Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Happy 10th Anniversary, Indie 103.1

It was 10 years ago today -- at 11 p.m. Christmas night, 2003 -- that now-legendary alt rock radio station Indie 103.1 took to the airwaves. Indie, of course, hasn't been heard on the radio since 2009. But the station lives on via the Internet, where a skeleton crew still programs an automated "Indie 103.1" radio stream. Listen here.

Meanwhile, here's what we wrote about the launch of Indie ten years ago:

Snap Judgement on the new "Indie 103.1"

Dance fans returning to L.A. from their Christmas vacations are probably wondering just what the hell happened to their "103.1 KDL" (scroll down for the answer). Meanwhile, station owner Entravision launched the frequency's new format at 11 p.m. on Dec. 25.

The station's handle? "Indie 103.1." College radio vets, begin guffawing at the station name now. But look past the unfortunate name, and I gotta admit, my initial impressions are pretty good. Scanning the radio message boards, someone said they even heard an obscure Public Enemy track on the station the other day. For a commercial outlet -- and one whose sales are being handled by conglomerate Clear Channel, no less -- that ain't bad. Gleaned from the radio boards at Radio-Info, here are two hour-long sample playlists heard in the last few days:

5:03 PM WHITE STRIPES Hello Operator
5:05 PM U2 Unforgettable Fire
5:09 PM MICHAEL ANDREWS Mad World (Ft. Gary Jules)
5:17 PM X White Girl
5:21 PM SMITHS What Difference Does It Make
5:25 PM NOFX Franco Un-American
5:33 PM PIXIES Velouria
5:37 PM POLICE So Lonely
5:41 PM IMA ROBOT Dynomite
5:43 PM FOO FIGHTERS I'll Stick Around
5:51 PM ATMOSPHERE Trying To Find A Balance
5:55 PM BEASTIE BOYS Rhymin & Stealin
5:59 PM NIRVANA Come As You Are

> > > 10:00 AM BAD RELIGION Sorrow
> > > 10:08 AM PEARL JAM Glorified
> > > 10:10 AM TALKING HEADS This Must Be The Place ...
> > > 10:24 AM STEREO MC'S Step It Up
> > > 10:26 AM SMITHS Ask
> > > 10:30 AM INTERPOL Obstacle 1
> > > 10:34 AM RAMONES Do You Remember Rock'n'Roll...
> > > 10:38 AM ENGLISH BEAT Best Friend
> > > 10:42 AM NIRVANA Come As You Are
> > > 10:44 AM U2 Bad
> > > 10:50 AM POLYPHONIC SPREE Light And Day
> > > 10:54 AM MARLEY, BOB/WAILERS Three Little Birds
> > > 10:56 AM RADIOHEAD Where I End And You Begin

I know what you're thinking: How can they call themselves "Indie" when (a) Most of the music they play was released on major labels and (b) Clear Channel is frickin' involved?!

I dunno. And the station needs to mix it up more. Where's all the new indie stuff? And how 'bout a sprinkling of alternative hip-hop, both past and present?

But it is nice to see some competition for powerhouse KROQ, albeit on a weak signal and with a narrow target audience.

Despite my early skepticism -- and yeah, they waited too long to add on-air personalities and get rid of the original slacker-sounding voice of the station -- I grew to love Indie, and am still sad that it's not a part of my car radio presets. Read my 2009 eulogy for the station here.

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