Today in 2006 at 9:00 AM Pacific Standard Time, KCNL-FM "Channel 104.9", the alternative rock station of San Jose and the southern San Francisco Bay Area, switched to Spanish adult contemporary. Think of it as the pop music stars of Mexico and Latin America in the styles of artists you could hear on 94.5 or 101.3 locally. This was a heartbreak for numerous alt-rock fans in the San Jose area, who were forced to other local rock stations KITS-FM "Live 105", which also played alt-rock but was based from San Francisco, and KSAN-FM "107.7 the Bone", which focused more on classic rock and hard rock, with their alternative focused mainly on punk or grunge. Now a year later, rock music appears to be dying. Now that the pop stations play less rock in favor of more dance-pop and hip-hop, the alt-rock stations are forced to play "poser" rock bands. Gee whiz, ever since the demise of 104.9, music has sunk into a new low, with Live 105 having to play poser pop-rock bands like Evanescence, Angels & Airwaves, Plus 44, and Panic at the Disco, which I do not consider alternative rock at all. Shouldn't those bands be played only on top-40 stations like 101.3 or 106.5 or 97.3 instead of good rock stations that are suppoed to play only the GOOD alternative artists? After all, 105.3 would never play Good Charlotte or Simple Plan, because we all see them as pop rock, not alt-rock, so why would they play Evanescence, who made money and popularity only from ripping off Lacuna Coil, a TRUE goth band. Gee whiz, what a society we live in today. Hey, at least 105.3 still plays good alternative bands like Silversun Pickups, Plain White T's, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Audioslave, you name it! And they've got a new morning show replacing Howard Stern, called "the Morning Music Co-Op", which features talk, interviews, and songs rarely played on 105.3.
Channel 104.9 I began listening to in summer of 2005. That station introduced me to Nirvana, Queens of the Stone Age, My Chemical Romance, the Ramones, and other real grunge/punk rock bands. The first song I remember hearing on 104.9 was Gorillaz' "Feel Good Inc", and the last song I heard on the station, at 1/1/06 at 1:00 AM, was Gorillaz' "Clint Eastwood". Then nine hours later, I was disappointed to hear Spanish songs on the station, meaning I had to go elsewhere to listen to modern rock. I began listening to 105.3 and 107.7. 2006 was also when I started listening to the New Wave of American Heavy Metal Music, thanks to the Internet and the Friday Night Metal Zone on 107.7, as well as the ocasional metal song on 105.3. Whatever it is, I credit Channel 104.9 for introducing me to real alternative rock away from posers like Simple Plan or Good Charlotte, and getting me into real rock in general.
And I think the demise was planned, contrary to a report on the San Jose Mercury News on 1/3/06 that no one knew until it was too late, as two days after 104.9 changed to Spanish, 105.3 had in a planned manner change it's Howard Stern Morning Show to the Morning Music Co Op, as they'd announced back a week before Christmas. That's what I think, remembering what 104.9/105.3 announced around December 2005, but it's gonna be awhile ti'll we know for sure what happened.
(UPDATE 24/3/2007): On the late afternoon of Feb. 27, 2007, KCNL-FM 104.9 switched back to alternative rock under "Channel 104.9" once again, playing less commercials than Live 105, but apparantly they've now started playing more mainstream rock. Is it just me or is it a sudden corruption in Clear Channel? Right now I'm listening to 105.3 more than 104.9, depending on which songs these stations play. Good thing 104.9 doesn't play poser bands like Fall Out Boy or Panic at the Disco, but I don't understand why they'd play The Fray or Hinder. Those are far too mainstream/untalented/poppy for alternative rock!
R.I.P. Channel 104.9, 1/15/2001-1/1/2006Welcome back Channel 104.9, 2/27/2007-forever