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Yacht

Not to be confused with the late ’70s post-punk Brit band or the hilariously mellow yacht-rock movement, this Portland duo is what you’d call “ambitious.” Not only are they embarking on a punishing tour schedule but they also published a manifesto on their website touting their ideas on “free” and “the afterlife.” You’re welcome to embrace or disregard such communiques and concentrate instead on their catchy dance-pop, which sounds ra-ra enough to make you think they’d put on a fun show. With MNDR and Bobby Birdman.

Thu., March 11, 8 p.m., 2010

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SAIL AWAY

Portland’s Yacht released one of last year’s most appealing dance records in See Mystery Lights, an arty meditation on the prospect of extraterrestrial existence with plenty of room for party-starting disco-punk grooves (also: “I’m in Love With a Ripper,” as fine a T-Pain homage as “I’m on a Boat”). For the band’s current tour, which wraps up next month before they join LCD Soundsystem in Europe, Yacht has expanded from a duo to a quintet; actually, they’re billing the outfit as Yacht and the Straight Gaze, an auxiliary trio that includes Rob Kieswetter, Jeffrey Brodsky, and D. Reuben Snyder. Kieswetter opens tonight’s show in his Bobby Birdman guise, along with Amanda Warner’s one-woman electronic act MNDR.

Thu., March 11, 8 p.m., 2010

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YACHT Rock

Cake Shop’s “God rave”—so dubbed, Easter Sunday, by YACHT’s Jona Bechtolt—was only the most right-now lie (show was not a rave) told by the three brothers-in-laptop (YACHT, Bobby Birdman, E*Rock) present. Other fiction included fake dates on the back of the tour shirt (“Praha” was a larf); E*Rock’s originals, written variously by Yaz, Soft Cell, and whoever he ripped his “fight fight fight for your fanta-sy” bit from; and Bobby Birdman’s chest-sized dreamcatcher. The inordinate amount of time the trio spent running in and out of the crowd? Less a lie than true two ways: Dudes were rock stars or populists, depending on which end of the jog they were on.

Like a wised-up SNL-night Ashlee Simpson, YACHT and co.’s DIY-meets-computers-meets-rap—they too mostly danced to prerecorded tracks—looked to capture the audience’s heart by lying to us: to be onstage and bad at it at the same time. YACHT sang “Drawing in the Dark”—”Why would you be drawing in the dark/When you could be drawing in the light?”—with untouched markers in front of him, a dare nobody took ’cause he didn’t really want them to. He also smashed his laptop screen, by accident. Broken, pixels everywhere, it looked just like the stage’s back wall, on which the letters Y.A.C.H.T. were colorfully projected.

Birdman, closing the show, used a great smarmy lounge-singer voice to instead tell jokes about a washed-up Swedish entertainer he saw singing identical “get high on hope” schlock over and over different tracks of Mortal Kombat techno. When he himself finally crooned, you wondered about Bobby’s own fate: The joke was on us, sure, but on him too.