A Quickee With Raimy Rosenduft
We here at She's Electric (that'd be Melany and Janelle) are music fanatics. We met in the name of music. No, seriously. I (Janelle) was touring with Minneapolis based Sick of Sarah and Melany was covering the band for a music blog she writes for Curve magazine (that'd be this one). So, in between interviewing the artists we love, we also, from time to time, like to tune-in to like-minded music heads for what's spinning in their neck of the woods.
Raimy Rosenduft is a writer, producer and music enthusiast, sidekick to comedian Liz Feldman and accidental health care activist. We touched base with Rosenduft and had her fill us in on her love of music, what makes her tick and what's currently on repeat in her world.
How did you and music hook up?
My Mom sang to us all the time, show tunes or songs from Peter Pan (the Mary Martin version) or she was doing impressions of Edith Ann or Grover. We grew up in Brighton Beach and my Dad would make construction paper campfires and build forts out of bedposts and we would pretend to be on a deserted island looking for pirates because you could see the ocean from the terrace. My Aunt and Uncle were teenagers when I was little; the music really came from them. I was ten and listening to The Smiths and Erasure, pretending to be a lost boy.
I studied Playwriting at Tisch and was really involved in that until I graduated. About two months after I graduation I met Holly Miranda, she had just moved to the city from Michigan. That changed the course of my life. I would go to every gig with her; she would play to sometimes three or four people. We spent a lot of time on the Lower East Side and Brooklyn creating a chosen family. I soon realized that I couldn't deal with the solitude required to be a writer so I would hang around musicians whose talent seemed more portable, the family grew and soon we were our own pack of lost boys. It was bliss.
Where do you think the music industry is headed?
Oh man, this is a panel discussion that could go on for hours. I'm just an enthusiast on the topic. Frankly, if you look at the distribution of wealth in this country and compare it to music I think you'll find that they are analogous. There is a small crop of bands that make a ton of money and then an even larger group of smaller bands that can only afford to tour if they stay with friends and live in a mini-van. Bands know they need to be their own everything if they are going to survive and they need to know how to navigate the social web. These days that will make or break you. Other than that, have really kick ass merch.
How did you come up with the concept for The Ouchie and fundraising?
What did you walk from that experience with? I was totally fucked. I hadn't had a job since the writer's strike ended, no insurance, my benefits had run out. I had moved back in with my parents and then I broke my ankle in three places. Like, seriously, WTF universe? I was trapped at home, high on painkillers and I started writing. It was the first time in my adult life that I was really writing and it just happened around this whole discourse on health care in America and I felt like I had a responsibility to show people the experience. That, and I couldn't watch another soap opera.
It was 6 a.m. I just put it up on Twitter; it felt simple enough, $1 from 12,000 people. It was really hard on my ego, talk about taking yourself back to 1. But to drop a worn cliche: Necessity is the mother of invention.
What happened after that blew my mind. I can't even begin to explain the outpouring of support, and when you are alone and suffering and in pain all you need to hear is that you're going to be ok.
How did you become the resident music expert on This Just Out?
I don't really know how that happened. It just kind of happened. One day Liz and I were out having coffee and she was talking about doing a talk show in her kitchen and she asked me if I would help. I wanted to tell people about my talented friends and get other people involved in supporting them. I really don't consider myself an expert though, there are plenty of other walking music encyclopedia's out there, I really just love having music in my life... all the time.
What you'll find on repeat at Raimy's house:
Gorillaz - Crystalised (The XX cover)
Blackbird Blackbird - Erasers
Warpaint - Undertow
Conner Youngblood - Monsters
Teen Daze - Let's Fall Asleep Together
Deerhunter - Desire Lines
Glasser - Mirrorage
The Holidays - Broken Bones
Jonathan Boulet - A Community Service Announcement
Tame Impala - Solitude Is Bliss
To keep up with Raimy, follow her on Twitter - twitter.com/#!/raimyrosenduft
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