Motown on Mondays flaunts superbad soul

Courtesy photoDJ Gordo Cabeza founded Motown on Mondays in 2009.

Motown on Mondays returns to Madrone Art Bar this week amid a slew of MOM-related events, as the 4½-year-old soul party explodes nationwide.

Founding MOM DJ Gordo Cabeza spins soul records along with partners Timoteo Gigante, The Captain Hat and special guests mixing classic originals and a few remixes. The eight-hour dance party, which starts at 6 p.m. Monday, includes a massage chair (and a long line of folks waiting on Divisadero Street to get in.)

Founded in April 2009 out of a frustration with DJing, Motown on Mondays is on its way to becoming a production company, with offshoots in Los Angeles, New York, Honolulu, Oakland, Denver and Austin, Texas.

Events aren’t just at Madrone, either. Motown on Mondays brings the funk to the SantaCon after-party at Public Works on Saturday, and on Sundays, its Mission Soul session at the Chapel has become a massive new draw.

MOM also has a killer New Year’s Eve party, at speakeasy Local Edition, in the works.

MOM recently did a free online release of its third mixtape, “MOM Remixes Vol. 3,” featuring Rufus Thomas and San Francisco’s J Boogie.

“I feel incredibly lucky and blessed that this party found me and it’s worked out this way,” Gordo says. “Right before it, I was just getting burned out.”

Cabeza was born in Los Angeles and raised in the Bay Area, mainly in Oakland and Santa Cruz. He moved to San Francisco to get a degree in business from San Francisco State University.

Although his mother exposed him to Motown as a child, he says he played “everything else but” Motown for 14 years as a working DJ in The City.

By 2009, he was tired of commercial DJing, but Madrone’s new owner “wanted a different night.”

“It just kind of came to me on the spot. Motown on Mondays. Just chill and play good music that I loved with no pressure and no requests,” he says. “I didn’t think it would be this catch-fire dance party.”

MOM slowly built a rabidly loyal fanbase that spread first to Honolulu and then to other cities. Gordo says the trade secret is a focus on the top 40 hits of the era and their “family vibe.”

Drop-in guests have included comedian Dave Chappelle, who invited Gordo to his own San Francisco after-party. “That was pretty crazy. Guy was really cool.”

IF YOU GO

Motown on Mondays

Where: Madrone Art Bar, 500 Divisadero St., S.F.

When: 6 p.m. Mondays

Tickets: $3 after 9 p.m.

Contact: (415) 241-0202, www.madroneartbar.com

THURSDAY

RJD2: The Philly-based producer legend headlines 1015 Folsom with OM Unit, DJ Dials, Sweatson Klank, Mophono, Ernie Fresh and Mr. Vos. 10 p.m., $15. 1015 Folsom St., S.F., (415) 742-1015, www.1015.com

FRIDAY

Crazy P: The “Smoke and Mirrors Winter Holiday Soiree” starts with Trev Campbell, Lisbona, Shiny Objects and Climbers, then closes with house and disco lovers Crazy P. 8 p.m., $10-$20. Monarch, 101 Sixth St., S.F., (415) 284-9774, www.monarchsf.com

Mighty 10-Year Anniversary Party: South American progressive house DJ Hernan Cattaneo headlines the Mission district establishment’s big 10-year blowout. 9 p.m., $25. Mighty, 119 Utah St., S.F., (415) 762-0151, www.mighty119.com

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