Another Voice(s) Silenced

971-fm-talkLast month saw the demise of Indie 103.1.  Now it is being widely reported (and confirmed by an on-air personality’s Facebook status) that as of Friday, February 20th, 97.1 Free FM will be closing for business.

Luckily, the station will be reformatting to an AMP Radio affiliate, playing Top 40 hits by the likes of Britney Spears and Katy Perry. Because what the world needs now is more Katy Perry. Wait…What?

Beyond Adam Corolla, Tom Leykis and the rest of the 97.1 air personalities being out of a job, does this affect you personally? Did you listen to FM Talk? Will you miss it? Are you looking forward to more Rhianna on southern California’s airwaves? What do you think, Los Angeles?

Indie 103.1 Lives! (kind of)

indie 103.1 iphone appAs you certainly know already Indie103.1 is off the airwaves in LA, but still broadcasting online. Which is great if you are sitting at a computer all day, but what if you are out in the wild somewhere? Well if you have an iPhone today is your lucky day. Thanks to Boogah for tipping me off to this Indie103.1 iPhone App (link goes to iTunes Store) which will play the stream right to your phone. It requires wi-fi or 3G though, just too much bandwidth needed for Edge. Enjoy!

Help save LA’s underground radio, killradio.org

In the winter of 2000, I was working as an art teacher in Sherman Oaks when a co-worker asked me if I wanted to attend a meeting with her at a pirate radio station. “They’re giving away radio shows,” she said, and when I demurred that I didn’t know how to DJ, she told me they’d teach me how. I thought for a second, and despite the fact that I’m pretty shy & tend to not throw myself into work situations with strangers, I decided to give it a shot. It was an uncharacteristic decision.

It changed the course of my entire life.

Joining killradio.org, an online radio station with a sometimes-pirate terrestrial broadcast, brought me into contact with people I never would have met in a million years: anarchists, eco-punks, jazz poets, Bollywood-music geeks, Black Bloc-ers, traveling minstrels, bike messengers, indie DJs, Food Not Bombs chefs, radicals and militant members of movements that prioritized the democratization of media outlets. It was the first move that sparked a series of cascading events in my life that… Continue reading “Help save LA’s underground radio, killradio.org”

“A Now Story With Now Music!”

This post’s headline was the tagline to the 1978 feature film “FM,”also billed as “The movie coming at you at the speed of sound.” “FM” had an all star cast including Howard Hesseman and Eileen Brennan, and featured appearances by Linda Ronstadt and Jimmy Buffet. The plot focused a highly popular Los Angeles “rock’n’roll” station, apparently in some parallel universe where Linda Ronstadt and Jimmy Buffet were considered rock’n’roll.  The synopsis via IMDB:

Q-SKY is the #1 radio station in Los Angeles mainly because of the music they play, and running the station the way they want to. It has led them to a ratings success. The interesting radio personalities include: Jeff Dugan, rebellious head of the radio station; Mother, who is burned out from being a DJ; Eric Swan, a self centered romantic who wants more than just being a DJ; The Prince of Darkness, the hip night DJ; and Laura Coe, the easy-going type. The movie focuses on the battle between Jeff and his corporate bosses, who want more advertising and less music.

Sound familiar? Thanks to Colin Remas Brown, for steering me to the vintage must see trailer:

 [youtube]http://youtube.com/watch?v=Vpu95-MYgtw[/youtube]

One Last Shot of Indie 103.1

DJ Tedd Roman was the one we followed on Twitter all day at the news that critically acclaimed Indie 103.1 was signing off forever.

We followed Tedd from the first rumors of the format change, to cleaning out his stuff and frantically ripping albums, to picking up his last check. He even managed to snap one last picture of the Indie 103.1 studio.

Thanks for letting us listen in on your last day, Tedd. You hit the post.

Another Reason to Hate Cats: El Gato 103.1

Radio Insight chimes in on the flip of Indie 103.1 to Radio El Gato.

A pair of domains: elgato1031.com and 1031elgato.com were registered to Entravision in late December. The former points to an Under Construction page for the new station, while the latter redirects to a sister station in Sacramento.

Last week Entravision shuffled formats at a bunch of their stations nationwide. Many switched from its Spanish CHR “Super Estrella” format to Adult Hits “Jose”. In El Paso, TX one of the stations, 94.7 KSYE debuted the new “El Gato” format. Billboard described the format as such:

Featuring contemporary regional Mexican music, “El Gato” debuted on KYSE El Paso (94.7 FM) on Jan. 6 and plays music by acts such as Horóscopos de Durango, Intocable and K-Paz de la Sierra.

It also includes Entravision show “Erazno y Chokolata” in the afternoons.

Indie 103.1 is one of the most critically acclaimed radio stations in America and it will be interesting to see if any of its elements are able to transition elsewhere.

Have a nice day, listeners.

The indie rock still lives…win tix to Autolux & Delta Spirit.

I’m about as heartbroken as I’ve ever been (and man, that is some serious heartbreak) about Indie 103.1’s demise, but, well, I still have these tickets to give away. I’m too bummed to get all huckstery and clever to sell ’em, so really, if you want ’em, just leave a comment telling me your favorite thing about (R.I.P.) Indie 103.1 and I’ll get back to a few winners.

Autolux with Wooden Ships at the Fonda, 1/17
and we still have tix to The Delta Spirit with Everest at the El Rey, 1/16.

Represent, indie rock lovers.

BREAKING: Indie 103.1 No More?

Twitter is abuzz with news that Indie 103.1 is seizing their broadcast on that frequency.

RT @vickistephttp://www.indie1031.com/ just says “Thanks to everyone who made Indie 103.1 possible. We love you all.” new splash page on http://www.indie1031.com/ says 30 days until something. hmm???

UPDATE: Indie’s Tedd Roman Twittered “Rumor is the sation will now be El Gato 103.1.”

UPDATE 2: RT @TeddRoman: It’s official. All jocks cleaning out offices, lockers, etc. Online will be no DJs as of right now. Spanish flip tomorrow afternoon

UPDATE 3: RT @TeddRoman: This is posted on the Indie studio door. http://twitpic.com/1353l

UPDATE 4: RT @TeddRoman: About to turn the keycard in to HR and grab a final check. FRANTICALLY attempting rips of EVERY possible album in to my computer.

UPDATE 5: RT @TeddRoman: The shelves are quickly being emptied. We are all in shock. I feel like I need to puke. http://twitpic.com/135e4

KCRW music programming upgrade

A little more than a  month ago, Jason Bentley became the host of KCRW’s flagship music program, Morning Becomes Eclectic, (9 AM to noon, weekdays,) also taking over as music director of the public radio station that makes its home at Santa Monic College. It was only by chance that I heard the announcement in mid-November from the morning DJ/music director he replaced, Nik Harcourt. (Harcourt still has a Sunday evening slot.)

I’ll be honest; even though Harcourt’s passion for music was obvious, I was not a fan of most of what he played and I was not a regular MBE listener. But Bentley’s eponymous evening KCRW program (nee Metropolis) was a favorite, and when he sat in occasionally for Harcourt I found myself repeatedly checking the real time playlist on their site to get the artists’ names. Whenever he subbed on MBE, he didn’t play the same sort of music that he played at night (it had a dark, electronic slant,) but I was definitely more attuned to his taste than I was to Harcourt’s.

December 1st was day one for Bentley, and the entire feel of MBE changed radically at the very beginning as he cued up the hauntingly beautiful “Sense of Touch” from Mark Isham’s soundtrack for the movie Crash. I was immediately hooked and since then, I’ve been tuning in regularly; if I miss the morning broadcast, I can listen in the evening on KCRW’s online station, although it’s trimmed to a two-hour version of the original three-hour program. All past programs are also streamable from the KCRW archives.

Hey KCRW! Thanks a lot!

I finally forgave Ruth Seymour for firing Sandra Tsing Loh and joined KCRW during their recent membership drive. The free Mini Cooper convertible and trips to London and Japan eluded me in the prize drawings, as did a herd of Apple products like all manner of laptops and iPods.

BUT I was given an option of receiving a free one-year subscription to Newsweek magazine. “Why not?” I thought– as a bittersweet ode to dead tree journalism as well as a contrarian statement against the ubiquity of the interwebs and all they have visited upon ink-on-paper outfits.

“Why not?” I mused. How unhipster-ish, even old-fashioned, will I look as I sip my $9 latte at Intelligentsia or LA Mill whilst thumbing through the glossy weekly as others peck at their wafer-thin MacBook Airs and sleek iPhones, networking and news-snacking.

When the first issue (above, left) arrived last week with the happy, chipmunky-smiling nemeses of my political bent beaming defiantly at me from the cover, I grunted in disgust at the unsettling irony of it all. But when the second issue (above, right) arrived today, I actually almost started to cry a little.

KCRW, even you?! Is Karl Rove behind all of this? Ruth?!

Volunteer at KCRW August 8-18

img_1010-custom.JPGRadio station KCRW(89.9 FM) is one of L.A.’s treasures.  I first got turned on to KCRW’s  trance program (which may or may not have been Jason Bentley’s Metropolis) during late night drives to and from Long Beach when I was still a visitor here. Since then, I have enjoyed listening to Harry Shearer’s Le Show, Morning Becomes Eclectic, NPR’s This American Life, and much more.  If, like me, you are a KCRW listener and would like to give something back to the station and your community, come volunteer during their pledge drive this August 8 through 18.

Be a KCRW volunteer

Wednesday Bullets: A Shot At Big Tortas, Jackie Chan, and a $200,000 home

Jackie Chan’s Star

  • “When you think of Dodgers and “Jackie” only one name comes to mind,” says Ken Levine. That is Jackie Chan, of course. Ken describes his “one-on-one” radio interview with Jackie Chan for the occasion of his throwing out the first pitch at Dodger Stadium and shares the audio here.

Photo by hankoss, used under Creative Commons license

A Lovesong for Anna

I flew into LAX last night around 11pm from Dulles and when I climbed into my car to drive home after a long day of travel, my station was tuned to Lovesongs on the Coast on 103.5 KOST.

I can be such a cynic and usually think that the show and the love dedications are completely saccharine and the songs totally cheesy, but I was too weary to change the station.

Sometime shortly before midnight, a gal named Anna called into Karen Sharp, asking if she could play the ultimate cheesy love song: “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion. I lifted my arm to switch the station.

But Karen asked Anna who the song was to be dedicated to and a flood of emotion came tumbling out of Anna, who had obviously been holding it in while making the request. “My fiance Jason,” she said. “He died last week.” Jason had an aneurysm and though the song didn’t have any particular significance, she said that it felt appropriate because she wanted him to know that she would be ok without him. Karen asked what her favorite memory of him was and Anna said, “Probably a road trip we took together to San Francisco. It was the best week of my life.”

Sometimes I wonder if anyone still calls in to dedicate songs to others and yes, they do.

And sometimes a dedication will reach through and touch others who are listening, as well.

I send my best to Anna, who is somewhere out in this crazy city of LA. May your memories of Jason bring you comfort in this time of mourning.

KPCC Is Giving Away Ira Glass

kpcc_homepage2.gif

Wait….let me clarify…

KPCC (89.3 on your FM dial) is having their Fall Fund Drive and today’s prize is a trip to Washington DC to see Ira Glass in April, 2008. If you pledge and win* you will recieve airfare for two, hotel and tickets to the show at George Washington University. (Hey–GW University is in Foggy Bottom! I love saying Foggy Bottom. There is a Trader Joe’s in Foggy Bottom, did you know that?)

If you listen to Public Radio, you might already be madly in love with This American Life like I am. Recently, episode 339: Break Up kept me glued to my ipod (I subscribe to the podcast This American Life). If you have ever had a break up and listened to Phil Collins, you might really enjoy the first segment of that episode.

Check out KPCC, support your excellent local public radio station and maybe go see Ira Glass…

*No contribution is necessary to enter the contest, but don’t be a douche–contribute!

I’m, like, so LA I make myself sick

Sooo, after ten, count them ten, days on the New Job, they’re sending me to the Emmys to blog live. Not just locally, but–glory of stupendously distastrous glories, and possessed of an absolutely sublime capacity for monumental failure on a grand stage–it will be national as well. Ha! Hahahaha! Ahahaha! Ahem.

[Darth Vader voice] The FOOLS.

Ok, ok. No, I’m kidding. If there’s anything I know how to do, it’s blog. Yes? Right?

Kee-rist, I hope so.

kermie%20%26%20piggy.jpgI’ll be cloistered in what I presume will be a sweltering tent backstage with the rest of the media, for approximately ten hours, in formal dress, balancing a laptop and a camera, attempting to keep the snark from creeping into my posts as the hours pass, and, hopefully, I’ll be able to report back to y’all exactly what the experience is like when I get home at the end of the night–provided I’m not carried out of the place in a stretcher after collapsing when I misidentify the chick who does those Shoe Pavilion commercials for the gal who played Ray’s wife on Everybody Loves Raymond.

Heading out now to by some Naturalizer pumps. I don’t think they’ll let me wear my fabulously comfortable Burning Man desert platform boots.

The celebs I’m most excited about seeing…? See photo.