Vivian Girls / La Sera musician Katy Goodman confronts a new reality

The dream-pop artist draws new attention

La Sera

with Tennis,

Dum Dum Girls,

Dirty Beaches

8 p.m. Saturday, March 12

The Social, 407-246-1419


In the last year and a half, Katy Goodman, aka Kickball Katy, has released an album, Everything Goes Wrong, as bassist for the indie trio Vivian Girls, dabbled in a project with Cat Power keyboardist Gregg Foreman, wrote and recorded a solo album under the pseudonym La Sera and recorded yet another Vivian Girls album, next month's Share the Joy. So when the Girls were invited to be musical guests on last month's Bruise Cruise, a four-day Carnival trip from Miami to the Bahamas - with Floridian bands Surfer Blood and Jacuzzi Boys, Atlanta's Black Lips and many more white-hot indie bands in tow - she was ready for a well-deserved party.

"Oh, it was 
pretty crazy. Pretty fun," Goodman says a few days after losing her voice on the cruise. Since the Vivian Girls' debut in 2008, Goodman's been an indie-kid heartbreaker, with her red bangs, noise-pop credentials and ability to seamlessly segue from Ronettes-esque bop to ethereal dream-pop beaming out of Brooklyn like a clarion call for guys (and girls) in search of their ideal pixie. But Goodman, whose fascinating album, La Sera, leaves behind the Vivian Girls' garage fuzz in favor of a darker sound that's more complex and more stripped down than her full-time band - a sound she developed during two weeks of intense, guitar-based writing, even though she had not picked up a guitar before - never was fully aware of her crush-object status until she stepped off the boat.

"I didn't realize that aspect of doing what I do until the photos from the Bruise Cruise came back and I was in all of them," she says. She's referring to a slideshow posted on the Village Voice website shortly after the cruise showing images of Goodman in a black bikini top and aqua blue trunks. One image in particular, of Goodman seemingly pouring a bottle of champagne on her chest by the pool, was reposted on several websites (including this paper's) as evidence of the cruise's success and, to Goodman, a bizarre leering opportunity.

"I didn't realize at the time that people were just following me around with cameras while I was just having fun with my friends," says Goodman, who stresses she had already drank the actual champagne and refilled the bottle with pool water. "There were lots of girls on the cruise in bikinis. It was not weird. At the time, I was like, ‘Man, I'm having so much fun! I'll bet everyone else is having as crazy a time as me.' But then I looked at the photos and I'm like, ‘Oh wait, maybe I was having the most fun.' But maybe other people having crazier times weren't being followed around by cameras. I think I'm starting to realize that aspect of being a woman in the music world."

That's especially true of a woman in the indie-pop field, where too often, female musicians are expected to traipse around in vintage prom dresses, make Zooey Deschanel doe eyes and sway delicately behind a keyboard. It's a role that Goodman, a professed fan of author Richard Dawkins and Kenny vs. Spenny, a kind of Canadian Jackass, has never felt comfortable playing.

"I think that's why Vivian Girls got popular, 'cause we're not trying to fit into some cute indie-girl mold," Goodman says. "We're all pretty dominant women. We're not passive. Maybe that's why we're a band today."

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