Your field guide to local hipster music aggregators in a post-Indie 103.1 world
So, now that Indie 103's gone from the airwaves and all you cool kids have pressed up "1/15/09: Never Forget" car decals depicting Jonesy riding a bald eagle (each crying a single globular tear), it's time to consider where to turn next. Indie had some irreplaceable stuff when it left this mortal coil: Henry Rollins' deadpan trolls through the noise underground, Joe Escalante pitching legalzoom.com as your one-stop hipster divorce shop. But it was most useful as a universally agreed-upon filter for local bands. Even occasional spins validated that a band had earned a certain degree of cache that the freaky echo chamber of the blogosphere couldn't quite match.
We obviously hope that you'll take the occasion of Indie's terrestrial demise to re-up your Pop & Hiss subscription (checks payable to me, we can work out installment plans). But if you're smack in Indie's demographic of frequently car-bound Eastside dilettantes, here's a cheat sheet of worthy, less-obvious places online, on air and (anachronism!) on paper to help you separate the wheat from the chaff in the world of striving L.A. musicians. Servicey! It's chockablock with conflicts of interest and surely missing some must-reads, so add to it in the comments.
KXLU-FM (88.9): The in-house station of Loyola Marymount University is the most obvious heir to Indie's demographic and mission, and it plays a whole lot less Soundgarden. Friday's DemoListen block is one of the few spots on the town airwaves that will actually accept your hand-stapled CDR and give it an honest tryout, and Alma Del Barrio has been essential left-of-center Latin listening since 1973.
Danceblogga: Southern California has recently run the tables on the techno scene, from GIANT to HARD to the must-see New Year extravaganzas that get actual Europeans to make vacations plans. Dennis Romero (an occasional LAT contributor) is one of its best local temperature-takers and could help fill Indie's Neon Noise gap. (Internationally though, for depth and breadth across all genres of electronica, no one touches Philip Sherburne.)
L.A. Record: Holy moly, a relevant new-ish small-run print magazine about obscure local music! Imagine the most feverish '90s scene zine with much better photography, promiscuous taste from avant-noise to vintage soul, eager but not worshipful writing and rad pull-out posters of RZA. (UPDATE: Sean Carlson was a co-founder of L.A. Record but he is no longer involved in running the paper. The current publishing barons are Charlie Rose and Chris Ziegler."
No Culture: A club night and group blog of very recent vintage from Echo Park Records magnate Alexis Rivera and a battalion of bass-heavy electro folks. They post regular and rad mixtape downloads and inside-geek-baseball videos like this one of Vince Clark either programming an Erasure single or launching a missile at the old Soviet Union.
The Passion of the Weiss: Hey, conflict of interest alert! Yeah, you've seen Jeff's name pop up on these very pages now and again, but when he's off the clock here, he's one of the funniest hip-hop bloggers going.
Dublab: L.A.'s deep wells of freaky post-Dilla hip-hop and beat-heavy electronica is just ruling lately, and there's no better documentarian of it all than Dublab. The regular podcasts are nothing short of essential listening for fans of immersive, brain-frying new music.
Little Radio: Fans of Shepard Fairey-designed radio station logos need not go gently into that long night. The show calendar at this warehouse district province of Silver Lake has slowed recently, but the radio station arm of the collective still rides hard for local fuzz pedal moppets. Along with Aquarium Drunkard, Rawkblog (written by our own fuzz pedal moppet and former intern David Greenwald), Rock Insider and the ever-amusing Losanjealous, they hew closest to Indie's drive-time aesthetic and are your best bets to fill that specific gap. And, of course, this guy.
Soul Sides: Oliver Wang's repository of perpetually awesome rare soul cuts doesn't share much aesthetically with anything Indie, but it's local, fantastic and far too useful to not mention here. You kids need more Freddie Hubbard in your lives anyway.
And, as always, feel free to leave your own suggestions in the comments below.
Photo credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times