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Who Brought The Kid? 

And other such questions

The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players aren't your normal band. Nosiree. Most bands don't show slides, bought at yard sales, during their show. And most bands don't make up songs based on those slides, throwing in bits of political observation along with the yuks. Plus, they easily top the other family-member combos so popular today, by having their nine-year-old daughter back the whole thing up on drums.

The Trachtenburg Family's timing is so impeccable, you wonder if it's all planned. To some extent, of course, it is. The family does the same show for the whole tour, consisting of three or four sets of slides, with the accompanying music and commentary staying much the same. The father, Jason Trachtenburg, kept stammering like a mutant mix of Mike Myers and Hugh Grant at the beginning of the show at the Visulite, commenting on how the band had been on stage 15 minutes and had yet to do a song. This too was probably planned, as the Slideshow only lasted about 45 minutes total, including stammering. Yet, like a good standup show, it's funny as hell if you don't know the jokes.

Opening the show was Kimya Dawson of The Moldy Peaches, who continues to do the whole songwriting-as-catharsis thing minus the shrink couch, and Kurt Liebert of the band Bicycle. I arrived too late to see his set, which may not have been a bad thing. Another local media type e-mailed to tell me what I'd missed: "I forgot to mention that his Doughnut Dance included a doughnut held under his armpit, a hotdog being waved in front of his crotch, and a minor. All on the same stage on a weeknight." I want to say I wish I'd seen it, but, frankly, I'm kind of glad I didn't.

The Steeple Lounge reportedly had a topless DJ, one DJ Portia, spinning records on Saturday night, according to the promoter. This brings the count of official nudity on our city's music stages to two in a calendar week. Who says we're not world class?

Number two in this week's list of Shows That Normally Pass Us By is Wednesday's Evening Muse show by The Twinemen. Two-thirds of Indie Nation's favorite make-out band, the seminal Morphine, The Twinemen have young Laurie Sargent (wo)manning the vocal duties in the spot once held by the deceased Mark Sandman, who decided to quit the business after his demise. The Twinemen's Dana Colley might well be the best saxophone player in rock right now, and his saxy sound, combined with the sliding bass lines that made Morphine go down so easy, may have created a few new addicts. As I was leaving, I even saw the band hand out a couple of CDs to folks without the proper dough.

Makes sense. Like they always say, "first time's free."

Sunday, I went out to Huntersville, which can mean only two things: either the Renaissance Festival's in town, or I was assigned a story for the Loaf on unchecked suburban sprawl. Thankfully, it was the former. Unfortunately, the then 5-0 Carolina Panthers were also playing on Sunday. Seeing as I was ticketless and my crap TV can't pick up WBTV, I was really depressed. What better to do, then, but go to a place where there's no television? Where people ride camels and elephants? And where they'll serve ye all the beer and mead ye care to drink beginning at noon?

It seemed like a good idea at the time. Soon, though, tiring of watching people pelt a guy with tomatoes (ye olde "Vegetable Justice," always one of the more popular RenFest features), I began to wonder about our Panthers.

Putting an ear to the wind, I began overhearing reports from others sharing my quandary. Seems Steve "Ayre" McNair ran one in for a score. Our beloved Panthyrs defense was getting torched for Fyrst Down after Fyrst Down by the visiting and, lo, fearsome, Tennessee Tytans. Our Runnyng Game was said to be in shambles. We seemed to be giving up Byg Play after Byg Play to our western neighbors, and the whole damn thing began making me sick. All of a sudden, vegetable justice didn't seem like such a bad idea.

Perhaps ye olde Panthyrs (er, Panthers) could build something similar outside of Ericsson, with the proceeds going to charity. I sure hope so. That way I wouldn't ever have to drive to Huntersville again.

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