CASH Music Launches New Platform, Adds La Sera's Katy Goodman as Developer

La Sera
Jake Michaels

La Sera photographed in 2014.

CASH Music, a non-profit that creates free open-source tools for musicians, literally embodied their mission with an announcement on Wednesday: along with a new platform launch, the organization hired Los Angeles-based bassist, singer and songwriter Katy Goodman, who records and performs as La Sera and, on the sly, has been blogging about learning to code. 

"Her skills are perfect for what we need," says CASH co-executive director Maggie Vail, who first met Goodman during her 17-year tenure as general manager for indie stalwart Kill Rock Stars (back when she was "Kickball Katy" with punk-y Shangri-Las revivalists Vivian Girls), "and what better way to build things for musicians than to hire a musician?"

For now, Goodman will be working on an application for CASH's venues database, accessible to artists, managers, labels, and other music industry-focused entities. "Think of it like a phonebook," explains CASH co-founder Jesse Von Doom. "Open code is great, but it needs to be paired with open data. We don't want artists to have to enter details for Terminal 5 or the Echo every time they're talking about tour dates. That should just live somewhere for everyone to know. There are services that collect all that data, but their databases are closed, the info is private or exclusive, so there's lock-in. F--- that."

CASH Music, Non-Profit Co-Founded by Kristen Hersh, Donita Sparks, Jesse von Doom, Empowers Artists With Digital Tools

Though the task (and her job) is still too new for Goodman to fully explain it to a layman, she does know she'll be a very busy Lady Java while recording a new La Sera album, attending Santa Monica College full-time to get her computer science degree, and working at CASH three days a week. "There's no spare moment in my life right now," she tells Billboard.

The news caps a good week for women in tech, including the announcement of Swedish pop star Robyn's female-focused technology festival next month. Vail agrees that female musicians and female coders face similar challenges on the technology side of things (see: Gamergate, Bjork not getting credit for producing her album Vulnicura). "I’ve been working in the music business for 21 years, and I've been a musician that long, and moving into tech four years ago I was like, 'You guys, this is worse," she says, before hedging. "There are a lot of the same barriers."

Thanks to CASH's new website developments, which have been helpfully elucidated here, hopefully at least some of those barriers won't exist for much longer.