La Sera

Early Show

La Sera

Springtime Carnivore

Sat, October 22, 2016

Doors: 7:30 pm

Mercury Lounge

New York, NY

$12.00 - $14.00

This event is 21 and over

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La Sera - (Set time: 8:30 PM)
La Sera
The title of La Sera's fourth album says a lot by saying so precious little: Music For Listening to Music To. So, in other words, "music." After the punky heft and wildness of 2014's Hour of the Dawn, an LP that thrashed against expectation, Katy Goodman returns with a set of songs that double down on solid simplicity — the power of wry lyrics, glorious guitar, driving backbeat, and the occasional pump organ groove. And as the record cover gives away, Goodman isn't alone.
La Sera is a duo now — that's guitarist/cowriter/new husband (!) Todd Wisenbaker standing up there. And Ryan Adams joins to produce the fruit of their union, La Sera's first live-recorded analog album, featuring 10 tunes about good love, bad love, dead men, and confused kids.
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.
Springtime Carnivore - (Set time: 7:30 PM)
Springtime Carnivore
You know the curious, almost out-of-body feeling you sometimes get when you wake up in the middle of the night, where everything seems a bit fuzzy and you’re not sure if maybe you’re still dreaming? It’s a state Greta Morgan perpetually revisited during the second half of 2015, when she was writing and recording the new Springtime Carnivore album, Midnight Room. “I was on a really jagged sleep schedule,” says the Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter, describing the months during which she worked on the follow-up to her critically adored 2014 debut. “It was the first time I’d ever lived by myself, and there was this bizarre feeling at night of the house being so quiet and being so totally alone. And Midnight Room came out of that.”

Earlier in the year, Morgan went through one of those break-ups that completely topples your world. Though it was as amicable as those things can be, the twenty-eight year-old musician felt shattered. She began working on songs for Midnight Room during those strange waking interludes last summer, finding an abundance of beautiful melodies in the melancholy ether. “A lot of lyrics on the record are collaged or don’t necessarily make sense next to each other,” she says. “But I guess my whole headspace was like that for a few months. I felt like I couldn’t trust my memory completely -- like I was space cadeting through the weird space between sleeping and dreaming and waking and reality.”

The melodies came easily, but the words were initially harder to find. So she tried a new approach for Midnight Room’s lyrics, inspired by her own disjointed thinking during those months. When an intriguing phrase or evocative image occurred to her, she wrote it down on a piece of index card. Sitting with the dozens of scraps on the floor in front of her, Morgan would rearrange the fragments until she found a way to make sense of it all. “A lot of the themes are, like, ‘How do you lovingly change a relationship?,’” she says. “How do you say good-bye to someone in a certain way and still keep him or her in your life? I feel like I was asking a lot of questions during the making of the record that I still don’t really have answers to, but at least some of the songs were exploring that territory.”

In the interest of achieving a more cohesive sound for Midnight Room, Morgan reached out to producer Chris Coady, whose work with Future Islands, Beach House and The Orwells she’d admired. “To me, Chris’s greatest gift as a producer is creating a sonic palette for an album that really brings their songs to life,” she says. “I wanted the whole thing to feel like you’re looking through a cobalt blue glass, and to get textures that almost feel like being able to see stars in the sky. I wanted it to have this very velvety midnight blue purity to the sound, and I feel like the synthesizers that we used and a lot of the guitar tones we used evoked that kind of visual texture.”
Venue Information:
Mercury Lounge
217 E Houston St.
New York, NY, 10002
http://mercuryloungenyc.com