Author Archives: Jon Sidel

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Arms never get on top / You heed that notion and you’ll drop / I will not be one of the watchers / I will not disappear / Time gets to me and I / Wonder how to simplify / You know you should be blushin’ / To a hue of Robitussin / Flow / Men are scum, I won’t deny / May you be shitfaced the day you die / And be successful in all your lies / In the winter time (in the winter time) / When you get down to it / You wanted to / Do you think you got the nerve? / It doesn’t take much nerve / Just kiss yourself metaphorically / And open the door and piss if you need to

I’ve always joked that bloggers have the Devine Right to make best of lists. For my second to final show of the year, I spin my best of—and declare an “Idelic Hit” of the year.

Although it’s often both a group and a song, I define these “IH’s” more of an “act of rock ‘n’ roll cool” than a best of. For 2018, I’m giving it to Steven Malkmus. It’s not that “Middle America” is just a great and timely song, but it’s the kind of song that has “lines” for the ages. In a year of catch and phone screens, thank god we still have a master of the songwriting who is still writing and singing brilliant words. I mean read ’em.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Let’s face it, as a year, 2018 fucking sucked. Even music felt shadowed by dark politicians, mobile devices, video games, and apps. What’s an Idelic dude gonna do?

Well, basically rock the fuck on!

Over these next two weeks I’ll be playing 50 of my favorite songs of 2018. Compiling and listening my annual list has put a smile on my week. My hope is that it will do the same for you.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Stranger from another planet welcome to our hole / Just strap on your guitar and we’ll play some rock ‘n roll

Post midterm elections, post Halloween, and post daylight savings time finds us fluctuating from light to dark daze here in the canyon. Spinning slowly one day to the next—one day it feels like a win, the next gridlock. Is it over yet?

Election day in the canyon was a joy however, our polling place being a local “idelic garage” with a scenic view of the city at the top of Nicholas Canyon. Politically, us “canyon folk” are as blue and left as anyone could be. Looking out over our cozy canyon homes, I couldn’t help but think about Trump’s red states. What came to mind was a memory of being on tour with Mötley Crüe in Amarillo, Texas. Waking up and looking out the window from my Holiday Inn room and thinking…

Get me the fuck out of here! Ha!

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The Best of The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

As I often note, The Idelic Hour—this hour+ “mixed” playlist of songs and this little column—is what I consider my “living diary.” As my wife and likely Jon from TVD knows, I often finish my “thoughts” early morning. Many Fridays I have nothing really to say—after all I’m really trying to connect to the universe through DJing an hour of songs, so often I just post some lyrics and fill a few lines. (Hey, that works.)

Today feels slightly different. Not because Chicago finally won a World Series. I mean, it was a great game, but I’m from “the coast.”

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

I wish that they’d swoop down in a country lane / Late at night when I’m driving / Take me on board their beautiful ship / Show me the world as I’d love to see it / I’d tell all my friends but they’d never believe me / They’d think that I’d finally lost it completely / I’d show them the stars and the meaning of life / They’d shut me away / But I’d be alright / Alright / I’m alright / Alright

You can call a great band “a great band”—but what of a band like Greta Van Fleet? Well, maybe? Isn’t a bit late for Pitchfork to be flying the banner for rock ‘n’ roll? Who am I to judge, but when it comes to rock ‘n’ roll, I ain’t no spring chicken. I’ve seen a few shows. Been at it, livin’ and breathing it…yep, all the way.

At some point this week I felt seasick and stupid. But I heard Ty Segall’s cover of, “Class War,” an old Dils song, and it reminded me of early days. The summer of ’77, much of it spent at my dad’s attic apartment in Pacific Heights, San Fransisco. How my old man landed in SF in the ’70s is a long story.

For most of his 84 years dad’s been a die-hard New Yorker, but there we were—father and son in the Bay. I was 16 and had recently discovered Max’s, CBGBs, and punk rock. Thirsty for it, I combed all the SF newspapers and record shops for clues and landed on Broadway in North Beach at a cool club called The Mabuhay Gardens. It was a place in time. It was there I saw The Dils—they were not much older than me and could barely play a note. They were a cool combination of pissed off and just having fun. They also looked amazing and left a lasting impression.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

I don’t fit in, but I don’t feel bad / You can’t miss a feeling that you never had / I know it’s a sham, but it seemed so real / And what I had to be, isn’t who I am / You see / The man I see (man I see) / He would never dream (never dream) / I just took the life (took the life) / They handed me (handed me) / I remember this like it was (like it was) / Yesterday (yesterday) / Even though it now seems (now it seems) / So far away (far away) / I’ve learned much more than he’ll ever know / So what do we do now, and where do we go?

Last weekend I had a melt down. It came about at a red light on Riverside Bloulevard in Sherman Oaks. Yeah, I lost my mind in “The Valley!” It came from a bowl of Frosted Flakes. Indeed, my son was eating a full bowl of cereal in the back seat of my car and when I came to a stop, that fucking bowl flew and pasted the back seat of my ride. I was smack in the middle of a Kellogg’ss nightmare sopped in sugary milk. Frosted Flakes sprayed and pasted to perfection.

Was this what my life had to come to? I was so angry and confused I drove home and went to back bed. I felt a void and was too tired to sleep. It was like I lost a part of myself. I had lost my dreams.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

So help me, please doctor, I’m damaged / There’s a pain where there once was a heart / I’m sleepin’, it’s a beatin’ / Can’t ya please take it out, and preserve it / Right there in that jar?

Thank god for doctors. I was so very proud of myself for scheduling a check up appointment with a new one this week. As some of us know, it’s not easy finding a doctor in this town.

I stumbled on this cool office of young docs. It’s fairly out of town (somewhere close to Rancho Cucamonga). Hey, close enough—but I mixed up the time and missed my appointment Wednesday. Ugh, I was bummed, disoriented, and temporarily trapped by LA morning freeway traffic.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Before I jump ship, for cooler shores, may I gently close this account of ours? / Through all that I know and have loved is inside, I’m just losing faith in these costly times. / And I pray for your health and your peace of mind but God must know I just want you by my side. / And the mornings I’ve woken and sought your warmth / If only I’d held you and told you before / But I’m no fool, my heart is just exposed, I’m just weathering the flows / And I’m not the man you thought, I suppose, you leave me tender to the blues…

I stumbled upon this brilliant lyric from British singer/songwriter James Yorkston. I love pockets of music. Folky Brits like Yorkston and Badly Drawn Boy from the early 2000s. Pre-metal hard rockers like Sabbath, Captain Beyond, and Blue Oyster Cult from the early ’70s

As I start to care less and less about 2018’s gaming and reality TV culture, I find myself in search 2018’s musical “pocket.” This year has its harsh vibe, I call it a “poor high.” It’s also had touching, heavy, and beautiful moments.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

I’ll slash them cold, I’ll kill them dead / I’ll break them gooks, I’ll crack their heads / I’ll slice them till they’re running red / But now I’ve got the running gun blues…

I heard there was a car chase on Mulholland Drive yesterday morning. From what I understand the vehicle in question was burning Mulholland rubber while in hot pursuit by the grip of blazing LAPD squad cars.

The chase feels like a fitting metaphor for the Fall of 2018. I mean why stop running? Which brings up some recent, rocking cultural moments—last summer’s brilliant film Baby Driver, Tom Cruise’s full-on sprint in this summer’s enjoyable MI6, and free-running, the new action sport inspired by American Ninja Warrior.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

I want some magic to keep me alive / I want a miracle; I don’t want to die / I’m afraid that if I go to sleep I’ll never wake / I’ll no longer exist / I’ll close my eyes and disappear / And float into the mist

I’m as Jewish as a Jew can get, but due to my wife and son’s mix of Cherokee Indian blood, I refer myself and our immediate family as “schmohawks.” Hey, I consider myself as spiritual as the next dude, but I don’t really follow religious protocol on holidays.

On Wednesday for Yom Kippur, I did reflect and pray for long lost friends and think upon the path ahead. I didn’t exactly fast either. I ate very light, sweet cantaloupe and almonds, drank coffee, and drove to Topanga Canyon to visit Jacknife Lee’s studio.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Where did you go when things went wrong baby? / Who did you run to / And find a shoulder to lay your head upon? / Baby wasn’t I there? / Didn’t I take good care of you? / No no, I can’t believe you’re leaving me / Stay with me baby / Please, stay with me baby / Ooh, stay with me baby / I can’t go on

Through the years the Idelic Hour has served as my diary, my inspiration, and my mental salvation. Being in the music biz, in recent years I’ve often had to explain my taste in songwriting. Yeah, “for sure” I can appreciate and enjoy a lyric that gets you out to Target to buy a new mop as good as the next industry “creative,” but for my hour of listening, the words need to mean more. A grand lyric can be a pipeline to the soul, transporting a listener from a mundane life to a state of bliss. Plain and simple, great songs keep me going—I ain’t kidding.

Serious shit man. “The lyric” rules, and is commonly the source of my assorted weekly Idelic muses. In fact today, September 14th, is a date that holds a special place in my heart. The lyrical “baby” come to mind. In its slang form,”baby” is a magical rock ‘n’ roll word as it has been for decades from the first delta blues singers—it’s a soulful cry to a lover.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Waves of desire / Waves of desire on the earth / Come down to the swimming pool / I can be the one / If you can be the one / If you can be the one one / Then I can be the one…

Howdy from LA. I would say school is finally back in session, but our kid is already on week #4, in the principal’s office, and in trouble!

I’ve always had challenges with short weeks after long holidays and why shouldn’t my kids? This short week was no exception. It started out with some computer problems, and by Wednesday I felt like I was shot out of a catapult.

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The Best of The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Amame dos veces, nena / amame dos veces hoy / amame dos veces, chica / me estoy llendo lejos / amame dos veces chica / Una para mañana una para tan solo hoy / amame dos veces / me estoy llendo lejos…

As I sit to write, it’s deep into the night of Cinco De Mayo. Honestly I was pretty moody until I had tacos for lunch yesterday. It’s funny how a simple thing like a song or plate of tacos can teleport me to serenity. Props to the Candela Taco Bar on La Brea for keeping the old family tradition of the “cinco celebration” alive. The Candela’s warmth and hot sauce flipped my day.

This week the Idelic Hour is celebrating “el cinco” as well. In many ways it’s a predictable theme for the hour’s playlist.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

You’re a no good heart breaker / You’re a liar and you’re a cheat / And I don’t know why / I let you do these things to me / My friends keep telling me / That you ain’t no good / But oh, they don’t know / That I’d leave you if I could / I guess I’m uptight / And I’m stuck like glue / Cause I ain’t never / I ain’t never, I ain’t never, no, no (loved a man) / (The way that I, I love you)

Lyrics like these have always crushed me. Something about the way a southern black woman sings about her love for a,”no good, cheater man.” The words just stick to my soul.

The news about Aretha’s passing hit right about the time I was cutting this week’s show. A true queen of soul, she was a marvel from a miraculous time in music history. Fame studios, Rick Hall, Jerry Wexler, and of course The Swampers. For me, they are all magic.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Why do we never get an answer / When we’re knocking at the door / With a thousand million questions / About hate and death and war? / ‘Cause when we stop and look around us / There is nothing that we need / In a world of persecution / That is burning in its greed

Questions arise as summer boils over on our ninth day in a row of 99 degree temperatures. Yes, the question is, “What is the question?”

Well kind of? I mean it’s too fucking hot for almost anything let alone thinking. Except maybe music, beer, water, and the beach. Of course a day out fishing would be nice.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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