Author Archives: Jon Sidel

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Sunday morning / Sun shining from your eyes / Sleepy face / Smiling into mine

Sunday morning / Lots of time with nothing to do / Lots of time to spend with you / On Sunday morning

It’s so quiet in the street / We can hear the sound of feet walking by / I’ll put coffee on to brew / We can have a cup or two / And do what other people do / On Sunday morning

Sunday morning, Sunday morning, Sunday, Sunday / I love Sunday, Sunday morning

It’s actually rare these days that I’ll create a straight up “theme based” Idelic Hour set. This week however, “Sundays” fell out of my head. As a muse, a Sunday morning seemed too little to do with many of the new songs a fresh crop of baby bands have been creating.

The challenge of “standing,” a Margo Guryan classic, next. To the latest Nafets release, it’s really the entire point of doing The Idelic Hour week after week.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Sitting at this party / Wondering if anyone knows me / Really sees who I am / Oh, it’s been so long since I felt really known

Fragile in the morning / Can’t hold on to much of anything / With this hole in my hand / I can’t pretend that we always keep what we find / Oh, yes, everybody splits apart sometimes

Living in the wake of overwhelming changes / We’ve all become strangers / Even to ourselves / We just can’t help / We can’t see from far away / To know that every wave might not be the same / But it’s all apart of one big thing

Oh, it’s not just me, it’s not just me / It’s not just me

New from Weyes Blood. These lyrics are a motherfucker—a really great reflection and I relate.

This week if felt like our city dodged the crossfire felt in cities around the world. The weather that I love to chat about was classic LA Indian summer conditions. Personally, I had a bump in my road. I had a bad reaction to my covid booster and was out for almost two full work days with a splitting headache.

For those hours, all of the things that keep me going—music, food, TV—were just too much for my consumption. I didn’t panic, but can’t help reflecting upon how grateful I am to be back to my computer, listening to music, and eating crunchy day-peppers and cucumbers.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

It’s so easy, but I can’t do it / So risky, but I gotta chance it / So funny, there’s nothing to laugh about / My money, that’s all you want to talk about / I can see what you want me to be / But I’m no fool / It’s in the lap of the Gods

I can see what you want me to be / But I’m no fool / No beginning, there’s no ending / There’s no meaning in my pretending / Believe me, life goes on and on and / Forgive me when I ask you where do I belong / You say I (you can do it) / Can’t (you can do it) / (You can go and set it free) set you free from me / But that’s not true / It’s in the lap of the Gods

Last weekend it rained. There I go talking about the weather again, but a few things happened last week and a big one was that it rained and our heatwave broke. We went to a cool party and walked in the rain and got wet.

A few other now novel things happened. Some of us had birthdays, and in England they are burying the Queen. Not sure why it means so much to so many, but I can feel the winds of change in my bones. Such is the beauty of September and October. So, enjoy a playlist of cool news songs and a few more dedicated to the ol’ mum.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Makin’ believe this is what you’ve conceived / From your worst day (I’m takin’ a dive) / Oh, movin’ in line, then you look back in time / To the first day (I’m takin’, I’m takin’)

And you and your sweet desire (don’t you do it, don’t you do it) / You took me, oh (higher and higher, baby)

It’s a livin’ thing / It’s a terrible thing to lose / It’s a givin’ thing / What a terrible thing to lose

God Save the King. God Save the US. Stay cool.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

When it’s time to go / You’ve got to let Me go away / And face the world / Say goodbye, cry some tears, don’t worry / When I hit the city / I’ll build you a house / Right down the street from Mine / Have some faith in Me / And I’ll show you why

This week finds me clinging to my Idelic music favs: Hazlewood, Bacharach, with a big dose of Chuck Berry. Although the world feels wobbly, week’s end finds me enthusiastic.

Such is the summer of ’22. No need to make sense of it. A rollercoaster both epic and no big deal. Smell the mint, cucumbers, basil, and roses. Eat your favorite ice cream. Savor each bite, and cruise to the beat of the sun.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

And if the way I hold you, can’t compare to his caress / No words of consolation will make me miss you less / My darling, if this is goodbye, I just know I’m gonna cry / So run to him before you start crying, too

And make it easy on yourself / Make it easy on yourself / ‘Cause breaking up / Is so very hard to do / Oh baby, it’s so hard to do

This morning I drove down the canyon and dropped my kid off for his first day of high school. Truly not an occasion for a break up song, but all said, sentimental thoughts have invaded my Idelic playlists for much of this month.

Why am I not surprised I’m reaching for favs like Scott Walker and Burt Bacharach as comfort?

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

I wish I was like you / Easily amused / Find my nest of salt / Everything is my fault / I’ll take all the blame / Aqua sea foam shame / Sunburn freezer burn / Choking on the ashes of her enemy

In the sun / In the sun, I feel as one / In the sun / In the sun / Married / Married

Married / Buried / Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

GRUNGE. The first time I heard the expression was to describe my band. Late ’80s, as I recall after a rehearsal, Tom Loggia and I rolled by a party for Stephen Sprouse. The clothes were very rock ‘n’ roll, but the crowd’s super uptown Madison Ave types. We rolled up, dressed head to toe in leather, unshaven, stoned. I remember photographer Matthew Ralston greeting us with a big grin, grabbing me by my dreads, kissing me on check as he exalted “you’re so grungy, I love it!”

I’d not say I invented grunge, but I did own a bar in the heart of Hollywood called Smalls, and in the summer of 1990 when the Budweiser, dope, and dreadlocks were flowing. 4am would find me cruising my convertible Impala slowly west on Melrose listening to an advance cassette of Ritual De Lo Habitual. Our crew of “Hollywood Homies” were high as the August sun.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Rock and grills / Mountains and hills / They won’t last they won’t last / Your building’s tall very tall / Your people small very small / They won’t last they won’t last / They won’t last they won’t last

Stop rider coming baby / Cakifia is her name / Some call her California / She’ll break just the same / She’ll break just the same / She’ll break just the same

Over the many years I’ve written this “mini column” (aka intro) for the Idelic Hour, I’ve mentioned this and the hour of music is my weekly diary. This week was a big one in our home. Wednesday our son Jonah turned 14. As parents we understand a child’s birthday is a family celebration. We reflect on the day of and the day before. We pull baby photos and look and coo in awe of life and the constant ebb and flow of change—what I call my rock ‘n’ roll journey. As a second time around, an “older” parent, I also have become keenly aware that life only comes around once.

Wednesday was my one shot at celebrating Jonah’s Fourteenth, and my goal was to savor every minute of it. For me 14 was pure rock ‘n’ roll magic. In those days my old man had moved from NYC was living in San Fransisco. On the weekend dad would say, “go for a ride.” This meant we’d get in the car, pop in a cassette, smoke a joint, and explore the California coast.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

You got soul, and everybody knows / That it’s all right, whoa, it’s all right / When you wake up early in the morning / Feeling sad like so many of us do / Hum a little soul / Make life your goal / And surely something’s got to come to you

And say it’s all right / (It’s all right) / Say it’s all right / (It’s all right) / It’s all right, have a good time / ‘Cause it’s all right, whoa, it’s all right / Now everybody clap your hands / Give yourself a chance / You got soul, and everybody knows / That it’s all right, whoa, it’s all right

It’s the last weekend of July. It’s hot so I’m gonna keep it simple: listen to a bunch of old records and maybe hit a few new sides.

At some point this weekend I’ll ride my kid to the beach and watch him surf. I’ll BBQ some chicken and eat crunchy yellow cucumbers. I’ll try to do it all with a smile because “life’s a sweet ride.”

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

When you call Call my name / I need a shelter / I need a friend Someone to hold me To lend a hand / I fell on hard times / I lost the plot / No understandin’ The pain I got / My body’s broken / My body is bruised / Try to remember / What it’s like not to lose / I won’t go under / I won’t give in / Try to remember What it’s like to win / I need a shelter / I need a friend Someone to hold me To lend a hand / I fell on hard times / I lost the plot / No understandin’ The pain I got / My body’s broken / My body’s bruised / Try to remember / What it’s like not to lose / I won’t go under / I won’t give in / Try to remember What it’s like to win / When you call Call my name

Today’s thought? Is my mind broken?

Actually it’s my right middle toe. I broke it a few weeks ago and finally got around to a foot doc. The prognosis? “If your gonna break something it might as well be your right middle toe.”

Well, this said, there is a certain frustration with a small bone break. What a surprise as I found myself flipping through old records thinking of songs about broken bones and hearts. Luckily I don’t have a broken heart but I did pull a sad song, “Broken Finger Blues” from my departed pal Richard Swift, below.

It reminded me of the week I spent with him five summers ago. He was recording The Seasons, a brilliant French Canadian band I was trying to manage. In a quiet moment in the studio I asked Dickie about his next solo album. Swift played me the song. I remember turning to him, asking if he really broke his finger? He shook his head and said “Yeah Johnny.”

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The Best of Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

“That first summer of my recovery was one of the most beautiful I can remember, perhaps because I was healthy and clean, and I began to rent some trout-fishing days for myself, mostly on stretches of water in the neighborhood that had been specifically stocked for local fisherman… Fishing is an absorbing pastime and has a Zen quality to it. It’s an ideal pursuit for anyone who wants to think a lot and get things in perspective.

It was also a perfect way of getting physically fit again, involving as it does a great deal of walking. I would go out at the crack of dawn and often stay out till nighttime… For once I was actually becoming good at something that had nothing to do with guitar playing or music. For the first time in a long time, I was doing something very normal and fairly mundane, and it was really important to me…”

Ask anyone who knows me. During the summer months I am fairly obsessed with fishing. I agree with Eric Clapton, it’s an “ideal pursuit” with a “zen quality.” Yes it does have its barbaric qualities, but going out to sea, killing a few fish, and eating them…it makes me feel like an ancient warrior. Humble, strong, at peace. True the chick might be hotter at Sushi Roko on Sunset, but filling your belly with a big tuna you slayed…

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

She wants your image / She wants your kiss / She wants to get inside your head and tell it like it is / You want it badly / You want it so completele / I want to feel something more ’cause I can’t f***in’ breathe

I fell in love with the sweet sensation / I gave my heart to a simple chord / I gave my soul to a new religion / Whatever happened to you? / Whatever happened to our rock’n’roll? / Whatever happened to my rock’n’roll?

Fireworks, toasted marshmallows, barbecued corn, sandy steamers, and the feeling of cool sand at sunset. Whatever happened to those July 4ths?

Oh, and that feeling of summer. A break, a vacation from the adult rules. Rock ‘n’ roll. There has always been “rockin” on the 4th weekend.

Hopefully, on future “4ths,” we won’t be reminiscing about the simple freedoms we’ve taken for granted. Yep, we have to do something about it.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Inside every man / Lives the seed of a flower / If he looks within he finds beauty and power / Ring all the bells, sing and tell the people everywhere that the flower has come / Light up the sky with your prayers of gladness and rejoice for the darkness is gone / Throw off your fears let your heart beat freely at the sign that a new time is born

What’s the difference? If I was to guess it would be the little things in life? I don’t know, but I do like using a “question” as a muse for a playlist. Flipping through my crates, I came across my old Smiths albums. I remember hearing “What Difference Does It Make?” on Rodney on the ROQ. Thinking back it was a fascinating time in music.

The punk movement I adored as a teenager had essentially faded, replaced by new wave, which had it moments. California hardcore punk was still fun—and then there was this new music called rap. By this time I was a hip art student at UCLA. I found myself making blacklight graffiti paintings for the coolest underground nightclub in the Hollywood scene. The Rhythm Lounge played only rap and ’80s dance records (like Tyrone Bronson’s “Sticky Situation”).

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Well, I don’t exactly know / What’s going on in the world today / Don’t know what there is to say / About the way the people are treating / Each other, not like brothers

Leaders take us far away from ecology / With mythology and astrology / Has got some words to say / About the way we live today / Why can’t we learn to love each other / It’s time to turn a new face / To the whole world wide human race

Every now and then I enjoy Father’s Day. Certainly being a dad has been life changing. Take my word for it, dealing with a “Sidel kid” is beyond your wildest dreamz. My life’s goal is to just stick around to see what Zoe and Jonah do.

It’s not always easy, but my journey as a dad has been filled with so many amazing moments. Hey, just this week Zoe won best actress at the Brooklyn Film Festival for a film she did called Signs Of Love. Today she sent me three songs from her new band. Both filled me with tears of joy.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

You only live twice / Or so it seems / One life for yourself / And one for your dreams

You drift through the years / And life seems tame / ‘Til one dream appears / And Love is its name

And love is a stranger / Who’ll beckon you on / Don’t think of the danger / Or the stranger is gone

This dream is for you / So pay the price / Make one dream / You only live twice

Today’s thought? You only live once. Unless you’re Sean Connery of course. Life might be too short, then again it might be perfect. Songs are vehicles for my sentimentality as my Instagram flooded with photos from proud parents at graduations.

Surely Nancy Sinatra stuck a chord this week. My old man wasn’t much of a concert goer but he did enjoy a show and a dice game. Shortly after moving to LA for college, the old man had me meet him in Vegas for a weekend.

We drank, gambled, and sniffed our way to Caesars Palace where we stumbled into the showroom to see the Sinatras—Nancy opening for Frank! The impact of seeing Sinatra with Kenny was more profound than he would ever understand. In our final moments together I simply held him and sang “New York, New York.”

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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