Author Archives: Jon Sidel

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Said I know what it means to get left for dead, / when the saints rise up at the sound. / When the spirits don’t move in / their chains and the shoes / and the crack of the guns all around. / I know how it is to get all dressed up, / where nobody would know where to go. / With a fifth in your vest, / and some pills on your tongue / and a gun looking out across / the Valley of the Shadow below, oh…

“Another pleasant valley Sunday…” I guess so? Not every day in the San Fernando Valley is pleasant, but I like to think they are. After all, the climate is changing these days.

Back when I first moved to LA, no cool soul went to—let alone lived in— the Valley. Hey, no one cool from New York lived or went to Brooklyn either. Now I’m not the only one avoiding “going into town” for the convenience of those wide valley boulevards. When we recently had the option of enrolling Jonah into middle school in either the Valley or Silverlake we choose…

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

It’s rare when I lack inspiration to go digging through record crates to find Idelic Hour inspiration—AKA: a playlist. This week’s source came from a Facebook post. My old Boston punk rock pal Johnny Angel reached out with the question:

What are your three favorite “cut out” albums?

My god, I hadn’t thought about “cut out bins” in a long time. In my mind they pre-dated used records, which I associate with California swap meet culture of the ’80s and ’90s. The cut out bin brings me back to NYC in the ’70s and the magic of record stores. There were five in the 2 block radius of my parents’ apartment on East 85th street.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

You got to try a little kindness / Yes show a little kindness / Just shine your light for everyone to see / And if you try a little kindness / Then you’ll overlook the blindness / Of narrow-minded people on the narrow-minded streets…

Today’s Idelic Hour muse is Dr. Generosity’s, a New York City Saloon from the ’60s and ’70s. My son turns 11 this weekend and I can’t help but day dream of the “big eyed” wildness of growing up in the untamed NYC of the 1970s. AT Dr. G’s there was sawdust on floor, barrels as tables, empty beer mugs, and of course poets and musicians.

It’s interesting digging through my crates—songs of kindness and generosity were “slim pickens,” but there’s plenty of tuneful doctor records to fill in the mix.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Sounds of laughter, here comes sunshine, smiling faces all around. / They possess you, bless you, sunshine, now you can never let them down, I say sunshine. / Sunshine, sunshine, is that a cloud across your smile or did you dream again last night? / It’s best you rest inside a while as blue doesn’t seem to suit you right.

Things ain’t what they used to be, pain and rain and misery. / Illness in the family and sunshine means a lot to me, I say sunshine. / But could it be Sunshine is drifting with midnight and lonely when everyone’s gone? / Blue crystal spirits and gardens in moonlight / Leave weak alone and bleak all quiet and grey by dawn.

Sunshine, sunshine rising to late to chase the cold and failing to change the frost to dew. / She’s trading her mood of yellow gold for frost bitten shades of silver-blue. / Friends and lovers past and gone and no one waiting further on, / I’m running short of things to be and sunshine means quiet a lot to me, I say sunshine. / Sunshine, sunshine…

Over the past several months I’ve been going to a show or two a week. It certainly has dawned on me that the kids are not really showing up at shows like they used to. To say it bluntly—it ain’t what it use to be for rock crowds in LA.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

1, 2, 3, 4!

You want a part of me / You want the whole thing / You want to feel something more than I could ever bring / You want it badly / You want it tangled / I want to feel something more than I was strangled / I fell in love with the sweet sensation / I gave my heart to a simple chord / I gave my soul to a new religion / Whatever happened to you? / Whatever happened to our rock ‘n roll? / Whatever happened to my rock ‘n roll?

Yep, it’s been many moons since I fell in with her, rock ‘n’ roll. “Despite all the imputations, You could just…” Well, you know. Have a fun and amazing life.

This said, it’s not as easy to find “our rock roll” these days. Even here just a few miles up from Sunset Strip. It’s cool though, rock ‘n’ roll will always have its days, and today with this playlist of Idleic records, I’m here to help rock on.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

The best of my years will go to you, / It’s the only thing that I can do, / But these things don’t come overnight, / Lovin’ you baby, I think I’m right. / Let me say before I forget, / Lovin’ you baby, it’s where it’s at yeah / Ya baby, look what you done for me, / Ya baby, you set my heart free, / Oh but I feel, yeah, yeah, yeah, I feel yeah

Over the weeks and weeks of many an Idelic Hour, I’ve often mentioned there is not a day that a love song couldn’t add something too.

As I was kicking back over the long July 4th weekend I reflected on things I’m grateful for. The constant that came to mind was Susan. Fuck man, my ol’ lady really takes care of us here, and this week’s Idelic set is love songs for my ol’ lady.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Once upon a time there was a tavern / Where we used to raise a glass or two / Remember how we laughed away the hours / And think of all the great things we would do

Those were the days my friend / We thought they’d never end / We’d sing and dance forever and a day / We’d live the life we choose / We’d fight and never lose / For we were young and sure to have our way

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

I’m writing this during a quiet and wet early summer morning. I’ll call this condition an “Idelic anomaly,” for when do we Sidels ever have a quiet morning and summer rain?

Yes, the first week into Summer. Jonah slept over at a friend’s, and it’s quite damp and serene here this AM. I had made this a short week by taking Monday off and heading down the coast and out to sea for a day of my beloved sport, tuna fishing. It was just what the doctor ordered—thirty-six hours on the open sea off the coast of Baja. In the morning the tuna start breezing by and by noon the sun was out and the sea laid down. By sunset we could have been on a glassy lake.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Holiday / Oh what a lovely day today / I’m so glad they sent me away / To have a little / holiday today, holiday / Holiday / And I’m just standing on the end of a pier / Hoping and dreaming you were here / To share my little holiday

Dear dad…being a dad is a trip. I think about “it” and therefore you much of the time—how our lives and kids happen and unfold. God only knows, but there is magic to it for sure.

Yesterday a friend and I were chatting about this new Clarence Avant documentary, The Black Godfather, and how, as a kid, his dad used to take him to sit in Al Glaser’s box at Yankee Stadium. It took me back to one of my earliest childhood memories—my old man taking me to see Mickey Mantle at Yanks. Yeah man, only magic a dad can make.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

No more pencils no more books / No more teacher’s dirty looks yeah / Well we got no class / And we got no principals / And we got no innocence / We can’t even think of a word that rhymes / School’s out for summer / School’s out forever

Vs.

So take the photographs and still frames in your mind / Hang it on a shelf in good health and good time / Tattoos of memories and dead skin on trial / For what it’s worth it was worth all the while / It’s something unpredictable, but in the end it’s right / I hope you had the time of your life

Ka-boom! Today is the last day of school! My kid graduated elementary school—that’s 5th grade. Here in California, public school is a big deal. Next year is middle school—big campus, big kids, and it’s gonna mean big ideas and big changes.

Back to the magic of the last day of school, the “DNA” of which has never left me. Arriving home, the changing of my uniform (yes, I wore a jacket and tie), and right to my stereo and bong. Blasting Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out” today is a tradition I truly enjoy. The guitar riffs transport me to the days of my sister’s 8 track quad stereo.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

See the dwarfs an’ see the giants / Which one would you choose to be? / And if you can’t get that together / Here’s the answer, here’s the key / You can freeze like thirty century man / Like a thirty century man / I’ll save my breath and take it with me / Till a hundred years and so / Shame you won’t be there to see me / Shaking hands with Charles de Gaulle / Play it cool an’ Saran wrap all you can / Be a thirty century man / You can freeze like a thirty century man / Like a thirty century man

I’m your man, man! Funny, my daughter sent me a photo saying she thought she was looking more and more like me? Fuckkkk that’s scary thought but it’s true…I am her man.

And yeah man, there’s a whole lotta wax and song about being a man, the man, your man, or “THE man.”

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

You gonna look fine / Be primed for dancing / You’re gonna trip and glide / All on the trembling plane / Your diamond hands / Will be stacked with roses / And wind and cars / And people of the past

The weather has been moody in LA this week. We’re used to a bit of Spring gloom (aka morning fog) but fast moving clouds, spring showers and cold? In May? Strange days indeed. I am happy to report that today is a glorious morning in the canyon. Crisp, clear, and quiet and although summer is not exactly in the “air,” we’re gonna act “as if” for this holiday weekend.

There is nothing like Californians on a three day weekend. We all have cars and plan to be on the go. Whether it’s surfing, BMX biking, fishing, hiking, hot air ballooning, ballroom dancing, or a renaissance fair—whatever—many us will pack the car head out and leave the changes of 2019 behind this weekend.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

You ride on the swing / In and out of the bars / Capturing moments of life in a jar / Playing with children / Acting as stars / Guiding your visions to heaven / And heaven is in your mind / Take extra care not to lose what you feel / The apple you’re eating is simple and real / So water the flowers that grow at you heel / Guiding your visions to heaven / And heaven is in your mind

Some pretty cool lyrics to be had about heaven.

Heaven is a truck / It got stuck / On the breeze / Asked the driver nicely / I need a lift? / I need release / The sand in the boats / On the rose covered floats / She is the queen of  / A canceled Pasadena thrill / (California) / I know arks can’t fly / I know the sharks / They don’t have wings / But lady you need some cold advice / About a few things / Loosen my dress / Tie me up just like all the rest / She is the queen of / A canceled Pasadena, thrill / (California)

Some call them “bits,” I’ll call ’em crumbs. It feels like I’ve been living off crumbs of late, but surely whoever is reading this should know we’ve got heaven’s crumbs up here in the LA canyons. You know, lil’ bits of life that make it all worthwhile. Sometimes you gotta search hard for them. I sometimes find them in a smile. Like the grin Steph Curry gave to his baby brother Seth in last night’s Warriors play-off game.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

When I was young, my mama used to say, boy / A woman’s like a flower with love on her you shower / Ever since that day, her words never went away / I always will remember to treat my baby tender

I guess my quote means that lessons from mom stick with ya?

I’ve spent many Thursday nights in my garage creating The Idelic Hour. I’ve often wonder why I sit, listen deeply and explore song. It’s only for a few hours, but songs open my heart and spirit. There, at that moment, all that is good, cool and groovy may enter.

Sometimes grabbing a muse for my playlists can spark a little journey of sorts. I hate to be predictable about it, but at the same time the “routine” gives me comfort. Fuck man, in a world that seems to spin faster and faster every week—bring it!

(By the way, did you get a chance to peek the new HBO mini series Chernobyl? Ugh! It’s great but intense.)

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

We are the Sherlock Holmes English-speaking Vernacular / God save Fu Manchu, Moriarty and Dracula / We are the Office Block Persecution Affinity / God save little shops, china cups, and virginity / We are the Skyscraper Condemnation Affiliates / God save Tudor houses, antique tables, and billiards

Preserving the old ways from being abused / Protecting the new ways, for me and for you / What more can we do?

It’s been two weeks since my last Idelic Hour episode. It doesn’t really seem that long ago, but the world is spinning so fucking fast. I feel like so much has happened, but maybe nothing has happened at all?

Can you tell what’s going down? Between Muller and my 24 year daughter, maybe there’s an answer? There is a ridiculousness to the social norms that I can only smile about. At the very moment I am determined to move into May with a blast.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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