August 26, 2007

Portland’s Jona Bechtolt is a renaissance man for the internet age: he was formerly the rhythm half of The Blow, now officially split to perform as YACHT (all-caps and said with great emphasis, I suppose, or Young American Challenging High Technology), a sometimes punk rock drummer, and creator of The Ultimate Blogger and the Urban Honking Blogger Collective.

His most recent album, I Believe In You, Your Magic Is Real, has the best album name I’ve heard in a while, and the music’s a fun mix of electronic laptop dance (sounds dirty!) with a healthy respect for the indie rock ethos. Check out the video for “See a Penny” on YouTube as exhibit A.

While the comparison to James Murphy and the LCD Soundsystem is tempting (they did tour together after all, and it’s just about the only dance music the indie kids will admit to like), apart from a shared genre and ethnic profile, the bands dance to the beat of different drums (albeit, they are still dancing). Make no mistake, YACHT is electronic dance music, and not an indie rock band playing in the mode of electronic dance music. It’s like Simian Mobile Disco with a singer… or something along those lines, you get the idea.

So please forgive Jona for leaving The Blow, and shake your ass in the new electronic era.

“Healthy Student”

Listen: “Platinum” (feat. Bobby Birdman) and “See A Penny (Pick It Up)” from I Believe In You, Your Magic Is Real, available on Marriage Records, and “The Summer Song” (feat. Claire L. Evans).


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