Andy Baio notes that a Clear Channel radio station has changed over to alternative rock in response to alternative rock's originator KROQ's general suckitude. The station evidently calls itself "Your Independent Radio Station", but I have a hard time believing a station belonging to a nationwide chain is "Independent". The playlists that Andy cites [1, 2] aren't actually that exciting compared to my favourite station, WOXY Cincinnati. It has a more legitimate claim to being actually independent. For a for-profit radio station—it doesn't claim to be otherwise—it also has a more interesting playlist. Does Indie 103-1 have Lyrics Born (from the Quannum crew) on its playlist? (Now that I think about it, it's an honest question, seeing has how both 103-1 and Lyrics Born are straight outta California.) Plus I have to wonder how open they are to listener requests.
In the past two years or so, I've requested WOXY to play songs twice (both times DJ Shadow, and both times I left it up to the radio DJ to pick which song) and got them played. And I don't even live in the same country as the station! One of the local radio stations here in Vancouver—Jack FM—purports to play what the DJ's want to play. That's opposed to most commercial radio stations which, despite what they tell you, have songs picked out, often by a computer, often from head office (which may or may not be in the same city as the station), and not by its listeners. Whenever Jack FM says "we play what we want", but—and I still get mileage out of this—I yell back "stop playing what you want and play what I want to hear!". [first link via Adam]