Author Archives: Jon Sidel

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Cold fire, you’ve got everything but cold fire / You will be my rest and peace child / I moved up to take a place, near you / So tired, it’s the sky that makes you feel tired / It’s a trick to make you see wide / It can all but break your heart, in pieces / Staying back in your memory / Are the movies in the dark / How you moved is all it takes / To sing a song of when I loved / The prettiest star

Back from a couple of weeks and a Monday off, us Idelic cats are chilling in our cozy canyon backyard. Praying for a sunny June.

Memorial Day weekend was spent on the hot and dusty baseball fields of Santa Clarita. In addition to rock ‘n’ roller and Idelic DJ, I’ve become a baseball dad. Last weekend Jonah’s team was back to the “arms race,” known in California as “travel baseball.”

Turns out it was worth the 16 month wait as Jonah’s team swept through the State Championship with our Idelic pitcher hurling shutout innings in the game.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

I was a city child with a dead-end smile / And a worm’s-eye point of view / Oh I knew my way, I was a backstreet stray / And I had my eyes on you

Now I got this friend and he’s a screwdriver-jiver / You know, some kinda automobeat on the street / And he has converted me to rock’n’roll

I just want to dance to / Honaloochie boogie yeah / Get in time, don’t worry ’bout the shirt shine / Honaloochie boogie yeah / You sure started somethin’

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

I used a verse from the Mott the Hoople song above as my quote for the senior page of my high school yearbook. This week’s playlist was sparked by a song too, “Let’s Be Us Again” by a Portland group called The Declines. Funny enough, pulling songs about “us,” “you and I,” etc. This wonderful tune just didn’t seem to fit as well as Ian Hunter and Gary Numan.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Bit off more than I can chew / And I knew, yeah, I knew what it was leading to / Some things, well, I can’t refuse / One of them, one of them the bedroom blues

She delivers right on time, I can’t resist a corny line / But take the shine right off your shoes / Yeah, right off your shoes / Carryin’, carryin’ the bedroom blues

What to do this weekend? To be honest this work week has been a lot. I would say our family—maybe society?—is having psychological growing pains. Some physical too! A civilization is rarely “hunkered down” for so long. Most of us certainly have never experienced living in a mental and emotional bomb shelter. Well, we’re digging out.

I ate lunch at Fred Segal’s cafe on Melrose yesterday. For those of us coming out from the ’80s into the ’90s, Fred Segal has been been quite an institution in more ways than one. I’m dumbstruck that this clothes boutique and adjacent cafe has walked side by side with LA film, music, fashion, and culture trends. It’s where “ice lattes” and fine cotton t-shirts were born. We went for lunch, looked at pretty people, and chatted about deals and projects.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

The hand that wrote this letter / Sweeps the pillow clean / So rest your head and read a treasured dream / I care for no one else but you / I tear my soul to cease the pain / I think maybe you feel the same / What can we do? / I’m not quite sure what we’re supposed to do / So I’ve been writing just for you

As we slip into Spring there are a few things I’m grateful for. Certainly the vaccine and good ol’ Joe Biden.

Life in our city of angels feels like it’s slowly returning. Jonah had his first day back at school. Wednesday evening I took him for a pitching lesson. Watching my son hurl fastballs during a warm and peaceful Spring sunset was a slice of heaven. I know there will be setbacks and bumps ahead, but enjoying the simple things in life is not only what it’s all about, it’s all I have.

So I’m going to enjoy Spring. It reminds me of “girls.” From a guy’s perspective, seeing Jonah is now off to the mall with “new friends,” I thought I’d dig through my crates and pull some of my faves of the past. Odes to Laura, Gloria, Hermione, Stephanie, Caroline, Emily, Maggie, Cindy, Bertha, Delilah, and of course Carol.

“Oh Carol, don’t let him steal your heart away…”

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

You will never come close to how I feel / Space around me where my soul can breathe / I’ve got body that my mind can leave / Nothing else matters, I don’t care what I miss / Company’s okay / Solitude is bliss

Whether it’s Earth Day, Weed Day, or Psychedelics Day, this planet seems to keep spinning along. Sometimes our world and our perception of “time” is moving faster and faster. Years ago I heard of a theory that when you hit a certain age, your body (this case your brain), start to shrink and your perception of time changes.

Do you remember being in grade school and how long a 40 minute class was? These days the phone rings, I have a sip of coffee—and poof—an hour gone in a flash.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

They’ll stone you when you’re at the breakfast table / They’ll stone you when you are young and able / They’ll stone you when you’re tryin’ to make a buck / Then they’ll stone you and then they’ll say “good luck” / Tell ya what, I would not feel so all alone / Everybody must get stoned

I was up most of night with springtime allergies and woke up late this morning. I’m not sure if my scratchy eyes are from our beloved kitty Nori or from the massive amount of green pollen covering most of the canyon.

Even though we’ve been digging the warm early spring weather, a part of me is wishing for one of those April showers to wash away… well, to wash away everything. Can we simply restart everything?

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Our Father high in heaven, smile down upon your son / Who is busy with his money games – his women and his gun / Oh Jesus save me

And the unsung western hero, he killed an Indian or three / And then he made his name in Hollywood to set the white man free / Oh Jesus save me

Did you get a spring break vacation? Coming out of covid it seems like a ridiculous idea, but sure enough the world keeps spinning and people are moving back to the “next new normal.”

Wednesday my dad turned 87. Life is a trip and it hasn’t been easy watching him grow into his 80s. Someday, god willing, we’ll all be there. I hope I’ll still be curious and into new music. In dedication to Kenny, springtime, and the circle of change that life brings, this week’s Idelic Hour is mostly new songs with a few old treats sprinkled in.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

He’s a drug store truck drivin’ man / He’s the head of the Ku Klux Klan / When summer rolls around / He’ll be lucky if he’s not in town

Well, he’s got him a house on the hill / He plays country records till you’ve had your fill / He’s a fireman’s friend he’s an all night DJ / But he sure does think different from the records he plays

Last weekend my son and I took a road trip. It was our second such trip in the pandemic. Both were for “kids baseball,” what I like to affectionately refer to as the “baseball bullshit.” Let’s just assume a small group of 12 year old boys and their significant parents felt the dire calling to drive deep into the desert to play baseball.

The epic insanity, nonsense and tribalism resembled a kind of modern Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. How could the Sidel dudes miss out on that? I will spare you of the “play by play,” but my observation is that while our, “Idelic culture” and progressive ideals have been snuggled away in our cozy canyon pads, the rest of the country has been on the road, driving their “loaded” pick-up trucks across the wasteland.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Now is the time to / Sing for your supper / And you’ll get breakfast / Songbirds are not dumb / They don’t buy a crumb of bread / It’s said, so sing and you’ll be fed

I heard from a wise canary / Trilling makes a fellow willing / So, little swallow, swallow now

Looking to get a touch of the outdoors this weekend? I’m hitting the road so I’ve created a playlist for the road. Let the music do the talking and we’ll report back.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

I’ve been watchin’ all of my past repeatin’ / There’s no endin’, and when I stop pretendin’ / See you standin’, a million moments landin’ / On your smile, buried alive, I could have / Die to stay there, never have to leave there

All this trouble tryin’ to catch right up with me / I keep movin’, knowin’ some day that I will be / Standin’, facin’, all mirrors are erasin’ / Losin’ beauty, at least at times it knew me / At least at times it knew me / At least at times it knew me

Take a look at yourself lately?

I’m not sure what I posted a year ago, but the date March 12 rings a bell. It was about this time last year, midday Thursday I believe, I left my office in Burbank never to return. I made a pit stop at Whole Foods and lined up to buy whatever was left on the shelves.

It was a couple days before the virus caught my attention. My hipster daughter had done a film for Gucci with Nick Cave’s kid. Zoe was in Milan for fashion week. Reports were trickling in about a strong flu-like virus spreading from China to Northern Italy.

There have been mornings where I looked into the mirror and thought. “How are we gonna get through this?” Although we’ve lost many, the truth is most of us are still here. It seems our “magic mirrors” tell a very intense year long tale. As for my Idelic self, once athletic, I’m out of shape and slowly going grey, but still rocking on. My wife is rightfully often sick of my constant blaming and ’60s music. But after all of this, all of these years together, this chick is still as beautiful as that Friday afternoon I asked her out.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

I was sleeping, gently napping when I heard the phone / Who is on the other end talking, am I even home? / Did you see what she did to him, did you hear what they said? / Just a New York conversation rattling in my head

Ooh my, and what shall we wear / ooh my, and who really cares?

Just a New York conversation, gossip all of the time / “Did you hear who did what to whom?” / happens all the time / Who has touched and who has dabbled hear in the city of shows / Openings, closings, badrap party – everybody knows

Ooh, how sad and why do we call / ooh I’m glad to hear from you all

I am calling, yes I am calling just to speak to you / For I know this night will kill me, if I can’t be with you / If I can’t be with you

OK, I HAVE A PLAN. I’m gonna get a “vacci,” get a haircut, my teeth cleaned and eyes checked. Then I’m gonna buy me a plane ticket to visit my hometown, New York City. I’m gonna see my family, maybe dig up a few old friends, and for a few hot summer days walk the streets. Same streets I walked as a kid.

I might not run into anyone I know, but I’ll walk by where CBGBs and Max’s Kansas City once stood and smile about the night I fell in love with rock ‘n’ roll. I’ll stroll through Central Park, sit at the Bethesda Fountain and watch the world pass by, tell stories of hippies, weed deals, and frisbee. I’ll even toss the “disk” with my 12 year old.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Well, everybody’s lined up at my house, my house / And Sara’s girlfriend is working the door / Got everybody’s PA at my house, my house / All the robots descend from the bus / There’s a freakout brewin’ at my house, my house / In the basement

‘Cause Daft Punk is playing at my house, my house / You’ve got to set them up kid, set them up / You’ve got to set ’em up, ooh ooh yeah

Music never ceases to amaze me. I got home last night overwhelmed, hungry and stressed. Thinking about it, I’m like millions derailed and caught up in a news cycle that, due to mobile devices and the internet, never seems to give the user a break.

In the end it was just another week in quarantine and I’m likely doing way better than most. There is no doubt the music carries me through. I work in music with musicians and it’s my constant backdrop. Soundcloud is my companion.

Thursday nights have become a ritual at this “Idelic” pad. I consider myself lucky to be tucked away in the canyon high above Sunset Strip. Here sounds breathe above this town. It’s a city of glamour, show biz, music, and rock ‘n’ roll.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Just like a buzzin’ fly / I come into your life / Now I float away / Like honey in the sun / Was it right or wrong / I couldn’t sing that song anyway

Oh, but darlin’ / Now I remember / How the sun shown down / And how it warmed your prayin’ smile / When all the love was there

I know, I know, I like to talk about the weather and what a gorgeous day in is in our canyon. As the sun creeps in, so does hope—well, that’s my plan. This week’s been okay although I’ve never been lucky at Hallmark holidays and last weekend was no exception. At least some of us had President’s Day to recover from the “day of hearts” prior.

By the way, who’s celebrating a day for the Presidents of America? After these last four years? Nope. I was hung over from the stress of hearts and an endless quarantine.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Lazy flies all hovering above / The magistrate he puts on his gloves / And he looks to the clouds / All pink and disheveled / The way I act don’t seem like me / I’m not on top like I used to be / I’ll give in when I know I should be strong / I still give in even though I know it’s wrong, know it’s wrong / I guess I’m dumb but I don’t care

The morning before last I woke up to a huge screech. A huge coyote had somehow jumped the fence into our backyard and was stalking our poor Nori—our cool and beautiful canyon kitty.

On this morning all seems well—don’t tell me if it’s not. We’ve turned off the news, turned up the stereo, and plan to play dumb for the President’s Day weekend.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Lazy flies all hovering above / The magistrate he puts on his gloves / And he looks to the clouds / All pink and disheveled / There must be some blueprints, / Some creed of the devil / Inscribed in our minds / A hideous game / Vanishes in thin air / The vanity of slaves / Who wants to be there? / To sweep the debris / To harness dead horses / To ride in the sun / A life of confessions / Written in the dust

Who these days writes cool lyrics like these from Beck? “Life of confessions written in the dust”? Wow, where did “Young Crumb” climb into that that concept?

As we roll into February, songwriters seem to be taking up my Idelic call to arms. Relinquishing the constraints of quarantine, great new song releases are trickling out through cyberspace. Keep your ears peeled for some pretty cool and diverse shit.

This week’s playlist is populated with new songs and a new generation: Goat Girl, Arlo Parks, Palehound, and Jacklen Ro bring for a strong female perspective, others cling to assorted genres of the past

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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