Category Archives: TVD Los Angeles

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

We found a new kind of dance in a magazine / Tried it out, it’s like nothing you ever seen / You sweet talk like a cop and you know it / You bought a new bag of pot, said, “let’s make a new start” / And that’s the way to my heart / The way to my heart / That’s the way we get by / The way we get by

Not sure what to lead off the new year /new decade with. “Howdy y’all,” or “What the fuck am I gonna do?” So of course I’ve taken the question to the godz of rock ‘n’ roll and song and came up with an Idelic muse. Oh yeah, it’s this week’s Idelic Hour playlist muse: “Anything I can get, I’ll fucking take it!”

Over this past month of “holiday hibernation” two things came to mind while listening to music. First one, of course, my obsession with new bands, artists and songs. What sound will be next and who and where are the next rock stars?

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TVD Live Shots: Styx at City National Grove, 1/14

I’ve seen well over a thousand concerts in my lifetime but had never seen Styx live. For me, Tuesday’s show at City National Grove was a performance I won’t soon forget. You’d never know that this band is approaching the big 5-0 by the way they slayed a nearly 3 hour, 21-song set. It was as if all in attendance were magically transported back to the late ’70s during Styx’s Pieces of Eight Tour. If I could give this performance an 11, I would. It was that good.

What more can be said about Styx that has not already been said over an illustrious career that started back in the south-side of Chicago in 1972. Sure, the band has gone through some changes over the years, however the spirit of Styx remains and continues to pump out new music and phenomenal live performances like no other. Tuesday’s show in Anaheim was simply incredible and highlighted why this band remains atop the altar of classic rock and roll.

Styx kicked off their set with “Gone, Gone, Gone” off 2017’s critically acclaimed release, The Mission. It was Styx’s first single off the album and the first featuring Lawrence Gowan on lead vocals. Gowan’s vocals were crisp and combined with an incredible stage presence launched their performance into hyperdrive deep in the heart of Orange County. This show was going to be fun.

Over the next 2+ hours, Styx captivated the near-capacity crowd with classics that spanned their entire catalog and then some. Tommy Shaw took the controls on hits like “Too Much Time on My Hands” and “Blue Collar Man” and even teased an acoustic version of Damn Yankees’ “Come Again” prior to launching into 1976 classic “Crystal Ball.” Shaw was on point throughout the entire set with crisp guitar licks and amazing vocals that are second to none.

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TVD Live: Jesse Malin with Ryan Adams and Chuck Prophet at the Hotel Cafe, 1/9

What was already a pretty nifty small club gig—with New York rocker Jesse Malin and his band headlining a show also featuring Chuck Prophet at Hollywood’s Hotel Cafe turned into something more notable when the guest stars started coming in during Malin’s encore.

First there was Richard Bacchus of his old band D Generation—together they did “Capital Offender,” the only song from that outfit Malin played all night. But then a puffy, wild-haired, bespectacled rocker in flannel came out. It was Ryan Adams, on stage for the first time in nearly a year, when a New York Times story alleging sexual misconduct made him drop out of sight—the first major #MeToo reckoning in the rock world. Plans to release the first of three albums he announced he’d put out last year were dashed by his record company. Three equipment companies withdrew endorsements.

But Malin stayed a friend to Adams, inviting him on to play what turned out to be five songs from The Fine Art of Self Destruction, the 2003 solo debut from Malin that Adams had produced and played on. It was also the first album Adams ever produced. As Adams careened around the stage, playing mostly rhythm and adding the occasional harmony vocal, they played “Queen of the Underworld,” “Wendy,” “Downliner,” “Solitaire” and the suddenly ironic title song—a big boost to Adams fans who cheered the return online the next day.

The appearance seemed a bit different tonally from the rest of the set, with otherwise concentrated on the album he recorded out in Los Angeles with Lucinda Williams and released last year, Sunset Kids. Malin, at 51, carries the mantle of New York rock traditions dating back to Dion, with a tough guy demeanor and a heart of gold. With his newsboy cap and thin frame, he can churn up the rock with his band, but also slow it down for an acoustic confessional. As a performer, he’ll jump on the drum stand, abandon the stage, wander through the crowd and end up standing on the bar in the rear of the room — all while still connected with a wire; no wireless microphone for this guy.

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The Best of The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

And if you turn up the dream to cure yourself free from searching for a new afterlife / The purpose of life, you know there’s still time to tune into the right side / Well I assumed that we were lovers yesterday / The turning tide that that love us to pray / You know what I would do if I were you

As The Idelic Hour says hello to 2019, I’m blasting into the year like a rocket to Russia. ’18 is gone and I haven’t met a soul who’s missed those recent days.—although it’s fairly pathetic how much Mr. Donald is trying ruin everyone’s new year.

Fuck it, fuck him, and anyone with a sour word or note. If it’s cold, let’s turn the heat up, swing and shake it up until the punch is sweet.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

What can I say on this Friday the 13th?

It’s the final Idelic Hour of the decade and my birthday! I’m so old—my number looks too weird to write. Another bookmark in my rock ‘n’ roll journey. It’s been weird and truly wonderful. Let’s carry on into this second decade of the this new millennium. What a trip it will be.

Thank god for all the musicians and songs that made “the teens” sometimes cool and sometimes bearable. Also thank to all who have checked in and listened. And of course Jon Meyers, props my friend rockkkk!

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TVD Live Shots: King Diamond with Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats and Idle Hands at City National Grove, 12/3

On a cold and dreary Tuesday night in Orange County, King Diamond conjured up the spirit of Abigail in front of a packed house in Anaheim, CA. Fans from all walks of life were in attendance to witness his ghastly sermon and nobody left the venue disappointed. It was a masterful show from one of the all-time legends of black metal and one of the best shows I’ve seen this year. All hail King Diamond!

I can remember hearing “Melissa” for the first time as a teenager and was immediately hooked on Mercyful Fate and their lead singer, King Diamond. Their music was like no other at the time and pushed all conceivable boundaries, mixing dark themes of Satanism and the occult with raw, unadulterated metal. King Diamond’s unmistakable falsetto was one of a kind and still lives on in infamy some 45 years later. Tuesday’s show would definitely be one I would cherish as a lifelong fan.

Opening for King Diamond were two bands that I highly anticipated seeing live, Portland’s own Idle Hands as well as legendary English rockers, Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats. Each band was unique in their own right and killed their respective sets. I’d definitely be down for seeing them both again the road as their brand of no-frills rock and roll resonated with me as well as others at the City National Grove on Tuesday evening. Definitely a breath of fresh air for sure and one I won’t soon forget.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Goin’ back to the time when I didn’t need a thing / Just the tappin’ of my foot and a little song to sing / That’ll do just fine / Yeah that’ll do just fine / And maybe? / Tell me where I go, tell me where I come / Take me anytime you like hon’ / Take me as I am or as who I might become / Never ever ever goin’ back / Never ever ever goin’ back…

In a meeting this week, my music biz boss mentioned that “December is a weird month.” Tyler was referring to how the holidays effect the ebb and flow of the our business in the lead up to them.

In truth, everything I’m doing has been effected by the practical and emotional understanding that the year—and in fact the decade—is coming to a close. I often wake up feeling like a marathon runner coming to the end of a tough race. I seem to wage an internal struggle between hope and remorse. As 2019 draws the decade to a close, hope is winning—thanks to music. Its sounds literally inject my DNA with love and compassion.

These last few weeks I’ve been listening intensely to all the of the songs that have helped me make it through 2019. In fact, many of them are songs from the last ten years. And, in my 50s, I often ask my myself questions.

Where has it all gone?

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TVD Live Shots:
Bauhaus with Azam
Ali at the Hollywood Palladium, 12/01

As the dust settled, I took a moment to soak in what I had just witnessed and walked back to my car speechless. This show was brilliant on so many levels and highlighted the sheer genius of Daniel Ash, Peter Murphy, Kevin Haskins, and David J. For fans in attendance, the performance on Sunday night was magic of a type that won’t be replicated any time soon.

I’m not sure there are many other bands who have been more influential for other bands than Bauhaus. Formed in 1978, Bauhaus were true pioneers of gothic rock and set the stage for all who came afterward. Nine Inch Nails, Korn, and Tool (just to name a few) have cited Bauhaus as a significant influence upon their music, and this will come as no surprise to those who have followed the band since its inception. Their style was unlike anything in music then or now, and they continue to push the envelope 40+ years later.

On Sunday night, Bauhaus once again sold out the Hollywood Palladium for what was sure to be a show for the ages. Opening the evening was Azam Ali, and although I had never heard her music prior, I definitely wanted to hear more after her set concluded. Azam’s voice was beautifully haunting and the perfect fit for the evening. Her cover of the Cocteau Twins’ “Shallow Then Hollow” was spectacular and demonstrated that all covers need not sound like covers—Azam made it her own and shined in the process.

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TVD Live Shots: Bloc Party at the Hollywood Palladium, 11/19

PHOTOS: JULIA LOFSTRAND | Britain’s NME voted Bloc Party’s Silent Alarm the best album of 2005 when it arrived in stores, yet in March, NME asserted that Bloc Party’s “Silent Alarm” tour will be worthless without its original line-up.

Yes, it’s true original drummer Matt Tong was replaced by Louise Bartle and bassist Gordon Moakes has been replaced by Justin Harris, but frontman Kele Okereke and guitarist Russell Lissack are permanent fixtures in Bloc Party’s DNA. Lissack is solely responsible for creating the aggressive and fun experimental guitar sounds that separate Bloc Party from the pack. Songwriter Okereke with his unmistakable British, soulful punk voice could never be replaced. All that is Bloc Party starts and ends with him.

Bloc Party has often been a band mired in controversy. Liam Gallagher once dubbed them “indie shits,” seething with obvious envy over their rapid success. As such Okereke has had an ongoing public feud with Gallagher, intellectually navagating the situation. In 2005 Kele was outed by the media—as a gay black man fronting one of the biggest post-punk revival dance bands in the UK, he’s been fighting racism and complacency ever since. Despite the tension, one thing has remained constant: Bloc Party hasn’t faded away like so many other acts and they’re still selling out venues.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

I’m on, I’ve never burned brighter / How’s the wine where you live? / Bet it’s expensive / One day we’ll share a glass together and ride the dunes / I’m writing too / There’s a definite vibe / You can’t be pure and in love / In the corner in blue / Is my name (In the corner)

It’s a very cool morning in the canyon. Not to sound like a “Californian,” but now that Mercury has gone out of retrograde, it feels like the angels will allow winter to proceed. And my my, this week we had a lot of electronic devices go haywire around here.

All said, we head into turkey week. Let’s celebrate and be grateful with some of the best news of 2019: Part 2 of my annual countdown of favorite “Idelic Hits”—the songs and/or artistry that made life just… way better dude!

I won’t write too much about 2019 this morning, but I will tip my cap to the Idelic Artist of 2019.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

(In good faith) Rocks are buried beneath tons of earth / To become diamond / (In good faith) With the gift of the sunlight / The kudzu vine goes climbing / (In good faith) Instruments play songs / Brought forth from the minds of their makers / (In good faith) These vibrations resound / Bringing union and joy to all takers

(In good faith) We open our eyes / To a parade of first morning’s breaking / (In good faith) We pray what we see and we hear / Might be ours for the taking / (In good faith) We rise every day / And we will ’till our golden star bursts / (In good faith) We open our hearts / And say, “Lord, do your best, do your worst”

Shortly after last week’s Idelic Hour posted, I started thinking about my year-end list. After all, this is the end of the second decade of the second millennium! Not only do we need a year-end list for this end of the decade, but we need an end of the decade list. Wow!

I guess I have a little time to gather my thoughts about 2019. This last decade…wow…IT’S A LOT TO CHEW ON! I better start now.

First thought: So much has changed since the dawn of this decade when I started posting and doing this online radio show. I guess the greatest gift of the whole experience has been to share music. Sometimes I do give a fuck who is paying attention, and THANK YOU because so many of you have. The act of sharing music is part of who I am, and this is the week I’m on my annual journey, flipping through my music files (the record crates in my mind), compiling and organizing my favorite songs released this year. I’ve noticed in past years I’ve seemed to average about 60-80 artists and/or songs that have made the year…

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TVD Live Shots: Peter Hook & The Light with Night Dreamer at The Wiltern Theater, 11/9

Peter Hook & The Light’s show on Saturday night at The Wiltern was by all accounts brilliant. His masterful covers of both New Order and Joy Division classics transported fans back in time to what many felt was the true beginning of electronic music as we know it today. It was a throwback show for the ages that reinforced all that’s good in music today and one I won’t soon forget.

If you know anything about me, you’d know that there is a special place in my heart for electronic music. I grew up with artists like Kraftwork, Depeche Mode, and Gary Numan and believe they collectively rewrote musical history with their unique style of post-punk/electronic music. New Order was another such band that blazed unchartered territory in the early 1980s, with incredibly catchy songs that many think of as the soundtrack of their youth.

On a crisp Saturday night in DTLA, Peter Hook & The Light took us all back in time to relive those amazing memories with a stellar set that transcended time. Opening the evening was the debut of Los Angeles based duo, Night Dreamer. Guitarist Jeff Schroeder (of Smashing Pumpkins) and vocalist extraordinaire Mindy Song kicked of the evening with a performance that was completely unexpected for an opener and really, really good. Their on-stage chemistry was amazing, and I could immediately see stars in the making throughout their powerful 30-minute set.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Don’t get my sympathy, hanging out the fifteenth floor / You’ve changed the locks three times / He still comes reeling through the door / One day I’ll get to you / And teach you how to get to purest hell / You do it to yourself you do / And that’s what really hurts / Is you do it to yourself,  just you

When I think of health food I think of my dad. He was the first vegetarian I ever met. In truth it would be almost a decade before I came across another veggie. In the ’70s people thought you were crazy if you ate brown eggs, nuts, dried fruit, and raw milk.

For most New Yorkers, health food made its screen debut in Woody Allen’s Anne Hall. Woody lunching at The Source Cafe on Sunset seemed absurd, but for many Sunset strip, health food, and driving in convertibles made a lasting impression.

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TVD Live Shots:
Twenty One Pilots and MisterWives at the Staples Center, 11/1

Columbus, OH based duo Twenty One Pilots bought their highly entertaining and theatrical show to Los Angeles’ Staples Center last Friday. “The Bandito Tour” is in support of their fifth studio album Trench, which was released last fall and has been recognized for its musical diversity and thoughtful lyrical content.

The band consisting of drummer Josh Dun and frontman Tyler Joseph had a humble and grassroots start to their career back in Ohio. They’ve managed to quickly climb the pop and rock charts over the past few years, with critical acclaim and support from die-hard fans all over the world.

The sold-out Staples Center was buzzing with excitement from the crowd that had lined up hours before the start of the show. Many of the young devoted fans known as the “skeleton clique” were decked out in Bandito-theamed camouflage outfits highlighted with strips of yellow and the band’s signature red and black beanies and bandanas.

As the curtain rose, shrieks of elation and anticipation filled the 21,000 seat arena. Joseph and Dun appeared on stage standing side by side on a giant car, illuminated by a single torch. Opening song, “Jumpsuit” set the pace for a whirlwind of explosive energy. Confetti rained down over the crowd and lights beamed through the room like giant light sabers. Joseph energeticaly ran back and forth across the stage and effortlessly leaped off of his piano. Dun’s drumming was highlighted as his riser elevated off the ground.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

This is more than I wanted / Take me out of the dark, I roam there / Cold and black, you’re out of touch, yeah / Lightly falling through a whisper, you’re scared / It’s the weight of the world, I know, as I’m struggling to be / It’s the weight of the world, I know, as you were mine, and we will find…

I can’t seem to remember the last time Halloween fell on a Thursday. For most of my life Halloween has been my favorite holiday—maybe it’s the “nightclubber” in me? After all, it is the darkest of holidays. Now as I’ve moved into my post “nightlife” days, when I think of Halloween I think of past events—from trick or treat, to rock concerts, to partying with John Waters or Susanne Bartsch.

This Halloween I got a random text from my old friend Jimmy Gamillia. As I was thumbing back and forth, a light bulb went off about the night Jimmy dragged me to go see Frank Zappa at The Palladium (in NYC). I was a 16 year old punk rocker thinking I was too cool for Zappa’s annual Halloween bash (circa ’70s!). Jimmy was dressed as a jailbird with a rainbow afro! The crowd was outrageous and high as fuck. Zappa was jamming. It was a Halloween like many…like no other! Thank you for that Jimmy!

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