Category Archives: TVD Los Angeles

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

There’s a world out there I’m running from / Full of plastic cards and chewing gum / The best of you, the worst of me / Leaves everything the same

I can’t take the light face to face / I spent my whole life moving in place / To live and die by a blinking star / Due north, only where you are

On a Spanish dune / We’ll turn to the moon / I’m here for now and I’m calling out

After this week’s “biblical” downpour in LA, I’m happy to report your humble Idelic host has not washed away. I just checked the garage and it seems my vinyl is also intact.

It’s a bit chilly for LA but to recap, it’s a clear beautiful morning in the canyon. We have electricity, internet, and therefore music. Some excellent coffee so…

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TVD Live Shots: John 5 with Jared James Nichols and The Atomic Punks at the Observatory OC, 1/26

John 5’s recent show at the Observatory OC in Santa Ana was nothing short of a masterclass in guitar wizardry and captivating showmanship. From the very first notes of “Season of the Witch,” it was clear that the NAMM packed audience was in for a night of electrifying music on what turned out to be a beautiful night here in central Orange County. From top to bottom, John 5 put on an amazing show, leaving no doubt why he is considered one of the most talented guitarists on the planet today. His performances are not to be missed, and this one was one of the best I have seen (bar none) in years.

Opening for John 5 on Friday night was none other than The Atomic Punks, a Southern California based tribute to early Van Halen. Considered to be one of the most authentic tributes to David Lee Roth era VH of all-time, these cats put on a headline type show that brought out the inner rocker in everyone attending. Classics like “Panama,” “So This is Love,” and “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘bout Love” were all sonic perfection coupled with spot-on stage antics that had the crowd wondering if this was actually Van Halen in its prime. My favorite moment of the night was watching Punks guitarist Frankie Lindia crush EVH’s legendary guitar solo “Eruption” in a way that few have ever been able to capture. His recreation of this classic was truly magical and literally brought tears to my eyes.

Next up was another up and coming guitar heavyweight, Jared James Nichols. Good lord, this guy can play. Known for his “pick-less” guitar playing technique, Jared crushed a 12-song opening set that left little to the imagination for the ever growing crowd here at the Observatory. I’ve seen JJN’s live performances before and can honestly say he took this one to a whole new level. Blues infused hits like “Easy Come, Easy Go” and “Skin ‘n Bone” were cooked to perfection and had the crowd screaming for more all night long. But it was Nichols impeccable cover of Alice in Chains’ “Man in the Box” that stood out for me. He took an already classic song and placed his own indelible stamp on it in a way I might have felt impossible. Respect.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

We hear them sayin’

How you get a rude and a reckless? / Don’t you be so crude and feckless / You been drinking brew for breakfast / Rudie can’t fail (no, no)

We reply

I know that my life make you nervous / But I tell you I can’t live in service / Like the doctor who was born for a purpose / Rudie can’t fail (ok)

I went to the market to realize my soul / What I need I just don’t have (oh no) / First they curse, then they press me ’til I hurt / They say, Rudie can’t fail

First you must cure your temper / Then find a job in a paper / You need someone for a savior / Rudie can’t fail

I’d say thank god it’s Friday, but I missed my TVD deadline. It’s a slightly chilly but clear Saturday morning in the canyon. It’s “Grammy Week,” filled with a number of events and parties. A week of industry schmoozing that really kicks the people who work in the music bizz into gear.

Of course technology (aka streaming) has changed many things, but happily some things remain the same. As I’ve said many times over many years, my journey is about great songs and the cool people I’ve met. If this week has any indication, 2024 will be filled with both of them.

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TVD Live Shots:
Metal Allegiance with Dieth, Held Hostage,
and Quor at the House
of Blues, 1/25

Metal Allegiance, the star-studded supergroup featuring metal heavyweights such as David Ellefson, Alex Skolnick, Mike Portnoy, and Mark Menghi, delivered a seismic performance at the Anaheim House of Blues on January 25. The band, known for its exceptional fusion of thrash, groove, and traditional heavy metal, crushed a 19-song set that torched a packed house deep in the heart of Orange County. This was by far the best show during the 2024 NAMM week and far exceeded expectations from both new and established fans alike.

The Metal Allegiance project (celebrating its landmark 10th Anniversary) stands as a testament to the enduring impact and influence of an amazing group of legendary musicians. With members hailing from iconic bands such as Megadeth, Testament, Dream Theater, Exodus and more, Metal Allegiance represents a convergence of immense talent, experience, and passion for metal music. This amalgamation of virtuosic musicianship and diverse influences infuses their live shows with an unparalleled dynamism and raw energy.

Thursday’s show kicked off with an electrifying performance by the San Diego-based band Quor. Despite being unfamiliar with their music, I was blown away by their captivating opening set, setting the stage for what was to come. Held Hostage then took the spotlight, delivering a scorching set that ignited the House of Blues. Prior to Metal Allegiance taking the stage for their 10th anniversary show, the supergroup Dieth, featuring vocalist Guilherme Miranda, drummer Michał Łysejko, bassist David Ellefson, and guest guitarist Jadran Gonzalez, delivered an awe-inspiring performance, seamlessly leading into the main event.

As the concert unfolded at the Anaheim House of Blues, Metal Allegiance wasted no time in igniting the stage with their explosive presence. The crowd was immediately engulfed in a sonic maelstrom as the band launched into their setlist with unrelenting force with “The Accuser.” Alex Skolnick and Andreas Kisser’s scorching guitar solos, coupled with Mark Menghi’s thunderous bass lines and Mike Portnoy’s drumming mastery, formed a formidable sonic foundation that reverberated throughout the venue.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

I wake up early in the morning / And I’m up until the dawn / And it’s only getting harder / For me to carry on / So I’ll Go to California / And I hope I get there soon / I’ll just sit next to the ocean / Underneath the yellow moon

Indeed there is nothing like a full moon over the city of Los Angeles. Last night’s hung low and wise. This morning was chilly but here comes the sun, and a couple of warm low hanging suns.

Cool bands are in today. The Smile, Ty Segall, Ekkstacy, Future Islands, Bill Ryder-Jones, and BRMC dropping cool vinyl. Justice and Tame Impala bring an electro clash, psyche-pop platter to the party. I can’t believe January is all but dust. Jonesing for longer days so…

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Your daddy, he’s an outlaw and a wanderer by trade / He’ll teach you how to pick and choose, and how to throw the blade / He oversees his kingdom, so no stranger does intrude / His voice, it trembles as he calls out for another plate of food

One more cup of coffee for the road / One more cup of coffee ‘fore I go / To the valley below

Out of my head this morning. Up to wee hours battling tech issues on my computer. I’ve always dreamed of getting back to cutting the Idelic hour at a radio station. I loved that feeling of broadcasting, completely alone at a radio station in the middle of the night. Dropping records for imaginary truckers on speed or lovers driving fearlessly into the desert night.

What that has to do with my broken laptop? Dunno? But to have resiliency in 2024 means something. Especially when it come to music and the business of it.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

You know I’m just a man / like any other man / Perfect is a thing I’ll never be / Awwww but it’s gonna be alright mmmm / It’s gonna be alright, listen to me / It’s gonna be alright / Wait and see / Wait and see

Week #2 of 2024. We’re still in good spirits, but I still have to say this cold and wind…yikes. Thank god for heating pads, hot coffee, and my old cashmere sweats my dad gave me. Year after year Kenny seemed to gift me the same sweats. I’d smile, try not to roll my eyes, graciously accept, and stash deep in my closet. So grateful for the warmth of an old friendly sweater this morning.

Oh yes and sweet music. Love and Other Crimes found its way onto my holiday turntable and “Wait and See” has become a bit of a mantra for me this new year. I love thinking about that famous first encounter between Sinatra and Hazlewood, bringing Lee into Reprise Records. Hazlewood thinks he’s gonna work with Frank. The Chairman walks in with Nancy says, “You kids go and make some records.”

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Like tattooed sailors who sailed all their lives / They will never sail again / Just imagine this, every trail in the south / Could be traded and judged by you and me / Like a crippled man who spends his whole live searching for one good friend / Sadly after all the time he find you’re still your own best best

Cause even tough dogs get beaten eventually

Listen hard, / All my artist friends who are crying / They won’t be crying any more / And we won’t respect a cop who gets a pay check for busting up an American union picket line / Together we grow up so fast like the fighters of 49 / Like Willie Hopkins and Gold Earl Jones / They won’t get forgotten by me in time

Even good dogs get beaten eventually

Top week of 2024. We’re in good spirits but I have to say it’s been very cold, dark, and windy in our canyon.

Feels like the weather could get crazy in 2024. Hopefully the rock ‘n’ roll will follow suit. For the first Idelic Hour of each passing year I generally just musically “dust myself off” to get a set of old favs that stumble onto my turntable and mix it with some discoveries I’ve made of the past month or so.

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TVD Live Shots:
Men Without Hats
with Strangelove
at the House of Blues, 12/22

The House of Blues in Anaheim, CA recently served as a portal to the past, whisking attendees off to the zenith of the synth-pop epoch for an extraordinary evening with Men Without Hats and Strangelove – The Depeche Mode Experience. Their exceptional performance was a much-needed end-of-year revival that underscored the significance of live music (and the ’80s in particular) to fans here in Southern California.

Strangelove – The Depeche Mode Experience, the opener for the evening, set the mood with their faithful renditions of beloved Depeche Mode classics. The tribute band’s attention to detail was impressive, from their meticulous recreation of DM’s signature sound to their spot-on imitations of the iconic band’s stage presence.

Their 15-song set was a nostalgic journey that had the crowd singing along to every word of every song. Standout performances included “Stripped,” “Everything Counts,” and my favorite “Enjoy the Silence.” Each of these classics were all spot on from a sonic perspective. Simply put, Leo, Brent, Julian, James, and Chris are some of the best in the musicians in the business, and this collective might be the best tribute to Depeche Mode on the planet today—bar none.

Following Strangelove’s energy-filled opening act, Men Without Hats took to the stage and instantly captivated the audience with their charismatic presence. The Canadian new wave band wasted no time in launching into their hits, starting with the timeless anthem “The Safety Dance.” The crowd erupted in cheers and immediately began dancing along to the infectious beat. And this was a real treat because in most cases, an iconic song like that would be the very end of the set. Not this time.

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TVD Live Shots: Queens of the Stone Age with Spiritualized at the Kia Forum, 12/16

The atmosphere on Saturday night (12/16) was absolutely electric as fans from all over the southland came together to experience an incredible performance by Queens of the Stone Age at the legendary Kia Forum in Inglewood. Led by Josh Homme and his talented bandmates, they delivered a mesmerizing 20-song set that seamlessly blended newer tracks with beloved classics, creating what many called “a show for the ages.” There final US stop on their 2023 The End is Nero Tour was hailed as their best performance this year, solidifying their status as a once-in-a-generation band and emphasizing their immense importance in the music industry.

Taking the stage before Queens of the Stone Age, the sensational band Spiritualized delivered a performance that left no room for disappointment. As they launched into their opening song “Hey Jane,” the crowd was instantly captivated by their distinctive trademark sound. Led by frontman Jason Pierce, the band mesmerized the audience with an awe-inspiring 8-song opening set. Their ethereal melodies and haunting vocals created a transcendent musical experience that seemed to transport listeners to another dimension (with me being one of them). The spellbound audience was entranced by Spiritualized’s ability to craft sonic landscapes that truly took their fans on a journey beyond imagination.

Now, let’s dive into the much-anticipated performance by Queens of the Stone Age. Although I had never witnessed their live show before, I had heard nothing but rave reviews, so my excitement was palpable as the moment arrived. Following a brief 20-minute break, the stage burst to life as the band finally unleashed their signature energy and intensity. The first chords of “No One Knows” ignited the crowd into a frenzy of exhilaration, and there was no turning back from that point forward. Josh Homme took command of the stage, delivering powerhouse vocals and blistering guitar riffs that sent electrifying waves surging through the Kia Forum. It clear to the 10,000+ in attendance that this was going to be one kick ass show.

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TVD Live Shots:
The Struts at the Wiltern, 12/10

Playful, charming, and a straight up joy to watch, The Struts delivered their final performance of their Remember the Name Tour at The Wiltern on Sunday night.

Formed in 2012, the British rock band came up with their name during an early rehearsal, with lead singer Luke Spiller noting “I was just moving around and somebody was like, ‘you strut around a lot.’ From then on, we knew we had a great name. We couldn’t believe it hadn’t been taken.”

Waiting for the band to take the stage, I began chatting to some dedicated fans who were buzzing with excitement, exclaiming “It’s their last show, it’s being live-streamed, AND we’re front row. This is going to be a good one!”

Living up to their name, their dynamic performance was effortlessly enchanting from the first note, opening with 2014 hit “Dirty Sexy Money.’”Parading (or, rather—strutting,) across the stage, the four-piece band played 17 mesmerizing songs in total from their discography, each showcasing varying elements of their raw talent. Whether it was a shattering guitar solo or a crowd call and response, the audience was undeniably immersed in the production.

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TVD Live Shots: Depeche Mode with Young Fathers at Pechanga Arena, 12/8

Depeche Mode, a legendary force in the ’80s electronic music scene, embarked on their highly anticipated 2023 Memento Mori tour earlier in the year. Their journey brought them to the iconic Pechanga Arena in San Diego on December 8th, marking one of their final stops on this extraordinary world tour. As a lifelong admirer of their music, I was thrilled to witness their performance, surpassing all my expectations and more. The band’s captivating 23-song set took fans on a mesmerizing journey through time, allowing us to relive what many consider the pinnacle of musical greatness. It was truly an unforgettable experience and one of the best concerts I have seen this year.

Looking back to the early ’80s, there are few bands that have had a greater impact on my life than Depeche Mode. It was back in 1984 when I stumbled upon Some Great Reward at Licorice Pizza, and from the very first listen, I was completely captivated by their sound. Over the years, my devotion to the band has only grown stronger. I proudly own every album they’ve released; I’ve had the privilege of attending their electrifying live performances more than 20 times, and I even bear the iconic Violator rose tattooed on my arm as a permanent symbol of my fandom. To say I’m a die-hard fan would be an understatement.

Taking the stage before Depeche Mode on Friday night was a sensational band hailing from Edinburgh, Scotland, known as Young Fathers. While I hadn’t yet witnessed their live performance or listened to their music, my pre-show research assured me that their opening set would be worth every penny of the ticket price. And boy, was I spot on. These guys brought an incredible amount of energy to the Pechanga stage, delivering electrifying hits like “Rain or Shine,” “I Saw,” and “Toy.” Observing Young Fathers in action, it crossed my mind that these immensely talented gentlemen could potentially become the next big sensation in the indie music scene. Only time will reveal their destiny, but one thing is certain: Young Fathers were absolutely mind-blowing.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

The Idelic “Golden Showers of 2023 Hits” continues: Sufjan Stevens, PJ Harvey, Steve Mason, Jana Horn, Corey Hanson, Susanne Sundfør, Paper Idol, Jessie Ware, Water From Your Eyes, Lil Yachty, yeule, Corinne Bailey Rae…

Sleaford Mods, The Dare, A. Savage, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Mannequin Pussy, Trash Day, Queens Of The Stone Age, Shame.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

I’ve been hit by the bus of love / That falling brick of you, yeah / Baby, when there’s tears in your eyes / You don’t have to lie / You don’t need to hide from me / I don’t want you to say anything

I see myself in you / I see myself in you / I see myself in you

You cut me like a deck of cards / You broke for the fire escape / Baby, we’re running out of time (running out of time) / I can be that guy / Who you cower behind (who you cower behind) / I don’t want you to say anything

I see myself in you / I see myself in you

Yep, it’s that week when all bloggers gather up their pebbles and present their favorites for the year. My annual “Golden Shower of Idelic Hits” is more a year end “count around” than count down.

This said, I do group them by show. Why hold the suspense? This episode is my top 20 of 2023 favorites. I put the set together in no order, other than my #1 closes the set.

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TVD Live Shots:
Exodus, Fit for an Autopsy, Darkest Hour, and Undeath at the House of Blues, 11/25

The House of Blues in Anaheim became a sanctuary for metalheads as it played host to a night of unadulterated brutality. Friday’s gig featuring thrash metal legends Exodus, Fit for an Autopsy, Darkest Hour, and Undeath was a sonic assault that left the near-capacity crowd begging for more. The show was executed flawlessly and was what everyone needed after the long Thanksgiving holiday filled with food, friends, and festivities. One of my top 10 metal shows in 2023 and that’s saying something.

Kicking off the night was Undeath, a rising force in the world of death metal. Their setlist was a relentless barrage of guttural vocals, intricate guitar work, and pummeling drums. The band commanded the stage with an intensity that captivated the audience from start to finish. Tracks like “Lesions Of A Different Kind” and “Acidic Twilight Visions” showcased their ability to seamlessly shift between blistering speed and bone-crushing heaviness. Undeath left no doubt that they are a force to be reckoned with.

Next up was Darkest Hour, a band that needs no introduction. With their melodic yet ferocious brand of metalcore, they ignited the crowd into a frenzy. Vocalist John Henry’s commanding stage presence and emotive vocals were a highlight of their performance. The band flawlessly executed their setlist, including fan favorites like “With a Thousand Words to Say But One” and “Amor Fati.” The crowd responded with mosh pits and devil horns in the air, echoing the passion that Darkest Hour brought to the venue.

Fit for an Autopsy took the stage and unleashed a sonic assault that shook the very foundations of the building. Their blend of crushing deathcore and introspective lyrics struck a chord with the crowd. Vocalist Joe Badolato’s guttural growls combined with the intricate guitar work of Patrick Sheridan and Tim Howley created an atmosphere of pure aggression. Songs like “The Sea of Tragic Beasts” and “Two Towers” had the crowd headbanging in unison, fueling the energy in the room to a boiling point.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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