Monday, May 05, 2003

Good Experience Live IX

The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players: Look at Us

The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players is a three-piece musical group that creates music based on photographic slides acquired at yard sales and estate sales. Here is a rough transcript of remarks made during their performance at Good Experience Live:

We are the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players. My name is Jason, and I play the keyboard. My name is Tina, and I run the slide projector. My name is Rachel, and I play the drums.

We are a conceptual art rock band. We read the newspapers to track down strangers' yard sales. We look for obituaries to see who died. We go to their estate sales, and we buy their slide collections. Assuming they have a slide collection. We turn these slide collections into pop rock performance exposes. We're going to do the best 15 minutes of our songs this afternoon.

This song is called Look at Me and is about two retired military nurses named Jean and Cathy. How do we know their names? Sometimes they write them on the bottoms of the slides. Everyone's slide collections says, "Look at us!" And by us I mean them.

For this next song, we were fortunate enough to acquire slides taken from a traffic education class in the '70s. We like to call this one "Middle America."

This is a slide that's been in our act for about a year now. But you see that Hershey bar guy? I just noticed him and every time I look at him he is so disturbing. This is the content of the Opnad Contribution Study Committee Report from June 1977. This song will justify our existence. These were taken from an internal McDonald's corporate marketing meeting. These slides were meant to be buried for absolutely forever. We unearthed them in Seattle. We turned these into a six-song rock opera.

Part one, "Theme from Opnad." Part two, "What Will the Corporation Do?" We took Ed Schmitt's quote here word for word and turned it into a rock opera number. Words by Ed Schmitt. Music by the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players. This is a controversial piece. This song was banned in 17 states, along with our first two CD's. This song is called "Wendy's, Sambo's, and Long John Silver's." "New competitors are using network television to take advantage of efficiency." I just got the hurry up from the drummer here. That's OK. This is part four of six, and it's called "Let's Not Have the Same Weight in 1978."

Joe Casper raises several troubling questions, actually. We're at part five of six. They're at the crucial part where they need to ask the eternal important question of, "Why did we decide to take this decision to you?" Who should we take this question to, Ed Schmitt? Ed Schmitt? Then you hear some rumblings in the back: Joe Casper. Look at Joe. Everyone wanted to be a white-collar executive. Joe was a vinyl-collar executive. They don't make executives like Joe Casper any more. Joe Casper was not a man of many words. He was a many of high fashion."

Thank you so much! This is part six of six. It's the final song of our part of the afternoon. "Together, As a System, We Are Unbeatable." It's how they wrapped up their business meeting rock opera. That's all!

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