemade World,” the three still find time to do slideshow shows. And on January 21, they do just that at the Knitting Factory in Williamsburg, with mom on the projector, dad on the keys and vocals, and their daughter on the drums as the family performs conceptual art-rock pop with a message.

“We’re informational artists,” says Jason. “We feel it’s our duty and responsibility to give information as we see it.”

That includes extolling the health benefits of vegetarianism (Jason and Tina are going strong 20 years, 16-year-old Rachel has been one most her life), individuality (“We can’t just turn into a culture of conformity,” says Jason), and politics (Rachel made the news last year as vocal opponent against third terms for city politicians).

The family makes a similar statement as they move into children’s programming. Next month, the second episode of “Rachel Trachtenburg’s Homemade World” will be shown in Brooklyn February 14, details TBA (the first episode is available here).

“We really want to influence and expand television entertainment,” says Jason. “I think we can raise expectations with what we’re doing with the show. It has real purpose, real ideas about art and life.”

The show, says Tina, is like “’H.R. Pufnstuf’ meets the ‘Partridge Family.’ But it’s real as opposed to a fantasy.”

It presents a day in the life of Rachel in their Bushwick apartment, with original music by Rachel and Jason and guest appearances from friends like Andrew W.K, Murray Hill and Kevin Allison. Then there’s Supercute!, Rachel’s trio which she fronts with a ukulele, (they are also on the Knitting Factory bill), and dad’s band, The Pendulum Swings, which gives him an outlet for music that doesn’t quite jive with the Slideshow Players’ aesthetic.

“The Slideshow goes in so many different directions, I will never grow tired of it. (But) ultimately, Rachel’s getting older and focusing on her band. It was essential that I started up a new project,” says Jason, whose new project is an indie swing band. Though no retro throwback here – “We’re trying to live in the culture of the time,” says Jason. And, unlike the Slideshow Players, “the emphasis is music, not so much politics or entertainment or art.”

While the Pendulums don’t make the Knitting Factory bill, don’t rule it out in the future.

“Lately we’ve been doing shows together, all of us,” says Jason. “Slideshow, Supercute and Pendulum Swings.”

Yep, they’re keeping it all in the family.

The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players are at Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Ave.) January 21 at 7 p.m. With Supercute! and Julia Weldon. Tickets are $10. For more information, call 347-529-6696.


Copyright © 2009 All rights reserved

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP