ALARM’s recap of CMJ 2012 (photos)

Spread out across venues in Manhattan and Brooklyn, this year’s CMJ Music Marathon provided a glimpse at some of the year’s best emerging artists in addition to a healthy lineup of veteran performers. With five days of showcases and concerts to attend, the festival offered something for everyone, with bands representing a variety of genres.

North Coast Music Festival 2012

Contest: Win two three-day passes to Chicago’s North Coast Music Festival

Living here in Chicago, we’re not ready to give up summer until we’re good and ready. So even though the electronically inclined North Coast Music Festival purports to be “summer’s last stand” from August 31 to September 2, we’ll be living it up until the autumnal equinox.

Semantics aside, if you’re here with us, you can enjoy North Coast too, seeing artists such as Pretty Lights, Atmosphere, Big Boi, Girl Talk, The Rapture, Dan Deacon, YACHT, Rebirth Brass Band, People Under the Stairs, and many more in addition to some of dance music’s biggest names. See the full lineup here.


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.”