|Yacht and the Straight Gaze|
Yacht during the Flat Tail Music Festival 2010 in Corvallis, Oregon.
|Origin||Portland, Oregon, USA Marfa, Texas USA Los Angeles, California, USA The Western American Utopian Triangle|
|Genres||Electropop, alternative rock, dance punk, synthpop|
|Labels||DFA Records, Marriage Records, States Rights Records|
|Associated acts||The Blow, Bobby Birdman, Jeffrey Jerusalem, Key Losers, Lucky Dragons, Architecture in Helsinki, Devendra Banhart, The Badger King, White Rainbow|
Claire L. Evans
Rob "Bobby Birdman" Kieswetter
Yacht (stylized as YACHT, Y△CHT or Y▲CHT) is an American band from Portland, Oregon, currently based in Los Angeles, California. The core group consists of Jona Bechtolt and Claire L. Evans, but expands to include musicians Rob "Bobby Birdman" Kieswetter, and Jeffrey Brodsky as touring members.
Jona Bechtolt chose the name Yacht in reference to Y.A.C.H.T., an alternative school in Portland, Oregon. Bechtolt told SPIN Magazine "It stands for Young Americans Challenging High Technology. It refers to an education program that was held in Portland, Oregon. I was enrolled when I was 16, back in 1996."
Yacht was the solo project of Jona Bechtolt from 2002–2008. During this period, he released three albums, Super Warren MMIV, Mega, and I Believe in You. Your Magic Is Real, on record labels in the Pacific Northwest area.
In January 2006, Yacht was commissioned for two performances for the New York based art and technology platform Rhizome, as part of their "Crap-tops vs Laptops" show. In February 2006, Yacht performed at the Museum of Modern Art's P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center and produced an hour-long internet radio program with Clear Cut Press; a Northwest-based publisher of new literary work. In April 2006, the Aurora Picture Show commissioned a Yacht performance as part of their Media Archeology Festival in Houston, Texas.
For the 2007 release of I Believe in You. Your Magic Is Real on Marriage Records, Bechtolt performed a concert on an actual yacht on the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon. In October the same year Yacht played at one of China's earliest music festivals, Yue, organised by Split Works.
In 2008, Yacht expanded to a duo with the introduction of longtime collaborator Claire L. Evans as a full member, contributing vocals to many of the songs on the 2009 album See Mystery Lights, Yacht's first full-length release on DFA Records. From this point forward, Yacht re-identified itself as a two-piece.
The album cover for See Mystery Lights was designed by Texas-based artist Boyd Elder, who previously designed album art for The Eagles. Pitchfork rated See Mystery Lights an 8.5, calling it "a triumph," and Rolling Stone wrote that Yacht "split the different between Talking Heads and electro pop, and make a breakthrough album of digital ear candy.” It was chosen as a "Critic's Choice" by New York Times critic Nate Chinen.
During this period, Yacht began publicly discussing their personal philosophy, and published a book called The Secret Teachings of the Mystery Lights: A Handbook on Overcoming Humanity and Becoming Your Own God which explained their beliefs. They also maintain a list of their beliefs on their website.
In January 2010, Yacht added a live band, "The Straight Gaze," consisting of musicians Rob "Bobby Birdman" Kieswetter, and Jeffrey Brodsky to their live show. This incarnation is known as Yacht and the Straight Gaze.
In November 2011, Yacht worked with Youtuber (and long time Yacht supporter) Mitchell Davis on their music video for the song "I Walked Alone".
In June 2011, Yacht released Shangri-La, their second album on DFA Records. They made a double video for its first two singles, "Utopia" and '"Dystopia (The Earth Is on Fire)," directed by experimental filmmaker and documentarian Rene Daalder. In 2012 they recorded "Le Goudron", a cover of the Brigitte Fontaine song (1969). In early 2013, retailer Kohls used Yacht typeface imagery and lyrics from "Shangri-La" on a series of tshirts momentarily available online, until the band notified the company about possible legal liabilities.
In an August 2012 interview with New York Music News, Claire Evans explained the Yacht band, business and belief system: "Yacht is the name we give to all the projects we do together. Usually that’s recording and performing music, but as we emphasize in our axiom of "band, business, and belief system," there are both materialistic and metaphysical dimensions to our work. It's full-spectrum."
In August 2013, the band released "Party at the NSA," a song satirizing the NSA's unwarranted surveillance of private citizens, and donated all proceeds from sales of the song online to the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Comedian Marc Maron plays the guitar solo on the song. Yacht also partnered with design blog Nothing Major to create a t-shirt of the "Party at the NSA" artwork, of which sale proceeds were also donated to the EFF.
- Jona Bechtolt – vocals, programming, guitar, drums, bass, percussion, claps, synths, keyboards, piano, effects
- Claire L. Evans – vocals
When performing live, Yacht is accompanied by the following band members:
- Rob "Bobby Birdman" Kieswetter – vocals, bass, keyboard
- Jeffrey Brodsky – drums, percussion
- Katy Davidson (no longer with Yacht);– guitar, keyboard, vocals
- Super Warren MMIV (2004) States Rights Records
- Mega (March 8, 2005) Marriage Records
- I Believe in You. Your Magic Is Real (May 15, 2007) Marriage Records
- See Mystery Lights (July 28, 2009) DFA
- Shangri-La (June 21, 2011) DFA
- Mike's Crest (2003) States Rights Records
- The Winter Is Coming Jam (2004) States Rights Records
- Radio Sessions (Split CD with Lucky Dragons) (2004) Ultra Eczema
- We Float Around, Hang Out On Clouds (Black Label Collaborative LP with Lucky Dragons)12" Split (2005) Marriage Records
- Our Friends in Hell (August 2007) States Rights Records
- Instrumentals 2007 (December 2007) Marriage Records
- Summer Song 12" Single (August 2008) DFA
- Don't Put Out [Digital 45] 7" Single (June 2009) Marriage Records
- See Mystery Lights (Instrumentals) (July 2009) DFA
- Anthem of the Trinity (August 2009) States Rights Records
- Psychic City 7" Single (August 2009) DFA
- iTunes Session (February 2010) DFA
- The Afterlife 7" Single (May 2010) DFA
- Utopia (Remixes) (July 2011) DFA
- Dystopia (Remixes) 12" Single (October 2011) DFA
- Shangri-La (Instrumentals) (October 2011) DFA
- I Walked Alone (Remixes) 12" Single (November 2011) DFA
- Shangri-La (Remixes) (February 2012) DFA
- Le Goudron (Cover of Brigitte Fontaine) (April 2012) DFA
- Second Summer (Single) (December 2012) DFA
- "How They Became YACHT". SPIN Magazine.
- "YACHT Interview: SXSW 2010". Spinner.com.
- "Media Archeology: Software Cinema". Aurora Picture Show. April 2006.
- "Photos: YACHT on Yacht (Portland, OR; 05/05/07)". "Pitchfork". Retrieved 2008-03-31.
- "YACHT destroys the stage at NME SXSW show". NME News. March 14, 2008.
- Lindsay, Cam (August 2009). "YACHT Do More Than Rock". Exclaim!. Retrieved 2010-04-03.
- Wolk, Douglas (August 2009). "Boyd Elder's album cover for YACHT". Print. Retrieved 2010-04-03.
- Chinen, Nate (August 2009). "New CDs". New York Times.
- Talbot, Lindsey (July 2009). "q&a with jona bechtolt and claire evans of yacht". Teen Vogue.
- "YACHT Today". teamyacht.com. 2012.
- "YACHT becomes YACHT & the Straight Gaze". The Oregonian. January 2010.
- "YACHT 'Utopia/Dystopia' Music Video". NME. June 2010.
- "Kohl's designer might have ripped off YACHT". "LA Times". March 2013.
- "NYMN Interview – Claire Evans of YACHT". nymn.com. August 30, 2012. Retrieved September 23, 2012.
- "YACHT Recruit Full Band for Tour". Pitchfork. January 2010.
- Official website
- Yacht blog on TrustYacht.org
- Yacht on Twitter
- Yacht on Facebook
- Yacht discography at Discogs
- Yacht statistics, tagging and previews at Last.FM
- Yacht on IFC's Dinner With The Band
- Claire L. Evans' blog on the ScienceBlogs.com Network
- MTV Hive Hive Five listing of Yacht's 5 oddest gigs
- Interview by Chris Chafin for Prefix
- Article about and photos of the band in POSH magazine
- Interview with Jona and Claire in LA I'm Yours
- Interview with Jona and Claire from the Dickies Party from SXSW 2012
- Interview with Jona and Claire from the Willamette Week April 2, 2012 by Robert Ham
- Interview with Claire by Siobhán Kane on Thumped April 25, 2012
- Interview with Claire from The Conversation on October 30,2012
- YACHT gave a talk about their creative process and diverse projects at CreativeMornings, a monthly global lecture series
- Article about YACHT in Philthy Mag Dec 18, 2013