Category Archives: TVD Los Angeles

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

What will I do then? / How did I sleep at night / With you far from my side? / Hold me darling, make no sound / Silence speaks for me

Love be brave / No one will say it but you / And that has not yet been / The easy thing for you to do

It’s a glorious spring morning in the canyon. People have been saying that “[email protected]” has animals coming back into the open. I gotta say the theory rings true around our canyon. Birds are chirping, a squirrel just ran past with an orange, and our family of raccoons were out last night looking for what’s left from our precious avocado tree.

Workwise, this week has been busy. I’ve been in touch with many of the songwriters in my circle. I’m convinced this Corona period will breed the next generation of both sound and song. One of the bands I work with is Mystic Braves. Their name got me thinking about bravery, and to be honest there are not nearly enough songs about the subject.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

#LOVERECORDSTORES

Through the windless wells of wonder / By the throbbing light machine / In the tea leaf trance or under / Orders from the king and queen

Songs, to aging children come / (Songs, to aging children come) / Aging children, I am one (I am one)

People hurry by so quickly / Don’t they hear the melodies / In the chiming and the clicking / And the laughing harmonies

There hasn’t been a day this week that I haven’t heard of a friend who tested positive for the Coronavirus. It feels like it’s really spreading fast in Los Angeles.

Wherever we are, let’s share our strength, courage, and whatever we can. In my case I’m gonna stick with trying to do it through songs. Thank you for letting me share. This Idelic Hour has all of the kids, sons, daughters, mothers and fathers in mind.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

There’s a world where I can go and tell my secrets to / In my room, in my room / In this world I lock out all my worries and my fears / In my room, in my room

Do my dreaming and my scheming / Lie awake and pray / Do my crying and my sighing / Laugh at yesterday

Now it’s dark and I’m alone / But I won’t be afraid / In my room, in my room / In my room, in my room / In my room, in my room

God knows we’re all learning real fast not to take the little things for granted. Hopefully you are reading this safe, healthy, and not too bored in a pad you can dig into. May the groovy spirits of music calm your soul and let your spirits soar.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

The woman from the supermarket / Ran to call the cops / “He must be high on something, ” someone said / Though it never made The New York Times / In The Daily News, the caption read, / “Save the life of my child!” / Cried the desperate mother…

Yesterday was pretty stressful. How do we handle Corona protocol? Even Presidents, movie stars, and pro-hoopers get it. I hear we need to try to stay calm, keep extra clean, and for now keep your distance.

In the meantime, The Idelic Hour is here to provide a touch of comfort for those who need an hour of great curated tunes to free their mind. I find old songs are sometimes better friends than people.

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TVD Live Shots:
Opeth with Graveyard
at the Hollywood Palladium, 3/4

Seeing Opeth live for the very first time was a dream come true—and catching them at Hollywood’s legendary Palladium kicked it up to a whole new level. Mikael Åkerfeldt and company came out on fire and left nothing but scorched earth in their wake after an incredible 2 ½ hour set for the masses. The performance on Wednesday night was nothing short of brilliant and reaffirms why this band is so highly regarded in the world of progressive music. 

I love live music and cannot think of a time when I have not. It’s an amazing diversion from the craziness of everyday life, and helps keep me calm in spite of the constant chaos that seems to attack from all angles these days. That said, there was no way I’d be missing Wednesday’s Opeth show at the Hollywood Palladium, and planned my week accordingly to ensure I was there on time for all the usual festivities. This show was shaping up to be special, and I had a front row seat.

First up on the all-Swedish bill was Graveyard. Formed in 2006, this quartet came out swinging and took no prisoners during their 45-minute set. Although their sound was pure rock and roll, it had a psychedelic twist to it with some bluesy overtones that I really enjoyed. Favorite tracks of the evening were “Uncomfortably Numb” and “The Siren,” but others were just as killer. I dug this band and can’t wait to explore their catalog down the road.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

I miss the innocence I’ve known / Playing KISS covers, beautiful and stoned / Unlock my body and move myself to dance / Moving warm liquid, flowing blowing glass / Classical music blasting masks the ringing in my ears / I sincerely miss those heavy metal bands / I used to go see on the landing in the summer…

Different day, new week.

The combo of Tuesday’s primary and the spread of Corona was intense, but so far it feels like many Californians are trying to take it as it comes. We’re kinda like “banging away” with caution.

Seems we all need something to bang on?

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Needle Drop: Levenbirds, “Codependance” EP

Three brothers from Istanbul grew up in an unconventional environment without any exposure to secular music or television, and they did what most people in that situation would do—they moved to Los Angeles and formed a band.

It’s always interesting to see what music people gravitate towards when free will is exercised. For the brothers, now known as the Levenbirds, The National is a cornerstone and favorite. But for “Codependance,” their latest EP, David Byrne, Mitsiki, Anderson Paak, and house music pioneers, Moloko, were strong influences.

“Codependance” is a distinct departure from their first darker indie EP. While some themes have remained constant such as the confusion of love and lust and the overall temporal nature of life, they have been reconfigured for the modern dancefloor. The EP is a catchy mix of dark disco and melancholy ballads. Find the Levenbirds on most streaming services and playing shows all over Los Angeles.

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TVD Live Shots: Black Label Society, Obituary, and Lord Dying at the House of Blues, 2/27

SAN DIEGO, CA | I’ve never been a huge fan of Zakk Wylde or Black Label Society, but that all changed last week in downtown San Diego. The band’s incredible 15-song set flipped the script on what I assumed would be another rock and roll show and instantly converted me to a full-fledged Doom Crew member before the final salvo rang over the Gaslamp district on Thursday night. BLS’s performance was nothing short of brilliant.

Say what you will, I’ve never a die-hard fan of Zakk Wylde. Since his days with Ozzy, Zakk’s always been an incredibly gifted guitarist, but his talent failed to resonate with me on a visceral level. I am not sure why, but I’ve never been overly excited by his extensive catalog of music or live performances I have seen over the years. I was hoping that feeling would change on Thursday night down in San Diego during Black Label Society’s headlining show at the House of Blues.

Opening on Thursday were two bands that didn’t quite seem to fit this bill, Portland’s Lord Dying and the undisputed pioneers of death metal, Obituary. Both bands were unique in their own way with a subset of fans in attendance pushing their way to the barrier for a closer glimpse of their heroes throughout powerful yet abbreviated sets. While Lord Dying was solid, I really enjoyed Obituary’s performance. I would’ve liked to hear a few more than 10 songs, but was thrilled with newer tracks like “Straight to Hell” along with classics jams such as “Slowly We Rot.” Obituary’s set was truly bad ass and they crushed from start to finish.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

So future boy where are you from my time machine crashed over yonder / Syphillis is a bitch but contracting HIV is much worse. / Why are you pushing info into me, / I have no need for it, I’m from the stars. / I thought you’d like to know the scoop / I’m taking babies back with me, yeah. / I’m taking them back home / so they can see there’s a much better place.

I’ve got a sister with an open mind and my friends are all junkies / But there still my friends, as long as they don’t use monkeys, / We enjoy the heat of stolen days in the summer of ’93. / Well the future boy said I’ve got friends but you know sometimes / it all depends on how tall they are against yourself. / I am the future boy / My friends have all gone…

Okay, this week I needed to calm my soul. I mean this Coronavirus news is unbuttoning nerves.

Meanwhile, warmer winds swirled in the canyon blowing up tons of pollen. The results are dry throats and itchy eyes. Ugh! God get us through this one! In the meantime I stacked a few classic sides to calm the nerves.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Too many people are there / It’s noisy and bright, no one cares / But I’m happy in my rose colored corner / No hurry to go anywhere

People they stop and they stare / Disgusted what really isn’t there / But I’m happy in my rose colored corner / No hurry to go anywhere

The people they keep all their secrets / Awaiting each new break of dawn / I’m daunted by days coming gone

For the first time since I’ve been putting together The Idelic Hour, I missed a Valentine’s Day. My routine for many years is to spend Thursday nights listening to records, surfing online, and compiling and building the show to post on Friday.

Being not the most computer savvy rocker, I’ve figured out how to create and send off the show to TVD in DC, but in all honesty the “bones” of The Idelic Hour have been hacked together weekly by a battle hardened 2010 MacBook.

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The Best of The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Snow started falling, / I could hear the angel calling / We rolled on the ground, he stretched out his wings. / The boy flew away and he started to sing. / He sang, “Break it up, oh, I don’t understand. / Break it up, I can’t comprehend. / Break it up, oh, I want to feel you. / Break it up, don’t look at me.

The sky was raging, the boy disappeared, / I fell on my knee / Atmosphere broke up, the boy reappeared. / I cried, “Take me please!”

Good Friday—yep, that’s where we’re at. Being what I call a “Schmohawk” (a smart mix of Jewish and spiritual Native American Indian) what the fuck do I know?” So, today is good. OK…I will try and make that happen. Why not? It’s spring break for the kids in Canyon, so I’ll give myself a break too.

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TVD Live Shots: 2020
One Love Cali Reggae Fest, Day 1 at Queen
Mary Park, 2/7

LONG BEACH, CA | It’s no surprise that One Love Cali Reggae Fest has become one of the premier reggae festivals in the US. Since their early days at The Observatory OC in Santa Ana, this festival has gotten bigger and better every year since its inception back in 2015 with no signs of slowing down any time soon. Situated gracefully under the watchful eye of The Queen Mary in beautiful Long Beach, One Love continues to attract reggae’s best and brightest and this year’s event was no exception. Legendary bands such as Dirty Heads, Rebelution, and Slightly Stoopid headlined a three-day event for the ages that left die-hard fans wanting more.

Having been to countless festivals over the years, its important to know right out of the gate that One Love Cali Fest is different from most of the large-scale events one might attend. Upon entering the park, you are immediately immersed with a reggae vibe that feels different. Flanked by three stages, guests can leisurely wander back and forth to catch their favorite bands or better yet take in new ones they’ve never heard before.

The atmosphere at One Love is completely chill and absent of the pretentiousness that accompanies many of the cookie-cutter music festivals crisscrossing the US these days. I met more insanely cool people in one afternoon that I had at the last 10 concerts I had covered and I’m probably being generous.

In addition to beautiful weather and an out-of-this-world vibe, Friday’s line up was second to none and the one I circled on my calendar when the festival was first announced back in November. Unfortunately for me, there were 25 insane acts performing that day across three stages (SMKFLWR., Roots & Culture, and the Tiki Stage) and I’d have to choose which ones I’d be watching (as there was no real way to cover them all).

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Aim for the country fair, you read it in the paper / The worst happens any week a scandal on the front page / See the happy pair smiling close like they are monkeys / They wouldn’t think so but they’re holding themselves down / (Hold themselves down) / I found that essence rare, it’s what I looked for / I knew I’d get what I asked for

Keeping this week simple is likely the easiest way to keep my head straight. Flipping through the car radio channels, I stumble onto tune from Rubber Soul. Even the name of the album is brilliant comfort food.

So I’m saying “the word.” Well, for The Beatles it was “LOVE.” For this week’s Idelic playlist, it’s “NEW.” Because there really isn’t anything like hearing a great new song for the first time. Think about the process—your brain connects listening with thoughts and the magic of “taste.” Oh, new is yummy when it’s yummy.

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TVD Live Shots: Howard Jones with Rachael Sage at the El Rey Theater, 2/1

Howard Jones seems to be getting better with age. He’s anything but a one-hit wonder and continues to churn out amazing, new music along with reimagining his classics of yesteryear. If you get a chance to Howard Jones live in support of his 2020 “Transform Tour,” do so—you will not be disappointed.

The early eighties were a magical time for music. The New Wave revolution was just beginning to take off and bands like Depeche Mode and the Pet Shop Boys were just beginning to make a name for themselves here in the States. Fast forward a few years, and a little-known English musician by the name of Howard Jones burst onto scene. His humble beginnings in 1983 quickly morphed into a very distinct style of music that blended his amazing talent as a pianist with true genius storytelling. On a crisp Saturday night in downtown Los Angeles, Howard Jones took the stage at the historic El Rey Theater for an intimate night of music and conversation that captivated a capacity crowd.

Opening the show for Howard Jones was New York singer and songwriter, Rachael Sage. Her brief 30-minute set was jam-packed with beautiful songs like “Spark,” “Trouble,” and my favorite “Haunted by Objects.” Rachael’s ability to connect with the crowd was noticeable, as many in the audience were smiling ear to ear while singing along to songs that were fresh, catchy, and relevant. In addition, Rachael’s voice was simply breathtaking and echoed joyfully throughout the El Rey.  It seemed the perfect place to showcase this amazing talent. I’d be remiss not to mention Rachael’s violinist, Kelly Halloran. She is an out-of-this-world talent and I thoroughly enjoyed her playing throughout the set.

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TVD Live Shots: Queensrÿche, John 5,
and Eve to Adam at the House of Blues, 1/30

I’ve seen Queensrÿche upwards of 40 times and can’t seem to get enough of this ever-evolving band. Their seventeen-song set was chock full of new material, classic tracks, as well as a few from the vault that I haven’t seen performed live in years. Add guitar virtuoso John 5 to the bill and fans were treated to an unbelievable night of rock and roll music that left the capacity crowd screaming for more. It’s the perfect blueprint for what a live music show should be and delivered on all levels Thursday night.

I make no apologies for being a Queensrÿche fan and have been all my life. Watching a virtually unknown band from Seattle on WTBS’s Night Tracks was where it all started, and I have been a die-hard fan ever since.  Their brand of no-frills rock and roll (and lineup) has obviously changed over the years, but they continue to crank out amazingly relevant music that’s fresh, entertaining, and most importantly real.  Where most bands from their generation have fallen by the wayside, Queensrÿche has reinvented themselves and are still doing what they love on their terms. Their story is rare and their evolution even more extraordinary.

Opening Thursday’s show at the Anaheim House of Blues was Eve to Adam, and band hailing from the East coast and one I honestly have never heard of.  However, it was evident from the moment they took the stage that these guys were serious rockers and ones we shouldn’t take lightly. Eve to Adam’s set was short but highlighted the ability of these talented rockers and why Queensrÿche would have added them to this bill.  I gave their recent release Ithaca a spin and its solid and think you’ll feel the same way.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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