Dirtnap Records turns 10

Owner Ken Cheppaikode’s respected record imprint house pushes strong into its tenth year.

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Ken Cheppaikode started humble, but the successful owner of Dirtnap and Green Door Records hit upon success in the Northwests’s DYI record scene.

Call it an example of the American Punk Rock Dream: A decade ago, Ken Cheppaikode was living in an apartment below a vet clinic in Seattle, cleaning cat shit out of litter boxes in exchange for free rent and nurturing a vague idea of starting his own record label. Today, he is entering his 10th year as the head of Portland’s Dirtnap Records. For an imprint of its modest size, it is about as respected as one can get. Its catalog is filled with underground classics. A licensing deal is getting its bands’ music into video games, snowboard videos and at least one Sunkist commercial. Cheppaikode has three interns. He ain’t rich, but for a guy who grew up on welfare, didn’t go to college and isn’t entirely sure he graduated from high school (long story), it’s not bad.

Read more at Willamette Week.

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