Head Check

Liquid Aloha Music Festival
WHEN: July 9, 3 to 8 p.m.
WHERE: Lib erty Station North Promenade, 2826 Dewey Road, Point Loma
BANDS: The Dirty Heads with One Drop, Sand Section, Simpkin Project and Kalama Brothers
TICKETS: $15 (ages 21+ only)

By Pat Sherman

A?ccording to, a “dirty head” is “a super-chill person who skate boards, surfs or long-boards and drinks alcohol and smokes.”

The definition seems to apply to Huntington Beach reggae-rockers, The Dirty Heads, who return to San Diego July 9 to headline Kona Brewing Company’s Liquid Aloha Music Festival, during which frothy heads of handcrafted beer will abound.

Vocalist and guitarist Dustin Bushnell (aka “Duddy”) formed The Dirty Heads with his childhood surf buddies-that much is true. However, Bushnell says he doesn’t know who started the rumor that a convenience store clerk first dubbed the band “dirty heads!” while they were in the process of pilfering a 12-pack of beer.

“That’s funny,” Bushnell says. “I don’t know where that came from, really. We grew up together and went to school together, and our older brothers were friends. We were always kind of hanging out, causing trouble, and they started saying, ‘Hey, little dirty heads. Get out of here!’ It kind of just stuck.”

Bushnell says the band was dumb-struck when Rolling Stone magazine deemed them, “Best Reggae Rockers” of 2010.

“I think it’s definitely an honor-especially for a band like us,” he says. “In the past, they kind of hated on the whole white-boy reggae scene.”

The Dirty Heads were equally surprised a few years ago when they got a call to tour with their earliest muse, Sublime (with guitarist/vocalist Rome Ramirez and surviving Sublime members Bud Gaugh and Eric Wilson). The band also has shared billing with 311, Pepper and Kottonmouth Kings, and just returned from its first headlining tour, selling out many of the dates.

“It was fuc#ing great!” Bushnell says. “It’s easy when you’re traveling around with a band like Sublime or something-you know it’s going to be packed every night. To do it on our own was a little different.”

While out on the road, The Dirty Heads travel with the essentials: an Xbox 360, food and beer.

“And, for me, definitely, obviously, marijuana,” Bushnell says, with a laugh. “We don’t need much.”

The Dirty Heads and Liquid Aloha Festival co-performers One Drop, Sand Section, Simpkin Project and Kalama Brothers, will be helping keep San Diego County’s coastal and inland waters clean, as proceeds from sales of Kona’s Longboard Island Lager, Fire Rock Pale Ale and Wailua Wheat beer will benefit the San Diego Coastkeeper organization.,