Category Archives: TVD Los Angeles

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Now Alice needed money. I put ten dollars on the breeze.
As the wind died away, she sank way below her knees.
And as a hurricane passed by, she clutched the money from the sky.
She must have been at least a fathom high.
She works the forty second beat, on forty second street,
With all her golden ambitions, and dead rhinestones in her feet.
And when a stranger said she sucked, she just smiled, believing luck,
As she climbed into his truck, to make a buck.
Oh my god, she’s running ’round the trees,
Said she couldn’t touch them because they’re so real.
Alice you remind me of Manhattan;
The seedy and the snaz, the shoeboys and the satins.
Like a throne made of gilt that too many johns have sat in.
Oh, I got my eyes on you.

It’s the second Friday of ’22, and I’m happy to report for the second Friday in a row I awoke with cool vibes and sunny skies.

I was up late last night writing a letter for my son Jonah’s high school application, and of course I was listening to old and new records, reflecting on the past and what lies ahead in 2022.

I’ve declared ’22 that is the year to “GET OVER IT,” and consequently I’m working every day to get over fucking myself. Lol! So when I heard Ronnie Spector passed I looked at the cup half full and I thank my lucky stars to have lived and breathed some of the golden age of rock ‘n’ roll in both New York and LA.

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TVD Live Shots: Thievery Corporation with Dessa at the Wiltern, 12/17

Rob Garza and Eric Hilton continue to up their game with what undoubtedly was one of their finest live performances of 2021. From start to finish, the Thievery Corporation’s gathering in Los Angeles was spectacular and a much-needed diversion from all the chaos most have experienced over the past few years. If this show is an indicator of things to come for Thievery, sign me up. 

When folks ask me about Thievery Corporation’s sound, I always answer the same way. “Thievery’s sound is like no other. It’s an eclectic mix of dub, electronic, rock, reggae, and lounge that is always evolving and never quite the same.” Since the band’s inception back in 1995, many have tried to imitate TC’s unique sound, yet few have even come close to the cosmic blueprint that Rob Garza and Eric Hilton laid out so many years ago. And 25+ years later, their indelible brand keeps getting stronger and their amazing fanbase continues to grow. Could all bands be so lucky?

Opening for Thievery Corporation on Friday night was Dessa. This multi-talented singer, songwriter, and of course, rapper, dazzled the thousands of fans in attendance with a killer set that highlighted why Thievery asked her to support their West Coast tour. Dessa’s unique brand of rap engaged the packed house from her very first note and didn’t let up until the lights flickered back on.

While not being surprised by her ridiculous talent as a performer or lyricist, what did catch me off guard was how engaged the crowd was (considering Dessa was the opener). Many in the general admission pit sang along with Dessa word for word throughout her entire set, and that’s rare in a world where many seem to blow off opening acts for photo moments, libations, or socializing with friends in the lobby. Check out Dessa live when you can, she’s awesome and well-worth the price of admission.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Well it’s a wrap for 2021. As I said earlier, not the greatest year in rock ‘n’ roll, but let’s not give up on new music and stick to our wax.

Thanks to Jon and everyone at The Vinyl District for keeping the platform going. Love and props to all my pals who reached out over the last month to send love and support.

I wanna dedicate this set of the my favorites songs of 2021 to my dad Kenny. Have a safe and Happy Holiday. Let’s find a way to have fun in ’22!

Rock on! xo

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TVD Live Shots: Courtney Barnett
with Bartees Strange
at The Theatre at Ace Hotel, 12/9

PHOTOS: JULIA LOFSTRAND | With so much music out there right now, it seems that anyone with a computer can soapbox their way onto a stage. With overdeveloped artists reliant on every industry professional but themselves, POVS have become diluted and less thought-provoking. But, if anything, it’s just a reflection of our instant gratification culture. However, for a stripped down artist such as Courtney Barnett, it’s the bare essentials: simple guitar chords and lyrics that shine.

Courtney Barnett was the artist I wanted to cover most this year. With my sixth sense gnawing at me that this show was not to be missed, I went into high alert when tickets went on sale. Low on funds, credit card in hand, housing or no housing, just in case I couldn’t cover it, I bought tickets like any serious music aficionado would have done.

The moment had arrived. I settled into my seat in awe at the 3-story, restored 1920s ethereal Spanish gothic venue built by Mary Pickford and Charlie Chaplin. I’ve been to The Theatre at the Ace several times and it’s like viewing any great work of art—you find something new to admire each time. As it now stands in 2021 with LED lights reflecting on its ornate sunburst dome, it’s an otherworldly place to see the current generation make history.

Opener Bartees Strange, similar to Courtney Barnett with his renegade orientation to music, weaved in-and-out of emo, punk, rap, alternative, and ’90s R&B genres as he exhibited to the audience that he does not ascribe to a single vision for himself as he played songs from his debut release Live Forever. When he got down on both knees and stayed there for the duration of his cover of The National’s “About Today,” he had my attention. Anyone who knows me knows the fealty I swear to The National.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Let’s face it. This fall has been a tough go of late for both The Idelic Hour and The Vinyl District dudes. We lost loved ones, had to space out, and missed a few beats.

For the growing number of new vinyl fans, the lines have cued around the block. All said and done, we have no choice but to carry and rock on. And so did many a fellow musician who choose to release digital single after single.

For me 2021 was a year of searching to survive in every area of life. Finding new meaningful music was at times like looking for water in the hills of Simi Valley. In the end I found 50 new silver pieces to share. 25 today and 25 Friday next. Hope you enjoy.

Rock on!

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The Best of Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

We’re only making plans for Nigel  / We only want what’s best for him / We’re only making plans for Nigel / Nigel just needs this helping hand / And if young Nigel says he’s happy / He must be happy / He must be happy in his work…

Written by bassist Colin Moulding of the British new wave band XTC, “Making Plans for Nigel” is a New Wave classic. The song comes from the point of view of a parent. To be honest I can’t really remember making too many “life plans” in my early 20s.

This said, I did make “nightlife plans” daily and I dare say notoriously. As I’m putting together this week’s set I’m procrastinating thinking about how, as we’ve grown older, we tend to always be making serious plans. Ugggh…what a revelation. “What’s your plan?” Every day, with everything.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

On a clear day / Rise and look around you / And you’ll see who you are

On a clear day / How it will astound you / That the glow of your feelings outshines every star

You feel part of every mountain / Sea and shore / You can hear from far and near / A world you’ve never heard before

There comes a time when we must travel our paths alone. This mix of songs is dedicated to all who have bid farewell to close companions this year.

Strength and positive vibes to all.

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TVD Live Shots:
Mount Westmore ft. Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube,
E-40, and Too Short at Toyota Arena, 11/13

In front of a sold-out Toyota Arena, rap icons Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, E-40, and Too Short joined forces on stage as newly-minted supergroup Mount Westmore and put on a clinic for the 10,000+ fans in attendance on Saturday night. This was no ordinary concert, but more of a raging house party (circa 1991) fueled by cool drinks, tasty buds, and banging music all-night long. I wouldn’t have missed this one for the world, and highly recommend catching these West Coast legends when they blaze into your town!

I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect from Mount Westmore on Saturday night as my experience seeing supergroups over the years had been lukewarm at best. These collectives always seem to be billed as the “the next big thing” and then typically deliver lackluster performances that make me want to run for the door come mid show. Knowing that Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, E-40, and Too Short (four of my favorite rappers) were taking the stage together only added to my pre-show anxiety. That said, I enthusiastically entered the Toyota Arena (one of Southern California’s finest concert venues) with a smile on my face and high expectations for Saturday’s live performance.

For anyone who has not been to show like this, it’s important to know that the moment you enter the door, it’s a party. Beers are flowing, people are dancing, and music is pulsating from every corner of the arena. Now I’m not advocating for the “sticky-icky,” but clouds of smoke were thick and plentiful, and most partaking had smiles on their face from ear-to-ear throughout the show. It was just what the doctor ordered to get the house party raging—and rage it did all night long!

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TVD Live Shots: Evanescence, Halestorm, and Plush at YouTube Theater, 11/10

Wednesday’s triple-header at YouTube Theater featuring Evanescence, Halestorm, and Plush was pure rock and roll bliss. It was as if, for one brief moment, the live music stars aligned simultaneously allowing fans to let loose and rock out after two long years in solitary confinement. Make no mistake, Evanescence and Halestorm are two of the hottest bands on the planet and Plush is destined for greatness in the not-so-distant future. 

I don’t know about you, but I’ve missed concerts. With shows starting to spring back to life, I’ve really been looking for that one breakthrough performance that might signal live music is alive and well in conditions many consider to be our “new normal.” I’ve been fortunate to be front and center for many shows over the past couple of months, and only a few top-to-bottom knocked my socks off. That changed on Wednesday night courtesy of Evanescence, Halestorm, and Plush.

Kicking off the festivities at the amazing YouTube Theater in Inglewood was an up-and-coming, all-female rock band known simply as Plush. I’d never seen or heard of the band prior to them taking the stage, however I can honestly say these incredible musicians (all under 21, I may add) blew me away with their sound, swagger, and stage presence during a killer 30-minute opening set. If you don’t know who Moriah Formica, Brooke Colucci, Bella Perron, or Ashley Suppa are today, you will shortly.

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The Best of 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 Live Shots: IDLES and Gustaf at The Fonda Theater, 11/5

PHOTOS: JULIA LOFSTRAND | Out of the gate, IDLES’ Brooklyn based openers Gustaf captivated with their 5-piece art punk performance. Inspired by ESG, an early ’80s dynamic dance funk rock group, their music is part conversational irony and equal parts whimsy.

Their set, featuring songs from their newly released Audio Drag for Ego Slobs, was for these times and clever. As Talking Heads progenies, the flirtation with anxiety is there in conjunction with the bounciness of The Slits. Frontwoman Lydia Gammill’s teeth gritting and off-kilter dance moves paired with Tarra Thiessen’s rubber chicken fist pumping in the air felt like an improv comedy session for serious musicians. I was delighted by the brilliant lyrics of “Dog” and how they captured the love you might have for your ex’s pet—and not your actual ex.

It seems that “loads of people don’t fucking like us,” IDLES lead singer Joe Talbot told NME magazine in an interview last year, referring to the press maelstrom they found themselves in. After striking the ire of fellow British bands Sleaford Mods and Fat White Family for “appropriating” topics like class-warfare and racism in their music, the pushback was aggressive. IDLES are not the only musicians (think Bruce Springsteen) to inhibit a character to tell a story. I was confused.

Three sold out shows at The Fonda Theater in Los Angeles indicated to me that IDLES were much more loved than hated. Waiting for the instruments to change, a feeling of anticipation filled the room as a guy in a pink cowboy hat paced back and forth next to me. “You preparing?” I turned to ask. “I’m so ready. You gonna jump in the mosh pit with me?” he asked with a golden smile. “Probably not,” I laughed. As the band took the stage, the lights lowered, and a light tapping of the drums started. A distorted guitar droned on until Talbot’s voice crept in.

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TVD Live Shots: Wilco and Faye Webster at the Orpheum Theatre, 10/26

Since Covid changed our lives, returning to live music has been an emotional experience for those of us in the industry. And the emotion was palpable at the Orpheum Theatre on night three of Wilco’s run in Los Angeles. About halfway through the show, a teary Jeff Tweedy took a moment to thank the band’s crew for a successful fall tour.

“We’ve done this tour without anyone in our whole organization getting sick, and that can only be done with some luck, I’m sure, but also the full commitment of the best group of people in the world that travel with us,” he said. “Everybody that works with us, the crew, they’re the best fucking people in the world. So they deserve all of the applause.” Then he joked that it was odd to look at a masked audience but “it’s not as weird as some rock shows in history I’m sure.” Truth.

The evening progressed joyfully, as even Tweedy showed off dance moves rarely seen. But it was guitarist Nels Cline’s night to shine. A native of Los Angeles, he put on a guitar Master Class, blowing minds with each new solo. Those familiar with Wilco’s live shows know that such performances are simply the standard.

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TVD Live Shots: Phoebe Bridgers and Charlie Hickey at The Greek Theatre, 10/21

PHOTOS: JULIA LOFSTRAND | Since the release of Phoebe Bridgers’ first album, Stranger in the Alps (2017), she’s toured with The National, partnered with Bright Eyes’ Conor Oberst, started a record label, caused an internet uproar after smashing her guitar in a gender power move on SNL, and more recently had a cameo in Jackson Browne’s new video, “My Cleveland Heart,” where she played a nurse who “ate” his heart.

It’s not these iconic moments she’s been collecting that got her four Grammy Nominations for Punisher (2020), the album this tour is supporting—it’s her own brand of the strange and fealty to self-deprecation that has set her place in indie rock history to motion.

Thursday’s show was night one in a string of three sold-out shows at California’s pine-laden outdoor venue The Greek Theatre. Arriving at the tail-end of the tour, this show was a homecoming for Bridgers and opener Charlie Hickey, both natives of LA suburb South Pasadena. Now signed to Bridgers’ Saddest Factory Records, Hickey met Bridgers back when he was just thirteen when he covered one of her songs.

The surrealness of the moment at this hometown show was not lost on him as he voiced to the crowd, “This is fucked up. Some of you need to leave. There’s too many people here.” After gaining his composure he continued with his pristine voice and acoustic guitar with Bridgers joining him on stage for a couple of songs.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

She didn’t know how to live in a town that was rough / It didn’t take long before she knew she’d had enough / Walking home in her wrapped up world / She survived but she’s feeling old / And she found all things cold

Strange little girl / Where are you going? / Strange little girl / Where are you going? / Do you know where you could be going?

Walking home in her wrapped up world / She survived but she’s feeling old / ‘Cause she found all things cold

“Witches displeased by their own perfume?” “Butterfly laughter?” October is the season of the witch; some days of grey and cold, some of warm sun.

This week’s playlist is a nod to those strange “lil’ ones” that no man will truly understand, with a certain little girl who holds a special place in my heart.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

I’m on the outside looking inside / What do I see? / Much confusion, disillusion / All around me

I talk to the wind / My words are all carried away / I talk to the wind / The wind does not hear / The wind cannot hear

Spent last weekend bombing back and forth to Vegas. First time I’ve seen my dad for a few years. Ol’ Kenny got to see young Jonah crush a baseball. The two seemed to enjoy their brief encounter. It made the long drive worth it. Hours of Idelic songs, traffic lights and pavement. By the time we reached LA, wind gusts were blowing close to 40 mph.

Are we just “dust in the wind?” At times, maybe so. In the meantime I choose to allow myself the joy of baseball and rock ‘n’ roll. I had such a “breezy” time cutting this show’s “fall ball” records.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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