Tuesday, December 21, 2004


This is a long, interesting, funny review that a guy wrote who was in the audience of the North Six show in Philadelphia - the show I opened up for Touching You and The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players. Check out the shit this kid says about me! It's laughable how flattering it is. Even I'm totally sold on me.

But Touching You's review on the other hand...well...um..., it's not so positive.

He says nice things about the Trachtenburgs, too. (It's pretty fucking long, but it's well-written and his style is pretty nice.) (Chris thinks he just wrote it because he wants to do it to me. I don't care why he wrote it.)

North Star rocked by Slideshow
by Aaron Sakulich
Drexel University Paper

Foul-mouthed folk-rocker wins hearts; communist prick molests young girl

I've heard about the North Star Bar before but never been there. It's sort of like the France of drinking, and if you don't know what I mean by that, re-read the first sentence in this review more carefully. Anyway, unlike France, I actually went to the North Star Bar on the 16th to see the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players. I went to see a somewhat obscure concert specifically blended with geeky ingredients for maximum nerd flavor, and what I got instead was the ride of my life.

The North Star, to start with, is a pretty cool place. It's a bar with pool tables in the back and a concert hall alongside. The beer is cheap and plentiful, and it looked like they had good food. If you're lucky enough to get one of the four tables in the concert hall, you don't even have to get up.

Here's the downside to the North Star: their concert hall is long and thin. This is good when everyone behaves, but all it takes is one a-hole to block everyone's vision. Of the few dozen people there, everyone was sitting so as to let others see, but this one group of old people along the side insisted on standing. Which wouldn't have been a problem until their friend, a pudgy fellow in emo glasses, decided to stand, displaying his recently-fondled-by-a-man ass for all behind him to see. I kid you not, that piece of blue-shirted gristle wasn't going to move no matter how politely the hot chick behind me asked him, so bear in mind that I only saw the 30% of this show not obscured by an enormous cornhole. Mr. emo glasses: if you're reading this, I hope you die. You're what's wrong with America.

But enough about the audience; on to the show. The first opening act was a folk singer named Jessica Delfino. Let me be absolutely clear about this, without any exaggeration: if you had to pay one live human baby in exchange for a ticket to her show, it would be worth it. More than worth it. She played folk music, which is one of the two things I hate to hear (the other is anything about communism,) but folk music that transcended all boundaries of awesomeness: it was dirty. It was filthy, crude, degenerate folk music. I've hear some Arlo Guthrie in my day, and I can't recall him using anything vulgar, let alone a mix of many vulgarities in a single time. Jessica Delfino did, and that is what has, in my mind, placed her upon a golden throne labeled "queen of music."
There was a song about how, for a week once a month, women bleed out of their vaginas. Another about having a great party at her house when her parents were away, but someone took a big shit in the grand piano. There was another that she said was a lullaby her mother sang to her, and it was a list of all the horrors we face daily in life. I'm not paraphrasing, mind you: "we bleed from our vaginas" and "someone took a shit in the grand piano" are the choruses to the two songs.

Sadly, like everything I enjoy in life, Jessy's set lasted only four or five songs, and she was off almost as soon as she was on. This was good in a way, for had she stayed much longer I would have exploded from the sheer hilarity. Note to the FBI: that's an example of hyperbole.

She left and, as though she was Superman's Clark Kent, the Luftwaffe showed up. I'm not kidding. A slimy little guy in a Luftwaffe officer's hat showed up smoking cloves. Here's a newsflash for the general community: cloves smell like the inside of my colon. I would rather die than have to be in a room that smelled of cloves. Fortunately, they drowned out the smell of the Pudgy Emo dude, who positively reeked of undigested ham and lubricant.

The second opener, Touching You, came on as I began to have serious doubts about the probability of me leaving the bar without ruining someone's face. Touching You began by explaining that most people don't like his music, but he keeps doing it because he enjoys pissing people off. I was good and ready to get pissed off, but there's something he didn't mention: he was paralyzingly boring. He was a one-man band; he spent most of his time on stage telling the audio guy which track of background music to play and strumming a guitar that was surely for decorative purposes only. His first song was about how because firefighters have no competition, it's proof that communism is the perfect form of government. The second was about how people that eat at MacDonald's are stupid. The third, I think, was about how no human can love another human, they just love the way they feel when you're around them.
I know what you're thinking: these are the most original topics for songs ever! Totally! I've never heard this sort of thing before! I'm sure that if this self-righteous chump is reading this, he's got a red-hot boner because he thinks he pissed me off, but it's not that, exactly. It was just so boring, so terribly, terribly boring. Then he explained to us that Rudolph Guliani, who will be president in 2008, is worse than Hitler. He called the drummer for the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players, a 15 year-old girl, on stage to play the xylophone for him while he sang a song called "Lou Reed's Cock."

Now, I've approved of some pretty abominable things in my day, but serenading a pre-pubescent girl with a song about penises is a bit much. That's not edgy. That's not funny. That's one sticky hand away from child molestation. Somebody in the audience told him to watch his mouth, and when he asked who said that, I belted out "we all did." For once, the dirty hippie girl sitting in front of me didn't turn around and give me a dirty look. Right and Left, we were all united in hate for this child molesting communist.

I think that the management began to sense the boredom and about-to-lay-some-jailhouse-justice-on-a-child-molester feelings in the air, so they hustled him off the stage. It was time for the Trachtenburgs. If you don't know, this is what they do: they buy slides at yard sales and then make songs about them. The slides are played on a big screen behind them in time with the song, hence the outrage at the inconsiderate lard standing in the middle of the sitting crowd. They're a genuine family: the father sings and plays guitar or piano, the 15 year-old daughter drums, and the mother works the projector.

The first song was about a pair of army nurses from the 1950s. There was something funky about the sound quality, so I couldn't really make out many words, but the rhythm alone was enough to get my toes tapping, and the slides added a good-humored lightness to the show that was really nice. There was a song, a special request from the audience, called "What Will The Corporation Do?" which was sung along with slides from some sort of MacDonald's business report. It was hilarity incarnate; my very sides trembled upon the point of splitting open. My favorite though, was a song about eggs. What do you get when you mix slides from an infantryman in Vietnam with slides from a British dairy council? Well, this song, apparently. The music was toe-tappingly good, but it was the slides that held my attention. As my body grooved, my mind raced. Most of the slides were from the '50s and '60s, and I couldn't help but wonder: who were these people? Where are they now? Did the infantryman we see first playing with a dog and then racing across a rice paddy make it home? Even drunk enough to want to fight the Luftwaffe officer and the pork that wouldn't sit down alone, I was thinking some deep thoughts.

If you're like me and skip to the end, here's the run down: the North Star is a fantastic bar with cheap beer and good food. Their concert area has some architectural issues, but is otherwise superb. Jessica Delfino is a folk singer with a foul mouth, and as such has made me feel things I've never felt before (could it be love?). Touching You is a child-molesting communist that sounds the exact same as that one whiny bastard that sits in the front row of your political science class and argues with the teacher. The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players have enough musical ability to make your body shake itself, and the slides they put up are enjoyable on a number of levels. Go see them at your earliest convenience.

After the show I picked up Jessica Delfino's album, aptly called Dirty Folk Rock. Now, I'm not much into folk music, but I am into foul-mouthed ladyfolk. There are a total of 8 songs, running 25 minutes, and the album is simultaneously elating and depressing. It's fantastic because 5 of the songs are written and preformed by Jessica and are hilarious. They're so funny that no word exists to describe them: it's as though hilarity were spun in a centrifuge and the pure, distilled essence of comedy was pressed into the plastic of the CD. The other three are written by that communist child molestor, Touching You, and they're terrible. I almost threw out the whole thing the first time his porcine bleating assailed my earholes. It's a good album, though shorter than I'd prefer, and it has a high novelty value that is more or less hobbled by that goddam pinko. Buy this album; it's the best $5 you'll ever spend. Just don't listen to all of it.

Rating: 5 triangles

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