Meet the new crew, same as the old crew... Left to right: Lou Niles, Tim Pyles, Andrew Rowley, and Al Guerra.
After eight years hosting FM 94/9’s Sunday night show The Local Pyle, which featured San Diego bands, Tim Pyles dropped a bomb on his bosses yesterday when he told them that he was leaving 94/9 and jumping across town to rejoin 91X where he would become the lead host of Loudspeaker, San Diego’s oldest locals-only radio show.
Pyles was previously a co-host of Loudspeaker. “Tim is coming home,” says 91X program director Mike Halloran. Pyles returns this Sunday, 7 to 10 p.m.
Halloran wants Loudspeaker to do more than just spin songs by local artists. “We want to up the ante.”
To do that Halloran has brought back three former Loudspeaker hosts — Al Guerra, Lou Niles, and Andrew Rowley — to join the show as in-studio and in-the-field co-hosts, going out to clubs, live shows, rehearsal spaces, and recording studios and coming back with audio and video accounts of the local scene.
“We want to do it better than it’s ever been done before,” Halloran tells the Reader. He says that the retooled Loudspeaker will help identify which local artists deserve to be folded into the regular 91X rotation throughout the week.
Halloran says that Weatherbox, Dum Dum Girls, Schizophonics, and Blackout Party are some of the local artists likely to get regular exposure on 91X throughout the week.
And 91X's Resurrection Sunday chair, recently abdicated by Steve West, was filled last Sunday by Todd “Mad Max” Ralston, who was at 91X when that station signed on 31 years ago. Halloran says it has yet to be decided whether Max will return to host the show every week. But, he said, Resurrection Sunday will be a live show, to compete with Steve West’s Legends of Alternative show, which is also live.
Coincidentally, today marks the 12-year anniversary of FM 94/9. It was Veteran’s Day 2002 when the station dropped ’80s oldies for modern rock. New DJs Anya Marina and Mike Halloran promised San Diego this new station would be light on talk and be “all about the music.” As 94/9 progressed, it played cuts by My Morning Jacket, Black Keys, and Interpol, artists ignored by most other commercial alternative stations across the country.
Rolling Stone magazine eventually noticed, saying it was one of a handful of stations “that doesn’t suck.” A lot has changed, however. Now more mainstream, 94/9 currently plays bands like Fall Out Boy. “We would have never played that when I was there,” says one former staffer.