Category Archives: TVD Los Angeles

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Circles, my head is going round in circles / My mind is caught up in a whirlpool, draggin’ me down

Time will tell if I’ll take the homeward track / The dizziness will make my feet walk back / Walk on back to you

Everything I do, I think of you / No matter how I try, I can’t get by

Circles, leading me back to you / Round and round and round / And round and round / And round and round / And round and round…

The week started on a special day—my son Jonah’s 12th birthday. Quarantine in LA has been tough at times, and watching an eleven year boy trapped in his room by himself all summer stirs a dad’s emotions.

Every now and then we’ve ventured to the beach where “the surf” has been synonymous with freedom. We did our best and organized a few friends for a socially distanced surf session Friday. Jonah had such a groovy time, but Saturday found the two of us depressed with birthday hangovers.

Like Pete Townshend with his mid-sixties angst, my mind was caught up in a whirlpool and dragging me down. I needed to flip the switch to positive. Monday morning I set the alarm for 6am and cruised back to the beach to watch the birthday boy surf a glassy three hour session.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Well East coast girls are hip / I really dig those styles they wear / And the Southern girls with the way they talk / They knock me out when I’m down there

The Mid-West farmer’s daughters really make you feel alright / And the Northern girls with the way they kiss / They keep their boyfriends warm at night

I wish they all could be California girls / I wish they all could be California / I wish they all could be California girls

I guess I can honestly say July 2020 is month to forget. I’m going to keep my vibe from last Friday and continue to try and stay in my “bubble” in the canyon. It’s impossible to avoid much of last week’s bitter news. For this week I’m just not gonna talk about it. Instead, let’s focus and divert attention to music and ball.

Dodgers opened up last night and I spent much of the evening with one eye on the turntable and one eye on the game. In my attempts to avoid the news, I had not heard that Mookie Betts was now a Dodger!

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Absolution is out of the question / It makes no sense to apologize / The words I thought I brought I left behind, / So never mind / All over but the shouting, just a waste of time / Never mind / All over but the shouting, just a waste of time

I’m not ready as I’ll ever be / I climb the walls, I fall into the sea / I’m not ready as I’ll ever be / And I suppose your guess is more or less as bad as mine / All over but the shouting, just a waste of time / Never mind / All over but the shouting, just a waste of time / And I suppose your guess is more or less as bad as mine

Trying week. I’ve heard friends use the expression “Groundhog Day,” and this summer week, I can relate. Then there’s the shocking “Elvis news.” His poor grandson! Our neighbor’s kitty! (Don’t ask!) Please no more news!

Let’s talk about fishing or music. How The Byrds took acid in the desert and went country. Or how punk rock lead to power pop and eventually brought The Replacements to LA to record an album at Ocean Way Studios. And how much fun is was to cruise around Hollywood in my Chevy Impala top down, high as a kite, Tommy in front and Westerberg in back. It was 30 summers ago. Oh just a sip of those days would be nice

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Yeah, so I told you some stories / Yeah, I slipped you some lines / Maybe I burned all my bridges / Yeah, so I’m out of my mind / Yeah, it’s not very tasteful / Yeah, it’s not very wise

“Yeah right?” is actually the question I’m asking myself this week. Yep, another Friday sitting here typing my thoughts. This particular Friday is a bit “groundhog-dayish.”

I guess I was thinking about the impermanence, summertime, and the surge—and totally forgot to send in my weekly thought thoughts to Jon from TVD. The day started rough the ol’ LA sun beat it out of me.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

What are you lookin’ at / There’s nothing to see / Just a cool breeze that’s encircling me / Let’s go for a walk in the garden / So far and so wide / We can sit in the shade by the fountain-side

July 4th weekend is supposed to be pleasant and relaxing, however this holiday weekend is a mixed bag of luck here in California, USA. I guess we should all be grateful for whatever luck befalls us here in LA. Maybe we were just starved for hugs and high-fives and couldn’t handle coming out of quarantine without a BBQ and a toast?

Last weekend I took my bike down to Newport Beach and took a cruise. Although many seemed to be aware of social distancing, most were roaming unmasked. My pals down south had gone fishing and I stopped by for a backyard gathering. I tried to keep my distance, but how much distance is enough?

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Joy Division, Unknown Pleasures–An Enduring Legacy

As the gritty 1970s turned into the gaudy 1980s, three friends on the brink of their twenties in Ruislip, a London suburb, Dave, Ken, and Mark, were consumed by music. Home to ancient parishes, Ruislip’s steel-laden sky dims the life beneath it. Dulling the atmosphere even further was Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, otherwise known as the “Iron Lady.” Clamping down upon workers’ unions, civil unrest, and racial tensions, the class divide soared and not much since has changed. Existence is an intermix of negative and positive tensions and the most compelling music is a mirror of these forces. Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures is its ultimate reflection.

Unknown Pleasures was released on June 15, 1979. Shoulder-to-shoulder with Siouxsie and the Banshees, Joy Division are considered to be pioneers of post-punk and their music was unlike anything heard at that time. The album is a marriage of two genius individuals—lead singer Ian Curtis, author of inwardly perceptive and melancholy lyrics, and studio maven Martin Hannett behind the production console.

As drummer Stephen Morris said in a recent livestream, “Headstock Festival Presents: Moving Through Silence,” a tribute at the 40th anniversary of Ian Curtis’ death, “He’d have notebooks full of words. We’d just start playing the riff and he’d go into his MacFisheries bag and pull out a piece of paper and just start singing. At the time, everyone was starting a band, but he loved writing and poetry. He was into T.S. Eliot, and Burroughs, he was very very literate, and very creative. I met his English teacher, he’d sent me a nice email saying how much he thought Ian was very talented, even at school as a writer. If he hadn’t done music, he would have written fiction.”

With a background in chemistry, Hannett understood science but was fascinated by sound. Unknown Pleasures was his great experiment with the latest technology—the first AMS Digital Delay Machine. His control was legendary, drummer Stephen Morris made to play every drum separately on some tracks—an insane process that created the atmospheric space the album is known for. By isolating each member in the studio and also mixing the album himself, Hannett was able to craft Joy Division’s sound and style—the subsequent output a masterpiece that is just as avant-garde now as it was then.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Don’t worry, baby / It goes right through me / I’m like the wind and my anger will disperse / Thin persecutors / Your twisted whispers / A horned reptile that is crawled upon the earth

I went for my usual walk / Just tell it like it is / Tell it like it was / Judge and jury, executioner / Judge and jury, executioner / Judge and jury

When darkness follows / And no tomorrows / It’s all been decided / All spies deceptive / All bouncing voices down the echo chamber / Don’t worry, baby / It goes right through me

This week was stressful. Looming over my shoulder was a summons for jury duty on Monday. Add to the mix a second wave of COVID and the continuing frustration with the social and political realities of living in a divided USA in 2020.

Along with real social unrest, it appears 40% of Americans are simply just complete idiots. Or maybe as a people Americans can’t help themselves from acting as such. The good news is things are getting so serious, there is hope that the 60% of us will hang on and make real change to save our herd. Shout out to the generals and judges for speaking out.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

In this world, if you read the papers, darling, / You know everybody’s fighting with each other. / You got no one you can count on, dear, / Not even your own brother. / So if someone comes along, / He gonna give you love and affection

I’d say get it while you can, yeah, / Honey, get it while you can, yeah, / Honey, grab it while you can, / Don’t you turn your back on love, no, no, no.

It’s nice to celebrate “freedom.” As a boy, a weekly summer highlight was going to a drive-in movie theater for B-movie double headers. Courtesy of Roger Corman and childhood heroes like Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, and Billy Jack, I adopted my own concept of the word “free.” I never thought of those bikers as racists, just bad-ass hippies who didn’t want a “hassle from the man.”

As soon I was back in the city and old enough to go to the movies solo, I adopted Bruce Lee, Jim Kelly, John Shaft, and Ron O’Neal (aka Superfly). Long story short, I’m grateful I grew up in NYC in the ’70’s. Post the ’60s and post Vietnam, the city was a melting pot and I was “free” to roam.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

I tried to join a ping-pong club / Sign on the door said “all full up” / I got nicked, fighting in the road / The judge didn’t even know / What’s my name, name, name

Dad go pissed so I got clocked / Couldn’t hear the Tannoy so he lost the lot / Offers mum a bribe through the letter box / Drives you fucking mad / Now, I’m round the back of your house at night / Peeping in the window, are you sleeping tight? / I laugh at your locks with my celluloid strip / An’ you won’t know who came / What’s my name, name, name

“What’s my name?” is actually a good question. I’m sitting here on a Friday typing my thoughts, thinking about the impermanence of life on earth, summertime, and this fucking new surge of covid.

And just as life here was opening up—the baseball field, skate parks and beaches—racial anger seems to have set us back 5 steps.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Beat him up, keep him down / Light him up, the violence / Never say what you see, keep quiet / The silence, the silence

Little boy, little girl / Are you scared of the world? / Is it hard to live? / Just take care of your soul / Let the beauty unfold / You’ll get through it

The Idelic Hour is my creative outlet. A gesture. A way for me to connect and participate in the world. Songs have a always brought inspiration and hope for the future.

In a week when so many felt so angry and powerless, even music “couldn’t breathe.” Yet feeling that much of our country is pivoting to move into a sane future, I dug into my crate of old soul records to share (in my way) just how much black lives matter to me.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Take me to the station / And put me on a train / I’ve got no expectations / To pass through here again

Once I was a rich man and / Now I am so poor / But never in my sweet short life / Have I felt like this before

It’s fair to say that I totally love the The Rolling Stones. Many of these quarantined days I’ve had to reach into the crates and pull out a classic album. The other day it was Beggars Banquet. The album is just undeniable in every way. The music, band, (alternative) cover, are rough, sexy and swampy. Delicious dark rock ‘n’ roll magic! For this listen “No Expectations” struck an “Idelic” chord and is the week’s muse.

Yes, “who knows” these days? I’m gonna dwell on the faith that life works out. After all, today, for me, is a special day. My wife and I celebrated our 13th anniversary Tuesday, but it was was 15 years from the Friday of Memorial Day weekend that is more memorable.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

I’m walking down a lonely road / Clear to me now but I was never told / Trouble with dreams is you never know / When to hold on and when to let go

If you let me down it’s alright / At least that leaves something for me / ‘Cause you know I’ve got an awful lot of big dreams

The last couple years it’s been a theme of mine that I had lost my dreams. I often drifted toward the dreams of others, especially my children. Maybe in fashion or a baseball star? A poet or filmmaker? After a spell I took to meditation and my “earthly” dreams slowly evolved toward a dream that’s “spiritual” in nature. But hey, not to get too heavy here.

The interesting thing now in quarantine is that when I would start to think my dreams would really disappear, they’ve returned. The first of which has been a bit strange.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

You somehow let me down / Both hands / And a gentleman / You could not take me through / New plans / Tell me whose / New friends / I can make some too / I know

Word around town is that people are starting to have weird quarantine dreams. I can certainly relate to that. What’s the expression—“no sleep for the wicked?” After a night of “strange unconsciousness,” I woke up to a magically still morning in the canyon. OMG beautiful!

I sat for my morning meditation, what has now become a ritual. Pre-quarantine, I’d be lucky to achieve ten minutes of stillness. This week I’ve been meditating over twenty minutes daily. Breathing and feeling, as thoughts come and go like ships in the night. Kinda deep, I know…

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Those Hollywood kids got it made / So let’s party, Dustin Hoffman / Those Hollywood kids / Those Hollywood kids got it made / Oh how the sun sets on my Boulevard / But leaves quite a shadow to fill

Oh how the sun sets on my Boulevard / But leaves such a shadow to fill / Oh the death of a fast life

Back in March I asked the question, how do we handle Corona protocol? After all, even movie stars and pro hoopers get it. I suggested we try to stay calm, keep extra clean, and keep a distance.

So far, for the most part, we here in Los Angeles have done pretty swell at it. Obviously the folks in the cities and countryside are experiencing this corona shit from different points of view. It’s easy to judge others reactions to being stuck at home for months.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

My makeup is dry and it cracks round my chin / I’m drowning my sorrows in whiskey and gin / The lion-tamer’s whip doesn’t crack anymore / The lions they won’t fight and the tigers won’t roar

La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la / So let’s all drink to the death of a clown / Won’t someone help me to break up this crown? / Let’s all drink to the death of a clown / La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la / Let’s all drink to the death of a clown

Was baseball season supposed to start this week? I believe the long-term effects of the quarantine are starting to creep into daily life. I guess I’d describe it as one of those roller coasters for toddlers—a long line to get on and short shallow hills and drops, like the one I believe they have at the Santa Monica pier.

Some days we’re melancholy. Yesterday was better. I watched the entire first round of the NFL draft only to realize our LA Rams were without a pick. At least it was live… well, not really because I tivo’d it. My wife kept asking me, “Are you awake? Can we watch something else?” and I kept insisting I was enjoying it because it was live even though I was watching a recording…

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