PINNING AND CONNECTING: Workers of the world, dread Monday no more. On Monday, November 7, DJ Raf hosts “Sunday on a Monday” at the Mercury Lounge in Goleta (5871 Hollister Ave., Goleta), where he will splash some much-needed energized positivity upon the often-meddling nocturnal hour that sleepily kicks off each week.
DJ Raf is the friendly face otherwise known as Rafaell Rozendo, the Santa Barbara native who can be seen fixing bikes at Bici Centro and be heard hosting a Sunday-morning radio slot on KCSB 91.9 from 9-11 a.m., as well as soothingly thumbing an upright bass with Erisy Watt (who plays at Sama Sama Kitchen on December 11 for an EP release show). Raf’s aim with the Monday vinyl set is to redeem a day that many approach with a routine sense of disappointment. “I want it to be a local thing to recapture the beginning of the week and let some Sunday into your Monday,” he said. “Remember how you felt Sunday? Why not do something on Monday that makes you feel the same way? How can you just sit idly by and let your day suck? You have more agency than that.” Fortunately, the sound of deep reggae cuts and South-American jams wafting over the cozying living-room-like beer-and-wine den of the Mercury Lounge is so enticing as to be almost effortless — little agency is required to turn your Monday night around.
Musically, DJ Raf enjoys bridging connections between geographies, finding coincidences and common wavelengths among musicians playing in different parts of the world in different eras. Spinning sounds from Central and South America with highlife Afrobeat, he crafts groovy sets that feel comfortably familiar even if they come from cultures exotic to ours. “I’m usually looking for similar sounds from different places, trying to curate this feel-good groove, finding connections between different places that have the same mood,” he said. In netting disparate geographies, he brings people and moods together, building a tuneful trail from continent to continent, culture to culture.
“I always try to play stuff that might feel familiar, but it’s something that you haven’t heard, a tone that you remember hearing but you didn’t have enough of it,” he said. He calls his radio program the Groove Ship, a vessel where everyone can get onboard and feel the groove together.
A philosopher at heart, Raf studied epistemology at Gordon College as a philosophy/biology double major, wherein he postulated the difference between what we know and what we don’t know, between truth and beliefs. He said working at Bici Centro allows him to apply the abstraction of knowledge into the empowerment of practical tools; he helps others be knowledgeable of their forms of transport and in turn helps create and promote a wider knowledge of an alternative transportationf infrastructure and the possibility for a world with more bike riders.
So if you’ve known Monday to be a drag, let your hair down and reconsider what you’ve known about Monday nights. Starting this Monday and continuing as a monthly repeat, DJ Raf will help spin your perspective into one that helps you begin the week with joy.
START THE WEEK WITH A BAND: Of course, Monday would not be such a Monday if not for the preceding weekend, which always gets us so tantalizingly excited to be alive. If you’re looking to start off your week with a new band and a fresh start, consider going to the Funzone (226 S. Milpas St.) on Saturday, November 5, at 8 p.m., when the East Beach Batting Cages venue is hosting its Fall 2016 Band Lottery, where you can meet like-minded people and find others who are hoping to launch their music dreams.