Sound Check: September 2008

News and reviews of queer women in music.

“I love talking to people from” was one of the first things Tegan Quin told me when I got her on the phone from her record label’s Los Angeles office. Having recently made an appearance on This Just Out with Liz Feldman, she shared that she had a lot of fun filming the bit, though she was sweating from the intense heat, and Feldman had a strong drink ready for her upon her arrival.

“I drank a vodka and vitamin water,” Quin said. “Of course I drank it, it was 110 degrees and I was so flustered from my sweaty, sunburn drinking. I don’t usually drink, but if you have one poured for me …”

I warned her that this might become a new romance tactic among some adoring fans. She could be getting a lot of vodka sent to her backstage. And speaking of partying like the rock star she is, I had to know if the barbeque she met Liz at was how I envisioned it to be: full of celesbians.

“Oh God, I wish,” Quin said. “No, it was at a friend of mine[’s] from Vancouver who moved here. He’s worked on The L Word so he met Raimy … Not very many famous lesbians, but Cam was there from Uh Huh Her.”

I took the opportunity then to find out about the Uh Huh Her/Tegan and Sara touring speculation for the near future.

“We wanted them to come tour with us in the fall, but they couldn’t because The L Word is still filming so Leisha couldn’t get away,” Quin said. Damn Leisha Hailey and her double life.

However, Tegan and Sara will be touring with Girl in a Coma, which is still a pretty wonderfully gay tour. But back to celesbians: Quin claims she doesn’t really have any famous friends because she thinks she’s not a rock star. (I know, she’s insane.)

“I had a friend, and I was talking about hanging out with [Uh Huh Her], and she was like, ‘Oh my God, do all famous lesbians know each other?’” Quin said. “And I said no, I don’t have any famous friends. These people I just see as other musicians. I don’t know, I don’t think any of us are famous. I have a lot of really great friends that are lesbians, you’re right. I met Liz at a barbecue with famous lesbians and I am friends with all of them.”

I’ll have more for you this fall in an upcoming Q&A, including some gossip on Quin’s new L.A. woman, and also some more scoop on her side project with Hunter Burgan.

Tegan Quin


A trio that would fit well on a Quin and Sara tour would be the New York-based new wave band Telenovela Star. The group (which includes out drummer Nikki McLeod) recently released their second album, Love, Lust, Sci-Fi & Monsters. Coming off of a small-time hit (their song “The Car Song” was featured on The N series Beyond the Break and was a finalist for Best TV/Film song at the Independent Music Awards), Telenovela Star has recorded an album that is post-punk ala Erase Errata with less politics and more pop.

Telenovela Star

“Vampire” is a standout track with McLeod’s alto vocals coming in below vocalist Maggie Argyro’s breathy and drawn out singing. The guitar chords are minimalist but the rhythm section is rocking, and there’s an admirable balance of both facets on all of the tracks. “Tell me what you want, what you want, what you want right now,” Argyros sings. “There’s a vampire on my back.” It’s a little dark, but in the most intriguing of ways, and the instrumental matches.

The album’s slow jam, “You’re All Over Me” is another testament to Telenovela Star’s rhythm section. The drums and bass are not just part of the background in this band. Not bad for a group that formed over Craigslist. These ladies were made for each other.