Friday, September 24, 2010

TVD's Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from New York City!

This week I’ve been visiting my home town, New York City. Walking the streets these past few Indian summer days gave me time to reflect on this week’s Idelic Hour muse, The Big Apple. This city will always be at the core of my musical make up. What keeps coming to mind is just how much the town has changed while still staying the same.

Yesterday I had a New York Day. Getting off the shuttle at Times Square I ran into Cliff, an old friend from my schoolyards delinquent days. We embraced and laughed about growing old. It’s been 35 years since we were kids jumping turnstyles. I got off at Penn Station sitting below Madison Square Garden, the building that houses many of the greatest rock shows I’ve ever seen.

I will never forget that feeling when I realized I was in the same room as The Rolling Stones playing Honky Tonk Woman! Headed west for lunch with my sister then downtown to 23nd street where I took in an exhibit of photos of Max’s Kansas City. Max’s was the 1st club I ever fell into. With these images stuck in my head I walked over the new High Line and strolled downtown carrying a state of mind I liken to this City, unchanged.

The Big Apple dig it is on this week’s Idelic Hour.

The Idelic Hit of the Week:
The Record Summer - An Enormous Anger Grows in Brooklyn (Mp3)

xosidealer | @sidelic

TVD Takeover | The Mynabirds

Today marks my last day of the TVD blog takeover. I'm pretty sad about it, honestly. It's hard to make time to write or give yourself some space to think and process what you're experiencing when you're on the road. I've brought two different journals with me: one for thoughts/musings/straight diary entries, the other for little moments in the day—revelations, experiences, street scenes— that have made me smile or laugh out loud. But in the day-to-day driving, unloading, sound-checking, singing, reloading, driving, sleeping and starting it all over again, those journals have been completely untouched. So this has been good for me in so many ways. Hope you've enjoyed it as much as I have. I only wish I'd been writing each note at an old mechanical typewriter looking out the window of a cabin in upstate New York at a slope of autumnal leaves thatching me up under the sky with a mug of hot black coffee at my fingertips and an old yellow dog at my feet—instead of in the backseat of a van, typing with my thumbs. No, wait. I wouldn't change a thing! I wouldn't be on my way to DC tomorrow if I were sitting in one spot somewhere.

I can't tell you how excited I am to be back in DC on Saturday. Even though I moved out of town a year and a half ago, DC will always be home for me. Can't wait to see my friends and family and get back to play one of my favorite venues in the entire world. Oh, Black Cat, how I love you (and have missed you!) so...

While I haven't been writing anything on paper, I have tried to keep up with the photojournalism for my memory books. I'll leave you with a story, strung together with haiku explanations. I started something I called a "haiku project" years back that I haven't quite kept up with: one photo for each day accompanied by a strict haiku (lines of 5/7/5). It was a great way of documenting each day. And it was funny the way that certain unassuming scenes were the ones that warranted the entry for the day -- they were the ones that told the very best story. It was a great way of getting new perspective. Anyway, here goes. Hope you enjoy it. And hope to see you in DC tomorrow.


Kaneko's sculptures
Backdropped Rosanne, Dan and I:
Our brains on music

Family Portrait
Post ode to Gene Smith, singing
our song: "Shit Happens"

Bowling and border
Crossing. Sadly no time for
The Motown Museum

Lights in a line like
Planets, tying us to Neil,
The first Mynah Birds

Home with the Rural
Alberta Advantage, beers
Til the sun came up

Missed Montreal in
The shuffle. Too quick a trip!
Zut zut zut alors!!

Dear Ben and Jerry:
Resurrect this flavor. Name
It "Mynabird Mud"?

Woke up in a scene
For an MC Escher sketch.
Good morning, indeed

Making a little
Sense of the alphabet soup:
Slumber party shows

Silkscreened ties and scarves;
Or, how to make thrift shopping
Tax deductible

Oh Brooklyn, your trees
Grow everywhere—Zen contrast
To the BQE

The past is present,
All time at once: Pavement sings
For a shady lane

TVD's The Ardent Sessions

For close to a year now we've been privileged to present the fruits of the labor of Ardent Studios—specifically The Ardent Sessions—in this spot each Friday morning. These efforts however aren't self-supporting and assistance is needed to keep these sounds alive. Ardent Studios founder, John Fry fills us in:

Rachel Hurley and I decided to kick off The Ardent Sessions on 3 years ago this December. The idea was to give up-and-coming bands some internet radio exposure, and to give them an introduction to the Memphis music tradition and current scene by performing in front of a small live audience in one of our studios.

When possible, I enjoy combining that experience with a personal tour of the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, as Stax is such a huge part of Ardent's early history. It's always fun for me to meet these young artists, and I am always amazed at how much they know about what all of us were doing in Memphis almost 50 years ago, not to mention how much they seem to enjoy some of that music.

Ardent Sessions, and its companion show, Ardent Presents (singer/songwriter acoustic) is now available on in addition to

Although this may seem like a new idea, it really goes back to the early 70s at Ardent. That's when we had a pair of 15kHz equalized telephone lines to WMC-FM100, and we would originate live broadcasts from our Studio A with artists like Lynard Skynard, Pure Prairie League, Martin Mull, Big Star, Cargoe, The Groundhogs, Stories, Hookfoot, Elton John’s recording band on Tumbleweed Connection, Ry Cooder with JLD, Wishbone Ash, Nazareth, and Charlie Daniels.

Yes, I do mean live - no delay, no opportunity to bleep or re-mix - no need to, really.

We started The Ardent Sessions because we thought it would be helpful to young musicians, and we have managed to keep it totally free of cost to the artists.

However, in the current economic conditions, this is becoming harder to do. At the moment we have no offsetting advertising income from the shows, so we thought we might ask fans to help us keep this a free service by donating to our Kickstarter Campaign. Let us know what you think.

—John Fry, 9/22/2010