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Tegan goes solo for side projects

It’s a big month for Tegan Quin of the Canadian sibling rock duo Tegan and Sara.

She and her twin are embarking on the final leg of their tour supporting their 2007 album “The Con,” she’s co-headlining a benefit event in New York with author Augusten Burroughs, and she’s filming a video for her duet with Florida punk outfit Against Me!

Also, one day very soon, she will obtain her driver’s license.

“In 28 years, I’ve never had a desire to drive,” Quin told Billboard.com from Los Angeles, where she was set to shoot a video for “Borne on the FM Waves of the Heart” from Against Me!’s 2007 album “New Wave.”

“In Vancouver and Manhattan you don’t need a car, and I was always like, ‘With gas prices, what kind of loser wants a car right now anyway?”‘ she said with a laugh.

But a girl she had been pursuing in Los Angeles told Quin that having to pick her up all the time was “ridiculous.”

“You can’t imagine the amount of times I’ve been badgered and harassed, in the rain carrying groceries, thinking, ‘Don’t care, I’m part of the solution,”‘ she said, laughing again.

Besides getting behind the wheel for the first time, Quin plans to step onto a stage unlike the ones she shares with her sister. On September 4 she’ll perform at Spin.com’s “Liner Notes” event, a music-and-literature performance at the Housing Works Bookstore Cafe in New York.

Quin, who said that the performance will be just her third without Sara, will co-headline the event with author Burroughs, who penned the memoir “Running With Scissors.” She was among a number of musicians asked to write a song for the audiobook edition of Burroughs’ latest work, “A Wolf at the Table.”

As a longtime fan, Quin said that she “absolutely freaked out.”


“I lost my mind. I said, ‘Oh my God, of course, of course.’

I mean, that was partly selfish, because it meant I got to read the book four months before it came out.”

Still, the opportunity marked the first time she’d ever tried to write a song for someone other than herself, and she “didn’t know how to do it.” So she wrote Burroughs a letter about the book and the song, and the contents of that letter became the lyrics to the track, “His Love.”

“So I sent the song to him and texted him — because I hate being on the phone — like, ‘Hi, it’s Tegan, I just sent you a song, let me know if you hate it and I’ll write something else,”‘ she said. And after a full day of “maniacally” checking her e-mail, Burroughs wrote back reporting that he loved the song. “It was like a billion pages long; he said he’d been crying and listening to it for five hours,” she said. An e-mail/text friendship was born.

Out of that relationship came the “Liner Notes” show, which will also feature performances by Colin Frangicetto of Circa Survive and readings by artist Elizabeth Seward and rock singerStephen Christian. “I think it’ll be one of those momentous nights, where I’ll just black out and not really remember what I did,” Quin said.

After the Housing Works show, Tegan and Sara begin a monthlong tour September 20. The duo also has begun work on a new studio album.

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