Author Archives: Jon Sidel

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

I dosed and became invisible / A compilation of my dreams / Exploded in my sleep / Now there’s nothing left of me

I can’t seem to remember more than one or two Idelic Hours that landed on a Friday the 13th. I like number 13. After all, I was born on the 13th of December, so I can relate. I don’t find the number eerie or superstitious, just cool. This said, I grew up on the 12th floor of an apartment building in New York City and above us was the 14th floor—New York’s a city with no 13th floors. Strange thought but, does a 13th floor exist anywhere?

It got me thinking about a playlist of songs that are an album’s track number 13. To be honest, it’s too fucking hot in my garage to deal with digging for long player favorites in search of 13s. Instead this set pays tribute to track 13s of the future. Maybe the question is, will track 13s even exist in the future or simply become invisible? With streaming and millennial short attention spans, will  those “#13s” become as extinct as 13th floors themselves?

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Richard Swift,
1977–2018

Richard Swift is dead at 41. Because of my love for his “sad songs,” I’ve always felt our friendship was close. Well, special at the very least.

sorry, mr. swift / but there’s no radio / that likes to play the songs / of your lover’s sorrow / just sing us a jingle / and we’ll float you some bread / all it will cost you / is your heart and your head

sorry, mr. swift / but you’re much too fat / and could i persuade you / just to wear a cap? / i hope you forgive me / and i hope you forget / the hurt that i’ve caused you / that you can’t feel yet

It was Steven Melrose who brought Dickie by. I just started doing A&R and my bosses at Geffen were eager to have me sign a “great rock ‘n’ roll” band. They were the first in a series of “bosses” to nix my enthusiasm to do a record a deal with Mr. Swift.

When I first started dating my wife Susan, I was obsessed with a series of home demos Richard had given me. Many a morning we listened to his sad songs over coffee. We also attended a number of gigs, all with barely a soul in attendance. One memorable night we went to see Dickie at a fairly large ballroom on Los Feliz, then called The Derby. Aside from Dickie’s friend who drove him, the soundman, Susan and me, there was absolutely no one there. The three of us sat at a table and watched Dickie perform a mind bending set of songs, some that would later appear on Walking Without Effort, others from The Novelist.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

We got no high times, always flat / If you go out, you don’t come back / It’s all so funny I can’t laugh / Oh, perfect day / What more to say? / Don’t need no one to tell me what I don’t already know…

Next week July 4th falls on a Wednesday, and for the life of me I can’t recall a July 4th on a Wednesday. Honestly it’s a bit disorienting.

Are we open for business? Do I “fuck off?” Or do I wait until Monday? How upside down and perfect. Here’s a set up of perfect songs to BBQ to. Enjoy it all as it’s happening…

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

If it’s true that a rich man leads a sad life / N’ that’s what they say from day to day / Then what do all the poor do with their lives / On Judgement Day? With nothing to say

I’ve been beat up, I’ve been thrown out / But I’m not down, I’m not down / I’ve been shown up but I’ve grown up / I’m not down, I’m not down

So you rock around and think that you’re the toughest / In the world, the whole wide world / But you’re streets away from where it gets the roughest / You ain’t been there, oh

Well, I’ve been beat up, I’ve been thrown out / But I’m not down, I’m not down / I’ve been shown up but I’ve grown up / I’m not down, I’m not down

Yesterday was the summer solstice, and boy was I in a lazy mood. Believe you me, I wasn’t the only one. Seems like the entire office just wanted to lay around and watch the World Cup. And why not? What a fine way to prepare for last night’s midsummer’s night’s dream.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Dear Dad, don’t get mad, / What I’m asking for / Is by the next semester / Can I get another car? / This one here is sick’ning / On a wide dual road. / I might as well be walking / As to drive this old Ford.

Those who know…know. Parenthood is a trip. So I’m throwing myself a little playlist party and dedicating this week’s Idelic Hour to me. Yes me, fucking daddy-O! ‘Cause in this here 2018, daddy needs a break.

To all the dads out there, why not grab a bite of your favorite food and maybe head out. Do something for yourself? I might just cruise down the coast, jump on a fishing boat, and head out to sea for the day.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Would you like to say something before you leave / Perhaps you’d care to state exactly how you feel / We said goodbye before we said hello / I hardly even like you, I shouldn’t care at all / We met just six hours ago, the music was too loud / From your bed I gained a day and lost a bloody year / And I would like to know / How do you feel, how do you feel? / How do you feel, how do you feel? —Summer ’68

I woke up this morning to the news that Anthony Bourdain died. It’s hard to believe that someone who seemed so cool to so many would kill themselves. That’s fucked—really fucked—but onto another point.

This guy was a true 21st century hero—kinda like the Joe Strummer of food and reality TV in a sense. In some ways a down to earth guy, interested in all walks of life but also an intellectual, and yes… A HUGE INSPIRATION!

I mean, this fucking guy made our culture, and so many lives, so much better. It’s like we all knew him (didn’t we?). Since his arrival on TV I’ve often wondered if I had spent a long night drinking with this guy in ’80s NYC. It’s not actually that far-fetched?

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

She eyes me like a Pisces when I am weak / I’ve been locked inside your heart-shaped box for weeks / I’ve been drawn into your magnetar pit trap trap / I wish I could eat your cancer when you turn black

Hey! / Wait! / I’ve got a new complaint / Forever in debt to your priceless advice / Hey! / Wait! / I’ve got a new complaint / Forever in debt to your priceless advice / Hey! / Wait! / I’ve got a new complaint / Forever in debt to your priceless advice, your advice

It’s certainly not Valentines Day here in the Canyon. In fact “June gloom” has come early. Mornings have been a bit cold, dark, and foggy—far from what you might expect for end of school ceremonies. Here in our nest our hearts have kept us warm.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Give me time to realize my crime  / Let me love and steal / I have danced inside your eyes  / How can I be real / Do you really want to hurt me  / Do you really want to make me cry / Precious kisses words that burn me / Lovers never ask you why

It’s late in the canyon. Well, late for me I guess. Shit my days have changed. As many of my friends know, I’ve had a trying 2018. This last week was as stressful as any.

The “really” good news is, as I listen to this week’s Idelic Hour, I realize I have a few key things—family, friends, and rock ‘n’ roll.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

In the perfumed armpit of time / Develop a debt now / These people are bricks / Six feet stones wrapped up and bowed / Such disappointment when the paper is ripped / So I stand still, boring and bored / Fetching my eye again / Against the wall…

I’m back in my Laurel Canyon garage, back at it again. After a couple of weeks off from The Idelic Hour, I’m back in the garage, “sticking around,” listening to cool songs, and thinking…likely thinking a touch too much.

In truth, not much and everything has happened in the last two weeks. I can’t remember an Idelic Hour of late where I wasn’t dedicating a song to someone who has “bought the farm.” File under: paying more attention since Bowie died. Well, how can you not? Especially in light of ”big brother” Trump and Spotify.

This week my phone died. I woke up and my device, “my buddy,” was simply dark. I went to Best Buy and purchased a replacement. When I turned it on, it asked me if I wanted Google to reinstall my apps. Within a few hours my entire life was restored. It was a creepy magic.

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The Best of The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

My love must be a kind of blind love / I can’t see anyone but you / Sha bop sha bop / Sha bop sha bop / Sha bop sha bop / Sha bop sha bop / Sha bop sha bop / Are the stars out tonight / I don’t know if it’s cloudy or bright / I only have eyes for you dear / Sha bop sha bop

Love has to be greatest muse of all time. I’m not sure if love gave birth to song or vice versa. The topic must be the first playlist of all time: Serial # 001. I believe I intuitively create a “lover’s set” at the “change” of each season.

This Spring’s lovers playlist was inspired by a couple of new covers that dropped on the internet this week. First my ears catch Kevin Morby’s Flamingos cover, and then Beck’s warm rendition of Elvis’s classic tipped the scales for a set soaked in a dreamy, romantic vibes.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

In these times of contention / it’s not my intention to make things plain
 / I’m looking through mirrors to catch the reflection / that can’t be mine / 
I’m losing control now I’ll just have to slow down a thought or two / 
I can’t feel the future and I’m not even certain that there is a past…

I’m not totally sure what I believe in these days. Are you? I hate to blame it on the state of politics, but who knows?

Yesterday we had a “brown out” in the canyon. Man, that “browning” flipped a switch. Nothing worked. There was no charging devices, mobile service, or internet. No way to call and check and no fucking hot water. Fuck man, I had to take a few deep breaths and pray everything would be OK. For the most part it was. I lost a couple of hours of time, but thinking back, it wasn’t so bad.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Well, I saw Uncle John with long tall Sally / He saw Aunt Mary comin’ and he ducked back in the alley oh baby / Yeah baby, woo baby / Havin’ me some fun tonight, yeah, ow / Well, long, tall Sally / She’s built for speed, she got / Everything that Uncle John need, oh baby / Yeah baby, woo baby / Havin’ me some fun tonight, yeah…

Long Tall Sally, what a grand ol’ dame in the history of rock ‘n’ roll. She stands tall against the test of time. I imagine her as long woman, drinking a pint of whiskey, sweating it out on a juke joint dance floor.

Who sweating up with dat gal? Little Richard, Bumps Blackwell, or Enotris Johnson? Two of ’em must be slipping and a sliding in rock n roll heaven tonight.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Oh help me Jesus / Come through this storm / I had to lose her / To do her harm / I heard her holler / I heard her moan / My lovely daughter / I took her home / Little fish, big fish, swimming in the water. / Come back here, man, gimme my daughter. / Little fish, big fish, swimming in the water. / Come back here, man, gimme my daughter.

For years The Idelic Hour has featured a Coachella inspired setlist for the drive out to Indio. Coachella, the grandaddy of California music festivals, begins today. I wouldn’t want to poop a party, so I won’t.

Between and before Eminem and Beyonce there are a dozen or so well-selected young rock bands playing Indio over the next two weeks. Thee Oh Sees, Cherry Glazerr, Snail Mail, The Drums, Goat Girl, War On Drugs, and Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever to name a few.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

We’re only making plans for Nigel  / We only want what’s best for him / We’re only making plans for Nigel / Nigel just needs this helping hand / And if young Nigel says he’s happy / He must be happy / He must be happy in his work…

Written by bassist Colin Moulding of the British new wave band XTC, “Making Plans for Nigel” is a New Wave classic. The song comes from the point of view of a parent. To be honest I can’t really remember making too many “life plans” in my early 20s.

This said, I did make “nightlife plans” daily and I dare say notoriously. As I’m putting together this week’s set I’m procrastinating thinking about how, as we’ve grown older, we tend to always be making serious plans. Ugggh…what a revelation. “What’s your plan?” Every day, with everything.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

She rides unclothed through the streets of Coventry / Upon a great cockhorse hair to her knees / I wore a Minotaur’s Mask and I played the Moon Cow / I was the last to see her anyhow / No one’s gonna lay eyes to see / Lady Godiva and me…

Easter break in the canyon finds us driving south to Long Beach for Passover. Years ago “Passover in the OC” would have seemed like a strange thought, but in 2018 it will be a relief. I’m grateful to have the fellow Sidel/ Fineman/ Berman clan within 50 miles of us.

Also this week, visiting from Thailand, we had my brother and sister-in-law staying with us. Our family has become a fun and yummy melting pot of cultures. Sometimes we function like a herd of kittens, but we try to give ourselves purpose. Props to my uncle Elliott and cousin Elisa for making this weekend special for the kids. Hopefully they won’t get too carried away with egg hunts and video screens.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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