La Sera's Katy Goodman on why She Ditched NYC for LA
Katy Goodman is an east coast woman, through and through--born and raised and college-d in New Jersey, with stints living in both Boston and Brooklyn. With her band, Vivian Girls, she became one of the symbols of hipster Williamsburg.
Look how much she loves L.A. photo by Jake Michaels
Not that that stopped her from abandoning us for LA, like so many weak-hearted people before her (Moby, Larry David). Her current project, La Sera, is about as California as it comes, full of big sunny riffs and beachfront sighs. If you jumped through a time portal from a distant time (say, 2005), arrived suddenly at today, and managed to get your hand on her new album Hour of the Dawn, out May 15 (without being sidetracked by answering a bunch of people's questions about time travel), you'd be excused for thinking Goodman was born and bred in Silverlake. We caught up with Goodman recently and tried to get to the bottom of her flight to the West Coast.
See also: Vivian Girls Remember: Pizza! Wild Puppies! Jean Jackets!
You're from New Jersey, and Brooklyn is where you became super famous. The east coast has been so good to you, but you abandoned us. Do you feel bad about it every day or just most days?
Just once in a while, when I'm back on the east coast, and it's really nice out, I'll be like, "This is nice." That happens when I go to New York, like, in May, I'll feel like, "Oh, I could live here."
Was there a specific moment when you started hating it here?
I don't hate it! I don't hate it. There was just one really bad winter, and I was like, I'm done. And I told all my friends, I'm fucking done. And everyone was like, yeah right. And then three months later, I moved to LA.
Tell me about a typical Katy Goodman lazy afternoon in Los Angeles.
Waking up at around 10 or 11, going to get coffee, walking my dog around town or around Silverlake Reservoir, taking my dog to the dog park. Then I'll just go home and order delivery and watch TV for like eight hours straight.
What's the best strip mall you've eaten at in Los Angeles?
There's a strip mall right by my house that has a Subway, and I go there sometimes. It's the healthiest food you can get for $5.
Level with me: is the real reason you moved to LA that you want to be a movie star?
I'm like a terrible actress. Even recently, Todd [Wisenbaker, La Sera's guitar player] filmed a fake '80s instructional like guitar video. Todd's just shredding the whole time, teaching you how to play "Listen to the Dark," which is a La Sera song. And they were like, Katy, can you be in the video for like a minute? And I was like, all right! What do I gotta do? And they were like, just come in and be like, Todd! What are you doing? You're using too much wah-wah effect!
But even that tiny role in a small joke video was like overwhelming to me. It was just too hard, and I was like, how do people act?! This is insane. So I don't think I'm going to be acting any time soon. I'm pretty bad at it!
You're good in your videos! Although I guess you don't talk.
It's the talking that gets me. Because I can just walk around.
That's like real acting, like Oscar-winning acting, where you just look at stuff and it seems really interesting. That's basically all Matthew McConaughey does.
Yeah, but he talks, too. I just don't feel like I'm believable! I feel like, nobody's going to believe this, because it's not the way I truly feel. To my core, you know? In music, it's all about how you actually feel, all the time. I feel like acting's the opposite, because it's about how someone else feels.
Can you tell me one thing about LA that's better than New York that's not the weather and also doesn't use the word "vibe"?
Atmosphere? Ha, actually, not technically, because the actual atmosphere, the air quality, is terrible. The jubilee? Is the jubilee a word?
Yeah. It's also an X-man.
That's an X-Man?
Yeah. A lady X-Man.
Is there an X-Man named Vibe?
No, but there really should be.
He would be this California X-Man. Kind of indie, but also surfs.
What's his/her power?
Just, like, being suuuuper chill, man.