Bands to Watch 2011 :: Jason Jurgens, The Owl Mag

Say hi to the man with the plan – Jason Jurgens, publisher of the San Francisco-based music blog, The Owl Mag. Whether he’s writing, blogging, editing, promoting or filming Jason’s always got his ear to the ground when it comes to music. Check out his band picks for 2011.

The Dodos

“90’s riffs influenced by Billy Corgan and a shit ton of vocal servings from Neko Case. Sounds good to me.


New EP set to drop 1/18 and a tour with Surfer Blood (my fave from 2009). Shoegaze-y lo-fi that will make you see trails.
Excited to hear more from the SoCal band. Gritty and soulful folk with a hint of Ben Folds and The Weepies.
The Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros frontman is dropping a solo debut influenced by mouth sounds and children’s hand capping games. What a hippie.
Touring with Beach house, dropping a full-length. If Quever’s breathy and ambient tone and generally upbeat vibe on “Do What You Will” are any indication of what’s to come, then I’m hooked once again.

For the Record: Simon Says No!

simonsaysno

Listen to Simon Says No!, “Sleeping Heart”:

Over the weekend I caught up with Reuben of Simon Says No!, an up and coming Norwegian shoegaze group whose debut EP Ahoi de Angst has been making making waves.  Pegged as a band to watch in 2009 by many, the group is in San Francisco tonight at Harlot sharing the bill with my favorite hometown band, Leopold and His Fiction. Don’t miss it! The event, sponsored by The Owl Mag, Future Sounds, Stranded in Stereo and SonicLiving, is free if you RSVP here and sure to rock your socks off!

the OCMD: I heard you’re in LA recording? Are you working on the follow up to your EP “Ahoi de Angst”?
SSN!: We’re recording one song right now with producer  Michael Patterson (Beck, She Wants Revenge, Ladytron) at the Glory Hole studios.  We’ve been here two days and this is the last day. We’re trying out where we are going to record our next album and might use this song on the new album.

the OCMD:  Is your new album slated to be released soon?
SSN!: When we get home we’re planning to focus on our new songs and put together our ideas.  The plan is to do some pre-production in the summer then start recording in August.  That way the album should be ready for release next year.

the OCMD: Is this your first time in the US?
SSN!: No, this our second time.  We were here last October for CMJ.and played a couple of shows in NY. 

the OCMD: Right, you got a lot of good buzz from that CMJ show.
SSN: Yes, it was amazing and one of our best concerts we can think of.  We got a lot of great feedback and in a way it really startled us because we had never done anything in the US before.  It’s been really exciting time for us.

the OCMD: So the first time I heard your music, I couldn’t help think of Serena Maneesh – the only other Norwegian band I know.  Were they an influence for you at all?
SSN!: Yeah, we live in the same town (Bergen, Norway) and the entire music scene there has been a big inspiration for us. 

the OCMD:What is the music scene like in Norway?  I know so little about it compared to your Swedish neighbors.
SSN!: In Oslo the indie rock scene is pretty huge. But in the second largest town where we live, which is Bergen, there’s a pretty big metal scene.  Three of us in the band are from Bergen, so we definitely grew up and were influenced by the hardcore metal scene there.  And we’ve definitely brought that kind of energy into the shoegaze sound we have.

the OCMD: I can definitely hear the metal influence in your music.  It sounds good… and really loud!  Should I bring my earplugs to your San Francisco show on April 1? 
SNN!: Yes, we like to play loud.  You might want to bring your earplugs!