Miami-bred songstress Rachel Goodrich decided to focus on her career around 2004. She had moved upstate to Gainesville for college, but felt no creative inspiration. So she returned home and spent whole days playing her guitar in her room. "I knew I wanted to do music, and I couldn't do it in Gainesville," she says.
She would eventually be hailed as the "queen of the Miami indie rock scene" by The New York Times, and has released a pair of compelling albums, 2008's Tinker Toys and a self-titled work which came out last year. Her music, quirky and sunny, landed in both Blackberry and Crayola commercials, and on Weeds. But the recent transplant doesn't call L.A. home, nor Miami for that matter. "The road is my home," she says.
She stays in Venice when she's here, playing the Nintendo 64 that she got from her cousin and showing a preference for longboard. "That's the closest thing to surfing that I've ever done," she says on an overcast Thursday at a west side coffee shop. She sports a bright red hoodie, orange Wayfarer-style shades and skinny jeans.
She moved here for the scenery, she says, after spending most of her life living near swamplands in beach towns. But she misses her old Hammond upright piano, which she played as a child. It's her favorite instrument, she says. "There are endless possibilities. Everything's just laid out."
She resists trends, refusing to sample beats, despite reports to the contrary.
Around 2007, she found a ukulele on a couch at her dad's house. She started strumming and fell in love with it, she says, but then gave it up when it became trendy. "Now I want to play my electric guitar extra loud," she says. Incidently, she gravitated towards grunge in high school when she played in a Nirvana-influenced band called Deezel.
She says grunge, in fact, has inspired her current work like her cover of Nirvana's fast and aggressive "Territorial Pissings," for the 2011 compilation Nevermind Miami, which commemorated Nevermind's 20th anniversary. Her version is haunting and bluesy.
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Despite her connection with grunge, Goodrich was raised listening to be Beatles and loves all their albums. She calls Abbey Road a favorite. "I like the honesty, the true sounds of the instruments. And the way everything was captured to make these legendary recordings," Goodrich says.
"I like how you can't listen to Abbey Road any other way than in its entirety."
Rachel Goodrich performs the last night of her residency at Desert Nights, which starts at 7:30 tonight at The Standard, Hollywood.