Every week this summer, CJSW takes you behind the mic in the booth to spotlight one of our amazing programmers. This week’s spotlight programmer is Cavan Logan, the former host of Friday morning’s Owsley Aurora who now serves up a warm helping of Sun Ramen on Wednesdays from 7:00 a.m – 10:00 a.m. on CJSW 90.9 FM. Cavan chatted about organizing mailboxes, learning at CJSW and concocting the perfect music soup. Interview by Melanie Woods.
What show do you host and what does it focus on?
The show that I host is called Sun Ramen. It’s primarily an evolution of what I was doing prior to that show, which is a supposed jazz show at 5:30 in the morning on Fridays. It’s a progression of starting off and learning about jazz music, and then eventually getting tired of straight-ahead bandstand and finding other things that excited me, that I maybe wanted to exhibit or share with people. Every time that I’ve been involved in radio, I’ve been approached to do a show. The first show was a matter of ‘hey, we have this time slot open, would you be interested in doing it?’ and I said ‘yes.’ And when this show started it was a matter of people vacating their time-slots and being asked to step up and take on more responsibilities.
But if we want to get into specifically what this show is about, it’s sort of this goofy idea I had about related music to soup. So, every bowl of soup has the broth, and in the instance of ramen there’s always noodles, and after that there’s a plethora of different ingredients that can go into making each individual bowl its own — so, the broth being funk and soul, the noodles being hip hop, and the third hour of the show is whatever it is I want to be programming at that point in the week.
How do you go about selecting what you play?
Funk and soul are pretty easy. It’s just whatever I find that gets me moving, so it’s a pretty easy way of selecting. Hip-hop is a little more difficult because there’s so much of it that’s not necessarily positive. Some of it can be positive but a lot of it’s super abrasive and can carry tones of homophobia and sexism and some of it doesn’t have anything to do with those things but has to do with causing harms to those in positions of authority. So that one’s a little trickier. And how I select it is I try to find something that’s talking about something real but isn’t sort of ousting anybody. Yesterday I played a song that was like ‘what would the world be like without police?’ and one of the earlier lyrics in the song is ‘well I would be able to walk down the street and smoke a joint. And then it sort of gets into the other things like ‘I wouldn’t have to worry about throwing up my arms and trying to convince people I’m not dangerous.’ So it’s a balance of the message and the tone.
How long have you been a programmer? How did you start?
In January of next year it will be three years, I started in 2015.
I literally just showed up one day because I liked the station, I liked the music we were playing. I think the theme or the reason why a lot of people come here is pretty similar. I think it provided something that wasn’t being offered elsewhere. So I remember just walking through the door, and my ambition was always just to be here. If that meant I was sorting CDs or processing emails or something in that regard it would’ve been fine. I remember organizing that mailbox system — which I don’t think anyone uses. I remember organizing that and the [program] director at the time, Geneviève Dale and [station manager] Myke Atkinson were scheming away in Geneviève’s office — now Marta’s office — and Myke sticks his head out the office door and asks me what type of music I listen to. I’m like, ‘I don’t know, all sorts of music.’ And it’s hard to say I listened to one style of music, so I kind of pondered what that meant. And a couple of minutes late they asked me to host a program.
I know there are a lot of people who come here with ambitions, like, ‘I want to be on the radio, my voice needs to be heard by the people in some capacity, that is my gift to humanity.’ It was something I wanted to do, but by no means was it something I intended to do or counted on doing.
What is your favourite thing about CJSW?
It’s sort of changed. It started out just sort of coming here and seeing an enormous catalogue of music. And then as I was meeting people, it became more about the people that were here and continued to put forth their effort and their passion. And then as I sort of hung around more, the people offered their skills. I learned how to do sound engineering through Whitney Ota, and then being able to give back to the musical community that supports this place. We’re an idea and a building full of people, but we’re nothing without people producing music for us to sort of share with others. Being able to operate in that capacity — to help record bands and put them out there.
I usually ask people what their favourite sandwich is, but maybe could you tell me what your favourite type of ramen is?
You can always do the soup and the sandwich combo.
Favourite sandwich would probably be a rueben, with a hearty rye, thick pieces of Swiss cheese melted over sauerkraut and corned beef. It’s a pretty dope sandwich.
And soup — have you ever been to Shiki Menya? It’s in Bridgeland. Two hundred bowls of soup a day and they’re done. They make a low-broth ramen which I’d have to say is my jam now. One of my biggest faults as a human being is that when there’s food presented to me, there’s this mental challenge to consume all said food that is presented to me. And a low-broth variation of ramen is a compromise to my animalistic instincts to just consume and prepare for winter.
Tune in to Cavan’s show Sun Ramen, every Wednesday morning from 7:00 a.m – 10:00a.m. on CJSW 90.9 FM, and online at cjsw.com.