Author Archives: Jon Sidel

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

It’s automatic when I talk with old friends / The conversation turns to girls / We knew when their hair was soft and long / And the beach was the place to go

Suntanned bodies and waves of sunshine / The California girls and a beautiful coastline / Warmed up weather let’s get together / And do it again

With a girl the lonely sea looks good / Makes your nighttimes warm and out of sight

It’s Grammy week and I’m running like OJ in an airport. No stress, unless anyone cares? Loving that my canyon hit ’70 degrees and this new crop of music echoing off my garage walls.

And the winner is…

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Dare to squeeze the dead-ringer / Red dinger / On the wall for all times / Predicted to the icing on the cake

And the worms collect the ground / For the seeds to grow / But you never can know the speed / Is it 33 or 45? / Your fastidious clad broker / Stacks the black wax suits / Of the decked out man / But the plan is still in shrink / For the boys and off you go / Does it take the price to know? / That she is sold to the dream / To be the only one?

Thank God for a sunny day in the canyon. I started the week inspired by Tim Warren from Crypt Records. He DJ’d at my nightclub in NYC in the ’80s. Tim also put out a fair share of compilation albums and often DJ’d at Cramps shows. I would easily say Tim and Lux were record collector buddies.

So my goal was to do a set of nutty, trashy, and lyrically ironic ’50s and ’60s records and mix them with some of newer “ironic” records.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

To dream the impossible dream / To fight the unbeatable foe / To bear with unbearable sorrow / And to run where the brave dare not go

To right the unrightable wrong / And to love pure and chaste from afar / To try when your arms are too weary / To reach the unreachable star

This is my quest / To follow that star / No matter how hopeless / No matter how far

As this cold California January sets in, I’ve found my priority has been staying warm in my cool, old canyon, mid-century pad. It’s honestly kept me off turntables on my iPad.

Looking for random inspiration, I’ve been listening to an old playlist of songs made by a friend of a band I used to work with. It’s a fascinating blend of hippie obscurities. The other morning a song called “Did You Dream Of Unicorns” popped up.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

I’ve been from Tuscon to Tucumcari / Tehachapi to Tonapah / Driven every kind of rig that’s ever been made / Now driven the back roads so I wouldn’t get weighed / And if you give me weed, whites and wine / And you show me a sign and I’ll be willin’, to be movin’

Now smuggled some smokes and folks from Mexico / Baked by the sun, almost every time I go to Mexico, and I’m willin’ / And I’ve been kicked by the wind, robbed by the sleet / Had my head stoved in, but I’m still on my feet / And I’m willin’, oh I’m willin’

Today, I’m optimistic. Why the fuck not? Our cool crib and neighborhood didn’t slide down the canyon Tuesday. Could happen tomorrow. In 2023 anything, really anything, could happen. So why not enjoy dreaming big. Well, at least that’s what the guy at the liquor store and I were chatting about when I bought my lottery ticket this morning.

I’m just gonna hold onto that “ticket” like it’s a winner. No matter what the outcome. This life, this rock ‘n’ roll journey, my kids, wife, kitty, house, family, and all those groovy tunes buzzing thru my silly brain…

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

We’ve come a long, long way together / Through the hard times and the good / I have to celebrate you, baby / I have to praise you like I should

We’ve come a long, long way together / Through the hard times and the good / I have to celebrate you, baby / I have to praise you like I should

I’m having deja vu writing about the first days of the new year being like a blank canvas. Call this week’s “Idelic column” a rerun, but I have say that when it comes to my music consumption, I find myself a total creature of habit. I’ve spent the weeks from Thanksgiving to the new year listening to my favorite songs.

I’m a listener—looking, searching, seeking inspiration. Someone mentioned Mercury is in retrograde so I’m taking cues from this week’s playlist. I’m “taking my time,” but ready to move on to new pastures.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Continuing my month long “Best of 2022 Idelic Hits,” episode three is ordered differently than our top two episodes. For one thing, I spaced and only spun 19 instead of 20 songs (ha!), the top of which have a an extremely mellow vibe. Some of the songs from the top of 22 feel like oldies and some feel unfamiliar.

Whatever you make of it, I’m pretty sure the gods of rock ‘n’ roll are smiling upon this stack of records

Here’s the third installment of The Idelic Hour’s golden shower of Idelic Hits for 2022.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Continuing my month long “Best of 2022 Idelic Hits,” episode 2 came to together by “flippin thru” my recently assembled “crate” of new albums and singles—all released over the last year. For this episode I abandoned “counting down” records 21-41, and opted instead for piecing these recent gems in an elegant fashion to create a luscious hour of music.

Hey, that’s what Idelic Hours are all about.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Funny girl, you look so unassuming / Right up until the room you’re captivating / Starts to fill with gut-busting laughter / And you’re transformed into a five-foot Cleopatra / Funny girl, your schedule’s pretty crazy / Doing interviews for the new live action Cathy / Could you pencil in an industry outsider? / Yeah, you’re young but, baby, you’re not getting younger

Funny girl / For once your timing wasn’t great / I must have missed you by a day / But, baby, things have turned out pretty good this way / And I don’t think either of us yearns to share the stage

Funny girl, you seem pretty indifferent / But you knocked me out when you charmed the pants off Letterman / Oh, I wish you’d flash that manic smile in my direction / And let me lead you to your seat like we were old friends

Thanksgiving marks the end of new music for 2022. For years, blogs and websites have competed to be the first on the block to stake their claim for their “Best Of” prominence. I’ve always been excited to “dig through crates” and review all of the new records I’ve listened to and shared over the year. The act of sharing music is really at the core of who I am. It’s my dairy, my life’s work.

Over the course of 2022, I’ve observed a few things:

The state of music is currently upside-down.

2022 had more releases by known artists than any single year I can remember.

In a world of streaming services, there is no such thing as “Best of” lists.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

You’re heard enough / Of the blues and stuff / You’re pretty swell now / ‘Cause you’re pretty tough / But I don’t have to tell you / How hard it can be to get by

You never bothered / About anyone else / You’re well educated / With no common sense / But love, that’s one thing / You really need to get by

All your troubles / Come from yourself / Nobody hurts you / They don’t care / Just as long as you show them / A really good time

There is no greater day than the day your album comes out. Not that I’ve released many albums as an artist. Two actually, but being in the music business I’ve had the good fortune to share the joy of many album releases. Today is one of those days. In fact two artists I work with, Paper Idol and Jacklen Ro, released albums this week. Most of of the the week has been celebrating in the creative achievements of these fine artists.

In this day and age the process of releasing an album is so different—such a long digital “hike, climb, or march.” Maybe it’s why having a physical product, vinyl or cassette, becomes something to covet. I’m gonna hold onto the one cassette of my band I have and shake it and toast to the sky with joy.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Did she wake you up to tell you that / It was only a change of plan? / Dream up, dream up, let me fill your cup

Yesterday was Veterans Day. No school for the kid so it was more quiet than most. These canyon mornings have been very cold, so I chose to have coffee in bed and read the iPad and listened to ol’ Neil’s Harvest album.

Over the past few weeks it’s dawned on me more than once that Neil Young songs are no longer available on Spotify. Have you ever looked closely at your old copy of Harvest? The original package concept was to have it entirely biodegradable. The album, now 50, has a distinct California wintery, stoney, reflective quality that I found as smooth as my my morning brew.

I recall an early ’90s Neil solo, acoustic show. My good pal Barry (aka The Double B) and I were seated in the fourth row among many friends. I think Rick (Rubin) and Anthony (Kiedis) were next to us. Neil came out and sat on a stool surrounded by acoustic guitars. He picked one or two up and hit a few strings until he found a “friend” tuned to his liking. Then he simply busted into a spot on version of “Old Man.”

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

From the dew-soaked hedge creeps a crawly caterpillar / When the dawn begins to crack / It’s all part of my autumn almanac

Breeze blows leaves of a musty-coloured yellow / So I sweep them in my sack / Yes, yes, yes, it’s my autumn almanac

Friday evenings, people get together / Hiding from the weather / Tea and toasted, buttered currant buns / Can’t compensate for lack of sun / Because the summer’s all gone

La-la-la la la la-la la-la la-la la-la / Oh, my poor rheumatic back / Yes, yes, yes, it’s my autumn almanac / La-la-la la-la la-la la-la la-la / Oh, my autumn almanac / Yes, yes, yes, it’s my autumn almanac

There is a chance everything will work out. Why not? I think I’ll roll with that in mind this week. I know the times are a changing, and so am I.

Sometimes I’m scared to admit change makes me edgy. I get frustrated and feel old. Time has told me summer turns to fall and fall into winter. Some friends stick around and some fade into moonlight.

This week will be some of the darkest and coolest nights our canyon has seen this year. Funny six weeks ago was some of the hottest.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Our band could be your life / Real names’d be proof / Me and Mike Watt played for years / Punk rock changed our lives

We learned punk rock in Hollywood / Drove up from Pedro / We were fucking corn dogs / We’d go drink and pogo

Mr. Narrator / This is Bob Dylan to me / My story could be his songs / I’m his soldier child

Our band is scientist rock / But I was E. Bloom and Richard Hell / Joe Strummer, and John Doe / Me and Mike Watt, playing guitar

Hearing Dee Boone’s words rocketed me back to age 20. Oh, those were days filled with rocking fun times.

By the way, has the pandemic and fentanyl bummed your Halloween? Certainly more so than AIDS and ecstasy? The holiday and time of the year has always been my favorite, so I’m trying to keep my “boo” and “hoos” apart.

This said, I found it way more appealing to pull a few “cry in your soups” into the mix than the usual spooky tunes. The forecast is for absolute ideal weather in the canyon so I’m sending good vibes for all you kids out there.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

New Zealand, France, Switzerland, Northampton, Exeter, Egypt / It won’t do to cry about it / I’ve seen a rat / I’ve seen a guy cautioned by police for rollerblading / Let’s smoke and drink and get fucked I don’t know / Let’s eat pancake / You could take control of my mind or body anytime / Why do I trust you? / The answer is I don’t and I never will / Let’s eat pancake / I’m bored but I get a kick out of buying things / Autonomy can be found at the shops / For me! / For me!

Dry Cleaning is one of the more fascinating bands to come out of the pandemic. With Florence Shaw’s deadpanned narrations, framed by intelligent and powerful sounds, the band seems to have walked straight out of the audience and into the rock ‘n’ rock spotlight.

They remind me of the way Black Flag walked onto the stage at their first New York show at Club 57. At one moment I was standing with some dudes waiting for the band, and the next thing I knew those same dudes were on stage playing a brand of music I never experienced.

So “just don’t touch my gaming mouse.”

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The Best of The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Now my hair gets longer as the beat gets stronger / Wanna tell Chuck Berry my news / I get my kicks outta guitar licks / And I’ve sold my steel-toed shoes

As October gives way to shorter and cooler days, old Joe Biden reminded us last night, “It’s gonna be a dark winter.” Mercury is in retrograde and they say it’s an opportune time to “clean your desk.” I’m taking this as a metaphor and taking it to heart.

During Covid I’ve been meditating. During my sessions it’s dawned on me that the time has come to let the past go, and I’m talking all things! As a record collector, it literally pains me to part with any rock ‘n’ roll relic, but this was the week. I parted with my ’59 Les Paul Jr and my well worn pair of 32-year-old custom engineer boots.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

I forgot my book / At the fountain stairs / At a chapter on symmetry / Nobody cares / And I had a smoke / While I traced the squares / Put my finger to concrete / Felt the autumn air

When I look around / I can feel it spinning / Feet on the ground / Head on the ceiling

Sun on my shirt / Sweat on my hands / All falling in retrograde / Cancel all my plans / And I had to look / At the marching band / Skip across the pavement / Nobody’s there

Rolling through the week, taking it step by step. For whatever reason this week’s playlist is dominated by new female artists. This week’s “Idelic Hit” is from a group called “Men I Trust.” Right on, I’m applying for that position.

Those celebrating “indigenous” or Columbus Day—yikes what a paradox. I say, just keep stepping forward. In feet I trust.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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