Iris Chinook – IVN contributing writer
The Illinois Valley’s community radio station, KXCJ-LP, has a new DJ, Jeremy Schaum, whose on-air monikers will really give you something to ponder. Schaum hosts two shows: “Arcane Pulse” as Dr. Rock N’ Stein and “Creature from the Deep” as Captain Seafoam.
Schaum has been a DJ since last spring after purchasing a place in Cave Junction and moving to the Valley from Grants Pass.
Schaum first visited the I.V. in 2013 after growing up in Maryland and touring the lower 48 vending concerts and festivals for several years. “This is my first DJ gig, although I’ve always been one to bombard people with music,” said Schaum, adding, “I found out about the station from a friend who had a show, and I always thought it was really cool and the station itself was one of the things that made Cave Junction unique.
“My favorite part of broadcasting tunes is sharing these unique styles with people who might tune in and have heard the music before and are reminded of earlier times of their lives. Or people who might not be familiar with the genre, particularly the surf, and end up really liking and identifying with the sounds.
“The surf genre is super fun and gets people moving and in these complicated times we live in it’s really great to still be able to just have fun listening to beach party music that is inviting to everyone. It’s always great to get a call from someone saying how much they’re enjoying the show or that they can’t stop dancing to the music,” said Schaum.
If you have never listened to surf Christmas music before, you should give it a try. But beware: you might start dancing to Christmas music for the first time!
“Arcane Pulse” is a progressive rock broadcast. “There was a spot open for Friday and I just kind of ended up in there doing the prog-rock show which is fun for a Friday night. It’s a much different show than the surf show but it’s fun to explore some of that stuff and put together sets of spacey, jamming and freaky-jazzy tunes; and lots of Pink Floyd!” Schaum exclaimed.
Schaum has been exploring different genres of music for years. “I really got into the surf genre in the last six years or so. I was always familiar with Dick Dale and The Ventures but didn’t really get moved by it until I heard Satan’s Pilgrims (from Portland) late one night, and I was hooked from then on.
“There’s been a number of surf rock revivals in the last several decades which brought new artists and new approaches but still kept that classic twangy, splashing, rocking sound. So, there is a huge selection to pull from ranging from the late 1950s up to pretty much last week with new surf tunes already being released in 2023!
“Surf rock has also become popular in other parts of the world like Japan, Mexico and even Russia and to hear other cultures play this essentially American brand of music is really special because it takes it to new levels and styles. I’m pretty fond of a few Japanese players that are absolutely incredible musicians and have added some of their own flare to the genre,” explained Schaum. Who knew?
There are many types of music, radio-theater and local news shows to be found amongst the 21 different live broadcasts on KXCJ. Some DJs have specific goals for their creations. “The goal for the shows is to ultimately just rock out for the night and for listeners to have a good time tuning in and leaving politics and worldly troubles behind for a little while. And I feel it’s important as a DJ to spread the music and do a little part in helping to keep the genres alive and make people’s ears happy,” said Schaum.
When Schaum is not in front of a microphone, he loves taking the time to be outside in the woods, along with his three dogs that “tune in every week.”
Schaum talked about some of his favorite pastimes: “We’re very fortunate to have the access to so much recreation here. The Redwoods are one of my favorite places to be when I can, but I love exploring different parts of Oregon and some of the strange offbeat places in the state, like the lost forest of Christmas Valley. I also like to garden and play drums loudly.”
When asked why people should support community radio, Schaum responded, “Community radio is incredibly important. It helps keep people tied to local happenings and gives an avenue for connecting and getting involved and the fact that people from the community can put on their own show is really special.
“It’s important for communities to have a source for local information especially with the severity of wildfires, so being able to tune into the local station to stay informed is crucial.” He finished by saying, “I’d like to thank everyone who listens! Our listeners are everything, without them we wouldn’t have a station.”
“Creature from the Deep ‘’ airs Saturdays from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. and “Arcane Pulse” airs Fridays from 9 to 11p.m. Check out KXCJ’s chock-full schedule at www.kxcj.org. Want to try your hand at being a DJ? While you’re checking out the schedule click on “Host a Show” and submit a proposal.