YACHT always says “Yes” to opportunities as they arise. As a consequence, these last few months have seen us making bizarre and lofty dreams come true: we shared a stage with Robyn in Seattle, soaked in geothermal mud baths in Iceland, returned to Mexico City, and, somehow, for ten blurry minutes, met Ryan Gosling. Here, in an old-fashioned electronic format we believe our ancestors once referred to as a “weblog” or “blog” entry, we will tell you all about it.
Recently, instead of routing a traditional tour based on geography, automobiles, and land-locked continents, we decided to try saying YES to just about every festival or “one-off” event we were asked to play. Instead of hitting a sequence of cities located fairly close to one another, we instead ping-ponged our bodies and carry-on equipment all around airspace and time. This decision led to much more airplane travel over shorter amounts of time, more hectic schedules and senselessly exhausting itineraries, and one of the very few cancellations we’ve ever had to brokenheartedly make.
Which, speaking of: to everyone who wanted to see us play at Moogfest, to the promoters for trying to accommodate us, to Bob Moog and co. for making amazing tools and putting together a festival we’d been so deeply excited to play, to speak nothing of attend, WE WERE SO INCREDIBLY DEVASTATED TO HAVE TO CANCEL OUR SHOW! It was a travel disaster beyond our control. We played in Mexico City at midnight, got back to our hotel at 2am, got in a van to the airport at 4am, and boarded our Houston-bound Continental flight at 6am. The five of us were all asleep on the tarmac when the captain came on the intercom and announced that the flight wouldn’t take off due to an engine failure. After the 200+ passengers were deplaned, we were asked to form a single line at the end of which contained a single employee that informed us there wasn’t another flight to Houston, or any city in the US, that could connect us to Asheville by the end of the day. What ensued over the next ten (YES TEN!) hours put us through a range of emotions that ranged from confusion to the deepest rage we’ve ever directed at an airline. Needless to say, if we could have performed any voodoo to somehow teleport to Asheville, we would have; instead, we wept softly into our airport hotel pillows. Next time, Moogfest. Next time.
As a small consolation, we offer this free track, the The Emperor Machine Remix of our song “Dystopia (The Earth is On Fire).” It’s one of our favorite-ever-ever remixes of YACHT, and we’re excited to share it with you. This remix, as well as an equally excellent version by Whatever/Whatever, is also available on iTunes, as well as on physical vinyl record, from DFA.
FYF Fest, on the other hand, we made it to—and it was one of the most radically powerful shows we’ve ever played. Los Angeles’ insane energy, ominous skyline, the silent Metro cars gliding past the stage: it filled our quaking Northwestern spirits with so much wonder we decided to move to LA on the spot. Actually, that is a lie. We decided to move to Los Angeles five years ago, but just now made it happen. After all, you can’t spell “Shangri-La” without “LA.”
Here is a video of us performing “Dystopia (The Earth is on Fire)” at FYF Fest. The fever of the moment overcame us, and the song culminated in a spontaneous feat of amp-climbing that terrorized the stage techs.
Bumbershoot, Music Fest Northwest, FITLER’s Culture Collide Festival, and Treasure Island Music Festival: you weren’t bad either. Oh, and then there was that time that Ryan Gosling watched our set at Fun Fun Fun Fest, in Austin, Texas. Here is a photo of Gosling himself holding a copy of our deluxe LP edition of Shangri-La. No, we can’t believe it either.
In short, we’ve had a glorious run, festival-wise, and we consider ourselves (as always) uncannily lucky to gaze upon sea after sea of smiling faces from our place on the stage-pulpit, wherever it may be. In the midst of these stateside festive appearances, we also managed to fly out to Reykjavik for the legendary Airwaves Festival, which lures foreign bands to the Northlands to perform alongside an uncanny number of Icelandic bands in a glorious setting. We bathed in opaque geothermal waters, saw the original geyser, shivered at the foot of Gullfoss, and imbibed thick shots of some black Icelandic liquor called Topas. Below is a greatest hits compilation of images from the last few months of our Instagram: follow us @teamyacht!
We finished this long strange trip with a string of shows with the popular children’s television program Yo Gabba Gabba! For a week, several times a day, we were wheeled through an opening in a giant video wall, ushered onto stage by five costumed characters, and performed a four-minute version of “Psychic City” to somewhere between 2-5,000 children. To say this was different than what we are accustomed to would be a vast understatement—the experience was like performing music to aliens, or taking acid and being foisted onto the set of a Japanese game show. It was exhilarating and terrifying at once. However, YACHT is for everyone; in particular, YACHT is for babies and other spiritually advanced humans.
Hear us share the hallucinatory details of our Yo Gabba Gabba! experiences in our most recent RADIO YACHT dispatch from the road:
Lastly, If you’re an adult or child fan of Yo Gabba Gabba!, accept this obsessive-compulsive gift: Jona Bechtolt-designed, Smiangle-ified Yo Gabba Gabba! desktop wallpapers of your favorite characters, Toodee, Plex, Muno, Foofa, DJ Lance, and Brobee.
Jona & Claire
P.S. East Coast and Floridian YACHT members, we have new tour dates for you. Come see us next month!