The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players have finally released a DVD, “Off and On Broadway.” Any of you who saw them last time that they passed through the Max Ink area (October 2003) know just what a treat you are in for. For those of you not aware of what John Waters called, “The 'Lawrence Welk Show' gone insane,” The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players are a real family consisting of Jason Trachtenburg on vocals, guitar and keyboards, his wife Tina on the slide projector, and 10-year-old daughter Rachel on drums. They base their songs on old photo slides that they find at estate sales and flea markets. Jason, who is truly a mad musical genius, is also a genuine showman. Some of his best social commentary songs are taken word for word from industrial/corporate slide presentations from the ‘60s and ‘70s, but the funniest songs are from random family slides like “Mountain Trip to Old Japan” and “Look at Me.” The G-rated semi-documentary DVD takes you around the enchanted thrift shop chic world that the Trachtenburg’s live in, and also includes plenty of clips of their shows and bonus videos. Like an old-time Vaudeville act, they do everything as a family, which means little Rachel usually goes to bed around one in the morning. The TFSP are truly a product of our times. If every family were like the Trachtenburg’s there would be no war, no road rage, no racial, religious and social chaos. It would be a pretty zany world, but that is better than the violent, hate-filled world that we currently live in. Check out their website at www.slideshowplayers.com/ and be sure to get your tickets to their show at Milwaukee’s Shank Hall on Sept. 16, or at the 7th Street Entry in Minneapolis, Sept. 17.
For those of you going to see Sonic Youth Aug. 6 at the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee, feel free to arrive late, because Thurston Moore opens their show with a monolog. Yes, you heard me, a monolog! I guess he’s practicing for a job with National Public Radio after they milk Sonic Youth one more time. So instead of Sonic Youth performing, you get a human scarecrow discussing his career. Bring plenty of fruit and vegetables to throw—preferably tomatoes, still in the can.
It has been a year since John Glick was murdered, but you can see videos of the Returnables legendary "Road Trip" and "She Throws Punches" videos on YouTube:
"Road Trip": www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dt8xF9u7GWA
"She Throws Punches": www.youtube.com/watch?v=zS-mWaVtIXo
RIP: Nevada Backwards’ latest bassist was killed in a car accident, just days after he joined the band full time. He is the second musician from the band to die this year.
DOUGLESS ROCKNESS Overdosed on Viagra and heroin while vacationing in Thailand, May 30. The 44-year-old Rockness was the guitarist for the early Seattle punk band Solger. They did “Raping Dead Nuns.”
JOHNNY JENKINS Died June 25 after suffering a stroke. He was born in 1939 outside of Macon, GA. The guitarist led Johnny Jenkins and the Pinetoppers and worked with Duane Allman, Jimi Hendrix and Otis Redding.
ERIC FRIESEN Died June 30, at the age of 34. The multi-instrumentalist and composer was half of the duo of Windham Hell.
RALPH REBEL Found dead July 2 of a suicide. The Rockabilly/Surf guitarist, singer and songwriter was 41.
JOE WEAVER Died July 5, in Detroit, from complications from a stroke. The R&B legend was 71. The pianist/singer was a session man for Motown, played in the house band at Fortune Records, and had worked with The Miracles, Martha Reeves, Stevie Wonder, The Four Tops, Nancy Wilson, John Lee Hooker and Marvin Gaye.
JOSHUA LEWANDOWSKI Died July 5 in a car accident in Colorado. The guitarist/singer of Love Scene Clear, his band once opened for Last Crack in Madison.
SABINE DUNSER Died July 7 of a cerebral hemorrhage. She was the singer of the goth metal bands Elis and Erben Der Schopfung.
SYD BARRET Died July 7 in Cambridge, England, of complications from diabetes. The singer, songwriter and guitarist was a founding member of Pink Floyd until drugs and mental problems made it impossible for him to be in public.
ERICK KLEVEN Died July 15 in a head-on car crash outside of Sacramento, CA. He was on his way to a performance. The bassist/tuba player was born Oct. 6, 1949, in San Francisco, and had performed with Bo Diddley, Anton Barbeau and Joy Boys, the Henry Robinett Group, The Camelia Symphony, Nagual, Cab Calloway and Nevada Backwards, to name a few.
JESSIE MAE HEMPHILL Died July 22, in Memphis, of complications from an infection. The bluesman was 71.