4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

How DJ Roob got back in the game

Pandemic-era performances on the Not So Serious Radio program

Rob “DJ Roob” Blackwell records John and Jozette Vineyard playing in the courtyard of his house.
Rob “DJ Roob” Blackwell records John and Jozette Vineyard playing in the courtyard of his house.

Since March, the only students and personnel permitted on the campus of Palomar College have been those connected to the nursing program. The enforcement is so strict that it took Rob “DJ Roob” Blackwell a month to retrieve his Not So Serious Radio program banner out of their KKSM campus radio station’s offices.

But even though there is no life to be found in the KKSM headquarters, the station is still alive. A library of music is auto-playing over their airwaves, and a couple of actual human DJ’s are recording remotely from their homes. After a short break, even DJ Roob got back in the game.

“I took a few weeks off and floundered for a bit,” he explained. “Then I talked to the station manager and he said that if I record a show at home he could upload it and it would play at my time. So, I started doing it in late April. I kept it to an hour. It’s not as fun as being live on radio by any stretch. It’s stilted. When you’re on the radio if you make a mistake you go on, but here if I’m recording, I’ll go back and re-record it. It just doesn’t sound as fresh sometimes but, nevertheless, it’s still working and I’m getting it out there.”

A staple of Not So Serious Radio are the live, in-studio performances by various local bands. To retain this signature element of the program, Roob figured out a way to incorporate the performances into the pandemic-era installments. He would not be able to host full, electric, live bands, but the courtyard of his North County home would serve just fine for recording scaled down acoustic sets. The guinea pigs were John and Jozette Vineyard, a husband and wife duo who make up half of The Oxen. The show was a success, and ten more artists appeared before the performances were put on ice.

“I wanted to make sure that we were sending a good message and that we were being safe, because I didn’t want to be the DJ that had the super-spreader events at his house,” Roob said. “It worked really well, and we did a whole bunch in a row. Then things started getting a little dicey over the summer from a virus standpoint in the County — so we tapered them. We’ve only done two since then. My last one was a couple weeks ago, and I’m not going to do any more for the foreseeable future, because I want to see what happens with this surge.”

And speaking of surges, this pandemic hasn’t been easy on Roob. He suffers from anxiety which is a result of major depression disorder. “My depression manifests as anxiety and it has been off the charts since March,” he explained. A greater wealth of information about the virus has calmed his nerves considerably, as has working on his radio show and the act of simply listening to music. In an effort to help others dealing with mental illness, Roob dedicated an entire NSSR show to the subject in early June.

“I put the call out there, and I got eight San Diego artists to participate,” he explained. “I included all their audio bumpers at the introduction to the song and then played the song. I got such really nice feedback. A lot of private messages that were just like ‘Thanks for doing this. I felt so alone and now I don’t, because I know this band and I didn’t know this guy had social anxiety.’ Even if one person had responded to me, I would have been like ‘that’s pretty good,’ but I had a bunch of people write in. It was rewarding.”

In a further act of good will, in October Roob threw together a Not So Serious Radio t-shirt fundraiser that raised $2300 for the National Independent Venue Association Emergency Relief Fund — which was established to get money to local clubs such as The Casbah, the Brick By Brick, and (before it recently shuttered) Bar Pink.

“[Bar Pink] was the place where I saw my last live show before the shutdown,” Roob explained. “It’s heartbreaking. Especially a place where you’ve been, and you had a good time and you’ve gone back a bunch of times. You just think it’s gonna be there forever.”

He continued, “I think that we are going to lose some local venues, and we’re not alone here in San Diego. But something will come back and help fill the spaces, because there will be opportunities for people who say, ‘You know what, I’ve never owned a venue. I really want to do this. Now is the time.’”

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Elizabeth Bishop: peer of Robert Lowell and Sylvia Plath

She wished to be judged on the basis of her talent, not the fact that she was a woman
Next Article

The healthy doubt of Park Hill Church

Doubt belongs in the journey of faith, just as hunger belongs in your pursuit of food
Rob “DJ Roob” Blackwell records John and Jozette Vineyard playing in the courtyard of his house.
Rob “DJ Roob” Blackwell records John and Jozette Vineyard playing in the courtyard of his house.

Since March, the only students and personnel permitted on the campus of Palomar College have been those connected to the nursing program. The enforcement is so strict that it took Rob “DJ Roob” Blackwell a month to retrieve his Not So Serious Radio program banner out of their KKSM campus radio station’s offices.

But even though there is no life to be found in the KKSM headquarters, the station is still alive. A library of music is auto-playing over their airwaves, and a couple of actual human DJ’s are recording remotely from their homes. After a short break, even DJ Roob got back in the game.

“I took a few weeks off and floundered for a bit,” he explained. “Then I talked to the station manager and he said that if I record a show at home he could upload it and it would play at my time. So, I started doing it in late April. I kept it to an hour. It’s not as fun as being live on radio by any stretch. It’s stilted. When you’re on the radio if you make a mistake you go on, but here if I’m recording, I’ll go back and re-record it. It just doesn’t sound as fresh sometimes but, nevertheless, it’s still working and I’m getting it out there.”

A staple of Not So Serious Radio are the live, in-studio performances by various local bands. To retain this signature element of the program, Roob figured out a way to incorporate the performances into the pandemic-era installments. He would not be able to host full, electric, live bands, but the courtyard of his North County home would serve just fine for recording scaled down acoustic sets. The guinea pigs were John and Jozette Vineyard, a husband and wife duo who make up half of The Oxen. The show was a success, and ten more artists appeared before the performances were put on ice.

“I wanted to make sure that we were sending a good message and that we were being safe, because I didn’t want to be the DJ that had the super-spreader events at his house,” Roob said. “It worked really well, and we did a whole bunch in a row. Then things started getting a little dicey over the summer from a virus standpoint in the County — so we tapered them. We’ve only done two since then. My last one was a couple weeks ago, and I’m not going to do any more for the foreseeable future, because I want to see what happens with this surge.”

And speaking of surges, this pandemic hasn’t been easy on Roob. He suffers from anxiety which is a result of major depression disorder. “My depression manifests as anxiety and it has been off the charts since March,” he explained. A greater wealth of information about the virus has calmed his nerves considerably, as has working on his radio show and the act of simply listening to music. In an effort to help others dealing with mental illness, Roob dedicated an entire NSSR show to the subject in early June.

“I put the call out there, and I got eight San Diego artists to participate,” he explained. “I included all their audio bumpers at the introduction to the song and then played the song. I got such really nice feedback. A lot of private messages that were just like ‘Thanks for doing this. I felt so alone and now I don’t, because I know this band and I didn’t know this guy had social anxiety.’ Even if one person had responded to me, I would have been like ‘that’s pretty good,’ but I had a bunch of people write in. It was rewarding.”

In a further act of good will, in October Roob threw together a Not So Serious Radio t-shirt fundraiser that raised $2300 for the National Independent Venue Association Emergency Relief Fund — which was established to get money to local clubs such as The Casbah, the Brick By Brick, and (before it recently shuttered) Bar Pink.

“[Bar Pink] was the place where I saw my last live show before the shutdown,” Roob explained. “It’s heartbreaking. Especially a place where you’ve been, and you had a good time and you’ve gone back a bunch of times. You just think it’s gonna be there forever.”

He continued, “I think that we are going to lose some local venues, and we’re not alone here in San Diego. But something will come back and help fill the spaces, because there will be opportunities for people who say, ‘You know what, I’ve never owned a venue. I really want to do this. Now is the time.’”

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

City officials beg courts to declare Measure C passed so that Convention Center can expand services to migrant minors.

Court Packing ‘Em In
Next Article

Driving a plane on Interstate 5, buying liquor in Tijuana

Women who love heroin, Seal lover on the Silver Strand, why Dean Martin greater than Elvis
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close