Katy Goodman loves math, problem-solving and memorization.

“I’m really good at memorizing,” she says. “Musicians tend to be very proud of the fact that they’re not good at computers. It’s almost a badge of honor. But I love computer languages. Breaking things down step-by-step in my mind, getting to think logically — to me, it’s so exciting.”

Thirty-year-old Goodman is a wearer of many hats — captain of her indie-rock outfit La Sera and former member of Vivian Girls, part-time computer programmer at the non-profit CASH (Coalition of Artists and Stakeholders) Music, and now, full-time college student. (She already holds a bachelor’s degree in physics and a master’s in education.)

“I’m the oldest one in my class,” she says of the coding course she enrolled in earlier this year. The semester wrapped on a high note — all A’s — but Goodman shows no sign of dialing back anytime soon.

“Did I tell you, Masami?” She looks around at her Japanese tour manager, who has just settled down at the next table. “I registered last night for Japanese 101 in the fall! I learned a little on this tour. For example, dōitashimashite?” she offers, the Japanese word for “you’re welcome.” “Which I used whenever I signed a record and somebody would say ‘thank you.’ And also, bikkuri (surprise)! Apparently, I have to brace myself for ‘a selected amount of kanji during the course,’ but if I can just speak or understand some of it, I’m happy.”

Goodman’s Japan tour marked her first as La Sera, it was a cross-country victory lap for the 2014 album “Hour of the Dawn.” The tour also featured homegrown acts Old Lacy Bed, Yuksen Buyers House and Twee Grrrls Club’s Sumire Taya (the designated driver for the Kyoto leg of the journey). Riding alongside is new-old bandmate Tod Wisenbaker, a former guitarist for Jenny Lewis who first joined Goodman as a touring musician for La Sera’s 2011 debut and “Sees the Light,” which came out the following year. “Hour of the Dawn,” however, saw him stepping up to take the reins as producer.

“Tod is now in the band,” Goodman says. “He is La Sera, with me. He’s the one who arranges, who does all the guitar parts. And he’s my boyfriend. We live together in California and have a bunch of cats.”

Goodman will be turning the keys to La Sera’s next record over to ex-Whiskeytown frontman Ryan Adams and his Pax-Am premises in downtown Los Angeles, where she and Wisenbaker have recently clocked valuable studio time.

“I’ve known Ryan for a couple of years,” she says. “We even had semi-serious plans to start a hardcore band at some point. I asked him to produce our new album, and he just said yes.”

The record is slated for a 2016 release and Goodman cites The Smiths’ “Meat is Murder” as its “sonic goal … there’s going to be only one guitar and one bass and they’ll just lock in and do countermelodies with each other constantly.”

Pax-Am was a radical departure from what Goodman was used to, in more ways than one.

“We recorded all analog, quickly, in a week. We tracked live. Usually the band will record the songs, with overdubs, and then I’ll come in with the vocals. But this time, 90 percent of the vocals were recorded first take. It was as live as it could be, because no one wants to hear a perfect vocal take. It’s more fun when it’s a little weird, when there are moments you would have redone in the past to make it perfect, but you can’t now because it’s all analog … those are now my favorite things. And,” she exclaims, “Ryan is anti-harmony! If you’ve listened to my other records, you’ll know — I grew up on girl groups, and they have been my thing for so long. But the goal for this new album was for us to sound like real people, with nothing to distract from the music and lyrics. When you’re listening to The Smiths, you hear everything Morrissey says. You know all the words. So I totally believe Ryan at this point. I’m glad he talked me out of it. Well … I did get one song with harmony on it, but I had to fight for it. It was a two-hour discussion. We argued about the philosophy of life, to get that one harmony in there! But ultimately the record still sounds like La Sera. It sounds like us, only clearer.”

Goodman works inordinately hard. But despite her plucky acquiescence, she has no particular illusions about payouts.

“I don’t even know how much I make from things like Spotify to be honest, because it’s a fraction of a cent per stream. Artists have bills! And no one wants to hire someone who goes on tour all the time. But I was a barista for a year, I am a part-time computer programmer, I work from home three days a week, I go to school … the more capable you are when it comes to learning new skills, like computing, the more you’ll be able to do — the freer you are.”

Take Goodman’s job with CASH, for instance. “It’s a company that develops open-source software to help musicians with their careers. The goal is to make it really user-friendly and accessible — even to musicians who are bad with computers. The last big project we worked on was a database for venues that bands can access from their home website for tour dates, as opposed to using something branded, like Bandcamp or MySpace. It’s just free code that’s easy to install, and available to anyone in the world. So instead of attaching yourself to a third party or for-profit company, you can now take your career into your own hands.”

When asked about her influences, Goodman doesn’t miss a beat.

“My favorite lyricist right now is Courtney Barnett from Australia. She’s so witty and clever. She’s making jokes all the time in her songs, and she has the most unique voice. I think she’s right up there. As for non-musical heroes … I think technology education is really important at this point in human history and in everyday life. So probably Marie Curie. She discovered radium. And she’s a woman scientist — I like that. Very much.”

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