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Yacht

Jona Bechtolt is more of an all-around artist than strictly a musician. After forming the Blow with Khaela Maricich, Bechtolt struck off on his own to form YACHT, a largely instrumental and experimental project. Now, Bechtolt is involved with several other groups and art-based collectives, YACHT has become a duo with the addition of vocalist Claire L. Evan. Expect arty pop and weird riffs that hit all the right nerves.

Fri., Aug. 30, 9 p.m., 2013

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SEAWORTHY

Don Draper couldn’t think of a more brilliant sell than this: Yacht performing at the South Street Seaport. The River to River Festival deserves a gold star for that kind of literalism, but also for recognizing the clever, sing-song infectiousness of the Portland duo’s electro-pop. Pulling equally from new wave pulses and experimental textures, with a yawp Gang of Four could love, Jona Bechtolt and Claire Evans bring cheeky insight to the frequently hollow dance space. The offerings alone from See Mystery Lights, their 2009 breakthrough on DFA, will get you pogo-ing directly off the pier.

Fri., Aug. 6, 6 p.m., 2010

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YACHT

Though their arcane website encourages fans to “join TEAM YACHT” in a way strikingly similar to the Dharma Initiative, Portland dream team YACHT (comprised of ex-Blow members Jona Bechtolt and Claire Evans) are a deceptively relaxed summertime jam band, heavy on the irono-electrics. Aside from their striking stage presence (the two are known to dress up in everything from neon pyramid costumes to blond bowl cuts), stay for their seasonal jam, “The Summer Song” which amongst other urgings, encourages listeners to move their feet and stay up late, just to talk.

Fri., Aug. 6, 6 p.m., 2010

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Wednesday

[FILM]

BEFORE AND AFTER THE FALL

A look at Romanian cinema

With every “new wave” in cinema, there’s always a past. In conjunction with the Romanian Cultural Institute of New York, the Film Society hosts Shining Through a Long, Dark Night: Romanian Cinema, Then and Now, a look at the similarities and differences between the country’s older films (pre-1989, with all the political censorship of the Ceausescu era) and the daring newer ones—Tudor Giurgiu’s lesbian drama Love Sick being a great example. Tonight features Iulian Mihu’s The Pale Light of Sorrow (1980), a story of one community’s breakdown amid the beginnings of World War I, as seen through the eyes of a young boy who desperately tries to escape his environment by using his imagination. Sunday at Six, directed by Lucian Pintilie, follows—a modern Romeo and Juliet of sorts, the bittersweet tale of two lovers whose relationship is doomed by the country’s harsh political realities. On April 20, Iosif Demian’s A Girl’s Tears (1980) explores a young girl’s mysterious murder and its impact on a Transylvanian village. Check for full schedule, Walter Reade Theater, 165 West 65th Street, filmlinc.com, 212-875-5601, $7–$11 EUDIE PAK

[MUSIC]

AUGHT ROCK

Two freewheeling avant-pop acts hit the club

His best work to date has been with the Blow, Khaela Maricich’s sublime laptop-pop project, but these days YACHT‘s Jona Bechtolt works alone. Last year’s I Believe In You. Your Magic is Real was an absurdly new-agey and tinny rap-radio pastiche—a fact that hasn’t prevented him from touring nonstop since it came out. In concert, he makes up for the often uneven songs with a marathon multimedia live show: PowerPoint presentations, back flips, relentless audience participation. At Studio B, he’ll be joined by local pop-punk oddballs Parts & Labor, perhaps the only band in the history of music to lose their drummer—occasional Voice contributor Christopher Weingarten—to the extremely dubious siren song of rock criticism. His replacement can’t write as well, but the band bashes on nonetheless. At 8, Club Studio B, 259 Banker Street, Brooklyn, 718-389-1880, clubstudiob.com, $10–$12 ZACH BARON

[MUSIC]

MISANTHROPIC GENERATION

Disfear celebrate two decades at large

In 1989, four Swedish teenagers with a shared love of Discharge, the pioneering English hardcore band, and of D-beat, the galloping musical style that Discharge helped invent, formed a band of their own, calling it, in homage, Disfear. Throughout the ensuing lineup changes—including the addition of Tomas Lindberg, the former vocalist of the legendary death-metal band At the Gates—and the recent death of their longtime producer, Mieszko Talarczyk, the band has persevered. Disfear’s fifth studio album, Live the Storm, came out in February and was dedicated to Talarczyk. The record’s palpable fury is a more-than-fitting elegy for their fallen friend: After nearly 20 years, the band’s never sounded fiercer or more alive. With Bloodhorse, Atakke, and Parasytic. At 7, the Knitting Factory Main Space, 74 Leonard Street, 212-219-3006, knittingfactory.com, $10–$12 ZACH BARON

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AUGHT ROCK

His best work to date has been with the Blow, Khaela Maricich’s sublime laptop-pop project, but these days YACHT’s Jona Bechtolt works alone. Last year’s I Believe In You. Your Magic is Real was an absurdly new-agey and tinny rap-radio pastiche—a fact that hasn’t prevented him from touring nonstop since it came out. In concert, he makes up for the often uneven songs with a marathon multimedia live show: PowerPoint presentations, back flips, relentless audience participation. At Studio B, he’ll be joined by local pop-punk oddballs Parts & Labor, perhaps the only band in the history of music to lose their drummer—occasional Voice contributor Christopher Weingarten—to the extremely dubious siren song of rock criticism. His replacement can’t write as well, but the band bashes on nonetheless.

Wed., April 16, 8 p.m., 2008

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Do the Carlton Banks

Given that Khaela Maricich, one-half of Portland, Oregon’s electro-pop duo the Blow, tends to see sex as essentially a consumer transaction beholden to the cold logic of supply and demand, it’s remarkable that her show at NYU last week was free. The band’s twitchy, postmodern love songs mix personal melodrama with technological alienation and economic necessity—”All the girls, they’re sitting on a pile of gold,” she sang, “and the boys, you know they want it.” In summation: “It’s economic/They need the warmth that we export.” Her consumer-driven view of intimacy makes sense: She tends to write songs about people she desires but can’t have, and that doesn’t just make her feel disempowered and helpless, but also suspicious about what made her want them in the first place. (“Maybe I just want them cause I know they’ll reject me,” she suggested.)

Meanwhile, her musical partner, Jona Bechtolt, cued up the scuttling laptop pop that populates their latest full-length, Paper Television, from the balcony, leaving Maricich alone in the spotlight and turning the show almost into performance art. “This is the silly sax bridge,” she announced when the time came. “No big deal, you dance through it.” And she did, whipping out the Lawnmower, the Sprinkler, the Shovel, the Lasso, the Robot, and the Carlton Banks. Later, as she worried a boy might pawn off her heart for cheap on “Hock It,” she proffered up an imaginary one in her hand, twitching her fingers along with its pulse.

Beneath these boy-girl allegories, though, there’s another drama playing out here, between the human voice and white noise. It’s a classic tale of the individual’s struggle against technology: Even as Bechtolt’s electro-kitsch props up Maricich’s lyrics, it’s so chintzy it calls her honesty into question. Fortunately, that’s exactly what she’s after—Paper Television is more or less the byproduct of that tension. “I still believe in the phrases that we breathed,” she sang, before being drowned out by a storm of squiggles, blips, and snares.

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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.