Indie 103.1

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Indie 103.1
Indie 103.1 LA & OC logo.jpg
CityLos Angeles, California
Broadcast areaWorldwide
First air date2003 (radio), 2009 (internet)
Last air date2009 (radio)
FormatAlternative rock
OwnerCalipatria Broadcasting Company, L.L.C.

Indie 103.1 was a commercial radio station in Los Angeles, California with an alternative rock format. It started out as a traditional FM station and went online-only in 2009.


On December 25, 2003 at 11 PM, Indie 103.1 was first transmitted on the KDLD radio station. The first two songs to play were The Ramones' "We Want The Airwaves" and The Clash's "This Is Radio Clash" followed by a list of new songs that had never seen commercial airplay before, setting the tone for what would become a musically adventurous and rebellious radio station. The first employees were program director Michael Steele, music director Mark Sovel and TK.

For a month the station ran with no commercials or DJs and featured only the voices of listeners from phones messages left on the request line voice mail. Many of the phone messages were angry listeners yelling "You guys suck!" and "What happened to KDL the party station!"

The artwork for the Indie 103.1 logo was created by Obey Giant street artist Shepard Fairey, who would achieve fame as the designer of the Obama "Progress" and "Hope" posters.

The station began as a collaboration between Entravision and Clear Channel. Clear Channel primarily handled advertising on the station, but because the organization already owned the maximum number of stations in the Los Angeles market allowed by Federal Communications Commission regulations, the arrangement was terminated in March 2005.[citation needed]

On February 10, 2004 at noon the first live DJ appeared on Indie 103.1. The DJ was Steve Jones (Guitarist, songwriter and founding member of The Sex Pistols). Jonesy's Jukebox become famous for its free-form music and Jones' unorthodox delivery style which included long pauses, belches and the frequent whistling of songs. Jonesys' producer (Indie 103.1 Music Director Mark Sovel) was dubbed "Mr. Shovel" by Jones and became a comic foil for Jones.

The following week "TK" appeared as the second DJ on Indie 103.1 weekdays 2 pm – 7 pm.

Within the first year "Indie" (as it came to be known) was airing live original programs hosted by Rob Zombie, Henry Rollins, The Crystal Method and Dave Navarro.

In 2004 Rolling Stone Magazine declared Indie 103.1 "America's Coolest Commercial Station"[1]

Night time DJ Darren Revell later joined the staff 7 pm – midnight. From 10 pm to midnight Revell hosted the "shoegaze" program "Big Sonic Heaven" which he originated at Detroit radio station 96.3 The Planet.

Indie 103.1 quickly grew in popularity among listeners around the Los Angeles area and around the world. Though due to limited signal range it was never a ratings winner, in April 2008 Rolling Stone Magazine voted Indie 103.1 "Best Radio Station" in the country.[2]

In the former Fox TV show, The O.C., the character of Ryan is seen waking up to Indie 103.1 on his alarm clock. An Indie 103.1 bumper sticker is seen in the cubicle in the movie "Grandma's Boy" and in an episode of the MTV show Punk'd, the Indie 103.1 studios are the place Latin reggaeton star Daddy Yankee gets pranked.

In March 2006, Dicky Barrett of The Mighty Morning Show was forced out by the station.[3] He was replaced by Joe Escalante, who called his show "The Last Of The Famous International Morning Shows."

In February 2007 Program director Michael Steele left and was replaced by "Mad Max" Tolkoff of 91X repute.

On August 19, 2008, Station Manager Dawn Girocco announced her departure from the station[4] Starting in October 2008, longtime specialty shows were either dropped ("Feel My Heat," Community Service," "Big Sonic Heaven," "Camp Freddy Radio") or moved to weekends ("Harmony in My Head").[5] Upon the cancellation of his roots music show "Watusi Rodeo," Chris Morris accused the station of "now being styled as KROQ Jr." in an effort to increase the station's ratings.[6]

In November 2008, Escalante stated he was giving up the morning show but would continue to host an expanded two-hour version of his legal-advice show, "Barely Legal Radio."[7] He was replaced by longtime station Afternoon DJ "TK."

On the morning of Thursday, January 15, 2009, Entravision made the decision to stop broadcasting Indie 103.1 on the terrestrial airwaves.[8][9] On-air staff and station staff were asked to evacuate and clear the station immediately. Before 10 am, the station's personalities bid farewell to the listeners and at 10 am, a message was repeated on the air until midnight Saturday, January 17, 2009. The message, written by one of the Entravision sales managers and not an actual statement from the staff of Indie 103.1 read as follows:

"This is an important message for the Indie 103.1 Radio Audience - Indie 103.1 will cease broadcasting over this frequency effective immediately. Because of changes in the radio industry and the way radio audiences are measured, stations in this market are being forced to play too much Britney, Puffy and alternative music that is neither new nor cutting edge. Due to these challenges, Indie 103.1 was recently faced with only one option --- to play the corporate radio game. Indie 103.1 has decided not to play that game any longer. Rather than changing the sound, spirit, and soul of what has made Indie 103.1 great. Indie 103.1 will bid farewell to the terrestrial airwaves and take an alternative course. This could only be done on the Internet, a place where rules do not apply and where new music thrives; be it grunge, punk, or alternative simply put, only the best music. For those of you with a computer at home or at work, log on to That's and listen to the new Indie 103.1 - which is really the old Indie 103.1, not the version of Indie 103.1 we are removing from the broadcast airwaves. We thank our listeners and advertisers for their support of the greatest radio station ever conceived, and look forward to continuing to deliver the famed Indie 103.1 music and spirit over the Internet to passionate music listeners around the world."

Shows on[edit]

  • Barely Legal Radio (Fridays 11 am – noon) hosted by Joe Escalante of The Vandals, where Escalante gives entertainment-related legal advice to callers.
  • Passport Approved (Saturdays 9 am – 10 am) hosted/programmed by Sat Bisla of A&R Worldwide/MUSEXPO. The show features international music from all around the world and was the first in the USA to play Lily Allen, Arctic Monkeys, Wolfmother, Kasabian, Kate Nash, Adele, Duffy, Sam Sparro and many others.
  • Retrograde (Saturdays 7 am – 9 am), "the legends of indie rock," hosted by Dredd Scott.
  • Alter Native (Fridays 3 pm – 5 pm) hosted by Grammy-winning producer "Native Wayne" (Wayne Jobson), features reggae music and interviews with reggae musicians. Native Wayne is a native Jamaican of European ethnicity.
  • Chaos The Metal Show (Sundays 8 pm – 10 pm) hosted by "Full Metal Jackie."
  • Go To The Four (Wednesdays 3 pm - 5 pm) hosted by Mike Doughty.
  • Cocktails In The Kiddie Pool (Mondays 1 pm - 3 pm) hosted by Gia DeSantis
  • All Up In The Interweb (Wednesdays 8 pm – 10 pm) hosted by Bob Forrest.
  • All Time is Now (Sundays 5 pm – 7 pm) hosted by DJ Shark.
  • Space Invaded (Mondays & Tuesdays 11 am – 2 pm) hosted by "Tedd Roman."
  • The Lopsided World of L (Saturdays 11 am – 1 pm) hosted by Jonathon."
  • Something Different (Sundays 7 am – 9 am), hosted by "DJ Santo."
  • Breakfast With The Smiths (Sundays 9 am – 11 am), hosted by Jose Maldonado.
  • Coup d' État (Tuesdays 7 pm – 9 pm), with celebrity guest DJ's
  • Go Deep With Bruce Rave" (Thursdays 1-3p, Sundays 1-3p, Tuesdays 3-5p, Wednesdays 2-4a), hosted by "Bruce Rave"

On April 1, 2017, Indie 103.1's website was replaced with the following message: "Thank you to all the loyal listeners and DJ's who supported on this adventure that is now coming to a close. Keep striving to find and give the best to the world. You deserve it." Streaming appeared to have ceased.[10]

The Independent FM[edit]

In 2010, former Indie 103.1 DJ "TK" founded the internet radio station Moheak Radio,[11] which included some former Indie 103.1 features and programs including "Neon Noise," "Passport Approved" and the "Furious Frank at Five" (a Frank Sinatra song played at 5 p.m. Pacific Time). The name was changed to The Independent FM ("Indie FM") in 2013.[12] When shut down in 2017, "Cocktails in the Kiddie Pool" and "Breakfast With the Smiths" moved to The Independent FM.

Former on-air staff and shows on Indie 103.1[edit]

A number of famous musicians hosted their own shows on the station, including Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols, Rob Zombie, Henry Rollins of Black Flag, and members of The Crystal Method, and others, including Courtney Love have been guest hosts.

  • Jonesy's Jukebox (Mondays - Thursdays noon – 2 pm) hosted by Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols, The premise of the show is that the self-described "Sire of Wilshire" can do whatever he wants (within FCC rules), with no direction from station management.
  • Jonesy's Jukebox Jury (Fridays noon – 2 pm) hosted by Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols, Steve sits with 4 people, and listens and comments on new music.
  • TK (Mondays-Fridays 2 pm – 7 pm & 6 am – 10 am) Afternoon Show and Morning Show.
  • The Last Of The Famous International Morning Shows (Mondays-Fridays 6 am – 10 am) Morning Show hosted by Joe Escalante.
  • Mr. Shovel (Mondays - Fridays 10 am – noon) The Midday Show hosted by Indie 103.1 music director Mark Sovel.
  • Darren Revell (Mondays - Fridays 7 pm – midnight) The Evening Show.
  • Harmony in My Head (Saturdays 8 pm – 10 pm) Indie's most eclectic music show with social and political commentary, hosted by Henry Rollins.
  • Check One Two (Sundays 6 pm – 8 pm) hosted by station music director Mark Sovel(Mr. Shovel), features local music and in-studio performances from Los Angeles area bands.
  • Big Sonic Heaven (Monday-Thursdays 10 pm – midnight) featuring ethereal, electronic, dream pop, shoegaze and post-punk music. Darren Revell hosts, programs and produces Big Sonic Heaven which originally aired in Detroit from 1995-2003.
  • iTunes @ 2 (Fridays 2 pm – 3 pm) hosted by Alex Luke, who at the time was Director of Music Programming at Apple Computer (formerly VP of Napster) and is currently senior VP of A&R at Capitol Records.
  • The Smash Mix (Friday 5:30 pm – 6 pm, approximately) with DJ Paul V.
  • Complete Control (Saturdays 10 pm – midnight) hosted by Joe Sib of the band Wax, features punk rock.
  • Dark Matter (Wednesdays, midnight-2 am) hosted by Dave Navarro.
  • Neon Noise (Sundays noon – 3 am), features Electronic music and mixes, hosted by DJ Paul V.
  • Head Trip (Sundays 6 am – 9 am) Electronic, underground and new music on Sunday mornings, hosted by DJ and Producer Christian B.
  • Dead Air (Sundays 8 pm – 10 pm) Indie's new music show featuring in-studio performances, hosted by Chuck P.
  • The Red Zone (currently not on air) hosted by Cha-Cha (Chelina Vargas), features Latin Alternative music, much of it from unsigned bands. Co-created by Tomas Cookman, the show first aired on now-defunct Y107 (KLYY) in 1999, making it likely the first Latin Alternative radio show to broadcast on a commercial English-language radio station. The show appeared on MTV Español and was at one point turned down by KROQ-FM before airing on Indie 103.1.
  • Spookshow International hosted by Rob Zombie.
  • New Wave Nation, a syndicated show hosted by former MTV VJ Nina Blackwood.
  • Camp Freddy Radio (Saturdays 6 pm – 8 pm) hosted Dave Navarro and other members of Camp Freddy.
  • Feel My Heat (Mondays 7 pm – 10 pm) hosted by Brent Bolthouse and Danny Masterson. The show's title is taken from the film Boogie Nights.
  • Community Service (Fridays 10 pm – midnight) hosted by Ken Jordan and Scott Kirkland of The Crystal Method.
  • Watusi Rodeo (Sundays 9 am – 11 am), a show of Americana music hosted originally by "Doc Holiday" (Michael Whited) and continued by music writer Chris Morris. Canceled in December 2008.[2]
  • NXT LVL (Fridays 2 pm – 4 pm), hosted by "Sara T."
  • Comedy Death-Ray Radio (Fridays noon) Comedy show hosted by Mr. Show writer and actor Scott Aukerman.
  • Suicide Girls Radio (Sunday nights 10 pm – midnight) hosted by the Suicide Girls.
  • Sala de Espera (Tuesdays 3 pm – 5 pm) hosted by "Jose Galvan."
  • Listen Up! Fim Radio (Thursdays 7 pm – 9 pm) hosted by "Fim."
  • Indie Movie Show (Thursdays 4 pm – 5 pm) hosted by "Liz Warner, Jose Galvan, Stephanie Lebow, Jeff Robinson, and Craig Carlisle."
  • Wino Wednesday (Wednesdays noon – 2 pm) hosted by "Liz Warner."
  • Get Real (Thursdays 9 pm – 10 pm) hosted by "Shaman Durek."
  • Red Eye Rewind (Mondays 11 pm – Midnight), hosted by "Slogun"


When the signals were synchronized, they consisted of a 3000-watt directional signal in Santa Monica and 2000-watt non-directional signal in Newport Beach. However, in late 2005, an attempt was made to improve the signal by adding an extra 700 watts to the Santa Monica transmitter and removing the gain antenna to provide a non-directional signal.[citation needed] They also relocated the Newport Beach transmitter a few miles south to a mountain south of Newport Beach, giving it 300 watts of power but tripling the height. The Newport Beach transmitter was made directional, sending the signal northeast and southwest. This fixed the problem of poor signal along the coastal cities and in Orange County, California. Nevertheless, the combined signals still have poor coverage in the San Fernando Valley and San Gabriel Valley where KSRY overlaps KDLD, and in the area around Torrance, California where KVYB bleeds over 103.1 in an unprotected service area between the two transmitters.


  1. ^ Erik Pedersen (2004-06-10). "Free-Form Radio Lives | Rolling Stone Music". Retrieved 2011-09-14.
  2. ^ "Indie 103.1 Named 'Best Radio Station' By Rolling Stone". 2008-04-28. Retrieved 2011-09-14.
  3. ^ Kate Sullivan (2006-03-29). "Bye-Bye Barrett - Page 1 - Music - Los Angeles". LA Weekly. Retrieved 2011-09-14.
  4. ^ [1] Archived August 23, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Yasseen, Omar. "News: Shakeups at Indie 103.1 -". Archived from the original on 2011-10-05. Retrieved 2011-09-14.
  6. ^ "Classical Geek Theatre: Indie 103.1 makes more changes". 2008-12-03. Retrieved 2011-09-14.
  7. ^ "Joe Escalante's Web Site". Retrieved 2008-12-10.
  8. ^ Randall Roberts (2009-01-21). "The Day the Music Died: The End of Indie 103.1 - Page 1 - Columns - Los Angeles". LA Weekly. Retrieved 2011-09-14.
  9. ^ "An Exclusive Interview with Indie 103.1's Music Director Mark Sovel". The Daily Swarm. 2009-01-16. Retrieved 2011-09-14.
  10. ^ "Indie Pulls Its Stream". All Access Music Group. 2017-04-04. Retrieved 2018-01-26.
  11. ^ Lina Lecaro (2011-01-18). "Can Online Radio Stations Ever Replace Indie 103.1?". LA Weekly. Retrieved 2018-01-26.
  12. ^ Kevin Bronson (2013-07-09). "Moheak Radio being renamed The Independent FM". Retrieved 2018-01-26.

External links[edit]