The Downtown Festival with YACHT

The Downtown Festival

Full lineup to be announced soon!

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.

Jerome Potter's talents first found a home within the electronic duo LOL Boys, a collaborative project sparked via an online message board with likeminded DJ/producer Markus Garcia. Around the same time, Jerome also ignited a relationship with fellow LA resident Samo Sound Boy that devloped into them starting the record label BODY HIGH, a preeminent platform for underground club music in America that's housed releases from the likes of Todd Edwards, DJ Sliink, DJ Funeral and more.

In September of 2012, after multiple releases under the LOL Boys pseudonym – including the critically acclaimed Changes EP – Jerome and Markus decided to go their separate ways birthing Jerome's solo enterprise, Jerome LOL.

Since the parting, Jerome LOL's touring and DIY releases have been essentially non-stop, debuting his innovative "One Day" music series as well as multiple remixes for the likes of Classixx, Tomas Barfod, D33J, and more. With all this under his belt, Jerome LOL is set to make his official debut on Friends of Friends with the four-track EP "Deleted/Fool." The EP is a continuation of the dualities Jerome explored in his "One Day" series. He shows us how easily he can manipulate satisfaction into melancholy, evoking an array of emotions. "Deleted/Fool" is out now.

BEGINNERS was born in L.A.'s Wiltern Theater, where after years apart, Samantha Barbera and Nick Ruth reunited to support their former Malbec drummer in Foster the People. It was that night that Barbera, songwriter and singer/bassist in hardcore punk band Holy Fever, and Ruth who had been producing artists, including Mikky Ekko and Active Child, became inspired to work together again.

What started as a bedroom writing experiment, developed into BEGINNERS by the end of the first night. "Within an hour of writing, we knew we were onto something," Barbera explains. "In just a few months, we ended up writing, recording and mixing an entire record. All in Nick's house."

Sage Caswell

If he followed in his mother's footsteps, 24-year-old Los Angeles house producer Sage Caswell might never have made it out of the San Fernando Valley. Not that there's anything wrong with the suburbs—it's just that much harder for an artist to carve out a career in dance music when they're removed from the city. Making an impact often requires being in the midst of things, at least to start.

In 2012, Caswell connected with fellow LA producer Cromie, with whom he shared a bill at Hollywood megaclub Avalon, and the two eventually paired up on "Vines" b/w "Pyrex," the inaugural 12" from Brooklyn label Peach. The EP sold out quickly, and while the inclusion of remixes from Kyle Hall and Ghosts on Tape undoubtedly had something to do with the record's success, the 12" also garnered plenty of accolades for Cromie and Caswell's shimmering, percussive production. With Cromie, they have since collaborated on remixes of Newbody's "Wut U Do" for 100% Silk and Ratcatcher's "Motion" for Peach.

These days, Caswell weaves through the various crews and cliques that make up LA's electronic landscape seamlessly, affiliated without clear affiliation. At the same time, he remains something of a contrarian. He's a Southern California native who refuses to drive, a former skate diehard who still reads Thrasher, and a rising talent who hasn't forgotten where he came from. In April, French label Decabaret issued his solo debut, the vinyl-only Tribute 2 CC Arthur EP. "That EP is really special to me because it's an homage to my boy, CC Archer, who passed away. We lost him," says Caswell. "We do this for our boys. He was a classic dude, he was like the heady music dude in Santa Clarita. This is for him."

More solo releases are in the works, including a cassette version of his recent contribution to the venerable White Light Mixes series, an ambient mix of entirely original productions. He's also done a track for a forthcoming Waze & Odyssey project, along with a full EP for Archie Pelago Music. Slowly but surely, it seems that Caswell's risks have paid off; though he once abandoned his dreams to pursue a new love, he now sits among a new class of promising young LA producers.

DJ Travis Holcombe (KCRW)

Perhaps a fitting prelude for a future DJ, Travis Holcombe's American father and Japanese mother met and fell in love in a discotheque in Osaka, Japan.

 About a year later, his mother would relocate to Los Angeles with his father, who at the time was managing disco bands, working the club circuit of LA in the late '70s.

Growing up, Travis was exposed to a wide swath of music. "My great uncle is a well-known country musician -- so that was always an early part of my musical vocabulary. But the first song I remember going crazy over was 'Maneater' by Hall & Oates. I had no I idea what the song was about, but every time my parents would put it on, I'd immediately start bouncing around and singing out the hook." 
Years later, after relocating to Atlanta, Travis would expand his musical ear further.

"The first kind of music that I got into outside of my dad's record collection was hip-hop. That was the jumping off point for my music geekery. Through Dr. Dre I learned about P-Funk and David Axelrod. Artists like DJ Muggs, Prince Paul and A Tribe Called Quest gave me an appreciation for all kinds of music. Their work was the equivalent of having an older brother sharing his record collection with you."

Along the way, Travis found a voice for his teenage angst in punk rock as well. "If you had told my 15-year-old self that in 16 years he'd be sharing a microphone with Henry Rollins, he would have freaked out."

Inspired by Atlanta's burgeoning regional rap scene and the underground hip-hop sound championed by the Atlanta's student-run college radio stations, Travis invested in his first DJ set-up. "At the time, I had never been to a nightclub or anything like that. I had only been exposed to DJs at roller rinks and school dances, but I knew I wanted to be a part of that scene."

While attending school in Athens, GA, Travis got his first taste of radio - at the student-run radio station WUOG - before returning to California after graduation.

For the past several years, Travis has been a steady presence in the Eastside music scene and can often be seen DJ'ing or attending shows in the area, in addition to his new time slot on KCRW, Monday through Friday from 10pm to midnight.

$15 advance, $20 day of show


The Downtown Festival Two-Day Pass

Who’s Going

Upcoming Events
The Regent Theater

  • Sorry, there are currently no upcoming events.