Off the Mic
Name: Liz James
DJ Name: DJ SaddQurl
DJ Shift: Sundays 9am-noon
Other KJHK Contributions: Music Staff
Year in School: Junior
Majors: French, English Creative Writing, Art History
Hobbies: Going to museums
TV Shows: Bob’s Burgers, Parks and Recreation, Mad Men, The X-Files, Twin Peaks
Ellie Fehlig: What is your favorite color and why?
Liz James: My favorite color is pink. It makes me happy. I think it is cute. I was pretty anti-pink for a really long time just because I was like, “Eh, that is too girly.” Then I was kind of like, “No, I am gonna embrace it. I like it.” I think I always liked it as much as I liked to say that I hated it.
EF: You just did not want to admit it?
LJ: I was a very proud tomboy when I was younger. I did not want to let people know that there was a softer, girlier side of Liz James.
EF: Okay! So let’s get into the KJ-related questions. How did you hear about KJHK?
LJ: My friend Allison was a DJ when I was a freshman. She was a sophomore so I always thought that she was really cool. I have always been really terrible at playing instruments but I have always been really into music. It seems like a good way to express that love of music without having to necessarily make it myself. When she had a radio show I just thought that was the coolest thing and I was like, “I gotta get into that.”
EF: Cool! When did you start with KJ?
LJ: I started the second semester of my sophomore year. It was kind of late. I had been thinking about it for a while but I did not have anything really push me to do it. I worked at Michael’s, the craft store, with fellow DJ Haven Harbert. That is how I met her and she was really involved in KJ. She said, “Yeah, like, you should do it,” and I would say, “Oh, I don’t know. Should I do it?” She basically said, “Just do it,” so I did.
EF: That is great. What kinds of things have you learned or realized about yourself because of KJ?
LJ: It made me feel a lot more confident about my ability to pick up on new things. My first DJ set was the most terrified I have ever been in my life. I had a pre-recorded show originally so I had to pre-record it before the actual show and I was like, “I do not know any music at all! How am I gonna make a three hour playlist? Oh my God, I can not do this.” But then after the first show, you know, the first one was terrible, but after that I was like, “No, I can do this. This is actually fine.” And I think I figured out that I can pick up on things pretty quickly from being in KJ.
EF: That is a good one.
LJ: Oh, I have another one.
EF: Go for it.
LJ: I learned that I have a more diverse musical taste than I thought. So I am putting together different sets. One is a punk set and then the next one is a singer/songwriter, sad girl set, and the next one is a surf rock set and so on. But I realized that I like a lot more music than I thought that I did.
EF: I count that as learning. What’s your favorite memory from KJ?
LJ: I like KJHK shows. My freshman year, I saw Real Estate. KJHK put that show on. Your Friend was opening and everybody was into when Real Estate played but they were SO into Your Friend when she was playing. I think I really realized the love for the local music scene more when I got involved with KJHK. I have a lot of friends in local bands so when I would go to see them perform, all of our friends would be there too. But I think I realized more from being in KJ that Lawrence just loves local music in general, which is so cool.
EF: That is awesome. Is there anything that you have struggled with before joining KJHK that you’re now better at or that you don’t have an issue with anymore?
LJ: I think before I joined KJ, I was kind of embarrassed about my musical taste. I kind of felt like I had to listen to what was cool and not even necessarily Top 40s music. I had cool friends listening to the cool music. I do not even know what that is, but I would never pipe up and be like, “You know, my favorite band is Death Cab for Cutie.” Now I am like, “Yeah! My favorite band is Death Cab for Cutie! I’m not ashamed.”
EF: Is that your favorite band? I love them. They got me through 8th grade.
LJ: That is my favorite band. So now I feel like I am playing these playlists for all of Lawrence and the world. I am just kind of like, “Yep, this is the kind of music I am listening to. Maybe I am listening to Indie Pop from 2010 but I feel no shame.”
EF: Okay, describe yourself in three words. This is always a question that people struggle to answer.
LJ: DJ. Sadd. Qurl. (laughs) No, short. Oh man, this is really hard. Spunky? No, that’s a terrible word. I hate that word. I do not know why I said that. Oh my God. I don’t know.
EF: We can just limit it to one word so that you don’t have to think of another two.
LJ: That is almost worse. I guess spunky is fine. That can be one of them. Maybe feisty? Feisty, that is a good one. Small, feisty, and radical.