Friday, January 02, 2004

Comments, Links

The market for alternative rock radio in the Los Angeles/Orange County area is pretty much cornered by KROQ. If you're between the ages of 13 and 30, own a radio, and are not in the Britney/Christina or 50cent/Biggie Smalls camps, then you probably listen to KROQ. So when I came back from Michigan this winter, I was surprised to hear a friend tuning in to 103.1, so-called "Indie Radio" (which has been written about by Andy). Apparently, the new station that is getting a pretty warm reception, both from random OC webloggers and radio industry folks: despite a weak signal and likely lack of support by the Clear Channel parent company, it gets good reviews for its alternative playlist and targetting a neglected demographic. Of course, there are always skeptics (and that's a good thing) like Richard, who maintains that Indie Radio can't be as indie as Cincinnati's own WOXY Cincinnati. I think that's true, but you can't poo poo this station considering its location: Los Angeles. How indie can you be in a city that sees parades of Hollywood-made stars every week? One of the reasons I'm enjoying living in Ann Arbor is precisely because it's so far away from the entertainment machine: a band like the White Stripes wouldn't have developed their alternative sound in LA; it took a beat-up city like Detroit to produce that gem. I would expect similarly great music from Cincinnati.

Something that has been mentioned in the discussion of this new station is Groove Radio. Groove was a dance music station that was briefly on air in SoCal while I was in high school. For several reason related and unrelated to its genre, it didn't make money and went off the air in a matter of months. So it followed in the footsteps of KNAC (a failed LA metal station) and took to the internet, where it streams its broadcasts for a fraction of the cost of operating a full blown radio station. There are still no dance music stations in Los Angeles, nor in Ann Arbor, but fans of the genre who listen to music at their computers and have an internet connection can find streams on the internet, e.g. at Live 365 and Digitally Imported.

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