TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Walking down the street / Or walking on the moon / What’s it matter / Now to my cocoon? / Step into the sunshine / Man, it feels good / Birds and bees jamming / A theme for the neighborhood

Are we alright again? / Are we around the bend? / Am I lucky or brave? / Are you stronger today? / Are we alright again? / Yeah, I think we’re alright

I hope this finds you warm and well. I gather last Thanksgiving weekend either found you in seclusion or super spreading. I choose seclusion with Susan and Jonah. I watched a touch of sport, took a bike ride or two, and listened exclusively to my favorite new records of 2020.

Per what is now tradition, this first week of December is when all the press and blogs start releasing their “best of” lists. Before streaming… (hmmm, maybe we should call it “B.S.”—ha!) this used to take place in mid-December, but due to the race to be “first out,” most lists have begun to debut.

Now included with the “best of lists” phenomenon is the incredible and fascinating “data” Spotify emails each and every user. I gotta say, between the Idelic Hour and my Spotify listening data, I’m incredibly high on myself—totally feeling the thousands of hours I spend listening to my extremely cool taste. Not to mention the thousand or so new songs I’ve discovered. (I mean, who the fuck do I think I am? The nerve of me to think I discover music?)

Well, speaking of, the first installment of my annual “Golden Shower of Idelic Hits” is up. It actually takes great consistency and some organization and taste to put together my top 50 or so favorites.

I should mention that I do not consider myself a music critic. This is not meant to say these are best 50 songs of 2020. These are just the musicians whose new music I’ve been digging this year and have made 2020 bearable. I would add there is some kind of order, and as I do each year, next week’s set will function more like a countdown where my #1 Idelic Hit will be revealed.

As for this week, I started with a stack of 30 or so records and played most of them. I can’t say there was any true order but I did try to sprinkle new artists with great songs from old favorites like Elvis Costello, Eels, Damian Jurado, Sea Wolf, and Laura Marling. Even Ian Dury’s son (Baxter) got into the mix with a gem, and Ed from Radiohead cooly walks away with a worthy release and vinyl package of the year.

Stay tuned next week for the top half of my list—and please stay home and shelter in place if you can.

Feel your own playlist.


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