Friday, April 06, 2007

Band of the Week


Jona Bechtolt, aka YACHT, lives in Portland, and he is a grunge loving, hug giving, vegan, beat magician supreme. I am going to admit this right now, but you can't tell anyone I told you: I did not give YACHT a serious listen until after the release of The Blow's (his side project with Khaela Maricich) "Paper Television". I know I may lose some "indie cred", but I slept on his 2005's release "Mega", and his 2003 debut "Super Warren MMIV". I had enjoyed many of his remixes, but never considered myself a fan. Paper Television really changed my opinion of Jona's programming abilities, and truly highlighted what had been missing from "Mega", vocals. The way his beats wrapped around Khaela's vocals was magic, and the product was true perfection. However, I am not writing about The Blow today, but I am writing about Jona's May 8th release on Marriage Records, "I Believe in You. Your Magic is Real."

It's a cold Chicago morning and I am running late for work again. I rush out to the car, spilling my coffee (minor spill, but still), throw my bag on the passenger seat, and my bagel falls on the floor. It is not a good morning, but I pull everything together, throw the new YACHT CD in the player, and I am magically transported to a completely different mind state. The beats are fun, creative and very danceable, but there are two aspects of this album that make it a must have. The vocals, not only does the great Bobby Birdman make a guest appearance, but Jona himself sings on several of the tracks. His voice really adds an extra element to the sound, and illustrates how talented he really is. The second is Jona's overwhelming optimism, and genuine sincerity. If you have ever read his blog, you will understand where Jona is coming from and it will give you a better understanding of his lyrics. I proceed to bounce all the way to work, and I walk in singing "We want all that stuff, all that stuff that costs too much! We feel sad and stuff, are we over our own stuff ".

See a Penny (Pick it Up) (mp3)
We're Always Waiting (mp3)

To preorder "I Believe in You. Your Magic is Real." visit Marriage

Download the one sheet for the album.

Hot Dog (Iron Cobra Version) (mp3) from "Mega"
Mirah - Jerusalem (Chopped & Screwed by YACHT) (mp3)
The Blow - Pile of Gold (mp3)
Architecture in Helsinki - Do The Wirlwind (YACHT Mix) (mp3)
Remember What This Feels Like (mp3) from Super Warren MMIV
Bobby Birdman - I Will Come Again (YACHT Mix) (mp3)

For more information on YACHT visit his website or his myspace.
(photo at top by Sarah Meadows)