Yacht

YACHT is a conceptual pop group based in Los Angeles, California. It’s the brainchild of Jona Bechtolt and Claire L. Evans, whose wide-ranging interests and deep-seated ADD cause YACHT to frequently metamorphose: from band to belief system, from disco infiltrators to punk rockers, from performance artists to graphic designers, publishers, sculptors, or philosophers.

YACHT was born in 2002 in Portland, Oregon, as a solo cross-disciplinary experiment for Jona Bechtolt, using technology to extend physical boundaries of communication, performance, and music. In 2008, after a shared mystical experience in the Far West Texas desert, Bechtolt was joined in the YACHT endeavor by longtime collaborator Claire L. Evans. Spurred by this paranormal bond, this new incarnation of YACHT wrote and recorded the critically-acclaimed See Mystery Lights in Marfa, Texas. This album was followed in 2011 by Shangri-La, a genre-defying concept album about utopia, dystopia, and every place in between.

Currently, the Straight Gaze, Robert “Bobby Birdman” Kieswetter and Jeffrey “Jerusalem” Brodsky, round out the live YACHT band. YACHT’s heart is in their live shows, which they call “Temporary Autonomous Zones:” uncluttered, anarchic, inspiring sessions of damaged dance moves and coded ritualism, backed by constantly changing elements—Power Point presentations, audience Q&A sessions, and shamanistic video environments.

YACHT has toured with LCD Soundsystem, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Hot Chip, Architecture in Helsinki, Vampire Weekend, The Dirty Projectors, and Chairlift; YACHT is multidisciplinary enough to have been paired with the Chemical Brothers, the Breeders, and Phoenix; YACHT has played on boats, in caves, in bathrooms, in art galleries and museums, in rural China, and at the Hollywood Bowl; YACHT are prolific remixers, dismantling songs by Snoop Dogg, Kings of Leon, Phoenix, Neon Indian, Stereolab, RATATAT, Classixx, and many more.

Bechtolt has been a promiscuous genre-smasher since his adolescence, when he opted to tour in a punk band over attending high school. He’s plied his unique breed of beat-heavy laptop wizardry and grunge ethos to endless collaborations, both as producer and drummer, with west coast mainstays like Devendra Banhart, The Blow, Little Wings, and Bobby Birdman. He’s also been recognized by such bigwigs as David Byrne, who name-dropped Bechtolt’s production on The Blow’s Paper Television in his Artforum Top 10 list, Paris’ Centre Georges Pompidou, where he was commissioned for a large-scale performance, and Vibe Magazine, who touted Bechtolt as “indie rock’s Timbaland.”

Evans joined the band full-time in 2008. She’s a science writer and artist who pens a popular blog about the intersection of art and science, Universe, for National Geographic’s ScienceBlogs network. She has lectured at MoMA PS1, The Kitchen, The Smithsonian, and the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, spoken at the Rubin Museum of Art about extraterrestrial life, co-written a book about technology and art at Carnegie Mellon University, made commissioned films for the World Science Festival and SEED Magazine, and has collaborated with Bechtolt on literally hundreds of projects since they met in 2004.

CRUISR began in 2012 as the solo project of Andy States and quickly morphed into what it is today; an indie-pop band whose summery, feel-good hooks are infectious and stadium ready.

States wrote and recorded the band’s first EP in his Philadelphia bedroom, fixated on the idea of what it means to craft a pop song. “I have an obsession with writing pop music and the idea that songs can transcend people.,” States says. “I saw that producer Jeremy Park started writing blog articles about how he recorded Youth Lagoon, so I wrote to him and sent him my songs asking for advice and knowledge. He wrote back and loved my stuff and helped me produce the first EP.”

The six-song self-titled EP was released in the summer of 2012 and quickly garnered attention online and in the press. With all the newfound awareness Andy promptly realized he needed a band to bring his songs to the stage. “Jon was always my sounding board. I’d show him songs in the making and get his advice. It only made sense that he’d become part of CRUISR,” Andy notes. With the addition of Kyle and Bruno the quartet set out performing whenever possible. And of course, they continued to write.

“The writing process definitely changed once we became a full band. I’ll work on my computer and bring the idea to Jon. By that time it’s structured and has a backbone, guitars are figured out etc. Jon elaborates on the idea with drums and it goes from there.” In late 2013 CRUISR released a new track online, “Kidnap Me,” which attracted even more positive attention than the EP. Representative of CRUISR as a cohesive unit, “Kidnap Me” was the first track written as a band and showcases what CRUISR does best; sunny, warm, indie-pop. “It’s funny because we’re from Philadelphia and we write songs that sound like summer, which is a fleeting season here. I guess it’s just because Philly is where we feel happiest, and when we’re happy we write happy music.”

Fast-forward to present day when CRUISR is gearing up to release their second EP, All Over, which features definitive recordings of “Kidnap Me” and “Don’t Go Alone” as well as the brand new title track “All Over”; all of which were produced and mixed by Andrew Maury (RAC, Panama Wedding, Ra Ra Riot). All Over demonstrates how fantastically Andy’s mind is able to translate pop hooks. “How does pop music make everyone like it so much?” States laughs, “Little kids hear it on the radio and just go crazy, singing stupid songs. There’s something that’s so smart about it, and a lot of things that people don’t notice are the key ingredients to writing a pop song. I’m just really into trying to decipher what those things are and trying to make pop music in our own way.”

All Over will be released on September 23 via Vagrant Records.

CRUISR is Andy States (vocals / guitar), Jonathan Van Dine (drums), Kyle Cook (bass), Bruno Catrambone (guitar)

You don't just get there straight out of the blue; those haunting humming synthesizers at the beginning of "Paragraph Nights," the melancholy piano chord changes, the emotional pull the song has on your psyche. It's a process, you know? It comes from years of growth, experimentation, revision, looking at the scene from another angle, considering the possibilities. "Take a picture, make it last, make it different," sings Dominic Angelella. And that's very much the road DRGN KING has taken.

Our story opens with Angelella onstage at a North Philadelphia rock club, his hair flailing, his guitar strings rattling, his face beaming. It's 2009 or thereabouts, and he's performing with one of his old bands, a punky Americana group with such high energy, folks are hanging out after the show to shake his hand. A couple months later, a different venue, a different scene entirely – an eclectic hip-hop outfit, and there he is again, rocking out on guitar. Later still, Angelella's face keeps showing up in band photos, on show flyers and venue websites. His enthusiasms run the gamut – experimental lo-fi psych, indie rock soul, arty grunge throwbacks. The question has to be asked - are you in every group in Philadelphia? He laughs, responds: No man, just a bunch of projects.

Meanwhile in South Philly, Brent "Ritz" Reynolds was holed up in a studio, making a name for himself as a young hip-hop producer. He cut tracks for The Roots, worked with Mac Miller and State Property alum Peedi Crakk. Reynolds knew his stuff and had the moxy for the hard haul of being a freelance recording guru. In early 2010 he and Angelella connected in a chance recording session, and the doors of possibility were blown open. Angelella's songwriting would become a prototype for Reynolds to test out his lush, imaginative production skills into the rock world. Conversely, Reynolds' studio alchemy would place Angelella's broad-spanning tastes and musical interests under a single umbrella. You don't have to be in a dozen different-sounding bands and call them a dozen different things. You can do it all, and call it DRGN KING.

DRGN KING debuted in a well-received warehouse show that fall. Angelella and Reynolds deemed the experiment a success, and kept it moving. Various musical collaborators were brought in, shows got played and new songs were written. Then they retreated into the studio, recorded, refined and recorded some more. Paragraph Nights comes after two years of nose-to-the-grindstone work, and its song are bursting with life, excitement, self-discovery, possibility. Listen to the pensive, introspective electronic pop of "Warriors." It's a nod to the community of artists and musicians in Philadelphia, and ruminates on crafting an identity through art: "People tell me I got no purpose," Angelella sings. "They're not wrong but it's allright."

The Downtown Club

The Downtown Club is a Philly based 3-piece band. Their debut EP is available on Amazon and iTunes. Their sound is made up of delayed female vocals, analog synths, guitar, drums and bass.

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The Boot & Saddle

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Yacht with CRUISR, DRGN KING, The Downtown Club

Thursday, October 24 · Doors 7:30 PM / Show 8:00 PM at The Boot & Saddle

Tickets Available at the Door