It could've been worse. After all, Tegan and Sara Quin are young, foxy and Canadian. They play guitars and sing sad songs about love. Toss in their razor-sharp haircuts, jet-black tattoos and just-dingy-enough vintage concert tees, and it's a wonder they've escaped comparisons to that . . . Avrilperson. Yet it's telling that Pitchfork Media dropped Ashlee Simpson's name inside its Jan. 25 review of SoJealous,Tegan and Sara's latest. When Pitchfork—a website so fantastically cloaked in indie cred that it got away with giving the Flaming Lips' Zaireekaa zero out of 10—holds off reviewing your record for months until it's being lauded enough to merit lazy writing and pejorative pop-culture references, it can only mean one thing: you've arrived. Problem is, when you arrive, your baggage doesn't get lost. After Pitchfork's review, Sara says, "I read three more disses the next week that just took what [they] said and spun it around." But if critics are jumping on the backlash bandwagon, it's only because they tired of comparing the girls' retro, radio-ready guitars and synths to bands like the Cars and Cheap Trick sometime around last December, when the sisters snagged spots on nearly every Best of 2004 list, including RollingStone'syear-ender. Then there was their modest hit single, "Walking With a Ghost" (heard frequently on Indie 103 and seen in rotation on MTV2), a gig on Conan O'Brien and, most recently, landing the dream gig of the year as tour support for the Killers. Which makes it all the more interesting that Pitchfork's review, in its snobby dismissal of both the Quin sisters' experience (after signing to Neil Young's Vapor Records six years ago at 18, they released two critically acclaimed albums before So Jealous) and talent, ignores one salient fact: that Tegan and Sara should be as famous as—or more famous than—Ashlee Simpson. To that end, perhaps Sara's offense at Pitchfork's review reveals a deeper frustration with the question it leaves unanswered: Why aren't Tegan and Sara huge? "If I could be on TRLright now, I would," Sara says. "Why would I want to bounce around in obscurity?" (EllenGriley)
TEGAN AND SARA PLAY WITH THE DIDDY BOPS AND LOS ABANDONED AT THE GLASS HOUSE, 200 W. SECOND ST., POMONA, (909) 629-0377; WWW.THEGLASSHOUSE.US. THURS., MARCH 24, 7 P.M. $12. ALL AGES.
Lisa Marie Presley, the ex-Mrs. Michael Jackson, has zero musical talent. Zee-row.Can't sing. Can't play anything well. But she's famous, awrighty. Famous because her dad was famous. Filthy rich because her dad was filthy rich. But money, name recognition, and the best voice coaches, producers and songwriters on the planet don't translate into listenable music, which is why her 2003 debut album blew. Chunks!But this is a Presley—herrecord label should be able to sell the sneer at least, right? She gets another shot next month with her new album, NowWhat.And it's a hoot, judging from the first single, a cover of Don Henley's "Dirty Laundry" where she hyperventilates so badly you swear she must've passed out dozens of times during the session. Still, she evidently composed herself long enough to deliver lines sans irony, like "I just have to look good, I don't have to be clear" (love how she looks all teenage-y on the single, even though she's almost 40) and, most fittingly, "We all know that crap is king." And the LMP hype onslaught will continue deep into the spring: she's set to be on Oprah, Letterman, Larry and Ellen; has an A&E biography set; a living-with-Elvis book out in May; and a four-hour Elvis miniseries, from which, as the Big E's only offspring, she'll profit heavily. And yet she insists on foisting her no-talent self on us instead of counting her cash like she ought to. Honestly, why can't people like her and Kelly Osbourne just shoot air bubbles into their veins until their chests explode? Then the rest of us can get on with our lives instead of being subjected to rampant rich-chick ego. So why are we recommending this gig? Because maybe she'll fall off the stage again like she did during that Todayshow taping two years ago. Pure schadenfreude! (RichKane)
LISA MARIE PRESLEY AT THE HOUSE OF BLUES, 1530 S. DISNEYLAND DR., ANAHEIM, (714) 778-2583. SUN., 8 P.M.. $25-$27.50. ALL AGES (16 AND UNDER WITH GUARDIAN).
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