Category Archives: TVD Los Angeles

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

I want to live at / The Holiday Inn / Where somebody else makes the bed / We’ll watch TV while / The lights on the street / Put all the stars to death / It’s been on my mind since Bowie died / Just checking out to hide from life / And all of our problems, I’m gonna solve ’em / With you riding shot-gun, speeding, ’cause fuck the cops

And you, you must have been looking for me / Sending smoke signals / Pelicans circling / Burning trash out on the beach

These days I rarely compile The Idelic Hour on a Tuesday. Monday I was feeling under the weather. Although we tried to stay out of last weekend’s “smokey conditions,” my body felt heavy and slow to start the week.

By Tuesday I was feeling back to par and spent most of the day in my cozy office, working away at the hustle of the 21st century music business, drinking coffee and eating delicious vegetables from my beloved Hollywood Farmers Market. The thought dawned on me that both “smoke” and “Tuesdays” have a fair share of tunes. I nonchalantly threw a few tunes on a playlist. My mind went from “Smoke on the Water” to a childhood favorite from The Platters. Then from “Ruby Tuesday” to Bowie’s Deram Records classic “Love You Til Tuesday.”

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TVD Live: Bastille
and Joywave at the Greek, 10/12

PHOTOS: JULIA LOFSTRAND | In these troubling times Bastille’s music feels like an antidote. Their simple tales of love, heartache, joy, and doom resonate with people worldwide. And it makes sense. Daniel Smith, the group’s lead singer and songwriter, has an English language and literature degree, and is an adept storyteller. They are out on this current tour supporting the release of their latest album, Doom Days.

Openers Joywave, an indie synth pop quintet from Rochester, NY played their entire set in matching neon yellow shirts and Adidas sweatpants preparing for a few up-and-coming shows where they will headline. Opening for Bastille is no easy task. Not that there isn’t enough talent in the world because there is, it’s just that their originality is hard to match. Smith, known for his fascination with film (every Bastille album cover resembles a movie poster) brought stage production values to this tour. Songs were played to easily movable sets much like a Broadway show, each song having its own space to tell its story.

The new album, Doom Days, focuses on our planet’s undeniable nihilistic condition, a theme constant for Bastille. Smith told the crowd that while making the album, they set out to create something optimistic but invariably created something depressing. They opened with a “Quarter Past Midnight” the first song off of Doom Days, and played material from each of their three studio albums including “Of the Night”—a brilliant mashup cover of two 1990s dance classics: Snap!’s “Rhythm is a Dancer” and Corona’s “Rhythm of the Night.”

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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 Live Shots:
Geoff Tate’s Operation: Mindcrime, Mark Daly, Fire Sets Fire, and Jump for Joey at the Canyon
at The Rose, 9/29

Seeing Operation: Mindcrime performed live was just what Doctor X ordered on Sunday night. The venue was packed, the band was tight, and fans were treated to one of Geoff Tate’s best vocal performances in recent memory. It was if we all time-traveled back to 1988 to partake in one of the best rock operas of all time.

If you know anything about me, you’d know that I am a huge Queensrÿche fan and have been since I first watched “Take Hold of The Flame” debut on Night Tracks back in 1984. I’d stay up for hours watching this video on rotation and have been a fan of the band ever since. Who would have thought that almost 35 years later I’d be covering Geoff Tate, one of my childhood idols? As an added bonus, I’d be witnessing a complete performance of arguably one of the most iconic concept albums of all time, Operation: Mindcrime. This was going to be one special night at The Rose, and I was lucky enough to have a front row seat.

Opening the show were a trio of bands hand-picked to warm up the Pasadena crowd and each kicked some major ass. Opening sets by Mark Daly, Fire Sets Fire, and Jump for Joey were all unique in their own way and seemed to energize the near capacity crowd with their own brand of rock and roll madness. My favorite of the three was Irish singer/ songwriter Mark Daly. His thoughtful lyrics and constant engagement with the crowd stood out to me and couldn’t help but compare his amazing voice to that of an early Kurt Cobain. No doubt I’ll be digging into his catalog in the days ahead.

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TVD Live: Incubus and Dub Trio at the Santa Barbara Bowl, 9/26

PHOTOS: JULIA LOFSTRAND | Driving an hour and half north of Los Angeles along the PCH, California’s coastline road, is a cool thing to be doing. Traveling along this infamous route to see Incubus’ 20th anniversary of the Make Yourself album at the Santa Barbara Bowl? An even cooler thing to be doing.

Openers Dub Trio, a longstanding instrumental group from Brooklyn consisting of guitarist DP Holmes, bassist Stu Brooks, and drummer Joe Tomino, took the early concertgoers on a tour of ska, punk, and metal. They’re a band that has long flown under the radar, but their members can be heard separately contributing to albums from many of hip hop and rap’s greats, such as Tupac Shakur, The Fugees, Mos Def, Common, and even Lady Gaga.

As the day turned to night, a 10-minute documentary appeared on screens highlighting Incubus’ journey from the album that dropped them into the mainstream. 1999 was at the forefront of the burgeoning electronic and rave music scene, and Incubus as an up-and-coming rock band was impacted by the new cultural milieu—a topic touched upon in the documentary. DJ Kilmore has always been an influencer within this band, fusing electronic elements with whichever genre of rock they have decided to explore over the years.

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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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TVD Live Shots: The National with Alvvays at The Greek Theater, 9/2

PHOTOS: JULIA LOFSTRAND | Alvvays is an indie dream pop band based in Toronto and fronted by the enigmatic Molly Rankin. I wasn’t too familiar with Alvvays’ music prior to the show, however Antisocialist and Alvvays, their two recorded albums to date, have produced a substantial amount of catchy music with an even stronger live presence.

In an interview with She Shreds magazine, Rankin said that for both albums she had listened to a lot of The B-52’s, Dolly Mixture, Felt, and The Cocteau Twins—the combination morphing into something familiar yet uniquely their own. Rankin’s voice is airy, the vocals are substantive, and for me, the band feels like an amalgam of post-punk and pop. It’s hard to capture how good this band is live and they definitely won me over. It’s no small accomplishment to keep a crowd engaged before the band they came to see, but Alvvays stood on their own here, and by doing so really set the stage.

By the time the band changeover was finished, every empty seat was filled at the Greek Theater, the smaller sister venue to the The Hollywood Bowl which is nestled inside Griffith park. It’s a venue within a forest—a respite from the chaos of the city and a beloved summer venue among Los Angelians.

This was my fifth time seeing The National here in Los Angeles and I am not alone in frequency—I heard one guy say this was his 57th National show. This band has a cult following much like the traveling fans of Phish and Dave Matthews Band, and despite forming in Cincinnati this show felt like a homecoming for them. I am not sure if it was the intimacy of the venue or the giant spruce trees looming around us, or the unusual amount of time that lead singer Matt Berninger spent in the crowd, but it was apparent that we all felt connected and the vibe was just right.

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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 Live Shots:
Young the Giant and
Fitz and the Tantrums
at the Forum, 8/10

PHOTOS: JULIA LOFSTRAND | Feel good pop music continues to appeal to the masses. The Forum, an imposing piece of architecture in the heart of Inglewood, is a legendary Los Angeles venue built in 1967 to resemble a Roman Coliseum by the same firm that built Madison Square Garden. The Forum is a prestigious venue to play. But last Saturday, at a venue that has seen everyone from The Eagles to Diana Ross, modern indie pop music prevailed.

Not entirely sold out but close to capacity, the crowd was a mixture of families, fashionistas, and low-key people sporting Vans and Hawaiian shirts; hints to a more laid back Southern California lifestyle. The young children in attendance signaled a night of youthful and joyous, spirited music that only concerned parents would permit their children listen to. I was singing “Shout at the Devil” by Mӧtley Crüe at 6-years-old but hey…we all have different experiences and tastes in life, and that’s just what this show represented.

The night seemed a little motley too. The Nashville trio COIN, who define their music as pop songs with rock instrumentation in an interview with Billboard magazine opened the show and played their most popular hit to date “Talk Too Much.”

Fitz and the Tantrums took the stage bringing the kids to their feet as they danced to the band they no doubt came to see. But it wasn’t just the children who loved this 18-song set, the entirety of the arena sang along as Michael Fitzpatrick and Noelle Scaggs, the vocal duo of the group, powered through the high-energy Motownesque dance songs they are known for.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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