FM in LA

I haven’t listened to the radio in a long time. For me, being able to listen to any song, anytime via iPod has spoiled listening to DJ controlled playlists.  Besides, I’m used to living in North Carolina where there are only a few stations, and many only play country music.  I rejoiced when my rental car had the same connector my car at home did.  But now, five weeks later, I continue to always find a radio station playing music I enjoy.  Here are the five stations I flip between while sitting in traffic driving around LA.

KIIS-FM – KISS-FM (pronounced Kiss) ironically occupies the top slot on my stereo since it’s the least listened to.  I assumed KIIS was one of the most popular stations in LA since it’s one of only two FM stations simulcast on XM radio.  Surely a local station that broadcasts nationwide offers something special.  Well…not really.  KIIS is your run of the mill Top-40 station with Ryan Seacrest at the helm.  The first time I listened, I was entertained hearing the King of Hollywood in his element.  The fifth time I listened, I was tired of hearing that Nicki Minaj song.

KYSR-FM – 98.7 earns its self-given title as “LA’s Rock Alternative” by playing a mix of all the rock you don’t hear on standard rock stations.  On any given commute, you’ll hear at least one song by M83, Fun., or Walk The Moon.  They also keep 90s rock (The Offspring, Blink 182, Nirvana, Weezer) in heavy rotation which is great for people like me who want to keep up with modern rock while still indulging in past favorites.  For me, this station has the best library in LA.

KLOS-FM – 95.5’s slogan is “LA’s Greatest Rock” which is blatant radio code for classic rock.  KLOS covers the history of rock pretty well playing everything from the Eagles to AC-DC.  However, the station tips toward a specific subset of classic rock I’ve dubbed “dad rock.”  A handful of old bands are beloved by people my age because our parents introduced them to us.  Bruce Springsteen is the King of dad rock, Bob Seager is the Prince, and The Eagles are the knights of the round table.  A great station, it just makes me feel old to listen to it.

KCBS-FM – 93.1 has nothing to do with CBS.  It’s name is deceptive, everyone in the greater LA area knows this station as Jack-FM.  The great thing about Jack-FM is that it has a great, snarky attitude to its interludes and advertisements.  Instead of talking about how cool the station is, advertisements will actually make fun of the station.  My favorite is a billboard that reads, “People are talking about us.  3, maybe 4 people.”  The music is like KLOS and KYSR combined.  It’s a perfect blend but I listen mainly for the goofy in-betweens.

KROQ-FM – 106.1 is the other famous station in LA, and it plays better music then KIIS.  K-Rock (as it’s pronounced) is the preeminent So-Cal rock station.  It plays some pretty heavy stuff at times, but overall, any rock fan will find an acceptable home here.


One thought on “FM in LA

  1. I thought I’d add my top played radio station while I’ve been out here.

    KPWR-FM – 105.9 (or Power 106) is a great hip hop station in Los Angeles and probably the best I’ve heard in a while. It has a diverse showing of artists and because it is in the entertainment capital of the world, a lot of famous artists do live on-air interviews and exclusive releases at Power 106. If you haven’t had a chance to listen yet, I really suggest it.

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