The Dirty Heads @ The TLA
The Dirty Heads
The Theatre of the Living Arts (TLA)
Friday March 25th, 2011
Allow me to preface this post by stating that I am one of the harshest critics there is of the Southern California reggae hip hop sound made famous by the likes of Sublime, No Doubt, and The Long Beach Dub All-stars. My bias is partly due to the fact that I grew up seeing bands like Suburban Rhythm at the Orpheum in Long Beach, No Doubt at tiny venues like club 8 1/2, and Sublime at shows where the group either didn’t show up, or I was too faded to remember.
When Sublime (with Rome) last year announced that they were going to tour, I heard through the grapevine that an old friend of mine named Dave from back in the day was going to join them with a supporting band called The Dirty Heads. With quite a bit of curiosity and a little help from this same friend, I was able to sneak into their show at the Electric Factory to check out both the reincarnation of Sublime as well as The Dirty Heads.
To my surprise, Rome sounded every bit as good as Bradley Noel, and The Dirty Heads were gaining a lot of fans with their hit “Lay Me Down” featuring Rome. Fast forward a year and a half later, and my friend Dave Foral from Long Beach is making serious moves with The Dirty Heads, while selling out show after show on their current tour.
Brief Bio-Rooted in the Orange County community of Huntington Beach, founding band members Jared Watson and guitarist / vocalist Dustin Bushnell met in 1996 while in high school, embarking on a friendship based on music, as well as their shared passion for surfing, skating and the endless party of the laid-back SoCal lifestyle.
The band’s highly-anticipated first full-length album is entitled, Any Port in the Storm (Released on EMG through Fontana, a division of Universal Music Group Distribution – September 2008). This debut features 14 tracks that are reminiscent of the upbeat, sun-soaked Southern California party energy. The first single is the optimistic, “Stand Tall.”. This same album featured the last recordings of the great Billy Preston (see some band called the Beatles).
Arriving at the TLA a little later than I would have liked, I found myself staring at a line wrapped around the block. Luckily I had a couple of tickets set aside, and The Dirty Heads Manager Dustin Levin was gracious enough to get me a media pass to shoot the show.
Opening for the Dirty Heads was a power trio from Copenhagen called New Politics. Although they didn’t necessarily match the style of the headlining act, New Politics easily won the audience over with their all or nothing stage show.
I had a chance to chat with them briefly before and after the show, and was totally taken back by their work ethic and do whatever it takes mentality approach to the music business. They have a great story, and have recently shared the stage and toured with the super group 30 seconds to Mars. You can read more about New Politics here, or here.
They played a number of songs from their 2008 LP Any Port in the Storm including “Taint”, “Insomnia”, “Stand Tall”, “Everything I’m Looking For”, and a few new tracks (new album?) for the audience to test out.
The Dirty Heads closed out their set with Shine, and were brought back to the stage for a two song encore of “Believe”, and their hit song “Lay Me Down”.
All in all, I’d say it’s good to see The Dirty Heads doing their own thing on this tour. Since the last time they were in Philly, they’ve gone from being an opening act for a band making a comeback, to something of a powerhouse in their own rite.
Kudos to The Dirty Heads. I’m looking forward to seeing big things from these guys in the coming months.
Ring The Alarm
Everything Im Looking For
Check The Level
Paint It Black
Sails to the Wind
We Will Rise
On My Way
No Time For Yall
Hip Hop Misfits
Lay Me Down