Category Archives: TVD Los Angeles

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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TVD Live Shots: 2019 Rock Godz Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at The Canyon, 10/27

PHOTOS: JULIA LOFSTRAND | The Rock Godz Hall of Fame launched in 2009 as a grassroots organization to honor the musicians who are not often in the public spotlight. Over the past decade, the ceremony has continued to grow as these frequently unheralded artists and linchpins of the music industry have received the recognition they quite well deserve.

They’ve made their mark on history as session or touring musicians, songwriters, producers, and engineers of timeless classics still in rotation today. Former inductees nominate their peers making this a highly respected event. Whether it was session bassist Bob Glaub who has recorded with everyone from Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, and Donna Summer,  or songwriter/ session ace Richie Zito who has produced The Cult, Cheap Trick, and Bad English, the ballroom at The Canyon in Agoura Hills was filled with awe-inspiring talent.

It was an illustrious night of great surprises and performances. Yacht rock pioneers and inductees Peter Beckett and Burleigh Drummond, drummer and founding member of Ambrosia, shined on Ace’s “How Long” and Player’s “Baby Come Back.” Rick Springfield appeared and tore through Little Richard’s “Lucille” with Brett Tuggle who toured with Springfield in the ’80s on the heels of “Jessie’s Girl.” Inductee Rowen Robertson, the former Dio guitarist who joined the Dio band at the age of 17 after simply mailing off a cassette (a story he fondly retold) stood out on Hendrix’s “All Along the Watchtower.”

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TVD Live Shots: Loverboy at The
Grove, 10/24

As a teen in the early ’80s, I was fortunate to have someone in my life to help shape my love for vinyl, live music, and all things rock and roll.

I can vividly recall sitting in my uncle’s room in San Antonio listening to classics such as Legs Diamond, The Babys, and of course Van Halen. One band that always stood out during that time was Loverboy. Although I never caught them live, I probably listened to 1981’s Get Lucky nearly a thousand times and could sing along to every song in typical Mike Reno form (headband not included). On Thursday night, I’d finally get my chance to see Loverboy live. I was excited to relive what turned out to be such an influential period in my life.

On a breezy Southern California evening, Loverboy took over The Grove in Anaheim and escorted fans on a magical journey back in time to the early ’80s. Different from most shows I have attended at this venue, Loverboy’s show was stripped down, well-oiled, and filled with classics that entertained and delighted.

There was no opening band on Thursday, just 2 hours of classic Loverboy at its finest. Hits such as “Lucky Ones,” “Hot Girls in Love,” and “Working for the Weekend” were tight and had fans from all over Southern California singing along at a frenzied pace. Approaching 65 years old, Mike Reno’s voice was solid as I have ever heard it.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Thank you for the days, / Those endless days, those sacred days you gave me. / I’m thinking of the days, / I won’t forget a single day, believe me. / I bless the light, / I bless the light that shines on you believe me. / And though you’re gone, / You’re with me every single day, believe me. / Days.

A best friend. “BFF” as my daughter used to say.

Yeah, a best fucking friend is something to certainly have. Throughout my days of “rock ‘n’ rolling,” I’ve lived a charmed life with many friends. I’ve always had a truly diverse bunch of pals. Since my sandbox days of Central Park (NYC), I’ve identified my best friend as my childhood pal Bram Towbin. Bram is a flower farmer in Vermont. We try to stay in touch but it’s mostly via emails. Still, I am thrilled by our history, trustworthiness, sense of humor and lilacs, so we shall remain BFFs.

In reality my current best friend is a female cat I named Nori. (Yes, as in the seaweed you wrap sushi in.) She’s a constant with constant companionship and understanding.

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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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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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