Hope you're ready to party, SoCal reggae/ska/punk fans: Skunk Records celebrates its 25th anniversary at the Belly Up on Feb. 23.
You may not immediately be familiar with the label, but you’ll surely recognize some of the artists on its roster: Sublime, AWOL One, Long Beach Dub Allstars, Pepper and Slightly Stoopid are just some of the huge acts that release music, or have released music at one time or another, on the imprint.
Founded in 1989 by Michael "Miguel" Happoldt and Bradley Nowell (Sublime's lead singer/guitarist), the Long Beach-based label originally existed primarily to release music by Happoldt’s band the Ziggens, but when he briefly joined Sublime for their rare cassette release, Jah Won’t Pay the Bills, Skunk Records took on a much bigger role in his life.
After Happoldt switched roles in Sublime to become producer/manager, he focused on recording other bands for the label as well. After Nowell's untimely and tragic death in 1996, Happoldt played guitar in the Long Beach Dub Allstars until they disbanded in 2002.
To the delight of their adoring fans, the band picked up where it left off 10 years earlier and opened for Fishbone at the Yost Theatre in Santa Ana in 2012. The group is currently at work on new music to follow up its 2002 album, Wonders of the World, with Happoldt again on guitar.
If you’ve ever hoped and prayed that the Skunk Records catalog would come to life and take over a stage, you’re in luck. Come Feb. 23, Happoldt will be joined onstage by Kyle McDonald and Miles Doughty from Slightly Stoopid; Big B; DJ Product; Perro Bravo; Opie Ortiz & Aaron Owens; members of Unwritten Law; and others to perform classic Skunk Records material.
The show promises deep cuts and extended jams, and should not be missed if you’re a fan of any of the aforementioned bands or SoCal reggae/punk in general.
Skunk Records 25th Anniversary Celebration at the Belly Up on Feb. 23, 8 p.m., $20, 21+. Buy tickets here.
Dustin Lothspeich plays in Old Tiger, Chess Wars and Boy King. Follow his updates on Twitter or contact him directly.