Category Archives: TVD Los Angeles

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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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Before I jump ship, for cooler shores, may I gently close this account of ours? / Through all that I know and have loved is inside, I’m just losing faith in these costly times. / And I pray for your health and your peace of mind but God must know I just want you by my side. / And the mornings I’ve woken and sought your warmth / If only I’d held you and told you before / But I’m no fool, my heart is just exposed, I’m just weathering the flows / And I’m not the man you thought, I suppose, you leave me tender to the blues…

I stumbled upon this brilliant lyric from British singer/songwriter James Yorkston. I love pockets of music. Folky Brits like Yorkston and Badly Drawn Boy from the early 2000s. Pre-metal hard rockers like Sabbath, Captain Beyond, and Blue Oyster Cult from the early ’70s

As I start to care less and less about 2018’s gaming and reality TV culture, I find myself in search 2018’s musical “pocket.” This year has its harsh vibe, I call it a “poor high.” It’s also had touching, heavy, and beautiful moments.

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TVD Live Shots: Boy George and Culture Club, The B-52s, and Tom Bailey at Morongo Hotel and Casino, 9/28

At a time when many bands from his generation are starting to fall short of expectations, Boy George and the Culture Club seem to be getting better with age. If you get a chance to see them perform live on their Life Tour this year, do so—you will not be disappointed. It’s one of the best shows I have seen in 2018!

The early eighties were a magical time for music. The New Wave revolution was just beginning to take off, and bands like Culture Club, The B-52’s, and the Thompson Twins’ were all the rage. Whether you were in the UK or here in America, their music was making a statement and the unique sound that these bands were putting out was fresh, catchy, and most importantly relevant. Fast forward 35 years and these same bands are still performing at levels that most bands could only dream of.

On September 28th, Boy George and Culture Club along with The B-52s and the Thompson Twins’ Tom Bailey made a scheduled pit-stop at the beautiful Morongo Hotel and Casino on the US leg of their 2018 Life Tour. For many, this concert would be a unique opportunity to see three of the ’80s most incredible New Wave acts—all under one roof. For others, it was a pilgrimage back to a simpler time and place when all that mattered was the music. Regardless of which camp you fell into (or what band you came to see), there was sure to be magical moments for all in attendance in Cabazon on Friday evening. Here are a few highlights from the show:

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TVD Live Shots: Deep Purple, Judas Priest,
and The Temperance Movement at Five Points Amphitheater, 9/30

Deep Purple and Judas Priest came knocking at the back door of the Five Points Amphitheater and brought in enough firepower to take over the capacity crowd in Irvine with minimal resistance. For those that witnessed the non-stop carnage that evening, it was a show for the ages that joined the forces of two legendary bands for one incredible metal assault and took no prisoners in the foothills of Orange County late Thursday night.

Kicking off the evening were Scottish blues rockers, The Temperance Movement. While Phil Campbell’s energy was infectious and the band solid from top to bottom, I found it a bit strange that these guys were chosen as the opener for what many considered a classic metal show. That said, I loved their opening set and know that many who showed up early felt the exact same way I did. Their sound was reminiscent of early Black Crowes and left me wanting more. I am going to add The Temperance Movement to my current playlist of up and coming bands and give them a spin in the days and weeks ahead. Good stuff!

Next up at Five Points was none other than the legendary Judas Priest. Not sure what more can be said about a band that has been setting the world ablaze since 1969, but I’ll indulge you with a few key takeaways from Thursday’s show. One, the current incarnation of Judas Priest with Richie Faulkner and Andy Sneap is incredible. Sure, it’s hard to think of this band without the dynamic duo of K.K Downing and Glenn Tipton, but fans can rest assured that their legacy is being carried on by these amazing guitarists.

Two, Rob Halford is still the God of all things metal, and those insisting he is well past his prime are utterly clueless. I’m not sure there’s another vocalist on the planet who can do what he does, and to be able to hit the notes he does after 45 years in the business is simply incredible. Bottom line, Judas Priest annihilated their 15-song set and showed everyone in attendance why these guys still reign supreme over the altar of all things metal.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

I’ll slash them cold, I’ll kill them dead / I’ll break them gooks, I’ll crack their heads / I’ll slice them till they’re running red / But now I’ve got the running gun blues…

I heard there was a car chase on Mulholland Drive yesterday morning. From what I understand the vehicle in question was burning Mulholland rubber while in hot pursuit by the grip of blazing LAPD squad cars.

The chase feels like a fitting metaphor for the Fall of 2018. I mean why stop running? Which brings up some recent, rocking cultural moments—last summer’s brilliant film Baby Driver, Tom Cruise’s full-on sprint in this summer’s enjoyable MI6, and free-running, the new action sport inspired by American Ninja Warrior.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

I want some magic to keep me alive / I want a miracle; I don’t want to die / I’m afraid that if I go to sleep I’ll never wake / I’ll no longer exist / I’ll close my eyes and disappear / And float into the mist

I’m as Jewish as a Jew can get, but due to my wife and son’s mix of Cherokee Indian blood, I refer myself and our immediate family as “schmohawks.” Hey, I consider myself as spiritual as the next dude, but I don’t really follow religious protocol on holidays.

On Wednesday for Yom Kippur, I did reflect and pray for long lost friends and think upon the path ahead. I didn’t exactly fast either. I ate very light, sweet cantaloupe and almonds, drank coffee, and drove to Topanga Canyon to visit Jacknife Lee’s studio.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Where did you go when things went wrong baby? / Who did you run to / And find a shoulder to lay your head upon? / Baby wasn’t I there? / Didn’t I take good care of you? / No no, I can’t believe you’re leaving me / Stay with me baby / Please, stay with me baby / Ooh, stay with me baby / I can’t go on

Through the years the Idelic Hour has served as my diary, my inspiration, and my mental salvation. Being in the music biz, in recent years I’ve often had to explain my taste in songwriting. Yeah, “for sure” I can appreciate and enjoy a lyric that gets you out to Target to buy a new mop as good as the next industry “creative,” but for my hour of listening, the words need to mean more. A grand lyric can be a pipeline to the soul, transporting a listener from a mundane life to a state of bliss. Plain and simple, great songs keep me going—I ain’t kidding.

Serious shit man. “The lyric” rules, and is commonly the source of my assorted weekly Idelic muses. In fact today, September 14th, is a date that holds a special place in my heart. The lyrical “baby” come to mind. In its slang form,”baby” is a magical rock ‘n’ roll word as it has been for decades from the first delta blues singers—it’s a soulful cry to a lover.

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TVD Live Shots: Phoenix with Giorgio Poi at the Fonda Theatre, 9/10

REVIEW: CRYSTAL ECKSTADT | On the third night of a five-night sold out show at the Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles, for a Phoenix fan, there wasn’t a bad seat in the house. The Fonda, a small and intimate 1920s art deco theater in the heart of Hollywood, offers a proximity to performers that other venues just can’t beat. Phoenix’s fans soaked up every minute of the bands electric energy, as a lite brite heart with the words “Phoenix Ti Amo” inscribed in the center pulsated in flashing colors.

Before the show started, fans were welcome to hang out on the terrace and enjoy classic Italian cocktails: Negroni and Campari and Soda, along with a local pizza and gelato station, a welcomed and cool departure from the usual concession stands.

Giorgio Poi, the opener hailing from Italy, stunned the crowd with a flute solo during a dark melodic instrumental session that was soul evoking. As the crowd awaited the change of stage, a light guided our direction to the right side of the wall, where a pretty woman in a men’s tuxedo attire welcomed Phoenix to the stage in Italian.

“J-Boy,” from Ti Amo was the opening song bringing in bright lights, deep base lines, and their familiar electro pop feeling. The first half of the show brought the audience to their feet as favorites like “Lasso,” “Entertainment,” and “Lisztomania” came right after another. In, all they played 20 songs, combining a couple of songs together: “Too Young”/ “Girlfriend” and went back to basics “If I Ever Feel Better”/ “Funky Squaredance” from their earlier albums Alphabetical (2004) and United (2000). In the middle, a version of “Sunskrupt!,” which is a combination of “Love Like a Sunset Part I & Part II,” that was just spectacular. There was something for everyone at this show.

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TVD Live Shots: Scorpions with Queensryche at Five Point Amphitheatre, 9/2

I can vividly remember rocking out to the Scorpions as a 12-year-old kid in the back of the family station wagon courtesy of KCAL FM in my hometown of San Bernardino, CA. The blistering guitars of Matthias Jabs and Rudolph Schenker made drives to and from school bearable and helped create the metal monster that I am today. Fast-forward 35+ years and the Scorpions still transport me back to that childlike state—one that I am sure most fans were also in as the Scorpions took the stage in front of a sold-out Five Point Amphitheatre. This show was going to be special.

Opening the show on Sunday night was none-other than progressive rock superstars Queensryche. Fronted by Todd La Torre, the band quickly ignited a powder keg in Irvine with “Best I Can” off 1990’s triple-platinum album, Empire. Guitarists Michael Wilton and Mike Stone along with bassist Eddie Jackson and drummer Casey Grillo slayed their 9-song set and kept fans out of their seats with classics such as “Silent Lucidity,” “Jet City Woman,” and “Eyes of a Stranger.” The best song of the night was a toss-up between two Rage for Order standards, “The Whisper” and “Screaming in Digital.” La Torre’s vocals were simply incredible and brought both songs to life in a way that few vocalists can.

After a brief intermission to gather what senses had I had left, the Scorpions finally took the stage. As this could be their final tour (yes, we have heard that before), it was fitting for them to start off the show with “Going Out with a Bang.” Klaus Meine’s voice sounded spectacular (for a guy who just turned 70 in May) and showed no signs of aging as he manhandled a 16-song set that took fans on a journey across the Scorpions 50+ year history. Matthias Jabs and Rudolph Schenker killed on guitar and proved once again why they may be the best guitar tandem in rock and roll history. Add the killer bass chops from Pawel Maciwoda and Mikkey Dee’s ridiculous drumming, and you have all the ingredients for a “bucket list” show for the ages.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Waves of desire / Waves of desire on the earth / Come down to the swimming pool / I can be the one / If you can be the one / If you can be the one one / Then I can be the one…

Howdy from LA. I would say school is finally back in session, but our kid is already on week #4, in the principal’s office, and in trouble!

I’ve always had challenges with short weeks after long holidays and why shouldn’t my kids? This short week was no exception. It started out with some computer problems, and by Wednesday I felt like I was shot out of a catapult.

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TVD Live Shots:
Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, and Deadly Apples at Five Point Amphitheatre, 8/29

Whether you are a lifelong Rob Zombie follower or a hardcore disciple of Marilyn Manson, there was something for everyone who attended the final stop of the 2018 “Twins of Evil – The Second Coming Tour.” Fans of both bands were treated to a high-energy spectacle that scorched the earth in and around the Five Point Amphitheatre and left the sold-out crowd wanting more when the flames finally subsided. It was an unbelievable night of metal mayhem under the stars in Irvine, CA and will go down as one of the best metal performances at the venue since it opened its doors in August 2017.

Opening Wednesday’s performance were Canadian rockers, Deadly Apples. Led by frontman Alex Martel, this alternative metal quartet lit the fuse in Irvine and took spectators on a wild ride that delivered on all levels. Their seven-song set was just what the doctor ordered to get everyone out of their seats and on to their feet as the show began. On top of some amazing vocals, Martel caught many off guard with his wild stage antics ranging from high-intensity stage jumps to demolishing numerous microphone cables. All in all, this set was simply killer and the perfect precursor to Manson and Zombie.

Next up on the docket was co-headliner, Marilyn Manson. I’ve always heard mixed reviews about his live shows, but never actually had a chance to see him perform. Going into this show, I had high hopes and Marilyn did not disappoint. From his opening salvo on “Irresponsible Hate Anthem” to his incredible cover of The Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This),” the show was jam-packed with 12 incredible songs that took fans at Five Point to a whole new level. My favorite from this ridiculous set was “The Dope Show” from 1998’s Mechanical Animals. This song is Marilyn Manson personified, and captured the true essence of this amazing performer and artist.

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The Best of The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Amame dos veces, nena / amame dos veces hoy / amame dos veces, chica / me estoy llendo lejos / amame dos veces chica / Una para mañana una para tan solo hoy / amame dos veces / me estoy llendo lejos…

As I sit to write, it’s deep into the night of Cinco De Mayo. Honestly I was pretty moody until I had tacos for lunch yesterday. It’s funny how a simple thing like a song or plate of tacos can teleport me to serenity. Props to the Candela Taco Bar on La Brea for keeping the old family tradition of the “cinco celebration” alive. The Candela’s warmth and hot sauce flipped my day.

This week the Idelic Hour is celebrating “el cinco” as well. In many ways it’s a predictable theme for the hour’s playlist.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

You’re a no good heart breaker / You’re a liar and you’re a cheat / And I don’t know why / I let you do these things to me / My friends keep telling me / That you ain’t no good / But oh, they don’t know / That I’d leave you if I could / I guess I’m uptight / And I’m stuck like glue / Cause I ain’t never / I ain’t never, I ain’t never, no, no (loved a man) / (The way that I, I love you)

Lyrics like these have always crushed me. Something about the way a southern black woman sings about her love for a,”no good, cheater man.” The words just stick to my soul.

The news about Aretha’s passing hit right about the time I was cutting this week’s show. A true queen of soul, she was a marvel from a miraculous time in music history. Fame studios, Rick Hall, Jerry Wexler, and of course The Swampers. For me, they are all magic.

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