The Dirty Heads blaze up The Grove of Anaheim

Carlos Alfaro | Daily 49er

The Dirty Heads perform at The Grove of Anaheim on Nov. 19.

Carlos Alfaro, Assistant Diversions Editor

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The reggae-punk dub sounds of The Dirty Heads, of Huntington Beach, burned up the stage at the Grove of Anaheim, to a crowd of nearly 1,700 people on Saturday night.

Their white boy reggae-dub sound is nothing new. If the style is done with a decent amount of musical talent and poise, the repetitive rhythms and Rastafarian elements can be contagiously uplifting. And uplifting is exactly the case with The Dirty Heads. The five-member band is comprised of talented musicians, whose entertaining stage presence lingered like the stench of the skunky marijuana at The Grove.

The tone of Dustin “Duddy B” Bushnell’s guitar playing was pristine. Much like Angus Young (AC/DC) and Jack White (The White Stripes), Bushnell is a guitarist who’s developed a self-identifying and signature sound. He is clearly a musician who knows his gear, style and sound.

About eight songs into the performance, The Dirty Heads played a cover of “Paint it Black” by the Rolling Stones. The cover was tastefully executed in a reggae-dub style, with an added original bridge by The Dirty Heads.

After “Paint it Black,” Jared “Dirty J” Watson (vocals) announced the next few songs were, “a sneak peak at the new album.” The latest tracks from the new album were soft, sensual and included great percussion work from Jon Olazabal (drums).

One of the tracks off the new album, “Burn by Myself” is about Watson’s personal experience of getting a bunch of weed and not having anyone to smoke it with. Watson brought close friend Michael Brown on stage to sing the song with him. Brown closely resembled Zach Galifianakis.

The highlight of the evening was when Watson announced he wanted someone from the audience who could sing the lyrics to the “Buenos Noches Rap,” from the track “I got No Time For Ya’ll” and sing with the band.

A young man by the name of Brad nearly forced his way to the stage and bouncers had to fight him off. Watson was so impressed with his enthusiasm that he decided to choose him. Brad ended up knowing the lyrics but had poor rhythm and was soon booted from the spotlight.

Watson then found Emmy Mitchell, from Santa Cruz and dressed in kitten ears. She ended up knew the rhymes and had the rhythm down, but struggled briefly with timing. Nevertheless, she succeeded.

The evening concluded with The Dirty Heads’ hit track, “Lay me Down.”

For more information about The Dirty Heads, visit

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