'I just sort of dropped off the face of the earth since I got fired," says former 91X DJ Tim Pyles. After hosting the local band showcase Loudspeaker for nearly six years (the show was extant before his inclusion), Pyles was let go in October after a dispute with his bosses over off-time use of a company vehicle.

On December 1, Pyles underwent knee surgery, paid for in part by a benefit held December 27 at the Casbah. "I got injured body surfing last summer. I got pulled over on top of a wave and got slammed to the beach. After I lost my job, I'm paying for everything out of pocket...I kept up my insurance, but everything's still real expensive."

Pyles says, "I'm hoping to get back into the industry somehow -- if there's any station in San Diego that wants to cover local music. Area bands are seeing a renaissance in all the attention they're getting, even more than what happened in the '80s. Of course, what you see locally may not necessarily reflect nationwide tastes and playlists. Two San Diego radio stations are fighting over Pinback: 91X and 94.9 are both playing them, and both want to take claim for 'breaking' them and giving them their first major exposure. There's a lot happening with Louis XIV -- they were just signed to Atlantic, and 91X is playing the heck out of them."

Pyles still watches the area scene closely and for a time wrote a music column for (now defunct) Fahrenheit magazine. "I've had the worst luck with employers this year." He currently presents a monthly "Local Pyle" band showcase at the Casbah, the next one scheduled for February.

LOCAL BANDS DESTINED FOR FAME?

1. Louis XIV ("The stars have aligned for them, and they're getting all the breaks.")

2. Scarlet Symphony ("Led Zeppelin classic rock with a punk groove.")

3. Tristan Prettyman ("She represents the small local female rocker scene.")

4. Hot Snakes ("Anything the Swami touches!")

5. Pinback ("They have more commercial radio viability than, say, the Album Leaf.")

MUSIC OVERPLAYED ON LOCAL RADIO?

1. "I'm getting real tired of anything by Jack Johnson."

2. "Hoobastank -- they're killing 'The Reason' by playing it all the time."

CURRENT FAVORITE BANDS?

1. Razorlight ("They have a great Brit-pop mod sound.")

2. Tegan and Sara ("Two lesbian sisters with really cool songs.")

3. The Music ("They mix rock with Chemical Brothers sound effects.")

4. Franz Ferdinand ("Represents the best of the post-punk era.")

5. Hot Snakes ("Minor chords have never sounded so pretty.")

FAVORITE REALITY SHOW?

The Apprentice: "You can learn a lot about how the business world works. I relate to the anxieties: It's the same whether you're in a boardroom or a meeting with your boss...like, I never felt comfortable talking to Jim Richards [director of FM programming for Clear Channel's San Diego operations] at 91X. He wasn't as intimidating [as Trump] but, in my reality, he was the guy who fired me. Oh, and I consider The Simpsons and Family Guy to be reality shows."

HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING A DJ?

1. "Speaking clearly."

2. "Getting fired."

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