Welcome to the Rocks Off 100, our portrait gallery of the most compelling profiles and personalities in the far-flung Houston music community -- a lot more than just musicians, but of course they're in there too.
If you have ever attended an old-school or underground rap concert in Houston, chances are that Hector Del Valle has been the mastermind behind the show. By keeping his ear to the streets and booking artists on the cusp of blowing up, or choosing former greats who can still pack a venue given the chance, Mr. Lunaface delivers hit show after hit show.
Who? "Lunaface Promotions started six years ago," opens Del Valle. "I was the understudy of Jeff Messina for many years before that. Lunaface comes from the inspiration of my first-born, Luna (who is five years old now) and who keeps me driving with her beautiful energy and spirit. I started off as a house/freestyle dancer when i was 15, then after that, music in general began to play a pivotal role in my life.
"I remember my Dad (RIP) used to give me the hardest time because he never understood why I was out so much," he continues. "There would be times when i got home and the door was locked. I didn't have a spare so sometimes I would just sleep in my car or go over to my buddies. I flyered for many years from 18 to 26 and did it for free tickets and all that good stuff.
"After a while, I started to figure out the business a little more and it definitely caught my interest," After many years the payoff for all that hard work and sacrifice has definitely paid off. I love it too much to let it go!"
Home Base: I do everything from home, no fancy office as of yet," Del Valle says. "I enjoy the flexibility of being able to set up meetings and come and go as I want.
Why Do You Stay in Houston? "For the past few years there has been a renaissance movement happening in Houston that I knew was coming," he says. "You can see it happening around you everywhere you go: From the rise of the museums, venues, food, culture, and ideas of people like me and you that will continue to make this city top-notch."
War Story: "Madlib and Action Bronson, two of the hardest people ever to book," says Del Valle. "I had already worked with Peanut Butter Wolf and told him how much I really wanted to get Madlib here to Houston. He was like, 'good luck on that one' and after many attempts, the day I was about to give up, after eight months, his agent emails me and says 'LIB is in.' I never will forget that.
"Action Bronson, on another note, he kept hiring and firing all these different agents and managers for the past year that made it tough," he says. "I was having to hunt him down and find out who he was with through folks who live in NYC."
Music Scene Pet Peeve: "When people are excited about a show you just announced, and the day of the show they play ghost," sighs Del Valle. "I hate that shit the most, man."
Top 5 Desert Island Discs:
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- The Mars Volta, De-Loused In the Comatorium
- Mercedes Sosa, Greatest Hits
- Buena Vista Social Club, Buena Vista Social Club
- Digable Planets, Rebirth of Slick
- Beastie Boys, Licensed to Ill
Best Show Ever: "That I attended, probably was Buena Vista Social [Club] at Jones Hall," says Del Valle. "Everybody was there except Compay Segundo, who was ill at the time and unfortunately passed a little after that.
"Best show I have ever done was Madlib at Numbers and Digable Planets with the TSU Jazz Band," he adds.
Del Valle is promoting Rakim this Friday at Fitzgerald's and DJ Q-Bert November 8 at the Asia Society Museum, 1370 Southmore.