Author Archives: Jon Sidel

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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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

It’s not a case of doing what’s right / It’s just the way I feel that matters / Tell me I’m wrong / I don’t really care / It’s not a case of share and share alike / I take what I require / I don’t understand / You say it’s not fair

August 3rd. It’s certainly a big day for us Sidels. ‘Twas ten years to the day our major dude Jonah burst onto the planet! It’s mind blowing having a kid and so fucking much has happened since. Changes, changes, changes…and sometimes shit staying the same. This last decade has been intense.

One thing is for certain—there is a PARTY going on here in the canyon tonight! Game’s on ten! All knobs pinned to eleven! Oh man, crazy hot nights.

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The Best of The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

When I dove into this week’s Idelic playlist, I was not sure what this episode was about. As I write, it’s become clear—these songs and the bands that make them—are about me. Ha yes, it’s my form of a diary and this is what’s going on.

I’ve been to a ton of shows and dealing with a ton of people. Yes, my “rock ‘n’ roll journey” continues. There was some good news, sad news, and the in-between. Another friend (actually two) have died too young.

I could be sad, yet those feelings were washed away when I sat with my old friend Tom and his dad who just turned 98 years old. Fuck man, Florence and Allan Surgal are still a happy couple at 97 and 98 years old. That is as psychedelic as seeing Tame Impala from the fifth row as I did just the other night.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

I, I wish you could swim / Like the dolphins / Like dolphins can swim / Though nothing, nothing will keep us together / We can beat them, forever and ever / Oh, we can be heroes just for one day / I, I will be King / And you, you will be Queen / Though nothing will drive them away / We can be heroes just for one day / We can be us just for one day

Some days you just can’t take life too seriously. I’m not sure what the Existentialists would have said about the state of the world today, perhaps “absurd.” Yeah, that’s the thought behind this mix.

Heroes too, and I’m not talking just deli sandwiches. Rock ‘n’ roll needs new heroes, but today I’ll just take a few great songs in a row to get me down the road.

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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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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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