I want to get down
Just lay on the floor
I can’t remember what it’s like
to not feel nervous anymore
In the summer of 2020, Portland, Oregon, became an epicenter of passionate civil unrest during the height of the Covid pandemic. Protests, ignited primarily by the death of George Floyd and the broader Black Lives Matter movement, resonated deeply within the city’s historically activist fabric. As demonstrations persisted, federal agents arrived, adding layers of tension and drawing national scrutiny. The city’s streets bore witness to an intricate dance of resistance, with protesters demanding systemic change and challenging the role of federal intervention. This period not only showcased Portland’s long-held commitment to social justice, but also highlighted the complexities of urban protest in contemporary America.
The Summer of Hate, a raucous new single from Pacific Northwest stalwarts The Dandy Warhols (vocalist Courtney Taylor-Taylor, guitarist Peter Holmström, keyboardist/bassist Zia McCabe and drummer Brent DeBoer), is a dark-rock manifesto about this chaotic moment in American history, fueled by gritty guitars and fuzzed-out vocals with a supple, sexy rhythm.
“The summer of 2020 was hell in Portland, Oregon with the riots and destruction of the downtown area,” explains Courtney Taylor-Taylor. “The record was the manifestation of our desire to hear a record of heavy raw punk and metal guitar riffs handled in a way that we felt was cooler than the standard knuckle draggin’ man-rock that still tends to dominate a lot of popular culture in America.”
Interweaving somber chords to craft a charged and polished anthem, “The Summer of Hate” symbolizes a quick yet existential departure by a group whose adaptability and genre-transcending shifts have become a signature of their unparalleled alt-rock base. This piece epitomizes The Dandy Warhols’ ability to constantly redefine the boundaries of alt-rock, offering an evocative, defiant anthem.
“Musically, ‘The Summer of Hate’ became our homage to the sounds of The Damned, The MC5, and probably a bit of the Stooges in there as well,” he explains. We think there is more than a microdose of suave Lou Reed in the track, too.
In a bold move, the band has tapped into new artistic dimensions by unveiling a visual companion to their vintage protest tune. While the man behind the film’s editing may be J. Lowe, the direction was in fact outsourced to an AI program. Naturally, this experimental approach blurs the line between human artistry and machine interpretation, but it also offers a visual experience that is one of the best of its kind, resembling something similar to if A-Ha’s video for “Take On Me” were commandeered by The Cramps.
“Apparently A.I. felt that what his track is about is a macabre alien hot cave dance party/’60s mini motorcycle rally, and it pretty much nailed it,” he laughs, pointing out the weird and wild imagery he and the video’s creator concocted. “A.I. is like a brilliant child, complete with ego and defense mechanisms. If you try to control it too much, it will rebel by doing some fucked up shit to your project.”
Welcome the future. It’s gonna be weird. Watch below:
The Summer of Hate is off the upcoming album ROCKMAKER, and will be available to stream on October 13, 2023.
Formed in Portland, OR, The Dandy Warhols combined the best bits of shoegaze, alternative powerpop, and heavy rock with a wicked satirical pen. Spawning alt-rock mainstays like “Bohemian Like You,” “Not If You Were the Last Junkie on Earth,” “Have a Kick Ass Summer (Me and My Friends)” and the synth-disco jam “We Used to Be Friends.” The band is currently working on the follow-up to 2020’s experimental concept album Tafelmuzik Means More When You’re Alone and the 2023 digital EP The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.
This October, The Dandy Warhols embark on a tour across the West Coast and Southwest, joined by The Black Angels. With Queen Kwong gracing the stage for a significant portion of the shows, the musical journey kicks off at The Marquee in Tempe, AZ on October 6. The tour promises memorable nights in cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vancouver, and Dallas. A highlight awaits as they headline the esteemed LEVITATION Festival in Austin, with several other destinations dotted in their path.
- Oct 06 The Marquee, Tempe, AZ
- Oct 07 191 Toole, Tucson, AZ
- Oct 08 Pappy and Harriets, Pioneertown, CA
- Oct 09 Observatory North Park, San Diego, CA
- Oct 10 The Bellweather, Los Angeles, CA
- Oct 11 Glass House, Pomona, CA
- Oct 13 Majestic Ventura Theater, Ventura, CA
- Oct 14 The Fillmore, San Francisco, CA
- Oct 15 The Fillmore, San Francisco, CA
- Oct 18 Roseland, Portland, OR
- Oct 19 Vogue Theatre, Vancouver, BC
- Oct 25 Ferris Wheelers, Dallas, TX
- Oct 26 RISE Roofrop, Houston, TX
- Oct 28 LEVITATION, Austin, TX
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