The JangleBox

Indie, Noise, Shoegaze… Music

Katy Goodman y Greta Morgan publican un álbum de versiones. Como adelanto se atreven con The Replacements.

Katy Goodman y Greta Morgan, en un arrebato de audacia y creatividad, han ideado un álbum de versiones (que además van a a cobrar, a pesar de su título), en el que se incluyen favoritos de The Wipers, The Misfits, Bad Brains, The Replacements, Blondie, The Buzzcocks, The Jam, The Stooges, Gun Club, y Billy Idol. Como ya sabéis lo que pienso de los álbumes enteramente dedicados a las versiones, pues me guardo el comentario…
Take it, it´s yours es el nombre del invento, y aparecerá el próximo 28 de agosto vía Polyvinyl. 

14 agosto, 2016 Posted by | La Sera | Deja un comentario

La Sera: Music for listening to music to (Polivinyl, Hardly Art, 2016)

Replanteamientos

Siempre he sido muy benevolente con La Sera. Los anteriores trabajos de Katy Goodman siempre me han parecido tener un encanto especial que, en cualquier caso, desde su último disco (Hour of the dawn, 2014), creo que ha ido desapareciendo. Music for listening to music to (2016) es su última referencia. Ahora La Sera ejerce como dúo, añadiendo a Todd Wisenbaker a su formación habitual y además en tareas compositivas e instrumentales.
Los tres primeros cortes son, desgraciadamente, algo premonitorios de que algo malo va a ocurrir: reiteración, composiciones flojas y cierto aire de desgana. Por cierto, Wisenbaker tendrá otras virtudes, pero no la de entonar correctamente.
Otro de los inconvenientes del disco: ¿qué haría Goodman en este último disco para luchar contra ese mal que se le achaca en casi todos los anteriores? La inconsistencia. Si además a ello le unimos un cierto mimetismo con las guitarras Jangle de Jonny Marr (One true love, Time to go -es pura pura réplica-, Nineties), nos encontramos ante un trabajo ante el que hay que pararse a darle varias oídas y acercarte a temas como I need an angel o One true love para encontrarnos con algo de verdad, con canciones que tengan algo realmente digno de atención. 

“Music For Listening to Music To opens on “High Notes,” where rollicking guitar and punk drums chugga-chugga beneath Goodman’s assured coo. Her lines deftly wrap the snark of Morrissey inside the sneer of Johnny Cash, and if you ask her what her favorite parts of the new album are, she’ll tell you it’s the scrappy stuff. “Time to Go,” which hurdles out the gate on a rocket of slide guitar and elastic bass, is another one aimed at settling old accounts — just ‘cause our heroine is happily married doesn’t mean she can’t take swings at those who came before.
For a glimpse at the album’s genesis, though, pull up duet “One True Love.” When it came time to write her fourth full-length, Goodman wasn’t sure where she wanted to take the music. One night she and Wisenbaker (a Jenny and Johnny touring alum who joined La Sera in 2012 and produced Hour of the Dawn) did something they’d shockingly never done before: wrote a song together. That upbeat jangle-pop cut was the result, and the rest poured out. Wisenbaker sings on two others as well — the coiffed malt shop blues of “I Need an Angel” and bittersweet rocker “Nineties,” which features synth by Adams and Greta Morgan (The Hush Sound, Gold Motel). Nate Lotz (Halsey, Madi Diaz) drummed for the weeklong PAX-AM studio sessions.
As a testament to the chemistry that happened in that space, Music For Listening to Music To spawned another fruitful relationship: Adams and Wisenbaker hit it off and decided to start their own band. Instead they wound up recording a bunch of Taylor Swift covers, which became the 1989 album. These days Wisenbaker’s doing double duty — you might’ve seen him backing Adams on Jimmy Kimmel or The Daily Show.
Goodman says Adams’ excitement about taking La Sera into the analog realm inspired her to embrace the back-to-basics approach. Considering that, it’s the slower, more spacious tracks — like the spare and moody “Begins to Rain” or the grunge-kissed closer, “Too Little Too Late” — that best illustrate how far La Sera’s come since 2011’s self-titled bedroom-pop debut and 2012’s brighter (if still emotionally overcast) Sees the Light. Goodman’s knack for swoon and gloom, first heard via Vivian Girls, is only enhanced by the addition of Wisenbaker’s voice. As she sings on “A Thousand Ways,” arguably Music For Listening to Music To’s dreamiest song, “Love can do all of these things.” Knowing Goodman there’s a sly wink in there, but it’s easy to imagine, if only for a beat, that the carefree flame of the oldies La Sera hold so dear still burns here” (Press-Bandcamp)

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31 mayo, 2016 Posted by | La Sera | Deja un comentario

La Sera: High notes (Single, 2015)

Como adelanto al que será su cuarto álbum: Music for listening to music to, que será producido por Ryan Adams (parece que Katy quiere dar el pequeño salto mainstream); La Sera acaba de publicar este sencillo titulado High notes, una cancioncilla con un aire Jangle y guitarras saltarinas que me recuerda muchísimo a ciertos momentos seminales de The Smiths.

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8 diciembre, 2015 Posted by | La Sera | Deja un comentario

La Sera: Hour of the dawn (Hardly Art, 2014)

Hour of the DawnEnergía y Movimiento

Últimamente me gusta mucho citar las propias palabras de los autores de los discos de los que suelo hablar. Para el tercer trabajo de La Sera, Katy Goodman dijo:

“I wanted the new La Sera record to sound like Lesley Gore fronting Black Flag (…) “I didn’t want it to be another record of me sad, alone in my room. I wanted to have fun playing music and writing songs with a band”

Dicho y hecho: Hour of the dawn es un disco divertido, animoso, ruidoso, guitarrero y enérgico. Un disco en el que, como dice Goodman, nadie espere encontrar ñoñerías ni lamentos. Sí mucha guitarra (Tod Wisenbaker), que por momentos nos recuerda a las producciones del Bowie más melancólico (Fall in place) que al Jangle vía Jonny Marr (Fall in place, Running wild, All my love is for you, Hour of the dawn). Y evidentemente, la huella del Pop de los noventa (Kiss the town away, Control, Losing to the dark, Storm´s end).
Un disco con el que Katy se ha quitado algo de la etiqueta de sensiblera con el que se la podría relacionar escuchando sus dos primeros álbumes, y que además aporta algo de lo que quizás adolecía en aquellos: cierta dosis de consistencia a la hora de elaborar los temas y darle un aspecto unitario a un disco que es, hasta el momento, el mejor de su carrera con La Sera.

“How fun it is when album opener “Losing to the Dark” strikes that aggressive pose, the guitars pinballing off the walls as Goodman snarls about a boy who doesn’t seem to need her until he’s too drunk to take care of himself. “What a shame it must be to have to be in love with me,” she sings, both heartbroken and spiteful. Not that she’s suddenly gone mean. Hour of the Dawn is largely made up of romantic songs carried to their open-hearted potential by Goodman’s high, floating voice. She’s in love with people and with memories, from summer’s promise to the town that used to be filled with her friends. An album that could be sad based on the lyric sheet is stuffed with delirious fret runs, muscular drum fills, sunny guitars soaked with reverb. Vivian Girls’ girl group harmonies were usually cloaked behind a curtain of feedback. Here, Goodman stands in front of the band, her voice shining like a lighthouse on the shore.
The Lesley Gore-fronting-Black Flag comparison is apt, since you could imagine the tougher directions the music would lean toward were Goodman’s instincts for melancholy and tenderness not there to soften the impact. The resulting sound is closer to Best Coast with more focus on the jamming. “Kiss This Town Away” leans into surf rock and a country singer’s sense of lament; the nimble picking of the title track builds to a triumphant outro even as she expresses unease about whether a new day will really bring something better. “10 Headed Goat Wizard” is straight-up Beatlesesque pop, like something you’d hear at the end of an episode of “Mad Men” and not even realize it was anachronistic.
The moments where she lets the band get heavier are interesting: “Control” chants like the flip side of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall Pt. 2” while “Storm’s End” groans like its title, which is possibly a “Game of Thrones” reference (which Goodman has talked about in interviews) but probably doesn’t need to be read into beyond that. (Or does it? Okay, it doesn’t.) That’s when Goodman takes steps toward establishing herself beyond what she’s known for, which is personable if not always easy to distinguish from itself. Hour of the Dawn sounds like a summer record, meant to be played when emotions are high and the sun is out. Most importantly, it shows what she’s capable of when the shine has worn off” (Pitchfork)

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27 junio, 2014 Posted by | La Sera | Deja un comentario

La Sera: Sees the light (2012)

Por si alguien todavía no se ha enterado (que supongo que no), Katy “Kickball” Goodman es la bajista y vocalista de Vivian Girls. Katy es también la frontwoman de su proyecto La Sera, una banda en el que el Pop meloso fundido con las guitarras más distorsionadas encuentra su sitio y nos ha entregado ya dos discos cargados de caramelos envenenados pero a la vez melosos y juguetones. Si unimos al atractivo y al encanto personal de Katy el hecho de que la chica tiene verdadero talento para el Noise-Pop, el resultado final es una colección de canciones tremenda como este Sees the light (2012).
En este disco, parece que Katy ha querido darle mayor prestancia y consistencia a sus canciones. No es que su disco de debut estuviera mal, ni mucho menos, sólo que tenía una cierta languidez que le hacía desfallecer de vez en cuando. En Sees the light, La Sera demuestra que puede ser mucho más que el proyecto paralelo de Vivian Girls. De hecho yo lo prefiero a su banda matriz. Con su segunda entrega, Katy demuestra que se quiere tomar este negociado muy en serio. Ha dotado a su disco de mayor consistencia, de más distorsión (nos suena muuuucho a los noventa), acercándose a planteamientos más Noise (Please, be my third eye; I can´t keep you in my mind, Break my heart…). Lo mismo se asoma al C86 (How far we´ve come now) que se nos pone más tontorrona (Love that´s goneIt´s all over now, Don´t stay) con esos temas que abordan sentimientos a flor de piel. Lo mismo saca las botas y los estribos (Drive on) o se pasa a la juerguecilla a la manera Debbie Harrie (Real boy). Su maravillosa voz y su facilidad para la melodía hacen el resto.
Lo cierto es que Sees the light es un disco que, aunque no sorprendente, sí que resulta de lo más ameno, divertido y desde luego disfrutable. Una bonita colección de temas que no debe pasar desapercibida. Para TJB desde luego no.

La Sera – Sees the light (2012)

“It’s impossible to imagine Vivian Girls without “Kickball” Katy Goodman. Her high harmonies take a number of the songs from sloppily catchy to pop-friendly. Her bass playing often provides the most hummable melodies. At shows, while frontwoman Cassie Ramone plants herself at stage right, practicing strangulation on the neck of her guitar and testing the limits of her reverb pedals, Goodman can be found stage left, stepping to the mic for those aforementioned harmonies, jumping up and down, and smiling broadly. As gratifying as all of that sounds, Goodman had the understandable impulse to create things on her own: Last year found her taking the reins on a self-titled album as La Sera with mixed results. It was a pretty album, one that felt speckled with glitter, and it was faithful to the girl-group bliss for which her main group is known, but at times it felt a little too faithful– catchy but lacking a distinct identity, airy and pleasant almost to the point of superfluousness.
These problems have been more than corrected on on her sophomore La Sera collection, Sees the Light. Take “Break My Heart” and lead single “Please Be My Third Eye”. Delivered at warp speed and full volume, both songs are punchy punk numbers that sound like well-produced takes on Goodman’s short-lived All Saints Day project. But while those older songs clearly invited comparisons to the buzzsaws-cutting-through-corroded-metal sound of Vivian Girls and plenty of bands that came in their wake (particularly early Dum Dum Girls), these new tunes benefit from how Goodman separates herself from the pack. Her smooth alto– pushed refreshingly high in the mix– is a perfect fit for some of the record’s other tracks. Here, the elegant, almost ethereal singing contrasts with the fuzzy distortion in a way that’s infectious and unique. There are other departures as well: “Drive On” adopts a spaghetti-western guitar line that plays out dramatically, and “How Far We Come Now” is measured and heavy– both sonically and emotionally– sounding like a grunge band covering Carly Simon. 
As a result of Goodman’s knack for classic pop melody and structure, even the songs that bear a resemblance to La Sera are an improvement. They burst with personality and feeling: Closer “Don’t Stay” carries a particularly lonely drift, while the blooming arrangements and Shop Assistants-indebted feel of “I’m Alone” nestles closely to the same C86 and twee comparisons her Vivian Girls bandmate so vehemently rejects. Songs like “Love That’s Gone” and “It’s Over Now” coast gorgeously with an acrimonious undercurrent. These ballads find Goodman dismissing herself from a relationship in a way that’s heartbreakingly apologetic, the musical equivalent of sending a Dear John letter attached to a floral arrangement.
At a lean half-hour, there’s no room for filler here. Every song on Sees the Light is exquisitely crafted and overflowing with personality. It’s a record so enjoyable and expertly sequenced that it demands repeat listens before it’s even over. But most importantly, it shows Katy Goodman can translate what she brings to Vivian Girls into top-shelf songwriting” (pitchfork.com)

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27 abril, 2012 Posted by | La Sera | Deja un comentario

La Sera: Please be my third eye (Single, 2012)

Katy Goodman está dispuesta a no dejar pasar su momento. Para continuar con su esperanzador debut, La Sera va a presentar en breve el que será su segundo disco: See the light, que saldrá a la venta el 24 de Marzo. Su adelanto es este animoso corte: Please be my third eye, un single precioso en el que nos encontramos a una banda más lanzada, más compacta y con ciertos ecos de Blondie al menos en la forma de afrontar las voces, dobladas, de Katy Goodman. Os adjunto además el vídeo en el que Katy aparece tan atractiva como siempre. Por cierto, el single está disponible para descarga gratuita.

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26 enero, 2012 Posted by | La Sera | Deja un comentario

La Sera: La Sera (2011)

 

El proyecto en solitario de la Vivian Girl Katy Goodman es algo así como la consecuencia lógica de la evolución de su banda matriz, es decir, un cierto desarrollo hacia un sonido más Spectoriano y una cierta melodización de su música. Oyendo a La Sera, uno tiene la sensación de estar ante uno de esos grupos que últimamente facturan un sonido con melodías sesenteras, ecos playeros y cierta despreocupación ante los arreglos en la producción de sus discos. Katy siempre ha sido la encargada de dar un toque digamos más edulcorado a los temas de las Chicas Vivian, y en este La Sera, era lógico que esa condición perdurara. Los temas del disco se mueven a medio camino entre el sonido de chicas de los sesenta (Never come around, Sleeptalking, I promise you, Left this world, Dove into love), el Indie de bajas revoluciones (Hold, Under the trees, Devils hearts grow old, Dove into love, Been here before). Todo ello aderezado con algunas gotitas Folkies (You´re going to cry), y de un aroma de Twee-Pop que impregna todo el álbum. Álbum, por cierto, que destila igualmente un regustillo de amateurismo que se impregna por todos los cortes. Personalmente nos encanta: amateurismo mezclado con la inocencia -aunque sea algo impostada- del álbum de debut, aunque en el caso de la Goodman no sea realmente tal, en tanto que ya tiene varios discos a sus espaldas, si bien con su nuevo proyecto La Sera está claro que se trata de un disco de debut. Disco que además alcanza la calificación de notable en nuestra estimación personal. Por cierto, los vídeo-clips que está realizando Katy le están quedando de lo más divertidos.

La Sera – La Sera (2011)

Katy Goodman can usually be seen playing bass and adding syrupy harmonies to Vivian Girls’ spiky guitar songs. Her voice and melodic bass lines lend a sense of fragility to that band, so it’s no surprise to hear that carried over into her side project, La Sera. Here, Vivian Girls’ distorted guitar and haze is replaced by a bare sound, stripped to its core elements, while Goodman’s voice becomes central, sometimes double-tracked.
The opening jangle of “Beating Heart” builds with purpose, slow and precise as Goodman sings above clean guitar chimes. Honeyed vocal harmonies stream in, collecting these simple elements, giving the song an ebb and flow that recalls stately, more minimal guitar bands such as Galaxie 500. When a distorted guitar cuts in toward the end, it feels all the more powerful for the restraint surrounding it.
It’s this kind of heft that carries the first– and best– quarter of the album, where Goodman uses simplicity as an airy foundation for her lovelorn twee-pop songs. It’s a trick showcased well on “You’re Going to Cry”, with its weary lyric pitted against off-the-cuff acoustic guitar strums and sparse drumming. Something in her enunciation on the song, not allowing any syllable to fade away, sounds quite innocent and childlike, making for an interesting contrast with the seen-it-all-before theme of the verses.
There’s a subtle 1960s girl-group influence throughout, but there are also hints of the folk-pop of that era on “I Promise You”, as a sweet organ line props up the end of the song, sounding almost like a flute. These interesting moments, living in the space in the music, allow it to feel blithe and easy.
The carefreeness that lends La Sera’s better songs a sense of spontaneity shows up some of its weaker moments. “Left This World” feels thin and more like a foundation or fleeting idea than something fully formed. That song is typical of the latter half of the record and, despite being made up of very short songs, still feels like a slog. “Lift Off”, at one minute long doesn’t stick around long enough to command much attention, except to note the odd-sounding chorus harmony. This sort of brevity and emptiness makes the tail end of the album, already short at 26 minutes, feel throwaway and hasty. It’s hard not to feel, therefore, that this would have made a much better EP, losing some of the shapeless songs that drag down the momentum and charm of the record” (pitchfork.com)

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28 abril, 2011 Posted by | La Sera | 1 comentario

La Sera: Devils hearts grow gold (Single, 2011)

 

No sé si nos equivocaremos o no, pero si el álbum de debut homónimo de La Sera, tiene el nivel de los dos temas que Katy Goodman nos ha adelantado, podemos estar ante uno de los discos revelación del año, sin ningún género de dudas. Por lo pronto, la Goodman se ha marcado otro pildorazo de esos agridulces que tanto gustan por TJB, mezclando Twee-Pop con un cierto grado de acidez que nos deja un gusto intenso en nuestro paladar. La Sera va a ser uno de los discos de referencia de este 2011. Su edición está anunciada para mediados de este mes de Febrero. Por lo pronto puedes disfrutar también de este single de manera gratuita. Pincha en el enlace para comprobarlo.

La Sera – Devils hearts grow gold (Single, 2011)

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3 febrero, 2011 Posted by | La Sera | 2 comentarios

La Sera: Never come around (Single, 2010)

 

La Sera es el proyecto de la bajista de las Vivian Girls, Katy Goodman, quien ha reunido en torno suya a Jenn Prince y Jonathan Weinberg para dar forma a un trío de Noise-Pop que elabora melodías impecables y las adorna con voces etéreas. Hasta ahora, y que sepamos, sólo han grabado este precioso single titulado Never come around, con Behind your eyes como acompañante. Realmente no tiene nada que ver con la acritud de Vivian Girls, pero por éso son otra banda, aunque compartan bajista. En un futuro pueden ser un grupo a seguir. Por lo pronto, puedes disfrutar de este single en descarga gratuita que regalan desde su discográfica. Por cierto, el vídeo es muy divertido, y Katy tiene un look a lo Sandie Shaw muy sugerente…

La Sera – Never come around (Single, 2010)

“Since joining all-female punk trio Vivian Girls during the spring of 2007 Katy Goodman’s DIY-style bass playing and drifty-faded vocals have sent waves of adoration rippling throughout Brooklyn’s pop punk circuit. Her newest band La Sera showcases her signature style, bringing her talent for creating dreamy pop songs even more to the forefront. 
After touring the world with Vivian Girls, releasing a handful of well-received records, and starting record label Wild World with her band mates, Goodman started exploring other outlets. She played in the short-lived dream-pop band All Saints Day in the spring of 2010, and a self-titled limited-edition 7″ of spectral tunes was released on indie label Art Fag earlier this year.
In February 2010 Goodman started working on some fresh material that inspired the formation of her brand new band, La Sera. Her inspiration sprung from an attraction to early pop hits from the 1950’s and ethereal choral vocals. Her new songs contain warm celestial-pop melodies that echo with the dreamlike effect of a church choir and effuse a softer, less aggressive sound than the Vivian Girls.
Recording with a tambourine, guitar, and layers upon layers of heavenly vocals, she started sending her songs to filmmaker/music producer Brady Hall (the director of Vivian Girls videos “Moped Girls” and “When I’m Gone”), who immediately wanted to collaborate and dove into re-recording her rough material himself. After hearing his finished work, Katy flew to Seattle and the two recorded all the vocals, mixed the songs and filmed two La Sera music videos at Brady’s home studio.
The eponymous La Sera is the result of these sessions. With a dozen fresh tracks, La Sera muses on death, love, and love lost within the span of two minute choiral pop blisters. The phantasmic quality of Goodman’s voice takes hold of the contradictorily upbeat “You’re Going to Cry,” while “Dove Into Love” seems to send time into drifting slow motion, enveloped by a wave of guitar strums. The lilting and delicate “Hold,” meanwhile, tells the story of two people hugging each other to death. Hardly Art will release the full-length in early 2011, preceded by a limited 7” for “Never Come Around” in November 2010.    
La Sera is: Katy Goodman (bass, vox), Jenn Prince (guitar, vox) and Jonathan Weinberg (drums, vox, keys)” (hardlyart.com)

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4 noviembre, 2010 Posted by | La Sera | Deja un comentario

   

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