Author Archives: Jon Sidel

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Cottage Grove!

Today I woke up at Sweet Springs Family Farm in central Oregon. When I first arrived Wednesday I entered the property as I would a home in the canyon—walking in through the facade and observing my AirBNB accommodations much like a hotel room. It wasn’t until the next morning, after a very strong pot of coffee, did I begin to explore my surroundings.

This isn’t my first time on a farm. Around 15 or so years ago I lived with a real deal farmer from Kansas. She convinced me to visit her family for a few days—I think she had to beg them not to put me to work in the fields. I was game and they would have me, except I couldn’t drive a tractor. (On a real farm everyone works at least six days a week.)

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

My makeup is dry and it cracks round my chin / I’m drowning my sorrows in whiskey and gin / The lion-tamer’s whip doesn’t crack anymore / The lions they won’t fight and the tigers won’t roar / La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la

So let’s all drink to the death of a clown / Won’t someone help me to break up this crown? / Let’s all drink to the death of a clown / La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la / Let’s all drink to the death of a clown

The old fortune teller lies dead on the floor / Nobody needs fortunes told anymore / The trainer of insects is crouched on his knees / And frantically looking for runaway fleas / La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la

Last Sunday I dropped my eight year old son off at the bus for his first trip to sleepaway camp. It’s an exciting rite of passage. That morning both Jonah and Susan were in quite a state. It was like a Super Bowl Sunday with the entire Sidel family blasting onto the Rose Bowl field, confetti bombs blowing in the wind! Mom was trying make sure every detail was packed while Jonah was jumping out of his boots waiting for the whistle and the opening kick off.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

I need a shelter / I need a friend / Someone to hold me / To lend a hand

Grateful to be home sipping bulletproof coffee on a beautiful canyon morning. I’m listening to a fresh Idelic Hour set cut last night thinking I’ve been a bit out of sorts on the show of late. It started weeks ago when my computer started to run at a snail’s pace. After I installed a new hard drive, I couldn’t get some of the software I used to make the show work. Then I hit the road for Europe. I did manage to get a show out of my Paris hotel, but due to several factors (one being jet lag) the set did not include any new records. I’ll call that show a postcard from abroad.

Since getting back from Europe life has been challenging. I started my trip with a sore shoulder and by last weekend I couldn’t throw a baseball. Later on I got into a freak accident and snapped the tendon in my left middle finger. I can no longer throw or catch a baseball! Typing and driving are a drag. In short, I have the “broken finger blues.”

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Paris!

How do you think it feels / When you’re speeding and lonely / Come here baby / How do you think it feels / When all you can say is: If only / If only I had a little / If only I had some change / If only, if only, only / How do you think it feels / And when do you think it stops? / How do you think it feels / When you’ve been up for five days / Come down here Mamma / Hunting around always – ooh / ‘Cause you’re afraid of sleeping / How do…

As we all know, Paris is truly an amazing place. It can be difficult to navigate, but if you can manage to get the cover of “friends,” the city is a treat.

It’s been ten days since I stepped off a jet in London. There have been moments when I’ve felt lost, but in truth I’ve been on a mini tour/promo run with folk singer Sean Rowe. London by rail to Brussels, then by car to Antwerp, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Berlin, and now the great city of Paris. Folk shows in old churches mixed with a few hootenannys in small clubs along the way, I’ve felt a personal obligation to shake my jetlag and blast an Idelic Hour from my journey.

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The Best of The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

It makes a long time man feel bad / Yeah, it makes a feel so bad / Sometimes I hear you call my name / In the dead of the night, yeah

Yep, some days I feel like a “long time man.” Well, that’s because maybe I am, or soon to be. I’m not a prisoner, as referred to in the old prison song, but there’s a saying, “the road narrows.”

Today marks several occasions and “road signs,” a couple of which I will not write about. I have my superstitions. All I will say is one is a miraculous accomplishment and the other one is a bit touch and go. One thing I will mention with great joy, today in this canyon and much of LA—it’s the last day of school!

Yep, school’s out! FUCK YEAH to that!

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

So how hard can it be (how hard) / To share your love with me? / How hard can it be / To rise with me each morning / How long it feels like / We will live forever / But I fear / That time can hide the years / Like we were never here / So hold on tightly my dear

Before we disappear / Before we disappear

I wouldn’t exactly call Chris Cornell a good friend. The last time I saw him was at the old A&M, now Hansen, studios. I walked in and we had a rare laugh. Chris had been telling producer Brendan O’Brien he didn’t know me. Upon my entry with a laugh he called out, “Oh shit, Sidel—I do know you!” and gave me a big hug and a smile.

The weeks prior to that encounter I was doing double duty. While putting together my Idelic Hour playlist, I was combing through old singles looking for ideas for Chris’ upcoming album of covers. One or two of the song ideas I sent along to Brendan got cut, and most of the records I sent only made it onto that month’s episodes.

At “A&M” we sat and listened to Chris’s covers and I blabbed about obscure soul producers, my love for Jerry Ragavoy, and lyrical themes like “I’d rather have a cheatin’ man than no man at all.” That hour at A&M I was very “idelic.” The encounter will likely pop into my head when I hear Soundgarden for quite some time to come.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

This week’s playlist ponders, “If only I could just get over the hump.” Oh man, some days feel like such a climb—just getting over that fucking wall. It’s likely god’s joke. After all, what happens when you do?

That’s probably what John Kay must be thinking each year when The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducts some lame ass ’80s band. Who could be cooler than the band who “popped a lot of pills” and made the music for Easy Rider?

You know I’ve smoked a lot of grass / O’Lord, I’ve popped a lot of pills / But I mever touched nothin’ / That my spirit could kill / You know, I’ve seen a lot of people walkin’ ’round / With tombstones in their eyes / But the pusher don’t care / Ah, if you live or if you die

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TVD’s 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!

Blind man running through the light of the night / With an answer in his hand, / Come on down to the river of sight / And you can really understand, / Red lights flashing through the window in the rain, / Can you hear the sirens moan? / White cane lying in a gutter in the lane, / If you’re walking home alone.

Don’t let it bring you down / It’s only castles burning, / Just find someone who’s turning / And you will come around.

When I started DJing on the “radio,” I loved the idea of visualizing a muse to play for. My first theme was driving through the desert at night. Along these past seven or eight years, I’ve based most of my Idelic Hour playlists off some kind of a theme—it’s often a hunch or just a loose concept that briefly enters my conscious being.

Making these radio hours has been an interesting mental exercise. I’ve always wanted the sets to be unpredictable, loose, and spontaneous. In the beginning on KCRW I was far from this, but part of my growth as a “selector” has been to understand what this hour of music means and how to manage it.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Moons and Junes and ferries wheels / The dizzy dancing way you feel / As every fairy tale comes real / I’ve looked at love that way / But now it’s just another show / You leave ’em laughing when you go / And if you care, don’t let them know / Don’t give yourself away / I’ve looked at love from both sides now / From give and take and still somehow / It’s love’s illusions I recall / I really…

For as many Aprils as I’ve been doing the Idelic Hour I’ve been play-listing and dedicating sets to two subjects: the weather—coming from the east coast, I miss the rain of April showers. After all who doesn’t talk about the weather?

And yes, there is Coachella—my great and enduring enthusiasm for the mother of all American festivals! Deep below its roots is the original Lollapalooza and below it, ’80s seeds like the LA street scene and my club Power Tools. I’ve often said that the festival is what’s cool about Southern California in one weekend.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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