Category Archives: TVD Los Angeles

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

You ride on the swing / In and out of the bars / Capturing moments of life in a jar / Playing with children / Acting as stars / Guiding your visions to heaven / And heaven is in your mind / Take extra care not to lose what you feel / The apple you’re eating is simple and real / So water the flowers that grow at you heel / Guiding your visions to heaven / And heaven is in your mind

Some pretty cool lyrics to be had about heaven.

Heaven is a truck / It got stuck / On the breeze / Asked the driver nicely / I need a lift? / I need release / The sand in the boats / On the rose covered floats / She is the queen of  / A canceled Pasadena thrill / (California) / I know arks can’t fly / I know the sharks / They don’t have wings / But lady you need some cold advice / About a few things / Loosen my dress / Tie me up just like all the rest / She is the queen of / A canceled Pasadena, thrill / (California)

Some call them “bits,” I’ll call ’em crumbs. It feels like I’ve been living off crumbs of late, but surely whoever is reading this should know we’ve got heaven’s crumbs up here in the LA canyons. You know, lil’ bits of life that make it all worthwhile. Sometimes you gotta search hard for them. I sometimes find them in a smile. Like the grin Steph Curry gave to his baby brother Seth in last night’s Warriors play-off game.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

When I was young, my mama used to say, boy / A woman’s like a flower with love on her you shower / Ever since that day, her words never went away / I always will remember to treat my baby tender

I guess my quote means that lessons from mom stick with ya?

I’ve spent many Thursday nights in my garage creating The Idelic Hour. I’ve often wonder why I sit, listen deeply and explore song. It’s only for a few hours, but songs open my heart and spirit. There, at that moment, all that is good, cool and groovy may enter.

Sometimes grabbing a muse for my playlists can spark a little journey of sorts. I hate to be predictable about it, but at the same time the “routine” gives me comfort. Fuck man, in a world that seems to spin faster and faster every week—bring it!

(By the way, did you get a chance to peek the new HBO mini series Chernobyl? Ugh! It’s great but intense.)

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TVD Live Shots: BeachLife Festival,
5/3–5/5

REVIEW: BRIDGET GARWOOD | The first annual BeachLife Festival in Redondo kicked off Friday with plenty of mellow vibes and sunshine to go around. Situated on the Pacific Ocean near the Redondo Beach marina, you could hardly ask for a more idyllic setting, palm trees, warm sand, and sherbet sunsets were the backdrop for what the festival dubbed, “a huge beach party celebrating our way of life.”

The Southern California way of life was largely acoustic on Friday evening, with the almost-local gentlemen of Slightly Stoopid, hailing from Ocean Beach, switching up their reggae-ska vibes for an even more laid back acoustic set. With beach balls flying in the crowd, Miles Doughty and Kyle McDonald strolled onto the Low Tide stage, popped open their plastic beach chairs, and played fan favorites such as “2AM,” bringing special guest Bob Weir on stage just before his headlining performance, to cover “Franklin Tower” by the Grateful Dead, and Tom Petty’s “You Don’t Know How it Feels.”

Over on the Rip Tide stage Timmy Curran played his folksy tunes with a blues tinge to a crowd happy to groove along. Timmy’s surf music had some great harmonica pieces and lovely harmonies, overall calling to mind a slightly more down to earth Jason Mraz, who would take the stage Saturday evening.

Headlining Friday on the High Tide stage were Bob Weir and the Wolf Brothers. Commanding the crowd from his entrance with a jolt of electric guitar, Weir brought the sea of people immediately to their feet. The ease with which Weir rips off his solo runs during “Jack Straw” comes from his years in the spotlight with the Grateful Dead. His raspy vocals and soulful guitar immediately bring to mind a bygone time of hippies dancing in muddy fields, which is not a bad association for the BeachLife Festival to have in just its first year.

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TVD Live Shots: Yngwie Malmsteen, Sunlord, and Paralandra at the House of Blues, 5/5

Yngwie Malmsteen is arguably one of the most incredible guitarists on the planet today. Inspired by classic composers such as Paganini and Bach, this virtuoso from Stockholm, Sweden has taken the world by storm since going solo in 1984 and has never looked back.

A touring madman, Malmsteen is back at it again in 2019, blazing trails across the US in support of his latest album, Blue Lightning. Over the past 20 years, I have seen Yngwie perform on countless occasions, and each time I am blown away by the sheer magic that pours out in every performance. His distinct sound is like no other guitarist on the scene today—fusing classical music with rock into a melodic masterpiece that transcends time and space.

On May 5th, Yngwie Malmsteen marched back into Southern California (one of 5 local shows) for a night of mind-blowing guitar gymnastics at Orange County’s premier concert venue, the Anaheim House of Blues. Different from most Malmsteen performances, there would be two opening acts prior the Maestro taking center stage.

First up was Missouri quartet, Paralandra. I honestly wasn’t expecting much going into this set and was literally blown out of the photo pit by Cassandra Carson and her incredible vocals. Her on stage persona reminded me a lot of Lzzy Hale with some unique vocal twists that took their set up a notch. Next up was a killer metal trio out New York City called Sunlord. I have never heard of the band before, but really enjoyed their time on stage. Alfonso Ferrazza seemed to channel Lemmy throughout the set, and I will definitely be digging into this band going forward.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

We are the Sherlock Holmes English-speaking Vernacular / God save Fu Manchu, Moriarty and Dracula / We are the Office Block Persecution Affinity / God save little shops, china cups, and virginity / We are the Skyscraper Condemnation Affiliates / God save Tudor houses, antique tables, and billiards

Preserving the old ways from being abused / Protecting the new ways, for me and for you / What more can we do?

It’s been two weeks since my last Idelic Hour episode. It doesn’t really seem that long ago, but the world is spinning so fucking fast. I feel like so much has happened, but maybe nothing has happened at all?

Can you tell what’s going down? Between Muller and my 24 year daughter, maybe there’s an answer? There is a ridiculousness to the social norms that I can only smile about. At the very moment I am determined to move into May with a blast.

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TVD Live Shots: A Special Evening with
The National at the Orpheum, 4/26

REVIEW: CRYSTAL ECKSTADT | This was a night to remember, a more unassuming affair than one might suppose. But this is The National after all, and everything they do is unassuming—yet it’s not. To channel rock music into the gamut of existence and its myriad of emotions is what they do. As such, it’s not surprising then that they teamed up with Academy Award-nominated director, screenwriter, and graphic artist Mike Mills to create a short film starring Oscar winner Alicia Vikander.

I Am Easy to Find is a superb emotive piece tracing the fragments of a life. The score created by The National is the foundation for their new album, also entitled I Am Easy To Find. A five-city tour, “A Special Evening with The National,” that is drawing near its conclusion, gives the audience a chance to screen the film and hear the much-anticipated new music.

After the screening, a Q&A is hosted by Carrie Brownstein with Matt Berninger, Bryce Dessner, Alicia Vikander, and Mike Mills on the panel. Regarding the making of the film, Vikander said that it was one of the best artistic experiences she’s ever had. Following the Q&A, The National then took the stage joined by both Feist and Phoebe Bridgers.

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TVD Live Shots: Local Natives at Zebulon, 4/22

REVIEW: CRYSTAL ECKSTADT | After almost a decade-long run, Zebulon, the former Willamsburg, NY venue, closed its doors in 2012 and relocated to Frogtown, one of LA’s up-and-coming areas that’s creating its own music scene. Local Natives are in all senses of the word…locals here. They got their start in Silverlake and have stayed true to their local roots.

The band invited their fans on Instagram to an unusual listening party for their latest album, Violet Street, released on April 26th. Just for a few hours, The Los Feliz Car Wash was renamed the Megaton Car Wash (“Megaton Mile” being the 5th song from Violet Street). At the heart of the city of Los Angeles are a few mainstays from the past: obscure burger joints, doughnut shops, and throwback car washes that seem to line most streets. For a local band tapping into what signifies their city, a car wash was a novel choice.

Those lucky enough to get word of the event were treated with headphones to listen to Violet Street as they entered into a virtual car wash experience, followed by free tickets to the performance at Zebulon later that night.

Fans had the opportunity to get excited for what was to come and hear many favorites. Opening with “Sun Hands” from their 2010 debut album Gorilla Manor, the vibe of the crowd was already one of welcome arms.

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The Best of The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Oh I am a lonely painter / I live in a box of paints / I’m frightened by the devil / And I’m drawn to those ones that ain’t afraid / I remember that time that you told me, you said / “Love is touching souls” / Surely you touched mine ’cause / Part of you pours out of me / In these lines from time to time

Just the other day a number of female writers at NPR posted a list of “the greatest albums made by women between 1964 and the present.” They said it’s to be an “intervention, a remedy, a correction of the historical record and hopefully…”

…the start of a new conversation? Well, hey ladies! Let’s get our playlist on!

Although some of the selections are obviously political—therefore “whack”—everyone loves a playlist in the summer 2017. Even if it puts Beyonce up there with Joni and Aretha…no stress. A playlist is a playlist and the women at NPR have been on the same wavelength with me this week. Turns out, I have been digging through steamy crates selecting some of my favorite heroines on wax for this week’s Idelic Hour “All Girls” playlist.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

I’m just a lonesome l.a. cowboy / Hangin’ out, hangin’ on / To your window ledge, callin’ your name / From midnight until dawn / I been smokin’ dope, snortin’ coke / Tryin’ to write a song / Forgettin’ everything I know / ‘Til the next line comes along / Forgettin’ everything I know / ‘Til the next line comes along

For me as a parent of two kids, there comes a time when your “lil one” starts their journey toward his or her own musical taste. Most of us “rocker dads” try to steer the kiddies clear of music that makes us nutz, but…good luck on that.

From my experience, I feel comfortable saying that most kids leave pop music by 12 years old. My Jonah recently spilt pop for hip hop at age 10. Although hip hop radio is very repetitive, we’re happy to be leaving the pop world for hip hop, and to be honest there have been quite a few hip hop charms of late.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Well I stumbled in the darkness / I’m lost and alone / Though I said I’d go before us / And show the way back home / There a light up ahead / I can’t hold onto her arm / Forgive me pretty baby but I always take the long way home

Money’s just something you throw / Off the back of a train / Got a head full of lightning / A hat full of rain / And I know that I said / I’d never do it again / And I love you pretty baby but I always take the long way home

Let’s all just thank our lucky stars. And why the fuck not? Spring is here and although flat tires, rip offs, and car crashes may occur, it’s a long road.

So hold on to you friends and family say a prayer and when you need inspiration…

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TVD Live Shots: Queensrÿche and
Fates Warning at the Observatory, 3/27

As a lifetime fan, I could not have been more pleased with Queensrÿche’s recent performance in San Diego. Where many people wrote them off after Geoff Tate’s departure, I argue that the band is even better with Todd LaTorre at the helm and are now performing at a level not seen since 1990’s Empire. Wednesday’s show—along with their latest release, The Verdict—has signaled the reemergence of one of the most important bands in the history of progressive metal.

The early eighties were a magical time for rock and roll. Bands like Rush, Iron Maiden, and Van Halen were all in their prime and upstart bands like Mötley Crüe and Poison were beginning to take a hold on the Hollywood music scene. The Sunset Strip was flush with new talent, and clubs such as The Whisky and Troubadour were showcasing these acts nightly.

Then seemingly out of nowhere, a little-known band from Seattle named Queensrÿche burst onto the scene. Their unique brand of progressive rock infused with thought-provoking lyrics quickly won over the hearts and minds of fans worldwide. Almost 40 years and 30 million+ albums later, this band is still rocking harder than ever. On Wednesday, March 27th, Michael Wilton (guitar), Eddie Jackson (bass), Todd LaTorre (vocals), Parker Lundgren (guitar), and Casey Grillo (drums) took over the Observatory Northpark in San Diego for what turned out to be an epic night of rock and roll.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Who is “in” / Who is “out” / Who is “in” / Who is “out” / Up to nine, it’s OK, you’re “in” / After that, you’re KO, you’re “out” / It’s the same for boxing  / Movies, fashion and cash box

Time’s still flying as we hit full stride in March madness. Fools might come out of the closet next week as April showers wash away this Mercury in retrograde. All in all, we keep the nose to the grindstone.

Yesterday I pulled a few hours from my day to volunteer at the local middle school. I lectured three film classes on listening to music, and ate my lunch on a bench in the midst of hundreds of 13 and 14 year old kids—none of whom knew me or any of the songs on this week’s Idelic playlist.

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TVD Live Shots: Dream Theater at the Wiltern Theatre, 3/21

If you’re a fan of Dream Theater, it should come as no surprise that the band is still at the top of their game. For others who may be just getting to know these prog legends, there is quite a bit to learn about a band who has touched so many and given so much over a near 35-year career in the music industry.

From their early days when they were known simply as Majesty to the present, Dream Theater has continued to create a distinctive brand of progressive rock that engages the mind and inspires the soul with followers all around the world. Consummate story tellers, Dream Theater has a unique way of enlightening their audience through their incredible passion for music—an art that is very rare (and truly under-appreciated) in music’s modern era.

On March 21st, Dream Theater brought the latest chapter in their evolution to the Wiltern Theatre in downtown Los Angeles. Prior to the show getting underway, the band always takes some time to meet their most loyal fans in a special VIP meet and greet session. What is different about these sessions from other commercial VIP events is that the band interacts with each of their fans personally. Some got autographs from their favorite band members, others had their unique Dream Theater memorabilia signed, and most took advantage of the cool photo-op with the band. Fans were never rushed, and the band seemed truly humbled by the outpouring of love and support received throughout the event.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Wow, this week really flew by. Life and “stuff” are coming and going, seemingly at the speed of light. April showers and the taxman have replaced butterflies and sunshine.

Hopefully the sun will shine and butterflies will flutter back through the canyon. In the meantime, it’s madness. March Madness! To be honest, it’s hard enough to come up with time to dig into a couple of crates of records let alone predict who is gonna win in the first round of the NCAAs.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

There is a happy land where only children live / They don’t have the time to learn the ways / Of you sir, Mr. Grownup / There’s a special place in the rhubarb fields underneath the leaves / It’s a secret place and adults aren’t allowed there, Mr. Grownup / Go away, sir

Yes, there is a “happy place” somewhere around here. From gloom to “super bloom!”

On Wednesday the sun finally came out. I could almost feel the plants and flowers in our canyon pushing toward the sky as if to say, “Hello sun…please stay for a bit!”

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