Tegan & Sara continue to hone their sister act.
The Canadian pop-rock band Tegan & Sara is ready for the leap to the bigger leagues.
The last couple times these twins played a local club, they opened for Melissa Ferrick at John Henry's.
This time, Tegan & Sara is the headlining band. At the McDonald. It's a room that's significantly bigger than John Henry's.
It'll also be the first time in Eugene that Tegan & Sara hasn't played a bar.
`We've never done an all-ages show in Eugene,' said Tegan Quin, speaking from her home in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. `I have no idea what to expect. We played Columbus, Ohio, and 900 people showed up.'
The band - Tegan & Sara also includes the "loyal rhythm section" of Rob Chursinoff and Chris Carlson - is on tour supporting "So Jealous," Tegan & Sara's 2004 album.
If 2002's "If It Was You" got the group some attention, "So Jealous" made folks take notice. Rolling Stone called "So Jealous" a "taut little New Wave snack." Entertainment Weekly called the band "a precocious punky pop act with a knack for writing brisk love songs and vivisecting ex-lovers with a few tart phrases.' Spin chimed in, "... on their third album, New Pornographers' producers John Collins and David Carswell assist in turning the pair's sweet inner turmoil into Go-Go's-via-Gwen indie pop bliss."
The Go-Go's and Gwen Stefani are probably two name-checks Quin likes to hear.
`At least now they're picking rock bands and not picking Jewel,' she said.
And since last fall, the band has received a lot more press and a lot more attention.
`We've never really been a critics' darling. But I don't feel like the press has been positive or negative," Quin said. "Certainly with this record, it felt like people were getting it more. That's the most important thing. There just seems to be an overwhelming number of people who get our music.'
Tegan & Sara has hit the road with a number of acts - the Pretenders, Neil Young, the Killer, Hot Hot Heat, Ben Folds and Ryan Adams. The experience has brought an interesting mix to the Tegan & Sara crowd.
The band draws heavily from the gay community - both sisters are lesbians. But tours with other artists, especially Young, have brought new faces to the party.
`It's so diverse,' Quin said. `Our audience is so hodgepodge.'
When that hodgepodge crowd heads to the McDonald on Tuesday night, it might hear a version of Tegan & Sara that's different from the one that opened for Melissa Ferrick.
`We're more accomplished and confident on stage. We tell stories about why we're so weird,' she said. "Now we've learned we can say `shut up.' '
Oh yeah, about that whole "storytelling" thing. Some critics have referred to it as "bickering." But the chatting between songs is, one might say, part of their schtick.
`We use each other as a source of entertainment. We still get on each other's nerves and point it out on stage. Only twice have we come off and actually fought,' Quin said. `I think that's part of being us. Sara and I directly engage each other so it brings the other one in. I think what we're doing is really different.'
Outside the music scene, Tegan & Sara will make an appearance on the next season of Showtime's drama "The L Word," about a lesbian community in Los Angeles.
Once this tour wraps up, the 25-year-old sisters will return to their respective parts of Canada - Tegan's in Vancouver and Sara's in Montreal - and begin working on the the next album.
`Me, I'm already writing for it," Tegan said. "But we won't go into the studio until next summer.'
Tegan & Sara
With: Northern State
When: 8 p.m. Tuesday
Where: McDonald Theatre, 1010 Willamette St.
How much: $15 advance, available through TicketsWest or online at mcdonaldtheatre.com; day of show, tickets will be $17
Tegan (left) and Sara Quin have sometimes been accused of engaging in sisterly bickering on stage. Not so, says Tegan. "Only twice have we come off and actually fought,' she said.