The dream of the 90's is alive in Portland! Stuff White People Like! It sure is easy to be "progressive" in the whitest city in the USA!!!! LOL
By Jeremy Hallock
By James Khubiar
By Observer Staff
By Kelly Dearmore
By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
It wasn't a regret he wanted to live through again. Before the release of the Marked Men's second LP, 2004's On The Outside, Cheppaikode flew to North Texas, visiting the region for the very first time, to convince Ryan to allow him to release the band's future material. The band agreed. And though they left Dirtnap for 2006's Fix My Brain (which was released on Swami Records), they returned for 2009's swan song, Ghosts. Cheppaikode, meanwhile, returned the favor: With the release of Ghosts, Cheppaikode backtracked and acquired publishing rights for all four Marked Men full-lengths, all of which have most recently been re-issued under his own label's name.
Obviously, he's a fan of that band—maybe its biggest.
"I've always felt that the Marked Men and Dirtnap were a great fit," he says.
And why shouldn't he speak of them with reverence? The Marked Men were his entry into a North Texas scene that's proven quite the fertile ground for his label. Cheppaikode talks with an especially chipper tone when discussing the new Mind Spiders album. It's rather uncharted territory for his label, actually—to call it a punk record would do it a disservice, as it scores high marks with pretty much every lo-fi direction it takes (and there are many). And there's some real, tangible interest in the disc, too. More anticipatory blog fodder than the Marked Men ever received. More than Dirtnap usually earns too.
"I had to get to the store at 6 a.m. yesterday, just to handle all the requests I've been getting on that album," Cheppaikode admitted over the phone earlier this week, acknowledging that he normally rolls into the office at noon or so. "And I'm not even done."
But he's not complaining. Mostly, he says, he's proud—of Dirtnap, of his work with The Marked Men and all its offshoots, and, also, of a little college town some 2,000-plus miles from his home base.
"If you want to get signed to Dirtnap these days," Cheppaikode admits with a laugh, "you pretty much have to be from Denton."