Jan 12 2012

RIP Marcus Chapa

As a longtime fan of the Lubbock music scene, I was devastated to hear the news today of the sudden loss of one of the movement’s most important individuals in recent memory. Marcus Chapa was a pioneer, and now he’s a legend. He was an all-in-one, DIY, completely-outside-the-box kind of guy. Promoter, marketer, designer, musician, entrepreneur, Marcus did it all, and he did it for the love of those around him and the art they made. Though I’ve never personally attended any shows at his venue Grandma’s House, I’ve heard of the intimate setting Chapa provided for locals and touring up-and-comers making their way through the 806. I’ve sat and marveled at the ambition of an always-unpredictable Kitten Glitter show. I’ve witnessed the painstaking effort and time-consuming work Marcus brought to his homegrown label Middle Child Recordings. Marcus was quiet, reserved, but always planning for the next big thing – his Facebook page promoted a new fashion project for 2012 called Natural Reflex.

More than a visionary, Marcus was passionate. He loved music, especially the creations of his friends. He was caring, friendly, an undeniable joy to be around. His insight was unique and always fascinating. I encourage you to check out the Middle Child website; his latest Christmas compilation features music from Lubbock musicians past and present. Though the music is mostly from others, the project, the medium, has Marcus Chapa written all over it. It is a testament to his hard work and undying love for the Lubbock underground.

I can’t honestly say I knew Marcus as well as others, and, unfortunately, that is a mistake of mine I’ll never get the chance to correct. I wish I would’ve spent more time with the guy while he was with us. What I do know is, with what little time we spent together, especially those weekends crashing on my floor here in Austin for SXSW and Fun Fun Fun, he was fun, laid-back, and a genuinely happy dude, and it was always a pleasure to have him around. What I also know is, at a time when they shut down KTXT and it felt like the whole Lubbock scene was imploding, Marcus was one of the leaders striving to keep it alive. From what I can tell, he made some serious headway doing so.

My thoughts are with the Chapa family, Rachel Stone, and the friends of Marcus and the Lubbock music community, local and abroad. Death always gives us a glimpse of how many people one person can affect and influence, and you can bet, for Marcus Chapa, that’s a pretty big number.