Author Archives: Jon Sidel

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Every time just like the last / On her ship tied to the mast / To distant lands / Takes both my hands / Never a frown with golden brown

Golden brown, finer temptress / Through the ages she’s heading west / From far away / Stays for a day / Never a frown with golden brown

As Jon, the editor of The Vinyl District knows, I tend to dig chatting about the weather. It’s a habit that runs in both my wife’s and my family. I’m not exactly sure if there is some symbolic, underlying meaning to this heritage. I guess we’re just passing time or interested in the weather?

Well, so how is the weather?

Here in LA? It’s mostly pretty good, think you!

In fact this past week the weather has been magical. That was up until this morning—there’s a fire burning in Porter Ranch about 20 miles northeast. If not for this morning’s slightly smoky haze, today would be absolutely “golden.”

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

I was nowhere / Till you changed my mind / Love is sent through being good to you / Then you were somewhere / Somewhere hard to find / Only what you always were, it’s true / I’m looking for an open door / Where I can sit, and play in peace with you / Tomorrow changes / Fields of green today

Smack in the middle of the Jewish high holidays—according to the ancients, this the year 5780. To this, Jews say “L’Shana Tova.” Its basic translation is “good luck dude!”

Musically, today’s Idelic Hour set has been very satisfying. Honestly in a week of crazy energy, I wasn’t thinking of music, new or comfortable. I felt far off. As October 1 rang in, I reached for The Doors’ first album. There is something about that album that goes with the quality of sunlight in southern California in October. It’s almost as if it’s now part of my DNA.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Fare you well, my honey, fare you well my only true one. / All the birds that were singing are flown, except you alone.

Going to leave this brokedown palace, / On my hand and knees, I will roll, roll, roll. / Make myself a bed in the waterside, / In my time, I will roll, roll roll.

In a bed, in a bed, by the waterside I will lay my head. / Listen to the river sing sweet songs, to rock my soul.

We lost Robert Hunter this week. It’s nuts to say he was an underrated songwriter—I don’t know if there is a more fanatical fanbase than the Grateful Dead, but for me it wasn’t that Hunter was the greatest songwriter or that I’m a Deadhead in mourning.

What got my Idelic brain motoring about this week’s hour of songs was that Hunter was a poet at a time when great poets united with magnificent troubadours. As fortune would have it, Hunter met Garcia, the banjo man from Menlo Park. The two closely follow in the footsteps of Bob Dylan; writing meaningful words put to music.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Oh help me make it / I know that you can / Oh the power of a woman’s love / Can change a man / You can make me feel as cold / As I hold nothing / Then I get a warm feeling / When you treat me like your best friend

You can lift me on up / Make my spirits fly high / But oh how you drag me down / I’m not ashamed to cry / Oh help me make it / I know that you can / Oh the power of a woman’s love / Can change a man

Have you ever heard the expression, “stay out of your own way?” It resonates for me some days. A few weeks ago an old friend sent me a self-help book. I think my wife is reading one too called The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck. I hear that’s pretty “fine?”

While driving earlier in the week, my Spotify on a random shuffle took me to “Autumn Sweater,” an old Yo Le Tengo record. What a great tune. It got me thinking—self help is kind of a sweater for the soul? What the?

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

It’s Friday the 13th with a full moon on the rise—and I gotta say, I’m in a pretty celebratory mood. I’ve dug the fall in LA. The light at sunset is heavenly.

Tomorrow we’re throwing a party for my wife. It’s a special birthday, and I’m happy to report I think I got it all together. The spot, the cake, the card, the gift—and yeah man, the Sidels have the music! If you have the moon and the music on your side? Fuck it, just rock and have a party!

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

You make a tape / I receive it in the mail / And I force myself busy / The diversion will prevail / And I will swallow all my guilt / With little pills and forge my chin up / And I will only think about it in the morning / In the bathtub

Every now and then The Idelic Hour needs to go to what we call “a rerun.” Over the last couple of weeks there has been a lot of running around, and in the midst of all of my “back to school activities,” I caught a wicked summer cold.

A 100 degree fever with a cold sucks, so instead of rushing to the mic to cut an Idelic Hour before we all blow for the long weekend, I thought I’d take the Labor Day weekend off.

I was thinking to start the Idelic fall season, it would be nice to kick it off with a record or two that came out in the Obama era. So the first records of the set are from 2011 and 2012.

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The Best of Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

“That first summer of my recovery was one of the most beautiful I can remember, perhaps because I was healthy and clean, and I began to rent some trout-fishing days for myself, mostly on stretches of water in the neighborhood that had been specifically stocked for local fisherman… Fishing is an absorbing pastime and has a Zen quality to it. It’s an ideal pursuit for anyone who wants to think a lot and get things in perspective.

It was also a perfect way of getting physically fit again, involving as it does a great deal of walking. I would go out at the crack of dawn and often stay out till nighttime… For once I was actually becoming good at something that had nothing to do with guitar playing or music. For the first time in a long time, I was doing something very normal and fairly mundane, and it was really important to me…”

Ask anyone who knows me. During the summer months I am fairly obsessed with fishing. I agree with Eric Clapton, it’s an “ideal pursuit” with a “zen quality.” Yes it does have its barbaric qualities, but going out to sea, killing a few fish, and eating them…it makes me feel like an ancient warrior. Humble, strong, at peace. True the chick might be hotter at Sushi Roko on Sunset, but filling your belly with a big tuna you slayed…

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

…And there was one guy there who kept asking me how does it are you sure feel and I / Didn’t even you don’t want to know how to talk about begin to answer what you’re / Experiencing that question and I just said so I just said no I don’t want to talk about it

So there I was, just another shitbag civilian / Afraid of the cops when I was outside, afraid of my friends when I was inside / And I grew tired of the scene / And then my dad showed up / And he was like / “Who are you to go against the word of our fathers?” / “Who are you? the scum of the earth” / No we are just we are just we are just teens of style

Tuesday was our son Jonah’s first day of 6th grade. Middle school here we are. Jonah was pissed that I was shooting pics and video, but I couldn’t help myself. It was too big of a landmark for this Idelic DJ to pass up a couple of snapshots.

I helped Jonah open his new locker, “…one to the left, two to the right…” Do you remember your old school locker? I had the same one for 6 years. Watching Jonah master his combo brought back a few memories… Emptying my locker for the last time and thinking about who would take it over next. How little they would know about me. Would they know about all the cool shit I stashed in there?

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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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