Imagine if you will, your favorite music aficionado Rob Gordon from Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity had his own radio program. … Let that sink in a moment… One, two, three… Right?? I’m reading your thoughts and I’m totally with you!! Your mind is completely aflutter with the possibilities!!!
Radio gets redundant – even the best radio stations. I met my very first radio station soul mate back in 2006- 2007-ish. I was driving La Cienega in West Hollywood and came upon a station called Indie 103.1. My mind was on fire because they mixed punk rock and jazz standards (their commercial boasted about playing Frank Sinatra – what??) and played obscure tracks from my favorite musicians. And all of us music fans know very well that an artist’s best music is usually not the music that gets radio play. Not only that, but Steve Jones of The Sex Pistols had his very own show called Jonesy’s Jukebox and he played hella good music. He played a live version of Rod Stewart covering The Stones’ Street Fighting Man that caused me to snap a mental image on my commute so I wouldn’t forget to go home and download the song. That’s all I ever wanted in a music station. Someone with my similar taste in music who has nothing but time to listen to every piece of music under the sun and pick out random songs just for me. The only thing missing was the occasional classical composition. Don’t get we wrong, I love Top 40 music… sometimes. Most of the time I love the music execs don’t care for. Now, that doesn’t mean I love everything other music geeks love. I could probably get into fist fights over music I hate though I am aware of the artist’s relevance in general. For instance, I love Bjork. Not a big [name redacted to protect me from fist fights] fan. He’s like Bowie for me. His songs are either really good or really not good and his voice is so grating I can’t invest the time finding the ones I like. I know. Kill me now. (Or don’t since you have no concrete evidence of who I’m talking about. Boom!)
Still, good radio had been illusive – for me, at least – until that moment. I felt like I, alone, had access to treasure no one else on the planet could possibly understand. And apparently that was true because at some point in 2008, my favorite radio station started playing on a loop a message about corporate B.S. and greed being the reason they could no longer maintain real estate on radio airwaves. End. Of. The. World. But, they were still available online! I’ll take it!
Fast forward to a day when they are no longer online and you understand the importance of my finding a station like 88.5 FM Southern California. And I’m only just beginning to explore this new treasure. And finding it was purely accidental! I was playing nonsense (Top 40) when my husband looked at the radio like it had hissed at him. I’d been playing it all day – not for me, for the pets. It gets noisy around here and I was trying to play a classical station, but this old radio’s antennae is none to good, so I found something else upbeat and passable and left for the day.
His hate for the music emanating from the Top 40 station caused me to search other channels until I was on 88.5 listening to Pretty Ballerina by Left Banke. It was like coming into the light from a dark tunnel. I felt like I was dreaming. I’d heard the song before, but years ago. ‘Huh,’ I thought. ‘That seems random and wonderful.’ Sure enough, the songs they played after were just as obscure and wonderful and I found myself on a website with the moniker “YOU DESERVE BETTER RADIO.” Yes. Yes! I DO deserve better radio! Thank you music gods!!!
Maybe this seems a little dramatic, but good music is drama. It’s supposed to move you towards every emotion under the sun, not just marked with the same redundant beat to make you only want to dance. It should be like a great book. Sometimes uplifting, sometimes horrifying. It should be an emotional mix and it should also be culturally diverse and should not be allocated to a certain time period. I love all music and I love music from every era. I have French music and Reggae. Hell, they played rap music and folk. Every song made me happier and happier to know someone else in the world loves all of it.
My husband and I don’t have the same taste in music. So it’s a big deal that we both like the same radio station. And you know, Jonesy’s Jukebox is still alive and well on 95.5 KLOS. I think it should be on 88.5, but that’s because it would only add to an already wonderful experience. And 103.1 is still up but reads:
Thank you to all the loyal listeners and DJ’s who supported Indie1031.com on this adventure that is now coming to a close. Keep striving to find and give the best to the world. You deserve it.
I do deserve it. We all deserve it. Thank you for your efforts and inspiring others to keep radio interesting and eclectic!!!
To support 88.5, go to this link and GIVE THEM YOUR MONEY!!!! http://www.885fm.org