Portraits Of South By Southwest: La Sera, Santigold, Blood Orange, And The Men

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In Waste Of Paint, our writer/artist team of Jamie Peck and Debbie Allen will review goings-on about town in words and images.

This week, we packed up our paint and headed down to Austin for the annual hurricane of musical adventure that is South By Southwest. I feel both like I just got to the jam-packed music festival and like I've been here my whole life, and I'm both bummed and relieved to discover that I do not actually live in a perpetual bubble of free alcohol, loud music, and promotional swag.

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Debbie Allen

We made our first stop the idyllic grounds of the French Legation Museum, where recent New York expatriate Katy Goodman (a.k.a. Kickball Katy) was playing with her side project La Sera. Freed from the confines of the floaty "aahs" she sings as backup in Vivian Girls, Goodman's lilting voice expands to sound eternally carefree, even when she's singing about heartbreak. It's hard not to view La Sera's lighter sound as a study in the coastal contrasts between amazing pop songs; as VG frontperson, stalwart New York punk Cassie Ramone is at times awkward, sardonic, and unafraid to make people uncomfortable, while Kickball Katy seems like she'd rather wrap everyone's troubles in a big blue blanket and take them for a picnic on the beach.


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