‘Walking the Camino’ Explores a Treacherous Trek Through Spain

‘Walking the Camino’ Explores a Treacherous Trek Through Spain

Screens: In the Middle Ages, pilgrims walked the 500-mile El Camino de Santiago de Compostela as a pilgrimage to the tomb of Apostle St. James. It was an... By Stephen James Ross 10/22/2014
Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Music: Chris Pérez never saw it coming. “All I ever wanted to do was play guitar,” he told the Current. “I never thought I’d be the subject of an interview... By Enrique Lopetegui 8/28/2013
SAPD Issues Thousands of Tickets for Homelessness

SAPD Issues Thousands of Tickets for Homelessness

News: Data and records obtained by the Current show that between January 1, 2013, and early October of this year the... By Alexa Garcia-Ditta and Elaine Wolff 10/22/2014
Chris Perez, husband of slain Tejana icon Selena, tells of romance, suffering

Chris Perez, husband of slain Tejana icon Selena, tells of romance, suffering

Arts & Culture: In one of the final chapters of his book To Selena, With Love (out March 6), Selena's widower Chris Perez mentions that Abraham Quintanilla, his former father-in-law, once... By Enrique Lopetegui 3/7/2012
5 Awesome Ways to Survive on Ramen

5 Awesome Ways to Survive on Ramen

College Guide 2013: Nearly every college student has lived off of ramen noodles at one point or another. What a lot of them didn’t know was that the classic just-add-water... By Mary Caithn Scott 8/20/2013

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email


YACHT’s Tech-Savvy Dance Punk

Photo: Courtesy photo, License: N/A

Courtesy photo


Related stories

As the sun heats up in the mid-afternoon, don’t expect YACHT to wilt in the incipient spring heat. No strangers to Texas, the duo of Jona Bechtolt and Claire Evans has recorded their past two records in Marfa, a place they call “Actual Reality.” According to Evans, YACHT’s vigorous frontwoman with whom I talked over Gchat, “We have this theory that it’s Actual Reality there, and every other place on Earth is an illusion.”

The band lays claim to a variety of passionate beliefs, some more eccentric than others. YACHT stands for “Young Americans Challenging High Technology,” a digital DIY attitude testing the limits of creative software. “We always use software incorrectly, on purpose: We create rock show visuals in Keynote, we fuck with the parameters of our recording software, create images in video software, etc,” said Evans. “We use our computers like punk rock instruments.”

The duo disregards a variety of industry practices to remain true to their project’s integrity. According to stock standards, bands release singles, often free, as a teaser for an upcoming record. After the January release of “Plastic Soul” an 8-bit, automaton single on love and pain in the digital age, YACHT has no intention of following up with an immediate album. “We like to make songs and just release them into the world when they’re done,” said Evans. “We don’t like having to wait a year, until a whole album is finished, to share new material.”

Rather, Bechtolt and Evans treat their work as mantras set to music, making good use of the viral power of a pop hook. “Pop music and dance music are a great medium for transmitting ideas,” said Evans. “People listen to pop music on repeat, people feel something really powerful when they’re dancing. It’s interesting for us to juxtapose that kind of basic reaction with lyrics that transmit some deeper, weirder messages.”

Among those messages are visions of utopia and dystopia and the freedom of information, as expressed in their timely 2013 single, “Party at the NSA.” “It’s everything,” said Evans, “We wouldn’t be where we are—as people and artists—if we didn’t have access to tools and ideas that the internet has given us. For us, the internet is an extension of the many DIY spaces and clubs we grew up playing shows in, a safe space to experiment and connect with others. We don’t like the idea of that really important, formative place turning into a site of surveillance and control.”

In their 2009 book, The Secret Teachings of the Mystery Lights, Bechtolt and Evans articulate an understanding of music online as somewhere between art and information, loosely based on the work of philosopher Walter Benjamin. “In our book, there’s this idea that once a work of art is in the public space, it doesn’t really belong to you anymore. It loses its aura the more it propagates and becomes something else—something like a collectively held idea.”

Putting this idea into practice, YACHT aren’t opposed to music piracy, though of course they prefer fans purchase their work. “We believe that people don’t pirate out of malice,” said Evans, “they do it because it’s the path of least resistance, and because they want to be part of the cultural conversation.

As artists, we want people to have access to our work. It’s tricky when it comes to making a living, but we keep a low overhead.”

YACHT’s greatest achievement thus far has been merging these challenging concepts with a charming pop presentation; yes kids, you really can learn and have fun at the same time. They’re a sincere and light-hearted pair, personally answering questions on their website, recommending good reads and keeping their crowds dancing. If you enjoy the set, don’t be shy, send an email or go start a dialogue ranging anywhere from the Online Freedom Act to the importance of the disco beat.

Recently in Music
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus