In the seventeen years I have lived in Los Angeles there have been two radio stations I have loved and listened to with serious commitment and pride. One was Pirate radio that went off the air in the mid nineties, only to be replaced by a heinous country station. Driving in my car one afternoon, wearing oversized Doc Marten’s, black cut off 501’s and an ironic polyester shirt from Goodwill, I went from listening to Jane’s Addiction to Garth Brooks in a matter of minutes, almost careening into a tree from the shock. I knew immediately that Pirate was too unique and independent to survive in the shark pool of commercial radio, especially in a competitive, shit slinging, crap loving market like Los Angeles.
My other true radio love, for the last five years, has been Indie 103.1, a cool, alternative, daring and electrifying collection of disc jockeys and music that have made me forgo both the c.d. player and the IPod in my car. It as made me feel cool, hip, young and in touch as I listened to everything from old school punk and new wave from the 80’s to new, alternative, unsigned bands struggling in the American Idol factory of mediocrity we now live in.
My son Otto will be twenty-two months in five days or almost two, for those who are childless and/or detest the annoying trait of keeping track of a child’s age in increments of 31 days or less. He has known no other carpooling/errand running/road tripping music other than the awesome mix of Indie 103.1 and an occasional Led Zeppelin or Smith’s fix his sentimental mother thrusts upon him. He loves Iggy Pop, The Clash, and Arctic Monkey’s as much as Elmo and his vintage Matchbox car collection. Once, while driving to a play date, I tried to play a c.d. from his music class, quickly discovering that the two of us became wildly cranky, driving no further than a city block before turning off what is best descried as a creepy dude singing about rain boots and rainbows.
I am sorry to say that today, like that fateful day in the 90’s, Indie 103.1 has gone off the air only to be replaced by a commercial, shit hit playing radio conglomerate. The likelihood that I will be lucky enough to hear this new station while getting my molars cleaned or a semi annual Pap smear is rather high. While one of my doctor’s inserts one of his fingers in one of my holes, I might be lucky enough to hear, Nickelback, Taylor Swift, Pink, Rihanna or God help me, The Pussy Cat Dolls, a group of leather clad street walkers who have fooled America into thinking they can carry a tune as well as they can suck a dick.
We are in terrible trouble in this country, with an all time high in unemployment and an even higher percentage of apathy and lowly artistic standards. Of course this small, fiercely independent and unique radio station has been pushed off the airwaves so gaggles of prepubescent teens can hear bands like The Jonas Brothers sing about love, hair products and chastity. Those creepy triplets of lame might say they are saving their ever so small wieners for the lack luster chicks they will eventually marry but we all know the truth. The moment that tool trifecta goes out of fashion with the IPhone generation they will be snorting piles of happy powder with those fat chicks and homeless criminals that used to rock out to their tunes in middle school.
So farewell Indie 103.1. You will be fondly remembered and deeply missed on the FM dial. When Britney screams at me on the 10 freeway or Carrie Underwood causes me to black out on Sunset Boulevard, I know that I can return home to my faithful laptop and listen to you again without going on a shooting rampage through the Barnes and Noble music section.
Please support Indie at their new home on line at www.indie1031.com and experience the cool.