Live Review: YACHT @ Songbyrd Music House — 1/15/20 + Rough Trade NYC — 1/18/20

Yacht02 YACHT performs at Songbyrd Music House on Jan. 15, 2020. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

Editor: We have updated this post with more photos of YACHT performing at Rough Trade NYC on Jan. 18, 2020!

Inspired in part by an application called the Verbasizer offered by David Bowie in the ’90s, synthpop trio YACHT wrote an album in collaboration with an AI program last year.

YACHT performed the appealing results in its entirety at Songbyrd Music House recently, offering the 10 new wave tracks of Chain Tripping live in reverse order of the record. And interestingly, the songs sounded like something that could have sprung directly from a Bowie collaboration with Brian Eno in the ’70s.

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Preview: YACHT @ Songbyrd Music House, 1/15/20

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Yacht (Credit: Neurography by Mario Klingemann, Training photos by Jaclyn Campanaro)

Disco punks YACHT recently released Chain Tripping — the band’s seventh LP and third for DFA — after recording it between Marfa, Texas, and the band’s home in Los Angeles. The 10 songs are unlike anything YACHT has ever made: pop experiments from a sideways dimension coaxed into their studio through a portal opened by machine intelligence.

Chain Tripping received a Grammy nomination for Best Immersive Audio Album in the 2020 Grammy Awards, and YACHT performs the album in full at Songbyrd Music House on Wednesday, Jan. 15.

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Music Park: YACHT @ Rock and Roll Hotel — 1/19/18

Yacht 05Claire Evans fronts Yacht at Rock and Roll Hotel on Jan. 19, 2018. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

Around nearly midnight, Claire Evans called out from the stage at the Rock and Roll Hotel on Friday: “How much time is left?” she asked.

“Five minutes!” the audience responded, informing Claire that the federal government would shut down any time now.

“It’s like fucked-up New Year’s!” Claire quipped to everyone, turning to her bandmates in Yacht on stage behind her. “Let’s enjoy the last five minutes of social services we have left.”

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Music Park: Moogfest 2016 Pt. 3 of 3 (Durham, NC) — 5/21/16

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It’s Gary Numan’s Day on the third day of Moogfest 2016. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

Saturday, May 21, could have been Gary Numan Day in Durham, NC, as the Moogfest headliner had quite a day there. First, he received the 2016 Moog Innovation Award in an afternoon ceremony, and then he performed the third of three concerts a few hours later at Fletcher Hall in the Carolina Theatre.

Sadly, I couldn’t make Gary’s award ceremony as the 2pm time conflicted with a Moogfest show by Gwenno, who was high on my “to see” list for the synthesizer festival.

Toward the end of her show, Welsh songstress Gwenno apologized for the sad lyrics of songs on her debut solo album, Y Dydd Olaf, which after all was inspired by a Welsch dystopian science fiction novel of the same name from 1976. (The title translates as “the last day.”)

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Music Park: Moogfest 2016 Pt. 1 (of 3) (Durham, NC) — 5/19/16

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Dev Hynes aka Blood Orange performs at Motorco Park in Durham, NC, on Thursday, May 19.

As I disembarked a shuttle to downtown Durham outside The Carolina Theatre, the sounds of a protest against North Carolina’s House Bill 2 greeted me last Thursday. A group on the corner shouted out against a new law they saw as discriminatory against sexual identity.

As I peered up and down the street, a growing yet small southern city unfolded before me. I wasn’t in DC any longer.

Moogfest, the premier music festival dedicated to the synthesizer, moved across North Carolina to a new home in Durham this year for four days of performances, classes, talks, and exhibits over May 19-22, 2016, and it drew me there largely to cover many of its concert performances. But it’s impossible to ignore the time and place of such a festival, particularly when the Moogfest organizers themselves protested the passage of HB 2 and particularly when the attendees for the “festival of the future” are as diverse as those descending upon Durham.

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