Author Archives: Jon Sidel

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Don’t call me home, little sister / Before the night is done / My love and I are fleeing / Running into the sun. / Turn to fly, go away / Little bird, please don’t stay / Fare thee well. / Take up all your jewels and gold, / Bury them away in the earth. / Let your memory reduce them to dust / But don’t forget the knife that was thrust. / Turn to fly, go away / Little bird, please don’t stay / Fare thee well.

Today is my sister Evan’s birthday. We are two days less than a year apart, and for the last 48 hours I’ve been teasing her. It’s a tradition that has lasted a half century, and who knows beyond.

This week our little “now not so private” brother and sister joke, combined with events in Alabama, has made me feel upbeat this morning. In the light of 2017 I’ll take anything I can get. So happy birthday sis, and thanks for always leading the way, except for B Days that is.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

2017’s best of “Idelic Hits” #’s 1-20 | Kevin Morby, Kurt Vile and Courtney Barnett, The Clientele, Childish Gambino, Aldous Harding, Randy Newman, Protomartyr, Father John Misty, The Jesus & The Mary Chain, Queens of The Stone Age/Ty Segall, Culture Abuse, Together Pangea/Orwells, War On Drugs, Fleet Foxes, Wolf Alice, King Krule, Phoebe Bridgers, Psychic Temple, St. Vincent, Everything Is Recorded

The other day a respected colleague told me that he felt I was a bit “lost.” Indeed in 2017 I can take that point to heart. After all I’ve been the music business for over twenty-five years, the last seven of which I’ve ended my week by posting a carefully curated playlist of songs in the form of an FM style radio hour. Each week I enthusiastically followed that post by singling out one newly released song. Every Friday for the last seven years I’ve proclaimed those records as “finds,” or as I like to call them “Idelic Hits.”

Why? I’ve clearly lost my mind. My wife gave up years ago trying to convince me that I was spending too much listening to and posting music. Why be so passionate about new music? After all, don’t we live in a world with an attention span of fifteen seconds? I have to say I often do feel a bit lost. Music has always lead the way for me. Buying records used to be an obsession. Now I’d rather share a song than buy one. I’m clearly not treading the road on “bloody red shoes.”

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

2017’s Best of “Idelic Hits” 40-21 | Resistance Radio/Sharon Van Etten, Corey Becker, Laura Marling, Sean Rowe, Susanne Sundfor, Peter Perrett, Bedouine, Arthur Ahbez, The Weather Station, Mac Demarco, Resistance Radio/The Shins, Jimmy Lumpkin & The Revival, JD McPherson, Waxahatchee, Liminanas & Anton Newcombe, Alex Cameron, Ariel Pink, Chicano Batman, Starcrawler, Ron Gallo

Throughout the Thanksgiving week I listened intently to all of the new releases I had compiled through the course of making episodes of The Idelic Hour in 2017. As I lent a thoughtful ear I could not avoid a “where’s the meat?” feeling. It’s been no surprise that in this town 2017 has been more about Spotify numbers than a soulful chorus or a memorable hook…but still?

Compared to all of the years I’ve been compiling year-end “best of” lists, 2017 is unparalleled. I dare to say it, but 2017 is the weakest year for music in my entire lifetime.

I know, and I’m fucking old!

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Cubscouts are screaming, / Needing icescreaming and all the pleasures of June / I’m in a parked car. / Flowers seem friendly and people in hall ways feel walls. / Now it is night time maybe we’e cruising avoiding the anti-cruise. / Oh I don’t really know where we are. / If things get real promise to take me somewhere else, / By the time fear takes me over will we still be rolling and feeling oblivion.

(I’ve always loved a great British lyric to take me to a far away imaginary place.)

On another note, last week Jon from The Vinyl District reminded me that due to the holiday schedule I only had four Idelic Hours to go before year’s end. My reply was something to the effect of… “I know.”

For some years now, bloggers have been creating their “Year End” lists earlier and earlier in the year. The standard rule of thumb these days might be the week after Thanksgiving. In this day and age someone always knows better than me.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Stranger from another planet welcome to our hole / Just strap your guitar and we’ll play some rock n roll / But the money’s is good / Just get a grip on yourself

It dawned on me a few weeks ago that 1977 was 40 years ago. It’s rather obvious, but for some reason it’s just finally sunken in. Honestly I’m in a bit of shock. ’77 was the year when punk rock and I came of age. I was 15 at the time—obsessed with punk rock 45 singles and pretty much bought every record of the era. Punk was more than just music. I listened to every lyric and read every “zine,” and I BELIEVED in every note and every word. I took down all my rock and Bruce Lee posters and replaced them with British punk posters I used to buy from Bleecker Bob’s—the Clash, Sex Pistols, The Buzzcocks lined my walls.

I remember explicitly embracing the concept of being 15 and being PUNK. I knew I had missed the ’60s, but “77”—that was my movement and I held it tight. I went to every punk rock show of note in New York City that year and the two after. When I visited San Francisco for six weeks that summer I went to the Mabuhay Gardens and saw The Nuns, Crime, The Screamers, Weirdos, the Dils, and The Avengers. I flipped tables, tossed chairs, and showed the SF punks how us New Yorkers throw a bottle at a band.

“No, you don’t throw it at the band, you throw it against the wall to the side!”

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

This is how the world will be / Everywhere I go it rains on me / Forty monkeys drowning in a boiling sea / Everywhere I go it rains on me / I went down into the valley to pray / Everywhere I go it rains on me / I got drunk and I stayed all day / Everywhere I go it rains on me

On last week’s show I played a bunch of records about “darkness,” and spoke about voices in the wind. I’ve said it before and still I have to say it again—I kinda like talking about the weather. Some days that’s the best we can muster.

After the excitement of Tuesday night, trick o’ treating with a pack of boys and watching the LA Dodgers make it to a game seven of the World Series, Wednesday was a bummer. Los Angeleno families were let down hard by the World Series outcome. It’s not just that the Dodgers lost, it was a dreadfully boring and hopeless defeat we suffered through. We even hear a Dodgers player’s house had been burglarized during the game. Thursday I woke horribly drained, negative, and grumpy.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Be careful ‘Cause I’m an ax Victim / Hung up on these silver strings / Like Wings / Like time machines… / Like voices in the winds

Voices in the winds? I’ll say. The weather here in the canyon this week has been classic pre trick o’ treat—dry, windy and hot as fuck. Dirt, ash, and fairy dust fill the air. Blood boils and cauldrons brew toward Hallow’s Eve. We are, after all, in the city of angels and it’s the season that kicks up the magic around these parts. And the nights become dark. Darker than dark.

Although I’m obviously feeling the magic today, I’ve sidestepped this year’s Halloween hype. Is it me or has it been a bit low-key year this year? Maybe the shadow of 2017 is softening the “boo” out of trick o’ treat?

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

At my house I’ve got no shackles / You can come and look if you want to / In the halls you’ll see the mantles / Where the light shines dim all around you / And the streets are paved with gold and if / Someone asks you, you can call my name

Staying positive and keeping one foot in front of the other has been my mantra this week.

I have to also stay watching The Yankees hasn’t hurt my old New York “bones” either. I know, I know—The Dodgers are “the Canyon” team of choice, but as a child I grew up rooting for the “pin-stripes” in October. In fact, I’m one of the few folks you’ll meet who stormed Yankee Stadium’s field after the Bronx Bombers won the 1977 World Series.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

I saw a tweet that Connie Hawkins died the other day. Having grown up in New York City on an asphalt basketball court, the news set me back. It seems every week in 2017 has come with some bitter news. Why would a Friday the 13th in 2017 be any different?

Last week’s passing of Icarus Line guitarist Alvin DeGuzman at age 38 was depressing too. This week’s news was not really as sad as it was nostalgic. This week’s Idelic Hour goes out to those of us who played hoop before there were leather Nikes. When it came to the slam dunking on the school yard in New York City, Connie Hawkins was ground zero. My “yard.”

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

So future boy where are you from my time machine crashed over yonder / Syphillis is a bitch but contracting HIV is much worse. / Why are you pushing info into me, / I have no need for it, I’m from the stars. / I thought you’d like to know the scoop / I’m taking babies back with me, yeah. / I’m taking them back home / so they can see there’s a much better place. / I’ve got a sister with an open mind and my friends are all junkies / But there still my friends, as long as they don’t use monkeys, / We enjoy the heat of stolen days in the summer of ’93. / Well the future boy said I’ve got friends but you know sometimes / it all depends on how tall they are against yourself. / I am the future boy / My friends have all gone and left me / so I decided to come here and see myself as a baby, / but it looks like I? stuck here this time, oh shit, /I’m gonna miss my friends. / No you’re still the future boy, / Yes I’m still the future boy / We’ll build you a time machine to get back home. / Still the future boy. / Well I’m still the future boy

Fall has always been a time of new bands and new music. This week’s Idelic Hour plays like a 2017 fall preview from the golden age of college rock. Maybe this weekend some of us will take a night to a see a band or catch a cool flick. I woke up thinking of those dreamy days when friends grabbed electric guitars, got loaded, and had some fun.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

I wandered home though the silent streets / And fell into a fitfull sleep / Escape to realms beyond the night / Dream can’t you show me the light? / I stand atop a spiral stair / An oracle confronts me there / He leads me on light years away / Through astral nights, galactic days / I see the works of gifted hands / That grace this strange and wondrous land / I see the hand of man arise / With hungry mind and open eyes / They left the planet long ago / The elder race still learn and grow / Their power grows with purpose strong / To claim the home where they belong / Oh, to tear the Temples down… / Oh, to change…

Last week I found myself in Montreal, Canada doing my “thing,” visiting a young rock ‘n’ roll group and some friends in the French and French Canadian music biz. At times I found myself among a crossfire of animated French conversations.

Occasionally I would hear someone at the table blare out my name in French, “Jean Sidel!” In those moments I took the time to sit back and soak it all in, snap a photo, and enjoy this stop on my rock ‘n’ roll journey.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

I never felt magic crazy as this / I never saw moons knew the meaning of the sea / I never held emotion in the palm of my hand / Or felt sweet breezes in the top of a tree / But now you’re here / Brighten my northern sky. / I’ve been a long time that I’m waiting / Been a long that I’m blown / I’ve been a long time that I’ve wandered / Through the people I have known / Oh, if you would and you could / Straighten my new mind’s eye.

I saw an article on my Flipboard that some are predicting tomorrow (Saturday) will be the end of the world. (If it’s true, there really won’t be anyone reading my Idelic Hour column!)

Hey man, I’m gonna side with the Jews and say it’s time to ring in a new year. I’m not really sure where we’re all heading, but I for one am going to continue putting out positive vibes. Yep, and the Idelic Hour is where I’m starting my day!

This week I found myself digging through crates for old soul records—some cuts more obscure than others. The goal, to lift hearts in solidarity with folks suffering harsh conditions in Mexico City, down south, and around the world.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Music City, USA!

Last Sunday morning, the sunshine felt like rain / The week before, they all seemed the same / With the help of God and true friends, I’ve come to realize / I still have two strong legs, and even wings to fly / So I, ain’t a-wastin time no more / ‘Cause time goes by like hurricanes, and faster things

By the time the “IH” publishes today I’ll be on the ground in Nashville, Tennessee. It’s my third, maybe fourth, trip to The Nash for The AMAs, an annual gathering of all things music biz flying under the banner of Americana music.

In the past what’s been surprisingly cool about the conference is an awards ceremony held at the legendary Ryman Auditorium. Indeed, The Grand Ole Opry has a dope vibe—the old wooden floor boards and church pews just soak up that gee-tar twang.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

You were my sunny day rain / You were the clouds in the sky / You were the darkest sky / But your lips spoke gold and honey / That’s why I’m happy when it rains / I’m happy when it pours

As I often do, I pulled my most recent column up to take a scan before writing a new one. I gotta say, reading my weekly recap before summer break was a touch unnerving. It was only a couple of summers ago that the world seemed like such a nice place.

Is it me? Where has our world gone? There’s no reason to get angry or “even”—I’m gonna reach deep into my soul and send out some positive vibes and think of all my friends on the Gulf Coast. I hope to see you—warm and dry—next week.

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The Best of The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

I got back from NYC last Friday evening to some of the warmest nights I’ve ever experienced in LA. It’s truly been more than a wild Indian summer. To cool down I’m still listening to the sounds of the streets of New York. I’ve always loved the month of October in NYC. The Autumn brings out night owls, and oh how those night owls thrive in the Big Apple.

It comes down to reality / And it’s fine with me cause I’ve let it slide / I don’t care if it’s Chinatown or on Riverside / I don’t have any reasons / I left them all behind / I’m in a New York state of mind…

This week is the annual CMJ music festival in the city. Although the actual CMJ conference is not what it used to be, the lure of a gathering of indie rock tribes is still very appealing.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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