By LA Weekly
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By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
"Fans would come up to me in the street and say, 'We loved your show, why don't you bring it back?' " he says, slurping up glass noodles at his favorite Korean BBQ joint in Beverly Hills. "I'd say, 'It is back — on the Internet!' And their eyes would glaze over."
Jones realized that even in 2010, there's still nothing quite as powerful, as immediate, as being able to tune your car stereo to your favorite DJ. He sat down with KROQ, a new idea in mind — the return of Jonesy's Jukebox on terrestrial radio — only this time, less Jonesy and more Jukebox. "You've got to evolve, haven't you?" he says.
Last week he drove around in his car for two hours listening to his own pre-recorded show on KROQ. "It was good," he says. "I just gotta loosen up a bit."
Now he's live and behind the mic again, the same old Jonesy that Indie 103.1 fans knew and loved, the no-holds-barred music buccaneer who has trouble pronouncing unusual words — Sufjan Stevens ("Souffle Stevens?") or Fitz and the Tantrums ("Fritz and the Tantrums?"). As for Brian Aubert of the Silversun Pickups — forget it.
Jones says Toyota of Huntington Beach, with which he did some famously hilarious advertising campaigns on Indie 103.1, always prefaced by the line, "So who am I talking to," might be back onboard. (They're still very nice to him, and recently replaced a light in his Prius for free, he says.)
"You're listening to KROQ 106.7," says Jonesy, and the pairing, while unusual, seems to work. Jonesy is notoriously absent-minded when it comes to names and numbers, and he wonders aloud (off-air) what might happen if he said 103.1 by accident. Art, the young assistant who is helping out in the studio, says he hasn't had this much fun in ages. Jonesy plays a song by Best Coast, and Art mentions that lead singer Bethany is a looker, prompting Jonesy to say, "She's a good-lookin' bird? Let's get her in," while giving himself a pretend blow job with the CD cover. Kate Earle's CD cover gets the same "affectionate" treatment.
Little burps punctuate his off-air conversation, and I wonder why he won't share them with his KROQ audience. Because Jonesy's burps are filled with more than digestive gases — they carry nostalgia, memories of a simpler time, back when the economy wasn't something that came up in conversation too often, back when you could tune in to Jonesy's Jukebox every day on Indie 103.1 as you were driving around town not worrying about money, before all your friends lost their jobs and had to move back in with their parents even though they were 35 years old.
I tell him that I miss that feeling and he sighs. "You can't do the same album over and over again, can you?"
It's the same with his show, the way he sees it. He has only two hours per week on air compared with the 10 hours he had on Indie, and he's giving that time over to the artists he feels are deserving of attention. He's even set up a post-office box where musicians can send their CDs for him to listen to.
At least, that was the plan. "I spelled the P.O.-box address wrong on the website," he chuckles. "Oh, well."
Jonesy's Jukebox airs Sundays 7-9 p.m. at 106.7 KROQ-FM. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org.