{NewNew} Artists Hanging Out With Roosevelt Dime And The Roulette Sisters

As much as I’d like to say that I am a full time Etsy artist, my art simply provides a little side cash and most importantly, a creative outlet. Working a 9-5 (let’s be real, in New York that usually means a 9 – 7, and then permanently attached to your iPhone) is exhausting, and can become routine. I need a little spice in my life! And, I’m not alone. Even full time artists need an outlet to mix things up!

This past week I sat down with a couple of the artists performing at Bowery Electric on Saturday May 7th as part of the Festival of Ideas  to talk about how they get crafty on the side.

Roosevelt Dime

Eben Pariser and Tony Montalbano from Roosevelt Dime are so crafty and DIY-minded they even make their own instruments! When they first started playing outdoor shows in New York, they knew their conventional instruments just weren’t going to cut it in the city. They realized they needed something that could withstand the subway, and be loud enough for people to pay attention. Since they couldn’t find what they were looking for they, like {NewNewers} so often do, went DIY!

Pariser created a bass out of a bucket and some string, and a lot of trial and error before it was just right. Montalbano needed his drum kit to be more portable so he used a cajon (box-drum) turned sideways so that he could kick it with his right leg while seated on top, effectively converting it into a bass drum. He then crafted home-made fixtures for his snare drum stand, to add cymbals, and pineapple cans (instead of tom drums!), completing what is essentially a full modern drum kit. With their DIY attitude, Roosevelt Dime claims they are the loudest 5 piece acoustic band on Planet Earth. You can judge for yourself at their show Saturday night.

The Roulette Sisters
The Roulette Sisters, an all lady Brooklyn-based band, are also a very creative bunch. Not only is Mamie Minch gifted in playing guitar and singing in her band, she is a print maker and luthier! When she began singing professionally she needed a vintage instrument. During her search she fell in love with the process of instrument repair and is now the head of maintenance at Retrofret Vintage Guitars in Carroll Gardens! Meg Reichardt (guitarist, vocals) has found an alternative creative outlet in regreening a garbage filled lot behind her home. Six years into the project she has created a lush perennial garden out of a former dump utilizing recycled brick and stone, compost from NYC sponsored givebacks and numerous donated plants.

Violist Karen Waltuch has been playing music since she was seven, but she's been making stuff out of other stuff for as long as she can remember. Whether it's jig sawing plant stands or knitting mismatched leg warmers for the babies in her life, she isn't truly happy unless there is glue under her fingernails. She loves supporting the crafters on Etsy (and we love HER for it!) and can usually credit at least one piece of her wardrobe to the website on most days. When not playing the washboard and singing, Megan Burleyson is teaching herself computer animation and front end web development and hopes to create artwork using nothing but math. In the spirit of DIY, she works with open source frameworks, which means that she's limited only by her imagination.

Both Roosevelt Dime and the Roulette Sisters can be heard at the Bowery Electric on Saturday May 7th as part of the Festival of Ideas. You can get more details on their show here 

A select group of NewNew artists are also participating in the Festival of Ideas at the Streetfest on May 7th from 11am – 7pm. Come find our booth on Rivington, between Bowery and Chrystie. See you there! Pick up great finds from Izile’s Oddities, Kelley Gudahl Photography, Malathip, Merrimack & Monitor, Pretty Lovely Painting and SimplyNu.

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