Friday, October 15, 2010

TVD's Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Ever since we crossed the millennium, consumer cycles seem to move at us so quickly. At some point a week or two ago, everything went orange and black. I looked Halloween up on Wikipedia, and was informed that the holiday is linked to Celtic festival of Samhain, marking the final harvest and end of the summer. It’s the celebration of moving from the “lighter half” to the “darker half” of the year.

I’ve always loved the month of October and I thought it would be an interesting idea to do something to get into the Halloween mood.

Over the years I’ve encountered a number of witches. I’ve always found them kind, although I caution anyone casually toying with the super natural. “Magic spells" need to be taken seriously. With flying broomsticks in mind I’m calling this week’s Idelic Hour, The Witching Hour.

More so than witches, warlocks, goblins and black cats, this week’s playlist is about a time of day, or should I say an hour of the evening when the world quiets down enough to let the supernatural exist.

Strangely “strange” indeed, but will our world of 2010 give these supernatural beings an hour? I thought I might try.

Best to be listen to by candle or moon light.

The Idelic Hit of the Week:

The Head And The Heart - Winter Song (Mp3)

xosidealer | @sidelic

TVD Label Spotlight: Yep Roc Records | A chat with Alessi's Ark

Since January, Yep Roc Records has been operating under the expanded guise of the Yep Roc Music Group (YRMG). Founded in 1997, the veteran indie label been marketing and promoting UK-based Bella Union Records' releases in the United States, with Denton TX indie rockers Midlake leading the charge with their critically-acclaimed album The Courage of Others. Since then, Yep Roc Records has continued to turn up the volume on its work with developing artists (Jukebox the Ghost, Drink Up Buttercup, Peggy Sue, Darren Hanlon) the Yep Roc label as well as continuing to expand its relationship with Bella Union with albums by: John Grant, Lawrence Arabia, The Kissaway Trail, The Acorn and Alessi's Ark.

The musical avatar of Alessi Laurent-Marke, Alessi’s Ark might begun as homework but the 20 year old’s quirky, blade-sharp folk pop is mature far beyond her years. Required to play an instrument in school, Laurent-Marke took up the drums at age 11 and by her 17th birthday she had quit school to focus on music, become a Myspace sensation and signed with Virgin Records. Her debut album Notes from the Treehouse was produced by Bright Eyes/Monsters of Folk member and Rilo Kiley producer Mike Mogis, and was released on Virgin in 2009. Alessi reaped word-of-mouth support and acclaim, touring relentlessly and receiving plaudits for some stand out appearances at South by Southwest in Texas. Following parting ways with Virgin, Alessi signed with UK indie label Bella Union in 2010. Her new EP Soul Proprietor signals a new beginning for an already unusually experienced young artist.

I'm afraid I missed the vinyl boat growing up. Cassettes, CD,s and listening to the chart show on the radio every Sunday night are what I remember best.

When I started secondary school I picked up playing the drums and joined the school bands. Discovering live music and being excited by it, I started a zine inspired and encouraged by my family's love of music.

A special memory I hold close is of the afternoon my parents dug out old records from a cupboard under the stairs and showed us (patiently) how to lay the needle down carefully on their record player.

Seeing their hands handle records with such ease was lovely. I could imagine them playing these very same records in their bedrooms and it was such a warm feeling.

With shaky hands I persevered and eventually felt more comfortable choosing tracks and setting up the songs to play. Every detail is so special. Even slipping out vinyls from their sleeves and being able to read album credits and see the artwork on a bigger scale in the big booklets got me excited. CD booklets are minute in comparison!

Together, we got through a big stack of their favourites but the discoveries that really stuck with were 'On My Mind' by the Marine Girls (chosen by Dad) and 'Trouble' by Lindsey Buckingham (chosen by Mum.)

Parents know the good stuff!!

Though still more comfortable handling CDs and cassettes, I look forwards to sharing favourite albums with friends and family in the future, sat on the floor around the player with albums stacked around us - a picnic of sounds.

Some favourite songs of late:
Give Us Your Blessing - Shangra la's
Don't Mind Me - O Emperor
If You Can Wait - Jake Bellows
Goldfish - Roy Harper
Elephants Swimming - Rachael Dadd

TVD's The Ardent Sessions Presents: Jamie Randolph and the Darkhorse

Ardent Studios is a time capsule thousands of miles below the earth’s surface…or at least that’s the way it feels every time I have the privilege of walking through the door. I love everything about it. The smell (which they should bottle and sell in both spray and rear view mirror hanging formats) the random echoing conversations you catch the beginning, middle, or end of that make you stop walking and pause for brief reflection on what was just said, the ridiculousness that is the way that on any given day some super famous person is just roaming the halls. And that’s all before you start setting up your gear because you’ve gotten the magical phone call from Rachel Hurley that you are scheduled to play The Ardent Sessions!

We setup in studio C, which is my personal favorite of the 3 studios at Ardent. It’s the furthest away from the “hubbub.” For being a decade Memphis music person with mixed reviews, to be able to be on sacred ground with the ghosts of greatness all in the name of rock ‘n’ roll, is pretty f@#$*&% cool. We had a wonderful turnout of close friends, family, and fans that thought they were at a different band’s session…ha.

We played rock ‘n’ roll and it felt like a really rad sleepover or lock-in or like we were in a tree fort planning our late night invasion of wherever the girls we knew were (which we would always chicken out of and I never had a tree fort). Somewhere between the Goonies and walking around Hobby Lobby (which I love) is the best way I can describe the feeling of playing the Ardent Sessions. I guess what I’m getting at is it felt right and good and like home and, I’m sure all other performing artists can relate, rarely ever happens.

I’ve spent many unforgettable hours in Studio C. I always tell my friends or anyone that will listen that I want to either a: in the middle of the night, hire a crew to airlift all of studio C and set it in a super secret location, where I would spend the rest of my days recording and eating (if they still had snacks…c’mon guys!) mini Oreos, mixed nuts, and Cheez-its or b: hire an amazing studio architect and Hollywood set designer to build an exact replica of it.

The layout, the feel, the lighting, and again…the smell is all just perfect and it pulls out of me the best I have to offer the world in music. Most artists either never find that place or kind of do And…..they film it and put it on internet radio for you after your Disney experience! Like those rides where they take your picture at the scariest moment and then sell you your picture of your ugly face and your family’s ugly faces to you in a frame for $30, surely that’s not what Walt had in mind.

To hear more great Ardent Sessions please visit Ardent Presents. And to continue to hear the Ardent Sessions in the future, please consider donating to Ardent's Kickstarter Campaign to raise funds for the series.

TVD Recommends | The Backyard Boozarre

Sure, sure...some of you will be there for the vintage clothing, vintage cookwares, vintage furniture, handmade jewelry, artist prints and refurbished vintage clothing from local artisans. OR the funky furniture and home decor—big items like couches, beds, tables, lamps, chairs, armor, mirrors, bedding, quilts, ottomans, art and an awesome FOOZE BALL table. All in good shape, mostly vintage, reasonably priced.

But we'll be there for the music: 12:00 Brandon of Laughing Man | 1:00 May of Pree | 1:30 Vanessa of Frau Eva / Pree | 2:00 Aaron Thompson | 2:30 Vince of Army of Me / River James | 3:00 Lightfoot

The Backyard Boozarre | Saturday, October 16 · 10:00am - 5:00pm | Hotel Fairmont, 1200 Fairmont St., NW Washington, DC

TVD Fresh Track | New from The Joy Formidable

The Joy Formidable play the Black Cat on November, 11.