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'Jealous' folk-pop twin act rocks Congress

photo courtesy tag team media
Tegan and Sara - "Hey Tegan?" "Yeah, Sara?" "What makes irons hot?" "You do, Sara." "Aw, Tegan. You're the best." "Let's go play at Club Congress Tuesday, Nov. 16." "Yeah!"
By Lauren Hillery
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
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Canada is becoming more and more appealing these days with their free health care, cheaper prescription drugs and legal gay marriages. But now they've got one more on us, the twin sister musical duo of Tegan and Sara.

Being that they're sisters, one would think that being together and working with each other so often would drive them crazy, but Tegan and Sara look at the positive aspects of their working relationship.

"We've always had so much in common and being that we are the same age and we have a common goal being that we both want our band to succeed, I think we can put aside a lot of our differences and a lot of the annoying things. You can tell your sibling to shut up and I know that she's not going to walk out," Tegan Quin said.

However, they weren't always Tegan and Sara.

"We changed Sara and Tegan to Tegan and Sara, but if I could go back now, I probably would have come up with a band name, but you can't go backwards," Tegan Quin said. "Sometimes I am glad it's our name, because we write our own songs and we do tours alone, so we wouldn't have a band."

At 14, the two began playing guitar and subsequently started recording demos in their school's recording studio. Although they say they did well in school, it just wasn't exactly the path they wanted to take.

"We did well in school, but I don't think that we were really all that interested in doing something right away, or we weren't really sure what we wanted to do, so music came at just about the right time," Quin said.

With the September release of their fourth album, So Jealous, Tegan and Sara realized the importance of hands-on work in writing, recording and mixing their music.

Tegan and Sara had more time to work on this album. In the three-month period, the girls each recorded demo songs in their respective rooms, resulting in 26 potential songs for the album.

So Jealous keeps with their traditional folksy female sound, but branches into a more poppy genre.

Their close involvement with production of the album has become integral for them.

"It's necessary now. It's how we translate what we're thinking and what we're doing in our bedrooms to everyone else. It's hard to get the whole vision when you're standing there with your acoustic guitar and recording vocals," Quin said. "We're a part of a new wave of bands, especially females, who are writing our music and producing our own records and calling the shots and want to be taken seriously. I don't want to be 'like... umm you know like, can you play the drums like...'"

Although the album doesn't necessarily have a theme, the songs reflect Tegan and Sara's changing situations in life, which they hope will be something their fans can relate to.

"We're both writing from a really transitional place with Sara moving to Montreal and ending a relationship, and me getting to a place where I was comfortable, getting out of a bad relationship and into a good," Quin said. "Sara's material has themes that worked really well with So Jealous. Everyone experiences love, heartbreak, change and growth, immaturity and jealous. We're kind of hoping that one of those things will ring true with everyone that hears our music."

In terms of their sound, Tegan and Sara decided to use older and "cheaper" equipment to get a unique sound. For example, Tegan used a $2 keyboard from Value Village on her demo, which she also decided to use for the final recording, because she said she got used to the sound.

"Even though we were in this multi-million dollar studio and I could have used any other keyboard, they just seemed too complicated to me, and there was something about my little Casio that made sense," Quin said.

This tour will bring Tegan and Sara to the southwest for the first time. They will open for Melissa Ferrick at Club Congress on Tuesday, Nov. 16. Tickets cost $12, doors open at 7 p.m., and the show is 21 and over.

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