Yes, Los Angeles Has Spanish Speakers

There’s been lots of mentions on various blogs about the demise of Indie 103.1, purportedly a source for awesome independent non-corporate music. Maybe that was true, but I didn’t listen to that station so I’ll have to take them at their word. But since the corporation that gave you said Indie station is only changing the format and language, I’m pretty sure it was kinda corporate and will continue to be corporate, only this time in a language some people in Los Angeles can’t understand.

If I really liked this “indie” format, I’d probably be sad too. But as I’ve noticed when it’s happened before, there seems to be an additional undercurrent of loathing for the transition from English to Spanish, as if they could tolerate any other insipid music better if it was only in a language they could understand. Kinda like they lost one for the team. As some guy mentions:

“Yeah, because what LA desperately needs is another Latin station. Thank you, Clear Channel, for being so fucking awesome!”

Sorry for your loss ese, but damn, we are part of LA too, you know. A pretty big part, as our corporate overlords have noticed. I can understand crap music in two languages so I know that the problem with bad music is the corporate/money model and not the lengua it’s in, that’s just the way the beast works.  Plus, let’s not lose the forest for the trees: you do realize that El Gato is supposedly going to be playing cumbias? I really doubt they’ll keep to that but that should be a salve for the Spanish wound. Err, you all like cumbias, right?

Now if only they could turn KROQ into a 24 hour station for Los Originales de San Juan, then 2009 could safely be declared a perfect year!

PS. The picture above has nothing to do with anything.

33 thoughts on “Yes, Los Angeles Has Spanish Speakers

  1. What really annoys me about all that talk is “that station was not corporate blah blah blah.” Radio stations are corporate. We’re not in the times of pirate radio. It’s corporate and these changes are based on money. If there’s a larger market in playing Spanish music, fahk it, switch to music in Spanish. Plus, with the rise of iPods, internet radio, the ability to play your iPod music in your car or radio with adapters, it’s easy not to listen to the radio.

    That said, I will be VERY ANGRY the day that either La Que Buena or La Ranchera change format. I love both way too much. The good thing is that they seem to be making Liberman money, so the corporates are happy.

    Oh, and I dont think it’s a Latin station. What sports will they broadcast, chariot races?

  2. People are some bullshit. I mean really, the problem is the kind of music they are playing? Give me a fucking break. The problem for certain people is that it’s in Spanish. All music on the radio sucks. And according to 103.1 website they have a Suicide Girl Radioshow…that’s indy!!??? That’s indy now, please.

    I’m not saying I don’t like sucky music. I’m the queen of loving horrible over produced crap (according to my boyfriend,) but English, Spanish, Hindi I don’t freakin care. I just don’t like this false superiority thing that is pretending to be based on the quality and artfulness of the music from people who have nervous breakdowns when people say bad words or crime goes up in their neighborhood. That kind of whiny crap doesn’t really seem to be the kind of thing that true lovers of indy music get stressed about.

    BusTard (my partner in crime, former publisher of the greatest music rag in the world, Angry Thoreauan) likes indy music and the people complaining about this wouldn’t know real music if it took a dump in their soy latte. A true person in the indy music scene and has any kind of taste in music probably wouldn’t be listening to 103.1.


  3. “Yeah, because what LA desperately needs is another Latin station. Thank you, Clear Channel, for being so fucking awesome!”

    What a lovely ignorant sentiment and no comments from the peanut gallery on the assholishness of that statement. That’s what I love about certain places in the blogsophere, it’s so filled with “i’m not touching you racism,” so much for post racial America.


  4. Maybe it’s cause it’s the middle of the night and I’ve been drinking Murphy’s but I have to say fuck all that rock wannabe indie shit, seriously!
    Where’s my 24 hour disco-electronic-eurobeat-house-techno-acid house-idm-hiNRG-synthtrash-electroclash station?
    I want to turn on the radio and hear Ken Laszlo, Erasure, Lime and Stereototal!

    I’m just kidding…But since everyone’s complaining about what they don’t get to hear on the radio, I’d thought I’d join in the fun.

  5. Nice one, El Chavo.

    “Yeah, because what LA desperately needs is another Latin station. Thank you, Clear Channel, for being so fucking awesome!”

    Really disappointed to read that from blogging star Wil Wheaton.

  6. whats happening, they also got rid of super estrella, im not a big fan but i would listen to their pendejadas on my way to work. now i listen to piolin, i like how they are classy and vulgar at the same time lol

  7. “Indie” is a weird term. I always thought for years that “indie music” was aiming for some independence like punk rock, except with less abrasiveness, generally. In this way Stereo Total could be called euro “indie” pop.

    But yeah, “indie” music wasn’t on 103.1, per se. Yeah, the label “indie” really is only used by corporate music companies to move units. Just like calling a band like Sum41 punk doesn’t mean anything.

    Well, that was off topic enough. I weep not for Indie 103.1

    Have you heard the new Animal Collective? Heheheh

  8. I actually did listen to that station. They had pretty good songs in there, but it did have some static and what not. My wife and I are sad that it’s gonna be off the air. But it will continue to stream on the internetz; which I think it will be short lived. You can’t listen to internet radio on your car.

  9. Soledad, thanks for the trip down memory lane, I haven’t heard that song since it came out, when James Brown was still alive! Anyways, you know all that old techno stuff is due for a comeback (maybe it already has? we need to ask P-3000). Even Prodigy is coming out with a new album:

    Julio, yeah I’m not sure what indie really means. Listening to Indie 103.1 reminded me a lot of just boring rock stuff but then again, I couldn’t get too clear of a signal so I didn’t listen all that much. Did they ever play bands like Stereototal? Or was that too pop for them? How about Deerhoof? No I haven’t heard the new Animal Collective, hook me up vecino!

  10. Indie 103’s importance had nothing to do with playlists or what language the DJ’s spoke and everything to do with format and challenging structured programming. Yes, it was corporate, but it was locally managed and it gave it’s on-air personalities a freedom to dictate programming that’s nearly unheard nowadays. Unlike it’s replacement, which heralds a return to one-size-fits all remotely programmed radio that does nothing to serve its community and is, in fact, already on the air in other markets. Indie’s failure is a shot in the arm for the continued homogenization of commercial radio, and it deserves to be mourned by anyone who understands that it’s bad that the radio industry has become a handful of corporate giants dictating content nationally rather locally. Turning it into an English vs. Spanish debate is small picture navel gazing on both sides.

    BTW, is there a reason you don’t want to refer to Jason Burns or Metroblogging LA by name? Isn’t that kind of like talking about somebody that’s at your table as if they can’t hear you? Seems a little petty.

  11. Spencer,
    This wasn’t about JB’s post, that’s why I didn’t link to it. But Wil’s comment, which I tried to link to, exemplified the undercurrent I noticed on other blogs.

    I’m not trying to turn it into “English vs. Spanish”, I’m trying to get people to check themselves with their knee jerk distaste for something they don’t understand.

  12. Ah, I should have looked more closely and realized that was an extract from the comments rather than Jason’s post. Apologies for my failure there.

    I think the issue you’ve pointed out is important and something that all of us would do well to keep in mind. But the foundation of your argument is that Indie’s format is only changing from one “corporate” format to another “corporate” format and the only significant change is, therefore, what language it’s in. That’s hugely flawed and mostly just shows a lack of familiarity with what was was so unique about Indie’s approach to programming. The implication is that the response wouldn’t have been the same if Indie’s format were changed to English language sports talk or AAA or nationally syndicated Top 40, and I just don’t buy that. I’d assert that most people (because yes, there are going to be a few racist jackholes out there to whom the language IS an issue) are responding to the replacement of a unique format with a cookie-cutter format. If Indie had become “Top 40 Hits 103” Wil’s response would likely have been that same: “Great, just what we need. Another Top 40 station.” No, he shouldn’t lump all Spanish-station stations together as “Latin” stations, but that hardly means the language change is the ONLY reason he’s upset.

    By your own admission, you never listened to Indie 103 and it doesn’t sound like you’ve done any research regarding their programming. Given that, I think you should be careful about judging other people for making knee-jerk reactions about things they don’t know anything about.

  13. Spencer,
    Maybe you should read even closer. I don’t care about 103.1, that’s for others to get worked up about. The purpose of the post was precisely to point out the undercurrent of people having problems with it becoming “Latin”, not about their particular programming.

    It’s like people keep talking about Latino LA at the table as if we can’t hear them.

  14. People are feeling about the end of Indie the same way I felt 11 years ago when KSCA’s awesome and eclectic album-oriented format was axed. I was heartbroken. I’m somewhat “meh” about 103.1 because to me it just seemed inevitable. While I enjoyed and supported that station, I never got too tied to it.

    It’s no coincidence that the Spanish-language station that rose from KSCA’s ashes (La Nueva at 101.9 I think?) has gone on to consistently be among the top-rated in the Los Angeles market. It’s hard to argue with success.

    Like Soledad said at the top, it’s all about making money and La Nueva tapped into an eager and loyal audience that its predecessor could only dream of. I may have bemoaned the switch that was made back then, but the cold fact is it’s about survival in a very competitive marketplace. Rest in peace, Indie. Long live El Gato.

  15. Okay, so this is a total pollyanna thing to say, but reading this thread made me really appreciate why I like you guys so much. Way to have a reasonable discussion Spencer and El Chavo. I happen to agree with you both. I am very sad about the demise of Indy and think that those who lump it together with all other stations probably also think aqua, navy, and sky blue are the same color. At the same time, I felt a bit slapped by the comment El Chavo’s remarking on. Isn’t LA’s demographics one of its greatest qualities? I’d live in Minneapolis if I were looking for an all white city. Besides if I’m going to listen to crap, I’d rather hear Spanish-language crap. At least I’m less likely to have heard it before, gringa that I am.

  16. Chimatli, they played really “poppy” stuff from the rare times I would listen in, & I think I’ve only heard Stereo Total on KXLU.

  17. I saw this Twilight Zone episode on Fancast. In it the world is ending owing to some nuclear destruction. One guy built a bombshelter. His neighbors had not. They were all trying to get in to his bombshelter. They were fighting and arguing who was going to get in. There was a guy who had a dark complexion and an accent that was different from all of the other neighbors. In the fight to get in to the bombshelter one man, one who was white in the fit of rage hit the dark complexioned man. He hit him and said, “I’m sick of you and your people.”

    And no his anger did not have anything to do with race exactly, but in times of economic distress, disasters…people’s ugliness toward their fellow man comes out.

    In economic downtowns in this country in the past lynching went up. And really it was about economics, but that doesn’t mean the racist symptoms that manifests itself in these times don’t matter or should be overlooked.

    Slavery wasn’t was about so much about race, but economics, but it doesn’t mean the race part doesn’t matter.

    When people of Mexican ancestry were kidnapped and dropped off in Mexico even though they were born in this country, no it wasn’t about race exactly, but the fact that white people in this country needed jobs owing to the 1930s depression.

    103.1 changing is owing to tough economic times and it is the reason that people are mad, but lets not try to pretend it has nothing to do with race, because it does.


  18. I was listening to 103.1 today and they were playing the kind of music I’ve heard on that station previously—old music. Music that is nearly 30 years old! Yes, it was the Buzzcocks, Sex Pistols and Black Flag, music that I love and grew up with, but sorry, that music is kinda tired. I know they played other stuff too and I think it would have been good for them to stick around and add to the diversity on the airwaves. I mean they are basically an oldies station for my generation, kinda like KROQ. Everytime I turn on that station it’s like the same old 90s groups I heard when I stopped listening in 1993. I’m only criticizing cause they have this announcement between songs saying how they play new music, cutting edge etc. If they played Crass (old non-corporate punk) then I would give them some credit!

  19. I’m listening to 103.1 right now online. I like the songs and I know some of them, which is a bad sign for an indy station. As a person who knows nothing about music, actively avoids it, if I know the song, it is not that indy. I mean it could be indy in the Merchant Ivory version of indy, but not so much in the El Mariachi version of indy. BusTard also kept berating all of the newer songs bloviating how they were all rip offs of bands I don’t know and then tried to find the precursor to the music that sucks on his computer which has over 1000 songs by bands no one knows (and will never know)…I should just turn it off.

    The old music he is ok with, but he has to give me VH1 behind the music speech on all of them. That is a little annoying and he reminds me it’s being played on a corporate station and that is evil and you know how BusTard is all about keeping it real 24/7.

    Yeah if anyone wants to talk to my boyfriend about music I would really appreciate it, because I can only do the smiling and nodding thing so long.

  20. I wholly agree with Spencer Cross’s arguments. Your whole post seems to based on one comment from one racist person, a sliver of a voice among many comments. You did need do your homework, as far as knowing the background to the story of indie 103.1. as it would be integral to your argument. They played the game but than had dj’s that did not…
    When you focus on the negative you miss out on hearing other voices, ideas, opportunities for shift in thought, which I believe is key to activating change.

    Indie was not perfect, but they were ingenious in finding a way to try to survive being “indie” in a corporate world. To other commenters: listening for a moment does not cut it. I repeat Indie going off air is not about one person’s comments about spanish radio! It is much bigger and veers into the realm of what is truly keeping people down- Corporations!

    I am staunch advocate of righting wrongs for all people of color, let us move arguments forward and beyond and be true progressives. I have read many things on this site that I word catorgize as antithetical to the term progressive. My chones are not gonna ever get up in a bunch cause I am salsa loving latina that does not have a radio channel to listen to….
    there are bigger dragons to slay!

  21. “I wholly agree with Spencer Cross’s arguments. Your whole post seems to based on one comment from one racist person, a sliver of a voice among many comments.” Witness

    I’m going to disagree here. It’s not just one comment. It was the fact that in the comment section of that post no one stepped up and said, “hey that’s not ok.” Then Jason Burns puts up another questionable post about “Another Reason to Hate…” Yeah it was cats, but with the vibe of certain posters, well…

    Now I wouldn’t go so far to call the person who made the statement racist. The statement was racist, the person who knows.

    And it’s not just this comment. It’s an entire attitude in certain segments of the LA blogosphere. Now El Chavo used that statement, but there are others. It’s a pattern of behavior that doesn’t take into account other people or their feelings. And while El Chavo used this statement as an example there he could have used a number of statements on a number of blogs. The point of the statement wasn’t even in my opinion just that one statement. It was a jumping off point to a much larger problem in the blogosphere. If it was just this one I doubt that he would have made a point or the people here on this blog would have cared one way or the other. We’re commenting and agreeing, because we all see it.

    We all see the sweeping generalization of all people of color on:

    LA Metblogs
    LA Curbed

    And we don’t like it.

    And this happens regularly and no one has a problem with it. None of these progressive, democrats give a crap about the closed mindedness of their own worlds. No one in the comment section of these blogs ever has a problem with racist or sexist statements, especially if it’s by people who are more popular on the blogosphere and that’s a damn shame. That’s a damn shame that not one person (other than the people who write for this blog) ever says a damn thing. I guess they think their work is done since they voted for Obama or something…I don’t know why people let ignorance go unchecked, but on the same token they will come over here to LA Eastisde and bitch about us commenting on the fact that we don’t appreciate being stereotyped.

    How dare you hold us to a higher standard than you hold them.

    People are so freakin’ concerned about what we say and how we say it on LA Eastside, but they don’t say a damn thing about what their friends say and the ignorant ways in which they say it.

    No, the solution on these blogs when someone makes a racially charged comment or post is to post a whole bunch of posts on bs to maybe push that post down, but they won’t say anything publicly about ignorance, because ignorance is completely ok if it comes from a person who writes for a blog that has alot of links.

    That’s sad, people aren’t even getting paid to blog and they are afraid to make waves simply out of peer pressure.

    If certain people weren’t asshole, no one over here would have to say anything. It’s not out fault that the media whether it is the blogosphere or the print world thinks that it’s ok to stereotype and belittle us. We have a right to call bullshit on that and thank God for El Chavo doing it loudly. Thank god for the posters on the LA Eastside going on these blogs and saying, no you are wrong. If the media is going electronic we want a record that we didn’t think you were ok, so there will be none of this, “We didn’t know, no one told me” talk in 20 years.


  22. “I am staunch advocate of righting wrongs for all people of color, let us move arguments forward and beyond and be true progressives.” Witness

    Don’t patronize us and then tell us to shut up. I find you insulting. Fine, you support us, then you link a comment you made telling people on the LAIst, LA Curbed or LA Metblog when they have made racist or sexist statements.

    Show me that you care so much and it’s not about us shutting up and being good little minorities.

    I bet you don’t have an example. I bet you don’t have one freakin example of it. You won’t even use your name.


  23. Browne accusing others of making sweeping generalizations?

    Isn’t that the pot calling the kettle black?

    And does that make the pot racist? Can’t wait for Browne’s 500 word response how that’s racist. EVERYTHING is racist in Browne’s world.

    Browne: “The problem for certain people it’s that it’s in Spanish”.

    Maybe. Maybe people dislike lame radio stations in any language.

  24. “No, he shouldn’t lump all Spanish-station stations together as “Latin” stations…” Spencer Cross

    Why don’t you go over to LA Metblogs and say that then?

    No ones being paid, if you think he shouldn’t have done that in that way go tell him in the comment section. The post is still fresh enough.


  25. If you read El Chavo’s post again and his explanation in the comments, you will see he said over and over again that his problem was with what Will Wheaton wrote and he admitted he knew little about 103.1 to say anything either way. I’m not sure why that’s so hard to understand.

    You wrote:
    “When you focus on the negative you miss out on hearing other voices, ideas, opportunities for shift in thought, which I believe is key to activating change.”

    Hmmm, isn’t that what other blogs are doing as well?(and like Browne says, no one is calling them out) We have plenty of “positive” stories here. Are we not allowed to be critical? It seems like a double standard.

  26. The whole “focus your energy on the real issues” phrase has really gotten old and stale, mind you I live by it in my own personal life. This is not a MALDEF strategizing session, this is not a Cesar Chavez Foundation planning commitee, it is a blog that portrays life in the city from an eastsider (often minority) perspective.

    I get in scuffles at LA curbed a lot, if you think Wil’s comments are bad, look at anything involving echo park, gangs or graffiti or Latinos in general. It is unfortunate that so many transplants move to LA, embrace it’s “realness’, and live still so sheltered from most of its population. Since the 60s it has been socially unacceptable to be outright racist, but saying the most dispicable ignorant things about minorities seems to be the new spineless version of racism.

  27. “Can’t wait for Browne’s 500 word response how that’s racist.” fulano

    I have a middle finger, but I can’t put an image in the comment section.

  28. Witness,
    Well I wish I had much more to add but Browne and Art kinda covered it for me. The whole “there’s bigger dragons to slay” is falling on deaf ears, cuz it’s mostly being used by people that tell me that the shit I mention isn’t important, there’s other big fish to fry, only they never get to the task of frying big or even little fish. I think I’ll keep to my own agenda.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *