Yacht is sometimes spelled like the boat, sometimes all in capital letters, sometimes as Y.A.C.H.T., and sometimes with a triangle in place of the “A.” And Jona Bechtolt and Claire Evans invariably describe their venture as “a band, a business, and a belief system.”
The band part is easy enough to understand. Bechtolt started Yacht ten years ago in Portland, Oregon, as a synthpop solo project. Four years ago he asked frequent collaborator (and paramour) Evans to join as a full partner. They lived for a time in Texas but now live in Los Angeles. The business part gets a little more complicated. The merch table at their shows offers the usual CDs, posters, and T-shirts, but also a fragrance and copies of their manifesto, The Secret Teachings of the Mystery Lights: A Handbook on Overcoming Humanity and Becoming Your Own God. And that brings up the belief system. Try to get them to pin down what that’s all about, and they’ll tell you Yacht is all about self-empowerment, but they can’t resist a little bit of paranormal stuff around the edges.
Whatever it is, Yacht is well connected. The band is signed to James Murphy’s label DFA, and Evans blogs for Vice.com’s science and technology site, Motherboard. The New York Times’ style magazine did a short profile in which it compared her to Annie Lennox and labeled her a tastemaker to watch. Yacht tours all the time, putting on shows in the usual clubs but also in art museums and less conventional places. Wherever they play, the shows are part rock concert, part dance party, part business symposium, and part cult religious ritual.
YACHT: The Loft, Thursday, May 24, 8 p.m. 858-534-8497. $15.