ON IN AT is a 3 book collection released alongside Tegan & Sara’s new album Sainthood. Each of the books is totally different and covers a different topic. ON covers their North American tour in 2008, IN covers a 5 day period where T&S went to New Orleans and tried to write together for the first time every, and AT covers their 08-09 tour in Austrialia. The books are available right now only at shows and at MapleMusic. They’re costly, so are they worth the price?
The first thing I noticed about the books were that they were really high quality. They come in a really thick cardboard box that serves as a presentation case. The paper, binding, and everything about the books is of the highest quality. They didn’t skimp on these. The next thing I noticed on a casual flip through was that these were real books. They weren’t just a bunch of photos with some captions, they were full blown books complete with tons of content.
Each book is entirely self contained and I could imagine them selling them separately at some point. They’re all about 100 pages more or less. ON was very interesting to me as it could be interesting to even non T&S fans. It documents what life is like touring through North America through the eyes of the band, and those with them. There are several articles about tour bus etiquette and the way things at various venues work and all about hotels. It was both interesting and yet maintained that trademark T&S comedy to it.
IN was a completely different animal. It was documenting a small amount of time in great detail. The only people on that particular journey were Tegan, Sara, and a photographer. The book is laid out as a psychological study in which T&S are the subjects. There’s transcripts of phone calls, with the first one that opens the book being both realistic and very funny, multiple choice exams, and ink blot tests. This documents how the 2 sisters who don’t write together go about trying to write together in an unfamiliar place. It really was an experiment. And the book has a more claustrophobic feel to it, much like what they must have been feeling.
AT is all about journeying through Australia and this time a lot of the writing and documenting duties are given to T&S’ band. In the foreword of this book you’re told the entire point of this book is to document how fun touring in Australia is because no one ever believes them. Well you do get the fun, but you also get all the not so fun parts of the trip as well. It was nice seeing the personalities of the band come out in this book.
Overall if you are a Tegan & Sara fan then these books are great. They’re detailed, in full color, feature a ton of great photos and mementos as well as access to the innermost workings of the band and those around them. I really do wish that you could buy these separately, so if you couldn’t cough up all the money you could at least choose the one that interested you the most. If they ever release them that way then I recommend ON to anyone in a band who’s even thinking about touring. IN is the most T&S centric book and that’s a real fan only read. AT could also be enjoyed by most anyone who enjoys a good read and a look at the life of a touring band. These are some seriously cool items.