All right, I am I am I am so excited because it seems like the Indigo Girls might be on my podcast and if you saw my Netflix special, happy to be here.
You know that I teased for an extended period of time. That the Indigo Girls would make a surprise appearance on my special. And you have to see for yourself if they do or don't. But. They are on this podcast episode, well, actually, they're they're actually not on this. Yes, they are. They actually are they are on this episode. No, of course they are not on this episode.
That is ridiculous. Why would I have them on? My Netflix special and then on my podcast and do the exact same thing, that is that's nonsense. But why wouldn't I do that, why wouldn't I do that? The truth of the matter is the Indigo Girls are here today, Amy Ray and Emily Saliers, they are here to know they're not. I'm kidding. Of course they're not here. Yes, they are.
Yes, they are. OK, I'm not I'm not even going to do this. It is my favorite thing to do in the world, but. Emily, Amy, are you here? I don't know whether I should answer that. I want to play along with you. This is don't ask BTIG, I'm BTIG. And I guess you can ask just this once with another. And nobody so everybody goes. Hello, Emily. Hey, Tig, how are you?
I'm good, thanks for being here. Hi, Amy. Hi tech. How are you doing? I'm doing great. Happy to see your faces. How do you feel about doing an advice podcast? Oh, I don't know yet. You don't know, OK. Not yet.
I have I have faith in both of you. All right. And I'm just curious, just for myself, is it true you've played together since high school or.
I feel like it was even junior high school.
We have known each other since we were 10. We started playing when we were 15. So we had high school. That was eight through 12. Oh, one go. Yeah, OK. And so we started in 10th grade. I was in 10th grade and Emily was in 11th. That's the we knew each other before that for a while, and is there a trick to getting along? And I know you've done your solo projects and most bands kind of do go in that direction, but you continue to come back together.
What is your trick to to keeping it going?
There's a lot of tricks to it, but are there early tricks? It's just a path that we found and we were at our songs separately. So we have some creative distance on them and then we arrange them together and that's what we do well together. And then we live in separate places and have a lot of separate friendships. We totally support each other's solo creative projects. And so we spend enough time apart that when we get back together, it's like we're ready, we're ready to do Indigo Girls things again.
Nice. Yeah, I actually was curious because it seems like it's a 50 50 split on the albums for its. Is that true? It's half Amy. Half Emily. As far as songwriting mostly.
I mean every now and then it veers one way or the other. Emily, one more song on this record. Well, we try to keep it pretty even just do you feel utterly resentful about one more than one song?
There's so much other stuff to feel resentful about.
I don't have to go there now with the rough 50 50 split.
I've always as a fan of your music.
I've always been curious, what do you do when somebody when the other one brings a song, offers up a song for an album and you're like hillbilly and they're so excited about it and and you're not that doesn't really happen.
I mean, honestly, the only time it happened one time a million years ago, Amy wrote a song about Squeaky Fromme and I just wasn't ready yet.
No, there's Lucy Stoner's also was a Lucy Stoner's. Yeah, but was that about. But you write about Squeaky Fromme.
I did, but I remember Lucy Stoner's and you said, I can't see us doing that song.
Right. So then it's happened twice, but that's what you get about it. And then has Emily ever wrote a song?
You know, when Emily brings a song in, it's for me, it's like it's not whether the song is good because Emily's just a great writer. I'll hear a song sometimes and think, I don't know how to add harmony to that. Like, it's just it's it's a singular voice, that kind of vibe, you know? And I'll say, I think this is a solo song because it's intimate or it's got a perspective in it that and usually we know that now, like, that's something that we just know when we write, like we know like this is one that's probably not for us to do together kind of thing.
But right. Nowadays, Emily knows already this this is going to be a song I sing by myself or whatever. But I also think that we're better at editing the songs out before we play them for each other that we're not sure about, you know, or we'll say, like, I don't know about this song and, you know, we'll openly dealt ourselves so that the other person knows it's not like a deal breaker, you know.
You know, as you're talking, I'm thinking about just your catalog of music and just how different and diverse and and how much you come together with your the singing and harmonizing and guitar playing. And it's very much like and I hate to be obvious, but it's very much like a marriage and you have to kind of fall in love and continue to work at things over and over as you go along in life. And you guys as as as a duo really exemplify that in a really incredible way.
I think there's a lot of clear differences and and some strengths like that Amy has that I don't have in the same way. And I mean, right off the bat, when we first started in high school, Amy had a lower voice and I had a higher voice and. Back then and then I was like singing a lot of church descant, soprano parts, and Amy was always like a rock and roll acoustic guitar player. And I was more of a I'd taken some classical lessons.
I was more of a picker type thing. So there were just things right off the bat that differentiated us.
But there was never a problem.
Like we just used everything that we had, every tool that we have. I think that's why some of those early songs are just like chock full of desk canción harmonies and counter voices and all the stuff, because first of all, it was fun to do that. And second of all, that's what we did. And so we weren't a band. We were two young women, girls really when we started. So we just used what we had.
I think, like the evolution thing is, you know, you just get lucky sometimes. I mean, part of it, you know, like where it's the person that you can, you know, be flexible with and kind of go in and out of different phases. And it always realized that, like, you know, what you do together is going to be, you know, that's going to be the strongest thing or the thing that has the magic.
But also, like our relatives and our, like, friends like would constantly like my dad used to say before he passed away, you know, he would be like every time I made a solo record, he'd be like, I like that record. But, you know, you and Emily, that's the magic. And I'd be like, thanks. So were those last words pretty much. It's like it's like I mean, he I'm serious. Like, it was like like something that I could laugh about a lot because it was constant.
Yeah, I know, Dad. I know every time I bring up a solo show, I know what you're going to say. He's like, don't focus too much on that solo stuff, you know, and malaria. And I think it's like but it's true. And I think that's like part of being in a community is that it's like having a marriage where they constantly remind you to, like, work it out, you know? Yeah, it's the same thing.
I mean, it's you know, we we are in a community that reminds us to of what we are all the time, you know.
Yeah. It's like it's just it's the same as having not just a long marriage, but also old friends. It just all of it keeps you in check. And and but yeah, I, I. Do you ever just sit around or hear an old song or even a new song.
You're just like God was so good. No.
I said do you know your own mind.
Do you what. Do you blow your own mind. Oh come on Amy.
All the time.
Yeah I just, I did. I truly like hearing your music.
I just picture you sitting around going out and listen to that. And then as far as you know, let's say there's a kid out there listening that plays guitar and they want to they want to be a musician, a guitar player.
Do you have any advice as we ease into the advice world?
I'd say for a new guitar player just to keep on practicing and to do it because you love it and don't ever doubt that you will get to a place in the future that maybe you aren't right now musically on the guitar, but that it can happen and just have joy with the guitar and with music because it's just an incredibly unique force in this life.
Indeed. Yeah, people I think oftentimes want. How long will it take until I'm good or how long until I can perform, or when will I be selling out venues? And it's just like you have got to I mean, same with standup. I used to just ride my bike to open mikes seven nights a week, and yet there was no part of me that was thinking.
I mean, of course, I had a crazy dream that I would be able to sell tickets at a theater, but I was really riding my bike to an open mic, excited that I might get picked.
My name might get picked out of a hat to do three minutes of terrible jokes and then ride my bike home.
I think I think because we were so young when we started, you know, you don't see it that way because it is like small goals. You know, you're like, maybe we can play that open mic at the sandwich shop next week. I mean, seriously, high school goals. I mean, it's yeah, we're lucky that we started so young because our whole ambition was like so not ambitious, you know, it was like, let's go to play at the resort and get free drinks and all our friends will come and that'll give us enough money so that we can play a gig at a punk rock club where we don't get paid the next, you know, like it was just like mapping it out, like strategy.
We're like, how can we maximize our fun, you know? And I think we you know, we don't it's a I think we're lucky that we started that that young because I think it's hard when you start later. You do want to know how long it's going to take, you know, because you don't have as much time, you know, and you're thinking that way, you know what I mean?
I mean, I was in my mid 20s and I was still just like, yeah, this is fine.
Whatever happens if that's the key, I think, though, just like not lack of ambition, but like the Zen of holding that at the same time that you have that long term goal, you kind of hold the present moment all the time.
Well, there are there are people waiting for our advice, are you ready to get in there and help people out to the best of our abilities? Yes, let's dive in.
Michelle writes, How do I not take it so personally when my significant other is in a bad mood, whether it be because of work, family or any other outside scenario?
Emily, do you have some?
Well, I was just thinking, like, if you if you and your partner, spouse, friend, whatever you are, are affected by each other's moods when they don't have anything to do with you. It's codependents and it's something that a lot of couples have to work on. And in my marriage, one of the big things that has helped me with that is that is to learn to build the trust so that if she says this doesn't have anything to do with you, then I begin to recognize what doesn't have anything to do with me.
And it's just kind of a practice of recognizing that. But you have to talk about it like that. I mean, it just boils down to communication, really. When you said that I took it personally because it makes me feel like blah, blah, blah, you know, a lot of times it's old stuff from our childhood or something we experienced as something old will be triggered by somebody else's mood or whatever they say. And so it's a lot of like communication, honesty and building trust and then recognizing when something comes from your past that has nothing to do with the other person.
Yeah, and I also think it's good to give people space or ask them if they want space, which is of course part of communication. Yeah. But yeah. So great. We started out heavy.
Let's, let's, let's wish Michelle the best. It's a tough spot to be in, so take care.
And we're going to get to more questions right after this break. We get support from better help online counseling, if you think you may be depressed or you're feeling overwhelmed or anxious. Better help offers licensed online counselors who are trained to listen and to help talk with your counselor in a private online environment at your own convenience, easily schedule secure video or a phone session with your therapist, plus exchange unlimited messages. Better help counselors have expertise in a range of issues, including anxiety, grief, depression, LGBT matters, trauma, self-esteem and more, offering help that may not be available in your area.
If for any reason you're unhappy with your counselor, request a new one at any time at no additional charge. Join the one million plus people who have taken charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced better help counselor. In fact, so many people have been using better help that they're currently recruiting additional counselors in all 50 states. Better help is an affordable option. And our listeners get 10 percent off your first month with the discount code to go to better help dotcom slash BTIG to get started.
That's better. HELOC, dotcom exotic. We get support from, indeed, dotcom in 20, 20, small businesses have to do more with less. Suddenly every single hire is critical, but there are fewer resources to find the right people indeed is here to help. Indeed, Dotcom is the number one job site in the world because indeed get you the best people fast, unlike other sites, indeed gives you full control and payment flexibility over your hiring.
Only pay for what you need. You can pause your account at any time and there are no long term contracts. Indeed, provides powerful tools to make your search that much easier, with 73 percent of online job seekers visiting. Indeed, each month indeed is going to get you the important hire you need right now. Indeed, is offering our listeners a free seventy five dollar credit to boost your job post, which means more quality candidates will see it fast.
Try indeed with a free seventy five dollar credit and indeed dotcom BTIG. This is their best offer available anywhere. Indeed, dotcom, BTIG terms and conditions apply offer valid through December thirty first.
OK, we're back and we're potentially going to plot the course of someone's life here, so it's a big one.
Emily, Amy, are you are you up for this task? Yeah. Emily Yeah.
Yeah. Oh, yeah. I'm ready. Ready? All right.
Jane writes, I'm a high schooler and have no idea what career I want to pursue. I love writing grammar and musical theater, but I'm not good enough in any of those fields to make a substantial job out of being an actor or an author. Any advice?
Well, I mean, the first thing I would say is how do you know you're not good enough because of it? Because someone else is telling you that or even the voices inside you of doubt. Don't believe that yet. Wait, you know, like, give us some time, first of all, and pursue what you love. I would say. And, you know, in however you need to pursue that, whether it's going to college and majoring in English or theater or going out there in the world and apprenticing at somewhere.
But I don't think you can know that you're not good enough when you're under, I don't know, twenty five or something. I think that people can do a lot in their life. You got to follow that road of something that you're passionate about because it, it's going to have all these forks in it that's going to go off in different directions. That'll be, you know, just, I just say my thing is always just work as hard as you can at everything that you do, whether it's sweeping floors or writing a song.
I feel like when you stick with something, it's really I have to say it's it it can be rare. But I have seen it in comedy where there's there's people that where I've thought, oh, wow, this we're 15 years in here and you're still not good. This is fascinating. And you're still at it. And that person clearly loved doing it. But then this there's this guy.
I don't know what happened with him, but I went to some book show in Los Angeles at some bar and he was on stage. And I remember thinking, Huh? Oh, boy, here we go again.
And and he was so, so funny. He had found his voice. There is something to be said for sweeping the floor really, really well and putting in the time for writing and performing.
Yeah. I mean, I was not like that. Great. I was it took me a long time to catch up to where Emily was at and I was always kind of like, fake it till you make it, you know? I mean, if I had if I had gone by some inner voice or what my some people told me early on, I would never have stuck with it. You know, I just there was a part of me that was just compelled to do it, whether I was good at it or not, honestly.
So I'm a late bloomer, you know, and I think a lot of people are, I'm for sure, a late bloomer.
Oh, my gosh. It's embarrassing how long it takes me to bloom. All right, Jane, hang in there, sweep the floor, write the song, perform, do whatever ever brings you joy for as long as it brings you joy.
And the next question we have what sounds like. A really devastating problem, Dressy writes. As I lay my head down to sleep at night, Arrowsmith's dream on haunts my brain. Night after night, this happens. How can I put this to an end? Listen to Indigo Girls song over and over again. I was going to say, I feel like the obvious answer is Indigo Girls.
I mean, that's fascinating, though, isn't it? It is fascinating.
I mean, it's one thing to have I've had a song loop through my mind for most of a day, but not night after night after night.
You know, I had a I'm just realizing, speaking of dreams, and this isn't going to help dressy at all. But I had a dream. Maybe two or three years ago, and you were both in the dream and the dream was almost like a music video, and it was, do you know the band Rainbow, that classic rock band? Now they have a song called Street of Dreams.
And that was the song that was that was playing in my dream that you were both in and I never liked or cared about that song and it was kind of a song that I, I didn't think anything about or I changed immediately because of that dream.
I love that song now. Listen, I have more boring stories if you have time.
I was just going to say for dressing like this is just a little baby practical suggestion.
But me, if you played music, like at night, when you go to sleep like other music, I wonder if it would infiltrate your dreams instead of dream on.
Yeah. Try an Indigo Girls song. Try Rainbows.
Street of Dreams. And then let us know if that helps at all dressy, we're thinking about you. Last question is one I think we're all looking for an answer to. Alison writes. I hate talking on the phone, but every time my friend calls me, I end up on the phone for over an hour. I don't want to be a jerk and not answer, but I also don't want to be on the phone for so long. What should I do?
Now, I remember having this problem years ago, and I remember asking a friend of mine who's maybe 10, 15 years older than me, I shared this stress that I had that was before caller I.D. It was you know, it was just that lottery of answering the phone and saying hello. And then there is whoever it might be.
And and this person used to call me all the time and. I answered the phone and I would get stuck for long periods of time and my friends advice.
Well, she just basically said you are scared to come across as rude or as Alison says, a jerk.
But think about this person who is hijacking your time and not considering that's equally as rude to not consider that maybe you need to wrap up. And so it's OK to just be as direct and forward and say. I have to get off the phone, but I don't know, do you have any feelings, Emily or Amy? I mean, I would do what you just said, which is just to be direct. And, you know, I mean, I'd be nice about it and say it's it's been really nice catching up, but I got to do this or I got to do that, you know, but I I'm like that person.
I do not like to talk on the phone and I, I get drained of every ounce of energy when I'm engaged with someone in conversation and I, I can't go on in it. So for me, it's worth it to just say I got to go. Yeah.
And it doesn't I don't I don't think it's ever come across as being rude as a way to do it, but you'll feel so much better. Well, yeah.
When you think about when you're on a phone call and somebody says, oh hey, I'm sorry, I have to go, you don't hang up and just trash your house out of frustration.
I mean, it's it's just it's just highly unlikely that somebody can't handle that answer.
If I was the other person and I was going on and on, it would be a relief to me for someone to say, I got to go, because maybe I'm going on and on and I don't even know I'm doing it because that's me. Like, I'm just like, you know, my brain won't stop and Emily has to do this. You know, she'll she'll have to say, I can't. I'm going to bed. I can't I can't talk anymore about this tonight.
You know, like if I'm having a million business ideas on the tour bus, you know, I say at night because my brain works at night. Yeah. I'm relieved if she says, like. I can't do this right now or I'm really tired, I can't, I can't. I like it. And people are straightforward with me because it keeps me in line. I try to remember that because I know I think about the person on the other end is probably appreciative.
I'm just honest.
I feel like if I call if I call somebody a lot and I'm like every time they're like, I can't talk. Right. I mean, I take I'd get take a bite of the burger and like not call so much, you know, like just exactly. Yeah. But it's not I can't talk at all.
It's like if you go on and on. Right. Because I just meant if, if I, if I could probably tell when someone didn't really like talking on the phone.
Right. And they're probably not calling you. That's the other thing is, is to kind of get in check where, you know, what what are they doing?
Do they call me? How often do they call? When do they wrap it up? But I do think the more direct you can be. It's going to it's so nice when people are direct. Yeah, and it leaves no question about what's going on.
I have a friend that's in recovery and and she is so hardcore and she it cracks me up how in check and hard core with her boundaries.
She she is. And whether it's with me or somebody else. And she when she's tired, when she wants you to leave, when she and it's the funniest thing in the world. And I think some people take it personally and their feelings get hurt or but I always just die laughing and tell her that I really appreciate it.
And I, I find it so funny because she's like really hard core will just boot you out of her house. And when when you've settled in and you think you're good at reading a room and then she's like, all right, skedaddle, get out of here.
And and I just I don't know. I find it amusing.
And I have a friend that is really good at getting off the phone with me. And I just think about how he would do it. And then I mimic what he would do and what does he do. He's just really polite and he's like, hey, I want to hear about this more. And I'm glad we talked about it like he's just really affirming and then would be like, I totally have to go in, like it's just his tone and his manner is so perfect.
So I think inside my head, you know, when I'm talking to someone, I have to go, like, how would he do this?
Wow. You might have an acting career in the future. That definitely is not you know, that's not true. No, I don't. But I never thought I'd get into acting. I mean, if you're it sounds like you're describing what a lot of actors think. I'm a terrible actress.
My first time acting was on this Comedy Central show called Dog Bites Man. It was Zach Galifianakis, his show.
And he had brought me on because we were all stand up friends. And I was I, I hadn't auditioned or anything. It was truly just Zach said, oh, I want to to come on.
And I it is the most embarrassing thing to see. I walk in to the scene in the room. I have my hands out in front of me and I deliver my lines and then I just keep my hands directly in front of me.
And I didn't even know I was doing it for the entire scene. I just had I was like this just up and other people said their lines in the scene.
Then I said my lines, but I just my hands were frozen.
And so I bet you could do better than that on your voice. That was your voice. That was like your thing. I guess so. Yeah, that was early days. But Alison, you know what? If all else fails, just hang up on your front and just.
Well, no cell phones. It's yeah. There's also that actually just click.
But before we go, Amy and Emily, we have one more person to help. And this person is from the past.
I call this advice of yesteryear OK, yes, year, when Jerry brags about taking Jenny out, he learns that she dates all the boys.
So as we say now, menstruation is just one routine step in a normal and natural cycle.
How do you choose a date?
Well, one thing you can consider is, look, I did everything you said, but my boss still hasn't asked me to lunch. Here we take a real question from an old advice column and we try to offer better advice than the original answer.
Oh, good. You're good. You're good with these ideas. OK, this cup. Thank you. This comes from Dorothy Dix's letter box from 1934. Well. Yeah, dear Dorothy Dix, we are a young couple in very modest circumstances, just getting established recently my husband brought me home from a business trip, a bracelet for a gift. I need so many things more than jewelry that I just couldn't help showing my disappointment. When he saw how I felt, he gave me a twenty dollar bill and said he would never give me anything but money in the future.
And that henceforth I could get my own presence. Do you think I made a mistake? Now, before I give you the answer to this, what do you what do you what do you think? Oh, man. Sounds like a good, straightforward arrangement. Pretty straightforward, that's a good arrangement, just to get 20 bucks in your hand. I mean, that's what she wants, right?
Yeah, I guess needs I'm sure somewhere down the line she's going to want to open something with a bow on it. Yeah.
You know, so funny, though, as soon as I heard 1934 and you said we're a young couple, first thing I thought was, OK, well, it's not a career couple. There's no way. The second thing I thought was all the advice you'd give today you wouldn't give in yesteryear. Like you wouldn't say, communication is the key to a successful marriage. You know, why not? Because I don't think people I don't think men and women and I'm generalizing the dynamic.
Yeah. I don't think that women had a place to engage as frequently with men in that way where we could talk about feelings and you could talk about what whatever codependency was and things like that. So. My first thought was good luck with that marriage, but that's not really advice. Well, they're dead, but yeah. Yeah, worked out some way or another. I think my advice is let go is.
Well, first of all, I think there were people in the 30s that communicated probably it was more rare. But like my great grandparents were very, really good at talking. It was like a thing. Like a model. Anyway, I would I mean, I would say. Go back to your partner and say, I'm sorry for the way I reacted to that, but I'm stressed out and I need there's all these practical things that I need, but I realize that romance is important, too.
So let's start over again. Give me let me keep the 20 for now and next president, you know, give me another chance.
That's what I bump it up to 40. Well, this is the though. I mean, remember between life worth a lot of money right back.
I know I that's one of the things that stuck out to me was I thought, wow, he's just tossing out 20 dollar bills. This guy's got cash.
So if you're 20, you've got 40. What a Dorothee say. All right.
See, Emily's being very straightforward. She's essentially trying to get off the phone call. I like, you know, no tricks already. You know her tricks already. All right.
This is truly the answer. That was my God.
The trouble with practical people is that they are not always good judges of values and they do not realize that a bit of foolishness that expresses a sentiment may be the most worthwhile thing that is possible for money to purchase. You let him down flat because he had been extravagant, because he wasted his money, because he hadn't brought you something useful and you've killed something in him that will never come alive again.
You've destroyed something in his love that you can never conjure back the end of world.
I mean, I don't know if Dorothy had a rough run in with some, but it sounds like there's a lot of resentment here.
Yeah, like maybe Dorothy or whoever wrote this experience, something similar.
And it's just like you killed every bit of life inside my heart and soul, you know, totally.
But there's there's merit in it, I guess, you know, maybe in the saying, like. Let somebody give you a romantic, impractical gift and, you know, let them have expressed that part of themselves. I mean, you know, I'm saying. No, I think you would. I think what you're saying is that you would have thrived in 1934. Oh, well, that's that's the end of don't ask BTIG.
And and I think that you guys are very, very great at giving advice.
Yeah. I just want to thank you both for coming on. And do you have anything that you would like to plug a new album? Maybe.
We do have a new album came out in May, remember?
Wait a minute. What do we have a record. I know it's been. Yeah.
Yeah. Look long. It's called live long. Well, get looked long by the Indigo Girls and you can send in your own questions that don't ask to. And we might try to answer them on a future episode. You can write them down or you can send them in a voice memo. Again, that's don't ask Tig to reach us with your questions.
Emily and Amy, thank you.
Thank you. Thank you so much. Fun. Awesome. What a great idea for a show. So much fun. We'll see you down the road already.
Bye bye. Bye. Heads up. Don't ask. TIG is taken a couple of weeks off, but will be back shortly with more guests and more advice you probably should not take. I would love for you to send me your questions in an audio message because I want to hear your voices go to Don't ask Tig to send us your questions and you might hear it on the show. That's what you have. If you're enjoying the show, please take a moment to rate and review us.
Don't ask. BTIG is hosted by me, Tig Notaro. It's produced by Thomas Willette, Mary Knoff and Tracey Mumford. Our editor is Phyllis Fletcher, executive producer Lauren D. Engineering and Sound mixing by Eric Rachmani, digital production by Christina Lopez. Talent Booking by Rocky Band Lulu Duban. Our theme music is Friend and Tig by Edie Brickell and Kyle Crushin and listen to your heart by any univocal special thanks to Hunter sideman Lily Kim and Alex Shaffer. Our executive consultant is Dean Capello and Gobsmacked Studios Don't Ask Tig is a production of American Public Media.
And as always, thank you, Dana.