To hurl or not to hurl

Pub date March 2, 2010

MUSIC Keep your panties on and your polka dot bras in the drawer — they may be flattered, but Tegan and Sara have enough lingerie to last a lifetime. The Canadian twins are on the road for a tour of their latest release, Sainthood (Sire/WEA, 2009) and were proud to receive not one, but two, animal print brassieres on an Austin stage last week.

"I don’t even know what to say about ladies wearing leopard print bras — but I can say I would never have to buy another bra again," says Sara Quin, recalling the outrageous number of undergarments that she and her sister receive on a regular basis. Long-haired rocker dudes and R&B artists with six-packs seem the obvious targets for women’s personal attire, but cute little lesbians from Alberta?

"There are always bras and underwear backstage at venues, and I always wonder, who gets these?" Sara says. "Then I remember— we do."

Their stylish haircuts alone have switched ladies to the other side, not to mention their adorable turned-up noses, intelligence, feminist opinions, and six albums of pure pop genius. It’s been 12 years of music-making for the siblings, and they’re still surprised by the forward, and forceful, signs of affection some fans offer.

"I’m used to boys screaming ‘Take your shirt off!’ That’s common and annoying. But when a girl does it, I have to ask, ‘What are you thinking?’<0x2009>" The catcalls and Mardi Gras-style requests have always been hard for Sara to swallow. "My God, I’m not a stripper."

Baffled, she tries to deconstruct why women feel the urge to yell such absurdities. "Maybe they’re just excited to participate in a social custom?" she hypothesizes. A shy girl herself, she gives props to those ladies who have confidence. "Sometimes we have to suspend our logical, cultured brains and just enjoy the fact that people objectify you — take it as a sign of affection and roll with it."

Tit-show requests aside, Sara says she and Tegan couldn’t be happier with their dedicated fan base. Audiences sing along, pay attention, and eat up the witty banter the ladies are known to dish out between songs.

"We don’t feel like we’re a buzz band anymore and it’s not such a question about whether or not people will leave the show as a fan," she says, taking a break from set-up at a venue in Dallas. "Our audience has grown, and I’ve really been feeling an energy of oneness."

So if fans are shunned for catapulting linens, what would the ladies like to see land at their feet? Letters are nice, but Sara can’t fathom why people crumple and chuck them onto stage. "Call me romantic — or meticulous — I’d probably arrange for a carrier pigeon to send someone a note. But I’m a musician and I put a lot of thought into the packaging and delivery of how people receive things."

In recent years, books became a popular, yet potentially dangerous gift idea. "I love books, but people’s aim is far too accurate," Sara laughs, noting her near escapes from death. "I totally appreciate any gift. But if you’re going to throw a book, pad it with a towel."


Fri/5, 8 p.m., $35

Fox Theater

1807 Telegraph, Oakl.

1 (800) 745-3000