In this installment, Swintronix interviews fellow Freeform Portland DJ Lucifer Rosa of the weekly show Tchotchkes.
How did you hear about Freeform Portland?
A good friend of mine introduced me to Jane Beerkin and DJ Ed shortly after I moved to Portland. He knew that I had been doing radio for years and that I would be looking for something here in town, so he introduced me to the station knowing that it would be love at first sight!
How did you come up with your show name and DJ name?
The DJ name has evolved over the course time…. When I first started doing radio I hosted a surf show on KZSC in Santa Cruz, under a different moniker (it was really silly and I am too embarrassed to share it). A year later I joined KFJC, where I volunteered for many years, and I chose the air-name Surfer Rosa (yes, like The Pixies album)- that name was a hats-off to both my earliest radio days hosting a surf show, as well as my musical roots since I grew up on bands like The Pixies. A friend of mine jokingly suggested the name Lusurfer Rosa one day, which I liked- but I dropped the pun and went with Lucifer Rosa for simplicity’s sake. For a while I would switch back and forth between Surfer Rosa and Lucifer Rosa, Lucifer Rosa was like Surfer Rosa’s evil alto ego- she would come out at night and play a bunch of grating noisy music. Eventually Lucifer Rosa stuck and cannibalized Surfer Rosa altogether. Tchotchkes (the name of the show) is a Yiddish word that refers to a random assortment of decorative, not necessarily functional or useful objects. I chose it because I do not like to be genre specific in my programming, I prefer to play a random assortment of music from across the board. Basically, I was looking for a word that means random junk, so Tchotchkes was perfect.
How do you put together a set for your show? Is there a theme, process or goal?
My sets are always improvised. I utilize an assortment of mediums- vinyl, tape, cd, and a little bit of mp3. I bring a bunch of stuff from my own collection, and I also pull records and CDs form Freeform’s wonderful library. So, I start the show with about twice as much music as I could play in two hours, and just chose from that pile as I go along. The programming is pretty heavily subject to whatever mood I am in that day- but I do play a lot of international, experimental, jazz, and rock on the noisier side. I also really like soundtracks and blues. My goal is to mix all these genres together and deliver some nonconventional segues (like a transition from harsh noise to 70s Thai pop). As a listener and lover of radio, weird segues have always been something I enjoyed hearing, so I try to deliver the same when doing my show.
All Djs at Freeform Portland also volunteer at the station – what are some of the ways you’ve contributed to the station besides hosting a show?
I get a lot of volunteer hours working for the Music Department and working with the physical media library: adding/processing/labeling new incoming music, alphabetizing the library and making sure it is orderly and well kept, taking inventory. We are working on building some new shelving since the library is growing rapidly and we will need more space (particularly for the CDs). I also get some hours helping with events, and substituting for other people’s shows.
What are some shows you like on Freeform Portland?
This is a hard one! There are so many great shows! Sounds Obscure w/ RK Heist is great- she plays a lot of old favorites. Chaos Warp and Spider in the Ear are great for weird experimental stuff (which is always a pleasure to hear on the radio). Amos Ananda plays loads of great jazz. Ghostpunkwasteland is always buckets of fun. Uva Ursula does a killer show. And so many others….