YACHT: Electro-Pop Empowerment

Portland, Oregon-based dance-pop band YACHT, composed of Jona Bechtolt and Claire L. Evans, combines electronic beats and “inspiring” lyrics — with a little grunge mixed in for good measure.

The Guest List: YACHT’s five favorite natural phenomena

According to its website, “YACHT is a band, belief system, and business conducted by Jona Bechtolt and Claire L. Evans.” Moreover, “YACHT encourages online dissemination of all things.”

The band’s latest release, See Mystery Lights (DFA, 2009) was recorded in Marfa, Texas, a place famous for unexplained “ghost lights.” With this and the band’s straightforward mission statement in mind, ALARM asked the band to make a list of its five favorite natural phenomena.

1. Ball lightning

“Ball lightning is the true unknown — never verified, rarely photographed, used always as a catch-all for paranormal events that defy any other explanation. It’s the ghost in the machine. The great beast himself, Aleister Crowley, reportedly experienced a “dazzling globe” of ball lightning during a thunderstorm on Lake Pasquaney in 1916; he is one among many a hundred humans beings to ever see the phenomenon first-hand.”

BPM Counter: First Five of 2009

ALARM columnist Sean-Michael Yoder shares his first five electronic picks in 2009. The list includes Aether’s “melodic” Artifacts, London’s John Tejada with Fabric 44, the pop/dance beats of Hercules and Love Affair’s self-titled album, a Lollapalooza mix, and Jaga Jazzist leader Lars Horntveth’s 37-minute song, “Kaleidoscopic.”