This is Me Before I Come Undone











{September 26, 2011}   A Tangent from 2007.

Yesterday, someone asked me: “So, if you were going to give someone a mixed CD of your favourite songs, and you could choose ONLY TWO (don’t ask me why; I’m arbitrary) Tegan and Sara songs on the CD, which ones would you choose?”

The answer got so long, and after hours of watching Glee with my roommates I feel so oddly emotional, that I decided to just post it on here.  So here goes:

I love making Tegan and Sara mix CDs for people (if they let me… heh).  The first thing I do is put the first song from each album on it in chronological order, starting with “Divided” (except for “The Con”… for that album I put “The Con”… just feel like it’s so much more representative) so that the person can hear what a crazy progression they have made over the years.  It’s amazing to me to listen to it like that.

If I had to pick two songs… wow… hmmm… damn, it’s hard enough to pick like, only three songs from each album for a mix CD.  I remember back in the day when the world was on LiveJournal and I was a part of the Tegan and Sara LiveJournal community, and they would play “album survivor,” voting off one song per day from whichever album they were focusing on at the time.  People would get so torn!  Someone said it was like being asked to kill off one of her children.  Ha.

But I guess the easy first choice for me for one of my two songs would be “The Con”… that song still tears my heart out every time I listen to it (which is mostly why I don’t).  The album leaked three months before its release date, which was totally a bummer… Tegan and Sara (Sara especially) seemed pretty upset about it, and I felt like it was wrong to listen to the album before it was released, out of respect for Tegan and Sara.  (I actually started a petition for people pledging not to listen to it until the day it was released, which actually spurned A LOT of backlash against me, which led to the not-too-eventual demise of my membership in the Tegan and Sara LiveJournal community.)  Anyway, people were gushing on and on about how amazing the album was, and I just couldn’t get my head around it, because I loved all of their stuff already, and I was sure the new stuff was going to be good, but I wasn’t sure how it was going to be *THAT* much better than all they’d already done.

Then, a while before the album was released, Tegan and Sara put the track “The Con” up on their Myspace page (I told you it was back in the day) and so I listened to it… I won’t ever forget what it was like to put those headphones on and to be alone with that song in my head.  The beginning just tugged at me, and by the time the bass came in on the bridge I was just consumed.  I’ve always said that my favorite genre of music is “upbeat depressing,” and to that point, Tegan and Sara had excelled at that.  For example, when I first played The Con around my mom, she told me to put on something happier, like that older song she liked so much… and I was like, “what, the one that starts with, ‘I am disappointed every morning that I wake up??'”  And she was like, oh… I didn’t know that… Because yeah, I love tough, depressing, emotional, complicated lyrics… but only if the song doesn’t *sound* depressing, and *FEEL* depressing.  Then, I can’t handle it, it’s too much, and I can’t be alone with it.  Give me ironically happy, bouncy pop music that goes along with lyrics singing about pills and alcohol and “sad, sick people like me.”  And this was the first time I’d ever heard Tegan and Sara sound truly depressing.  But not soft, wallowy, teary depressing… no.  This was a dark, intense, sinister, devastating, completely crushing kind of depressing.  And I just understood that all too well.

I think when the song was over I just sat there and stared at my headphones.  I was totally overwhelmed.   It is so clear in my mind that I even remember what I did next… I put on my purple adidas shoes and grabbed my light blue hoodie and ran out of my room because I was late to meet my friends at the lesbian bar in Atlanta (ironically called My Sister’s Room).  But more than anything I just needed to take big deep breaths and clear my head and separate from that song because it just seeped into my body.  I had just moved in with a friend after my girlfriend of three years, whom I had bought a house with, had kicked me out of our house so that a new girl she had met could move in.  Somewhere in there I dragged myself through law school finals, and tried to deal with the bad flashbacks the breakup caused to how devastated I had been when my very first relationship (of four years) completely melted down when my girlfriend’s mother committed suicide.  I was emotionally wrecked, flattened, for months, and that song was just too much… it was too good, too intense, too perfect, too cutting.  I hadn’t seen Tegan and Sara at all in 2006 or the first half of 2007, they were recording and I was working on the difficult relationship I was in.  My girlfriend didn’t like me seeing them all the time.  She didn’t like that I liked them more than she did, even though she had been the one to introduce them to me.  But, by the time they posted that song on their page, she was gone, and I was alone, and I figured there was no point in giving them up any longer.  At that point I’d only seen them a handful of times.  I didn’t have any friends who liked them (or even knew who they were) and I hadn’t really made friends with many other fans…I’d only ever gone to shows with my girlfriend.  And I listened to that song, and it was like opening a window… and I just knew everything was going to change.

And yeah.

So…

…what was the question again?



So, several weeks ago, I stumbled across this website while trying to build a map for a project at work.  I had (way too much) fun making what I needed to make (which is here, if you’re interested… I’m actually quite proud of it!) and when I was done with it, my mind instantly went to what else I could make maps of!  I made a few of places I’ve lived, places I  liked in DC and Atlanta, and then I couldn’t avoid the thought:  one of all of the Tegan and Sara concerts I’ve been to.

My co-workers called me a total nerd for my complete enjoyment of making the maps, although I more attribute it to my obsessive love of detail (if only my life could be as organized as my YouTube channel…), my preference for having everything where I can see it all at once (hello law school finals flow charts…), my affinity for rainbow colors (my bedroom WAS done in rainbows when I was born), and about 30 free hours with nothing to do while my girlfriend was on a plane back to Australia via Korea.

So.  I’ve never summed up everything quite like this, and I wasn’t even entirely sure exactly how many shows I’d really been to.  Luckily my YouTube channel *IS* the most organized thing in my life (apart from my Flickr page), so that helped tremendously.  I also dug back into the Flickr pics for the first few shows I didn’t take video of, and, as for the very first show, where I don’t even have pictures, well, I had to dig into the online archives for that one.

And so here we have it.  I never meant to publicly admit to exactly how many shows I’ve been to, but after holding on to this for a few weeks I decided that I had too much fun making it not to share.  (Plus, everyone is forever asking me how many shows I have been to, so here, all of you, there you go!)

When you open the map it will at first show just tour routes and the markers for the first shows I went to in 2004.  If you click on the boxes next to the little colored markers on the top right hand side, you can add the markers for 2005, 2007 (nope, no 2006 shows, that would have been the “making of The Con” hibernation…), 2008, etc.  I already had the one show I was hoping to hit so far for 2011 up there, however, my cousin just put her wedding on that weekend, so we shall see.  I may soon be posting hoping someone needs an extra ticket to that one.  😦

Second, go to the “Tour Routes” tab on the bottom left, and you can click on the boxes next to them to make the lines on the map disappear… or you can check out the details of which shows I went to on that tour, the order of the tour, how far apart the shows were, all that good stuff.  🙂

Third, go back to the “Concert Locations” tab, and if you click on the name of each venue, it will bring up a bubble with the details of the venue, links to my YouTube videos and Flickr pictures from that show, and a picture from that show (would have added more pictures, but damn I could have gone on forever).  Also in that venue bubble, you can comment on that particular show (there’s an “Add Comment” link!) or you can comment on the map in general at the bottom of the map.  (I like comments.)

Finally, you can zoom way in on the map to see all of the different venues in each city (think I’ve been to six or seven different ones in NYC, for example).  FUN THING: bring up just the green 2009 markers, click on “Hollywood Bowl” on the left, zoom in until you’re like three bars from all the way in, and click on “Satellite” in the upper right hand corner.  Wicked.

AND, WITHOUT FURTHER ADO, THE MAP: http://www.communitywalk.com/wojo4hitz_teganandsarashows
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