Category Archives: TVD Los Angeles

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Arms never get on top / You heed that notion and you’ll drop / I will not be one of the watchers / I will not disappear / Time gets to me and I / Wonder how to simplify / You know you should be blushin’ / To a hue of Robitussin / Flow / Men are scum, I won’t deny / May you be shitfaced the day you die / And be successful in all your lies / In the winter time (in the winter time) / When you get down to it / You wanted to / Do you think you got the nerve? / It doesn’t take much nerve / Just kiss yourself metaphorically / And open the door and piss if you need to

I’ve always joked that bloggers have the Devine Right to make best of lists. For my second to final show of the year, I spin my best of—and declare an “Idelic Hit” of the year.

Although it’s often both a group and a song, I define these “IH’s” more of an “act of rock ‘n’ roll cool” than a best of. For 2018, I’m giving it to Steven Malkmus. It’s not that “Middle America” is just a great and timely song, but it’s the kind of song that has “lines” for the ages. In a year of catch and phone screens, thank god we still have a master of the songwriting who is still writing and singing brilliant words. I mean read ’em.

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TVD Live Shots:
Save Ferris, Mest, The Untouchables, and Hoist the Colors at House of Blues Anaheim, 12/1

Save Ferris is considered by many to be one of the most important ska bands of our generation. Fronted by the uber-talented Monique Powell, this band fuses traditional ska beats with an edgy punk rock attitude that has withstood the test of time and continues to sell out shows all over the country. Their performance on Saturday night in Anaheim was no exception as superfans lined up early for their chance to rush the barricade and get up close and personal with one of Orange County’s finest.

After incredible opening sets by Mest, The Untouchables, and Hoist the Colors (all who could have individually headlined shows of their own), Save Ferris took the stage and opened with an amazing cover of The Waitresses 1981 smash, “Christmas Wrapping.” This holiday classic was just what the doctor ordered to get the anxious crowd off their feet and skanking to the beat—officially kicking off the holiday season in typical Save Ferris style. For those in attendance, this show was already was shaping up to be an instant classic.

For the next few hours, the 2000+ fans who packed the Anaheim House of Blues were captivated by Save Ferris and their holiday infused setlist—standards that included hits “Goodbye,” “Mistaken,” and “Your Friend” off 1999’s Modified. The night ended with a brilliant encore including two fan favorites, “She Has a Girlfriend Now” and a cover of Dexy’s Midnight Runners’ smash, “Come on Eileen.” What an incredible way to wrap up an amazing set and a perfect way to kick off the 2018 Holiday Season here in Southern California.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Let’s face it, as a year, 2018 fucking sucked. Even music felt shadowed by dark politicians, mobile devices, video games, and apps. What’s an Idelic dude gonna do?

Well, basically rock the fuck on!

Over these next two weeks I’ll be playing 50 of my favorite songs of 2018. Compiling and listening my annual list has put a smile on my week. My hope is that it will do the same for you.

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TVD Live Shots:
P.O.D. and Nonpoint at Observatory Orange County, 11/20

Fans of all ages descended upon Orange County for P.O.D. and Nonpoint’s third and final stop in Southern California, and by all fan accounts the show was one of their best combined performances on tour this year.

From circle pits to crowd surfing and everything in between, those in attendance got their money’s worth as these two “nu-metal” heavyweights took the stage on a Tuesday night. Both band’s performances were raw, inspired, and seemed to transport their fans back to a time and place when all that mattered was the music. For me, that takes it to a whole new level and separates “good” live bands from “great” ones. These bands were the latter.

For those who have followed Nonpoint over the years, it should be no surprise that Tuesday’s show opening for P.O.D. would be one for the ages. The band, consisting of Elias Soriano (vocals), Robb Rivera (drums), Rasheed Thomas (rhythm guitar), Adam Woloszyn (bass), and BC Kochmit (lead guitar) left it all on the stage with an incredible 45-minute set in front of a near-capacity crowd.

Those in attendance were treated to Nonpoint classics such as “What a Day,” “Breaking Skin,” and “Bullet with a Name.” And if those were not enough, fans got to hear some killer tracks off their 2018 release, X, including “Chaos and Earthquakes” and “Dodge Your Destiny.” Both songs are amazing and even more powerful when performed by this group of killer technicians. If you have not picked up this album, do so. It simply rocks from beginning to end.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Sometimes my mind don’t shake and shift / But most of the time, it does / And I get to the place where I’m begging for a lift / Or I’ll drown in the wonders and the was / And I’ll be your guy, if you say it’s a gift

Ugh, ugh, ugh! First the shooting then the fire storm. Our “lucky” canyon is miles away but our hearts are close. Looking up and down our little havens in Laurel, Benedict, or Cold Water Canyon, one couldn’t help but think, “Oh man what a nightmare!”

It didn’t take long before a friend or co-worker was evacuated or lost a home. As the smoke crept toward our doors Saturday, I just wanted to crawl in bed and say, “Fuck man. God, let it be over.” Wasn’t that last week’s muse on 2018?

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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 on your guitar and we’ll play some rock ‘n roll

Post midterm elections, post Halloween, and post daylight savings time finds us fluctuating from light to dark daze here in the canyon. Spinning slowly one day to the next—one day it feels like a win, the next gridlock. Is it over yet?

Election day in the canyon was a joy however, our polling place being a local “idelic garage” with a scenic view of the city at the top of Nicholas Canyon. Politically, us “canyon folk” are as blue and left as anyone could be. Looking out over our cozy canyon homes, I couldn’t help but think about Trump’s red states. What came to mind was a memory of being on tour with Mötley Crüe in Amarillo, Texas. Waking up and looking out the window from my Holiday Inn room and thinking…

Get me the fuck out of here! Ha!

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The Best of The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

As I often note, The Idelic Hour—this hour+ “mixed” playlist of songs and this little column—is what I consider my “living diary.” As my wife and likely Jon from TVD knows, I often finish my “thoughts” early morning. Many Fridays I have nothing really to say—after all I’m really trying to connect to the universe through DJing an hour of songs, so often I just post some lyrics and fill a few lines. (Hey, that works.)

Today feels slightly different. Not because Chicago finally won a World Series. I mean, it was a great game, but I’m from “the coast.”

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TVD Live Shots: Tech N9ne with Dizzy Wright, Futuristic, and Anilyst
at the House of Blues Anaheim, 10/30

At the half-way point of his 2018 “Independent Grind Tour,” Tech N9ne conjured up his inner demons and unleashed them upon the thousands in attendance on Tuesday night. His “Pre-Halloween” performance at the House of Blues in Anaheim was simply brilliant and highlighted with exclamation points the incredible talent that this man possesses. Whether it be writing, rapping, or performing on stage, Tech N9ne continues to push boundaries that most artists would simply just avoid.

The first opener to take the stage on Tuesday was Fresno’s very own Anilyst. To say this guy was solid would be an understatement. Seff whipped the near-capacity crowd into a frenzy that would set the stage for the rest of the evening. After a raucous 20-minute performance, Arizona native Futuristic was up next. This guy was on fire during his 30 minutes on stage. And as fans were just beginning to catch their breath, Dizzy Wright took the stage and assaulted the crowd with a powerful set that literally rocked the venue to its core. This was independent rap at its best.

Finally, around 9:45PM, house lights dimmed and a short intro video signaled the start of Tech N9ne’s eagerly awaited performance. As the video came to an end, Tech made his way to the stage in an all-grey jump suit, black face paint (mirroring his look in the video), and kicked off his set with “Anti” (off 2015’s Special Effects). Energy levels were now at an “11” as the show got underway and there was no turning back at this point. Add some of Tech’s Bou Lou Craft Beer (in partnership with KC’s Boulevard Brewing Company), and you had all the ingredients necessary for one heck of a Halloween party.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

I wish that they’d swoop down in a country lane / Late at night when I’m driving / Take me on board their beautiful ship / Show me the world as I’d love to see it / I’d tell all my friends but they’d never believe me / They’d think that I’d finally lost it completely / I’d show them the stars and the meaning of life / They’d shut me away / But I’d be alright / Alright / I’m alright / Alright

You can call a great band “a great band”—but what of a band like Greta Van Fleet? Well, maybe? Isn’t a bit late for Pitchfork to be flying the banner for rock ‘n’ roll? Who am I to judge, but when it comes to rock ‘n’ roll, I ain’t no spring chicken. I’ve seen a few shows. Been at it, livin’ and breathing it…yep, all the way.

At some point this week I felt seasick and stupid. But I heard Ty Segall’s cover of, “Class War,” an old Dils song, and it reminded me of early days. The summer of ’77, much of it spent at my dad’s attic apartment in Pacific Heights, San Fransisco. How my old man landed in SF in the ’70s is a long story.

For most of his 84 years dad’s been a die-hard New Yorker, but there we were—father and son in the Bay. I was 16 and had recently discovered Max’s, CBGBs, and punk rock. Thirsty for it, I combed all the SF newspapers and record shops for clues and landed on Broadway in North Beach at a cool club called The Mabuhay Gardens. It was a place in time. It was there I saw The Dils—they were not much older than me and could barely play a note. They were a cool combination of pissed off and just having fun. They also looked amazing and left a lasting impression.

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TVD Live Shots: Brant Bjork, Nick Oliveri, and Nebula at the Redwood Bar, 10/10

The spirit of Sky Valley was in abundance at the Redwood Bar in downtown Los Angeles. Brant Bjork, the former Kyuss and Fu Manchu drummer, has been blazing his own trail for years now with a catalog that spans ‘70s grooves to heavy stoner rock to soulful acoustic jams, with a who’s who of the desert rock scene by his side along the way. His latest album, Mankind Woman, just dropped in September, and he brought a solid stoner rock lineup out on the road with him.

The only part of the evening that felt like a formal “concert” was when the Redwood staff cleared the place out for 30 minutes or so to set up and soundcheck. The small, intimate setting combined with the nautical theme and decor of the venue made the rest of the night feel like a stoner rock basement party on the orlop deck of a pirate ship. The mood was friendly and the vibes were mellow as Nebula took the stage.

Together again for the first time in over eight years, the trio began playing without any fanfare or formality, only to ask at the song’s end if that was soundcheck or if the set had begun. After a quick regrouping, singer-guitarist Eddie Glass returned with a slightly more formal intro and thanks before beginning a terrific set. Returning bassist Tom Davies was exemplary, and new drummer Michael Amster was a high point of the night. Hopefully their set is a sign of good things to come.

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TVD Live Shots: System Of A Down and At The Drive-In at the Valley View Casino Center, 10/17

For the 15,000+ in attendance on Wednesday evening, System Of A Down put on what many called their best live performance in the past ten years. Serj Tankian, Daron Malakian, Shavo Odadjian, and John Dolmayan took no prisoners in San Diego with a 30-song set that left even the most die-hard SOAD fan well-satisfied after an incredible night of true metal mayhem in what many call “America’s Finest City.”

Opening Wednesday’s show were post-hardcore legends, At The Drive-In. Founded in 1994, this quirky quartet from El Paso, TX took those lucky enough to be seated on a wild ride that challenged their minds and obliterated their senses. At the Drive-In’s set was dark, powerful, and the perfect elixir to wake up the near-capacity crowd at Valley View Casino Center.

What I loved most about this set (aside from their incredible music) was the unpredictability of vocalist Cedric Bixler. One minute he was center stage killing vocals on a classic like “Enfilade,” the next he was leaping off Tony Hajjar’s the drum kit like he was Superman himself. My only wish for this set was that it would have been longer—8 songs is just not enough to give a band like At The Drive-In the justice they deserve. Hope to see these guys headlining in 2019.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

I don’t fit in, but I don’t feel bad / You can’t miss a feeling that you never had / I know it’s a sham, but it seemed so real / And what I had to be, isn’t who I am / You see / The man I see (man I see) / He would never dream (never dream) / I just took the life (took the life) / They handed me (handed me) / I remember this like it was (like it was) / Yesterday (yesterday) / Even though it now seems (now it seems) / So far away (far away) / I’ve learned much more than he’ll ever know / So what do we do now, and where do we go?

Last weekend I had a melt down. It came about at a red light on Riverside Bloulevard in Sherman Oaks. Yeah, I lost my mind in “The Valley!” It came from a bowl of Frosted Flakes. Indeed, my son was eating a full bowl of cereal in the back seat of my car and when I came to a stop, that fucking bowl flew and pasted the back seat of my ride. I was smack in the middle of a Kellogg’ss nightmare sopped in sugary milk. Frosted Flakes sprayed and pasted to perfection.

Was this what my life had to come to? I was so angry and confused I drove home and went to back bed. I felt a void and was too tired to sleep. It was like I lost a part of myself. I had lost my dreams.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

So help me, please doctor, I’m damaged / There’s a pain where there once was a heart / I’m sleepin’, it’s a beatin’ / Can’t ya please take it out, and preserve it / Right there in that jar?

Thank god for doctors. I was so very proud of myself for scheduling a check up appointment with a new one this week. As some of us know, it’s not easy finding a doctor in this town.

I stumbled on this cool office of young docs. It’s fairly out of town (somewhere close to Rancho Cucamonga). Hey, close enough—but I mixed up the time and missed my appointment Wednesday. Ugh, I was bummed, disoriented, and temporarily trapped by LA morning freeway traffic.

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TVD Live Shots:
Cal Jam 2018, 10/6

Cal Jam was a glorious weekend filled with rock and roll, food, comedy—and a few legendary surprises. The festival, in its second year, sprawled across Glen Helen Regional Park in San Bernardino, California.

There was truly something for everyone to enjoy; camping, free carnival rides, a comedy stage, a water park, and a Foo Fighters museum. The all-star lineup included Foo Fighters, Iggy Pop with Post Pop Depression, Tenacious D, Garbage, Greta Van Fleet, Deer Tick, Gang of Youths, and Yungblud.

The rumors were true and as luck would have it, the Foo Fighters closed their set with six Nirvana songs. They were joined by Joan Jett, Deer Tick’s John McCauley, and Krist Novoselic from Giants of the Trees. Other highlights included the ageless Iggy Pop featuring Josh Homme and Post Pop Depression, crowd favorite Garbage, and the young and bright talent of Greta Van Fleet.

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TVD Live Shots: Sammy Hagar’s High Tide Beach Party & Car Show, 10/6

HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA | Reading some of the reviews of Sammy Hagar’s High Tide Beach Party & Car Show, one might get the impression that Saturday’s all-day festival might have fallen a bit short of expectations. Well, we were on site wire to wire and can unequivocally say that aside from a few “opening day” challenges that any new event might encounter, this beach bash kicked some major ass. Food was solid, drinks were plentiful, and this year’s musical lineup was simply out of this world.

As you might expect, anything that Sammy Hagar touches turns to gold—and this event was no exception. Opening acts such as Sir Please, Drew Hagar, the Dead Mermaids Feat. Green Day’s Tre Cool, and Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers helped elevate a growing crowd that admittedly had some challenges getting into the seaside venue. Each of their sets were solid and all played with a reckless abandon that resonated with fans attending from all around the world. Add some of Hagar and partner Adam Levine’s Santo Mezquila, and party-goers took it to a whole level on sundrenched Huntington State Beach.

Next up was Orange County’s favorite Ska-Punk band, Reel Big Fish. This six-piece band from Los Alamitos, CA immediately got the crowd off their feet and dancing to the beat to hits like “Everyone Else is an Asshole,” “She Has a Girlfriend Now,” and “Sell Out.” Unfortunately for those in attendance, their typical 18+ songs was trimmed down significantly due to time constraints. However, Aaron Barrett and company smashed their 11-song set in fine fashion and left little doubt as to why this band was chosen by Sammy Hagar to represent Orange County at this year’s inaugural festival.

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