If you have any kind of commute in the Los Angeles area at all, and spend any part of that commute listening to old-school FM radio — and I’m guilty on both counts, especially in the morning, when I want to be plugged into the universe — then you’ve probably noticed Indie 103.1.
In this day and age, Indie 103.1 was a small miracle: a radio station that was dedicated — mostly — to independent rock-oriented music, programmed outside of the normal boundaries. It was always worth a spin to see what they were broadcasting.
But now — according to their website — they’re leaving the airwaves, and will continue as an internet-only radio station.
This seems sad, but inevitable: after all, music radio has been killing itself for decades now, and the much of the audience for a musically adventurous radio station has no doubt many many other sources for music: the internet, their own collections, and satellite.
I’ll admit, I’m one of those people: Indie 103.1 is the type of radio station I’ve always loved, but I never listened to them as much as I should have. Decades of recycled, overprogrammed crap clogging the airwaves got me right out of the habit of listening to radio for music. On the morning commute, I prefer laughing at Kevin & Bean or Adam Carolla, and in the evening, I’ve got an iPod with 15,000 songs.
So it’s a bit hypocritical so bemoan the loss of a radio station that I didn’t listen to as much has I should have, but I did listen to it, and counted myself as a fan. I liked having it out there, and it occasionally turned me on to new things, most recently The Duke Spirit’s “The Step and the Walk,” one of my favorite songs from 2008. Also: I have sympathy for those who do worship it, as I remember 30 years ago when I a radio station I loved — Rock 96FM in Fresno — abruptly changed their format while I was listening to it.
While, as of this posting, Indie 103.1 is still on the air playing music recognizable to its fans, in between songs, instead of the normal rambling by Steve Jones, I heard the same announcement that is posted on their website. According to L.A. Metblogs, they’ll be “El Gato 103.1” tomorrow. The Cat, ooohhhhh.
So goodbye, Indie 103.1. I guess we can find you on the internet, but the Los Angeles airwaves are now going to be a lot more sucktastic.