The Jason Trachtenburg Slideshow Conception / Bouncing Bobby Wiseman / The Phonemes Zaphod Beeblebrox, Ottawa ON May 2
Published May 24, 2007With his wife, eight-year-old daughter and family slide projector, Jason Trachtenburgs Family Slideshow Players gained a small but unswerving audience, appearing on Late Night With Conan OBrien and in Mobys "New York New York video. As the family decided to take a break from a seven-year touring schedule, Jason Trachtenburg, like many Vaudeville performers of the past, adopted the old adage of "the show must go on, releasing a solo album and launching a tour with Canadians Bouncing Bobby Wiseman and the Phonemes. Led by occasional Hidden Cameras Magali Meagher and Matias Rozenberg (along with Liz Forsberg), the Phonemes treated the crowd to a decadently quirky set that could best describe the Toronto trio as the lost link between My Bloody Valentine and the Banana Splits. Bob Wiseman, another ex-Camera, helped lift the mood of the small Wednesday crowd from the first note of his accordion. Performing a brief set of light but poignant songs about love and the dying environment, Wiseman utilised the projection screen to his right with his droll short films starring Scott Thompson, Levi MacDougall and Jim Guthrie. Jason Trachtenburg entered the stage feigning an awkward and wary demeanour while introducing himself and struggling to strap a guitar to his body. Trachtenburg used the audiences uneasy reception as fuel for his chic and sharp humour, often compared to a mixture of Woody Allen and David Cross. Jason played three songs accompanied by video slides and home movies compiled by his wife before crashing Wisemans Mac and explaining, "This is why I use a slide projector. The show was wrapped up with a final song minus the video images. As he quipped, "Youve been the best crowd Ive played to all tour, the audience half-clapped, once again unsure how to respond to the bizarre persona of Jason Trachtenburg.