Category Archives: TVD Los Angeles

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Lazy bones, sleepin’ in the sun / How you ‘spect to get your day’s work done? / Never get your day’s work done / Sleepin’ in the noon day sun

Now, lazy bones, sleepin’ in the shade / How you expect to get your corn meal made? / You’ll never get your corn meal made / Just sleepin’ in the evening shade

When tainers need sprayin’, I bet you keep prayin’ / The bugs’ll fall off the vine / And when you go fishin’ I bet you keep wishin’ / The fish won’t grab your line

Back safely in my canyon pad. The last few days of the trip confirmed that there’s no place like California. One interesting note from the road is to beware of east coast traffic. Gone are the yellow taxis of my youth, and what’s left—a traffic jam!

Speaking of the summers of yesterday, it was a cool counselor from Fayetteville, Arkansas who turned my pals and me onto ZZ Top. The claim was that ZZ’s guitarist ended their show by making his guitar say “thank you very much.”

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from New York City!

What you gonna do when you get out of jail? / I’m gonna have some fun / And what do you consider fun? / Fun, natural fun

I’m in heaven / With my boyfriend, my laughing boyfriend / There’s no beginning and there is no end / Time isn’t present in that dimension

He’ll take my arm / When we’re walking, rolling and rocking / It’s one time I’m glad I’m not a man / Feels like I’m dreaming, but I’m not sleeping

Check it out, y’all / I’m in heaven / With the maven of funk mutation / Clinton’s musicians such as Bootsy Collins / Raise expectations to a new intention

No one can sing / Quite like Smokey, Smokey Robinson / Wailin’ and skankin’ to Bob Marley / Reggae’s expanding with Sly and Robbie / I said, oops, your mama said, uh

Today is the last day of a two and half week trip back east. It took most of the week to get in a New York state of mind, but after walking the streets and playgrounds of my old hometown, I’m just about here.

My feelings are mixed—well, kind of like the Idelic Hour? There are happy and sad songs, old and new of every tempo. My overwhelming feeling at this moment is gratitude. Thankful for family and close friends and the opportunity to have been living a rock ‘n’ roll dream-life.

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The Best of The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Stranger from another planet welcome to our hole / Just strap your guitar and we’ll play some rock n roll / But the money’s is good / Just get a grip on yourself

It dawned on me a few weeks ago that 1977 was 40 years ago. It’s rather obvious, but for some reason it’s just finally sunken in. Honestly I’m in a bit of shock. ’77 was the year when punk rock and I came of age. I was 15 at the time—obsessed with punk rock 45 singles and pretty much bought every record of the era. Punk was more than just music. I listened to every lyric and read every “zine,” and I BELIEVED in every note and every word. I took down all my rock and Bruce Lee posters and replaced them with British punk posters I used to buy from Bleecker Bob’s—the Clash, Sex Pistols, The Buzzcocks lined my walls.

I remember explicitly embracing the concept of being 15 and being PUNK. I knew I had missed the ’60s, but “77”—that was my movement and I held it tight. I went to every punk rock show of note in New York City that year and the two after. When I visited San Francisco for six weeks that summer I went to the Mabuhay Gardens and saw The Nuns, Crime, The Screamers, Weirdos, the Dils, and The Avengers. I flipped tables, tossed chairs, and showed the SF punks how us New Yorkers throw a bottle at a band.

“No, you don’t throw it at the band, you throw it against the wall to the side!”

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from New York City!

Stuck in a rainstorm, but hi from NYC.

Heading to Cooperstown, NY to play on a field of dreams!

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TVD Live: Retra
and Death Machine II,
at Maui Sugar Mill Saloon, 7/3

PHOTOS: JULIA LOFSTRAND | A couple of years ago I sat down my favorite LA dive bar, Equal Parts, and ordered a very well crafted $10 whisky sour. I came to Equal Parts for the jukebox: Danzig, Patti Smith, The Talking Heads, ect. There’s nothing better than listening to The Stones’ “Sister Morphine” in a red-tinted, dimly lit bar, drink in hand.

But on this particular night, karaoke was ruining my sanctuary until this enigmatic androgynous being jumped on the bar and smashed “What’s Up” by the 4 Non Blondes. I peered up at her speechless as she stomped from one end of the bar to the other in combat boots and a fresh crew cut killing every high note of the infamous “and I said hey, what’s going on,” chorus. “Holy shit, she’s actually giving Linda Perry a run for her money,” I thought to myself. The packed bar gave her a standing ovation. I wondered about this person with this mega voice, but this is LA proper and good manners dictate not to be intrusive to the talent around us. I sipped my drink instead.

Flash forward to the night before our first 4th of July without Covid restrictions, and everything comes full circle when I walk into the Maui Sugar Mill Saloon to check out Retra, a rebranded version of the Glam Skanks who once toured with Adam Ant. To my great surprise, I find the Glam Skanks’ founding members Veronica Witkin (guitar, synth, vocals) and Millie Chan (bass, vocals) have paired up with the girl with the mega voice, Audra Isadora (lead vocals), and formed Retra. With Shaina Mikee Keiths on drums, Retra did what they came do: glam/soul rock the night out.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Got a feeling inside (can’t explain) / It’s a certain kind (can’t explain) / I feel hot and cold (can’t explain) / Yeah, down in my soul, yeah (can’t explain)

I said (can’t explain) / I’m feeling good now, yeah, but (can’t explain)

Dizzy in the head and I’m feeling blue / The things you’ve said, well, maybe they’re true / I’m gettin’ funny dreams again and again / I know what it means, but…

Heading into July 4th weekend I’m still trying to set my head straight. Last week I hit the high seas fishing with a couple of pals, but I still can’t seem to shake 18 months of pandemic isolation.

Next Friday I’ll be crusin’ my home turf of NY with Susan and Jonah in tow. Time to eat a few burgers and follow my son’s lead—and shrug this past year off and rock ‘n’ roll.

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The Best of 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!

It’s carbon and monoxide / The ole Detroit perfume / It hangs on the highways / In the morning / And it lays you down by noon / Oh Papa Hobo / You can see that I’m dressed like a schoolboy / But I feel like a clown / It’s a natural reaction I learned / In this basketball town

Last weekend I was struggling to have a cool Father’s Day. It wasn’t until mid-Sunday morning that I released I had the dates confused—Father’s Day is this Sunday.

Some of my friends would say I’m a cool dad but I grimace at the thought. Truth be told, I’ve never had much luck enjoying the day. As a youth I was often at the center of the party, but as a Dad I’m often left feeling more like a “party pooper” who can’t get his phone call returned from a “playa.”

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

No more pencils / No more books / No more teacher’s dirty looks / Out for summer / Out till fall / We might not come / Back at all

School’s out forever / School’s out for summer / School’s out with fever / School’s out completely

Do you believe in the power of the planets? Aliens? Does Mercury in retrograde ring a bell? In substance I’m with it all, but in truth I find it all to be underlying cosmic matter.

Ok, so what? After a week of many small and often annoying challenges I woke up this AM with a joyous contagion. It hit me that today is the last day of 7th grade for our Jonah.

I once owned a weekly LA club I named 7th Grade. My partner (notorious ’80s DJ Matt Dike) and I loved the name. The concept behind it was that “our ride” started in 7th Grade.

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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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