Tegan and Sara: Get Along
The kind of people who would buy a Tegan and Sara DVD are probably already unswayable in their opinion that they are going to like it. Seriously, it could be two hours of the twins shopping for lightbulbs, and it would be devoured and screen-capped by women, girls and hopelessly, tragically infatuated men spanning six different continents.
That said, I can honestly say that Get Along, which features two mini documentaries, a full-length concert performance and a CD containing an audio rip of the show, is, objectively, quite good. While the packaging boasts that it contains “15 Tegan and Sara classics,” I am not of the opinion that songs released in 2009 can be constituted as classics. Still, it’s a fair representation of all the Canadian duo has to offer, spanning from 1999’s Under Feet Like Ours, to their most recent release, Sainthood. While I would argue with the word choice of “classic,” I would be apt to describe Get Along as a greatest hits album and the accompanying DVDs as a good introduction for the uninitiated. The fans, however, when confronted with the robust packaging of the deluxe edition, which includes three signed lithographs and a smattering of unreleased material, will potentially experience a serotonin explosion in their brains upon delivery.
It’s hard to distill something that comes in different bundles aimed for people with varying degrees of fandom, but Get Along can definitely be appreciated on multiple levels. Its most basic format—the one that contains only the audio CD—serves as a wonderful introduction into Tegan and Sara’s estrogen-drenched power-pop stylings. However, as the live tracks don’t sound much different than their studio forms, those who own the source material already might want to skip out on the album and go right for the supplemental material.
The two accompanying films—States and India—serve as a window into the band that those already enchanted with Tegan and Sara’s music will be eager to peer through. The first is a 30-minute documentary chronicling the band’s humble roots that is interspersed with live footage and insight into their writing process, while the second documents their first trip to India, something that (rightfully) is supposed to represent their success as a touring act and serve as a thematic contrast to the anecdotes related in the first doc. Then, of course, is the 70-minute concert played for friends and family in British Columbia. So all in all we have a reflection on the past, a projection into the future, and a little bit of bringing it all back home. It’s a cool juxtaposition of concepts, for sure, but while the two shorts are remarkably well-shot for what they are, it’s hard to say whether or not watching the two songstresses walk around India with their mother and childhood best friend would be engaging to someone who isn’t already an uber fan. Still, if anyone could pull it off, it’d be Tegan and Sara, and all of the films are rife with the witty banter that has come to characterize their live shows (there are seriously, like, entire forums dedicated to this on the Internet).
Overall, Get Along has something to offer everyone, no matter where they lie on the spectrum of fandom. If you just want to hear some fine pop songs collected in a neat little package, you can do that. Or, if you are desperate to find out how the Quins’ Springsteen-obsessed stepfather influenced their approach to live performance (or that Sara, evidently, cried at a Smashing Pumpkins concert when she was 15), there’s that, too. Or, hey, 13-year-old girl from Nova Scotia, if you just want to see footage of them being cute on a boat, go right ahead; you paid your money, nobody’s judging you. Apart from their effortless repartee and expert songcraft, Tegan and Sara are also known for being remarkably generous in regards to their fans, so this thoughtfully-tiered release will be sure to satisfy just about anyone.