This is Me Before I Come Undone











Tegan & Sara Dream Playlist, Last U.S. Con Tour, September 30 – October 19, 2008 – YouTube

HEYYYYY HOLIDAY WEEKEND!!!  Maybe it’s a good time to pull out a project I’ve been working on and am really excited about…

“Would you want to see a three hour Tegan and Sara show?  Oh my god, me too!!!

I made this playlist because Tegan and Sara’s brief three-week Con wrap-up tour in the fall of 2008 is my all-time favorite tour that they’ve ever done (with the spring of 2010 coming in second!)  Why, you might ask?  Well, I’ll tell you.  B-sides.  Covers.  Demos.  New arrangements.  Switching up the set list every night.  Old (and I mean ACTUALLY old) songs.  Surprises.  Playing songs they SWORE they’d NEVER play again, because fans bugged them about it so much that they finally caved.  Guest appearances.  Matt Sharp.  Dallas Green.  Hunter Burgan.  Rambling incessantly without caring.  Fucking up songs without caring.  Saying the word “fuck” over and over without caring.  Swearing.  Swearing at each other.  Swearing at the audience.  Not censoring themselves for even a moment.  Talking about sex.  Talking about their sex lives.  Talking about their GRANDPARENTS’ sex lives.  Talking about drugs (often).  Talking about politics (even more often).  Talking about Sarah Palin (could we have gotten them to STOP talking about Sarah Palin?!)  Talking about being gay, and Prop 8, and homophobic fans, and about Dallas being their sperm donor (where I think Sara had one of the most inappropriate moments I think I’ve ever seen her have: “Too far?” “Too far.”)  And HUGGING.  Onstage.  At a time where they still pretty much still never touched each other!  This tour was only three weeks long, but I went to the first show and the last show and a couple in between and the whole thing can be described as nothing short of epic.  Thank god I skipped out of work a few times to go…  (And thank god I didn’t get fired.  And thank GOD I’m not in that job anymore.)

Seriously… if you make it through this playlist, drop me a line.  I want to see if anyone actually accomplishes this!  (And then, if you make it, tell me what you thought of it, so I can edit if necessary!)  A few songs are in there twice, I know… but it’s either because the songs deserved it, the versions were different, or the banter before or after was just too good to leave out.  😉  And after all… I didn’t think anyone would really mind!  Click below to see the “set list”… I can’t believe they alternated between THIRTY-FIVE SONGS during this short tour!  Some they only played once and then not again! Read the rest of this entry »



…like I haven’t felt it in a while. I don’t think I realized just how excited I was for Tegan and Sara to play not just one, but two shows at the 9:30 Club, a mere mile and a half from my house. Usually, for me, traveling to far and interesting places with new and old concert friends makes seeing shows near where I live feel downright anticlimactic. (Like, what kind of show is that when I don’t even have to go anywhere?? Haha…) But this time, I guess, Tegan and Sara weren’t playing at the huge Warner Theater or the huge and awkward Lisner Auditorium or the huge and even more awkward DAR Constitutional Hall or the ever-huger (ever-more-huge?) Patriot Center or Merriweather Pavilion (twice) or even the smaller Ram’s Head Live in Baltimore. No, this time they were playing at the 9:30 Club, a place that has become like home to me since I moved to DC seven years ago. I swear, I’ve seen almost every band I’ve ever followed there, and then some, including Metric, Hanson, Amanda Palmer, An Horse, Steel Train, Kaki King, Foals, Bloc Party, Cold War Kids, Citizen Cope, CSS, and the list goes on… I’ve even started a list of bands I’ve seen there before they blew up and got too big to play there, including Gotye, Mumford and Sons, Fun, Death Cab (though that was kind of a small-venue tour for them). I’ve even seen friends play there, including The Pushovers, who got me a press/backstage pass so that for once I could be on the other side of the barricades and see what the artists get to see. But I walk into that place and it feels like home. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a show there and biked (or even walked) through the quiet streets on a post-show buzz back to my house. I’ve had my camera confiscated by their security so many times that it almost feels like a fond pasttime. (Almost.)

But I thought that I had lost the chance to see my favorite band of all time ever play there. I knew that they had played the 9:30 Club before I moved to DC in 2007 (as well as DC’s smaller well-known venue, Black Cat), and when they came to town right after I moved here and played at George Washington University’s Listner Auditorium, I figured that I would never get to see Tegan and Sara play in that awesome, intimate venue I loved. When they came back in 2010 and played Warner Theater, I lost a little more hope. And when they started revealing their ambitious plans for Heartthrob, I resigned myself to the fact that I’d missed that era here and would never see it again. I could travel the whole world over to see them play, and yet never see them in the one place that felt like “home.”

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But I was wrong. When they released these past tour dates, I couldn’t believe it. And when DC was one of the only cities with two dates AND one of the only cities to sell out the shows, I was so proud of this place I love! Walking into the Canadian embassy, which is only two blocks from my office, I felt so excited to have them playing somewhere so familiar… and walking into the 9:30 Club that first night for the soundcheck, I felt positively giddy (which maybe you can tell from watching the soundcheck video, since I usually try never to talk while I’m filming and almost never talk TO them while they’re performing, but this time I just couldn’t help myself… *embarrassed*) It felt amazing. It felt like they might as well have been playing in the living room of my house. It felt like all of the pride I have for living in this awesome city and all of the excitement I always have for seeing them live kind of collided into this feeling of like wanting to drag them around like a little kid drags their parents to see their paintings hung up in the classroom in kindergarten, like, “Look! Look! This is MY place! And this is MY desk!! And these are MY things!!!” (I mean obviously I didn’t, but that’s the only way I can think to describe that feeling, haha.)

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And then the shows were fantastic! Seeing them play at the Canadian Embassy, which I walk by almost every day but have never been inside of, was so cool (and being lucky enough to have a friend take me along after he won tickets was even better). Having them sing two songs to us while sitting on stools in the balcony of the 9:30 Club with just Ted playing an acoustic guitar to back them up because their bus had broken down and their equipment wasn’t set up yet, was maybe the most awesome, most intimate “performance” I’d ever been part of (even if it was an accident!) I got to introduce them to MY sister (who makes them look like elves) and to take a silly photo like the one on their tour merch and to see them try to crouch down in the front of a picture with Canadian military guys (why?? Did they think those guys couldn’t see over them?!) I was beyond excited, all over again, to be lucky enough to be front and dead center for my first time seeing them in this place. And they didn’t let me down, not at all. All of the shows on this tour have been exciting and energetic in a way that I feel they haven’t quite been in a while. Maybe it’s because it’s their first real headlining tour since they started touring for Heartthrob. Maybe it’s because Tegan and her super-confident awkwardness with the wireless microphone (and Sara’s apparent apprehension of her wireless microphone, lol) can’t fail to make anyone smile, even the friend I took last night who didn’t know any of their stuff. But it was great. Sara was on top of her inappropriate banter in a way that has been rare in the past few years. Even Tegan participated in the inappropriate banter, which is even more rare, haha. Tegan danced around like an idiot and totally knew it, which made it even better. I had the angle for their cover of Let My Love Open the Door that I’ve been dreaming of since the first time I saw them perform it. Tegan brought a terrified young fan onstage to play the tambourine for Sentimental Tune. Sara stuck up for Tegan while the audience was talking, and then Tegan let the crowd (badly!) sing Nineteen for her. The Courtneys were great. Lucius kicked ass like usual, and I got to record them from the best angle ever. I met a bunch of new people and came across some old friends and had a great time seeing everyone. And to top it off, I got there early enough to get one of the BEST CUPCAKES ON THE PLANET. Both nights.

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And so now, two days that I didn’t even realize I was looking forward to quite so much are over, and I’m almost disappointed to have a holiday weekend stretched out in front of me with nothing to do. Someone suggested trying to make it to some of the shows coming up in the next week, but that’s not even it. I feel like I felt when I was in elementary school and planning my birthday sleepover for months and now it’s over and everyone’s gone home and I don’t know what to do with myself and my house is quiet and empty and Tegan and Sara aren’t hanging out in my living room anymore. I’m sure I’ll be fine after I’ve caught up on some sleep here and start to look forward to the next shows I have coming up… but for now I’m going to hope that I was able to take some good videos for you guys so that you can see what I saw and feel what I felt. It was a really special week.

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{December 27, 2012}   TBOA and UFLO are Awesome.

Someone asked me recently when the last time was that I’d heard T&S play anything from their first two albums.  I really had to think about it, because I know it’s a pretty rare occurrence since they pretty much say they’re mortified by their oldest stuff… and I can kiiiiind of understand that with the demo cassettes and definitely the Plunk stuff (lol), but UFLO and especially TBOA are *good* albums!  I don’t know why they think the stuff they wrote back then was so horrible.  Well, I understand their points about feeling like they don’t identify with the songs anymore or feeling like they are more skilled songwriters now and those songs are juvenile, but still, they were talented and that stuff *isn’t* horrible!  Not to mention that it’s just THEM, in the raw, not overproduced and polished or overthinking things… it shouldn’t be a mystery to them why we still love those albums.

Anyway, from my recollection, I’ve only heard a handful of songs from those albums live:

Not With You – So rare!  The Tivoli, Brisbane, QLD 12/14/10  That second verse… oh Sara…

This is Everything – Also at The Tivoli in Brisbane, on the same night!  I’d heard them play This is Everything a handful of times in 2005 but had a crappy camera, and they also played it at the Music Hall of Williamsburg on 2/15/10 (which was SUPER exciting), but in Brisbane they did it on the fly, by request, which never never never never happens, and so it was AWESOME.

The First – Reworked for the Fall 2008 tour as a slow acoustic version and played with Dallas from City and Colour.  Have to admit that the original is one of my very favorites, so I didn’t love this quite as much, but was still super excited that they pulled it out to play at all!

Superstar – Also reworked for the Fall 2008 tour.  After Tegan swore up and down that she hated this song and would never play it again, she endured playing it for three whole weeks.  And miraculously, fans actually stopped screaming for it after that.

My Number – They’ve pulled this out a lot over the years so it’s not *too* rare, but still, who doesn’t love hearing them play it?

Divided – Also not uncommon, but so poignant.  I mean, the first song on their first album about how they almost didn’t do music… watching them play it now just kind of tugs at your heart with how far they’ve come.  Not to mention the literal meaning of it in that they were supposed to be one person and ended up being two… it’s just kind of perfect.  Also, that song is not complete for me without this introduction, which was at one of the very first shows of theirs I ever saw, and I had *never* seen musicians talk like that onstage and was just like, “Holy fuck!!! …I need to see these people again.”  And so it went…

If I could make them play “Come On” for me – the first song of theirs I ever heard – my life would be complete.  😉



{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?



et cetera