this is a band portrait of Tina Pina, Jason, and Rachel Trachtenburg, better known as the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players. they describe themselves as an "indie-vaudeville conceptual art-rock pop band" which means they collect vintage slides from garage sales, yard sales, estate sales, and thrift stores and use the contents of said slides as inspiration for their quirky songs. tina pina runs the slide projector. jason banters, sings, and plays keyboard and guitar. their daughter, rachel, sings as well and plays the drums. you may have seen them on the Conan O'Brien Show singing their most popular single, Look at Me.

i actually got to see the slideshow before i drew these portraits. (to see the illustration as it appears in Measure Magazine, click here.) my girlfriend and i -she also pops up in this drawing- met some of her friends at a small venue in los angeles. the room was so crowded that it was hard to breathe. we stood front to back with each other and shoulder to shoulder with our neighbors. the show was too short, in my opinion, but that's a big compliment if you think about it. jason, the dad, worked the crowd. he has a geek chic quality that i tried to show off in his portrait. the audience awwed when rachel sang. "she is so cute," my girlfriend whispered. her hand brushed mine. so, i took it. here's the funny part. the girl standing next to us leaned forward to whisper to my girlfriend. we were so close together that it was impossible not to eavesdrop. "your boyfriend's holding my hand," she said. i looked down my arm and saw that, yes, i was holding a stranger's hand. i shook it loose. my girlfriend laughed. i apologized. "it's okay," the girl smiled. "it was cute actually." well, in that case! i took her hand again hoping to make everyone laugh. yeah, but that didn't pan out. look at me!

© 2003 rama hughes