Tegan and Sara take Portland

I’m not afraid to admit when I’m late to a scenester party. But neither am I taken in just by a pretty face. So even though I’ve known about the undeniably cute lesbian twin indie-rockers of Tegan and Sara since college, I wasn’t really into their music…until their most recent album release “The Con.” Soulful, skillful, intense and at times downright strange “The Con” has garnered lots of critical acclaim and has been on constant replay on my iPod for the last few months.

This album, built in part around a recent break-up, manages to turn painful concepts and lyrics into a beautiful journey through sound. It’s actually rather confusing. And ambiguity plays a large part in their music. Rolling Stone makes much ado about their lack of specific queer references but the pair has never been anything other than out. Their lyrics stand closer to poetry than storytelling which I find much more personal and intimate. As often as I scream gay gay gay in this public arena my more artistic writing steers clear of the pronoun in favor of the “I” and the “you” so this album feels particularly close to my heart, even as it becomes even more universal.

And perhaps it is this very ability to identify with Tegan and Sara that is making them so wildly popular. They play here tomorrow night to a sold out crowd at the Crystal Ballroom (1332 W. Burnside). A quick glance at their tour schedule reveals that their shows are already sold out in most cities. Sweetly unassuming, these girls have somehow managed to capture our hearts in a way that is certainly odd, possibly endearing, and yet a lot less sappy than I would expect.

Openers, Northern State, an all lady electro-hip-hop outfit from NYC are no slouches either. They, too, have managed to turn an already edgy genre into a bizarre menu of frivolity, friendship and a really great dance party soundtrack about enjoying the simple pleasures of your living room on their latest “Can I Keep This Pen?”

And lo, those of us who won’t be able to make the show (I used up my major concert on M.I.A. which, despite the awesomeness of Tegan and Sara was certainly worth it) will just have to console ourselves with T&S videos on the internet. And so I have included one below.

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