Relaxshax's Blog

Save EVERYTHING! Well, not literally…
April 8, 2010, 9:27 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Drumsticks gettin' a second life- and keepin' my keister warm!

Here’s a shot I took on a whim (and what might stand as the last woodstove fire of the season up here in MA- it was 84 degrees yesterday!).

     I play in a tribute act/band-, that doubles as an originals act “A.G.E. (Any Given Enemy), based out of Boston, MA. We play out in clubs fairly regularly, and I always make it a point to save ALL of my broken drumsticks, and the broken ones other drummers leave behind (which they do ALL the time). This way, instead of cluttering a landfill, they warm my house- at least for an hour or two. I stumbled into another drummer at a gig recently, who did the exact same, so I guess I’m not THAT weird.

This shot doesn’t do the pile justice….there’s about THIRTY broken sticks in there! Some of them are from a recent recording session myself, and guitarist Bill Bracken, did with vocalist-Gary Cherone of Extreme/Van Halen/Tribe Of Judah- fame over at White Sight And Sound Studios in Framingham, MA. The song will be released semi-soon (Prob on too), but that’s not of importance now.

Also, all you eco-musicians, while in practice, or at gigs, I always make it a somewhat-unconcious habit to toss my empties and recyclables (esp in RI, where there is NO redemption, and beer bottles end up in the trash!) into a drum-gear bin I have. Sounds petty, tedious, and pointless, but it DOES add up afterawhile, AND you’re not leaving a mess behind on stage- which most club owners really appreciate. Hey, remember, I pretty much funded the entire first run of my indie-book, and MORE, on recycled cans, to simply make a point- while cleaning up local hiking trails.

It can be done.

Meanwhile, been growing some apple trees from saved seeds, and I’ll be yackin/typing about that soon…

Age Against The Machine- live from Boston at the famed Cask N' Flagon/Oliver's at Fenway Park. Photo by Bruce Bettis



7 Comments so far
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Great writeup in The Source today! Did you forget your cousin works for a publishing house?

Comment by Jackie S

Hey Jackie!
How are you? Great to hear from you and hope all’s well with you and Jim! Things are good on this end- been keeping more thank busy with the kids, house, etc- and with the book-related online videos- we actually just posted another new one.
What publisher do you work at? And next time I’m down in Madison, I’ll certainly have to swing by so we can all swig some of that Clinton vino, etc. Talk to you soon!
-Derek D.

Comment by relaxshax

Deek- I have a set of drumsticks in my china cabinet…a reminder of a wild romantic getaway YEARS ago. I’m into reusing things also since our small town offers zero recycling. I make rugs and totebags by crocheting “plarn” (plastic shopping bags cut into strips). Most of these are given to me by other people who save them for me. Bottles go on my bottle tree – some sort of scrubby looking bush in the back yard. I save seed and plant a garden each year. This year I’ll add starts from a grapevine given to me by a friend. We forage blackberries and plums every year and make our own wine. We were green before it was known by that term and certainly before it was cool to be that way!

Comment by Lisa

LOVE the ideas- and blackberry wine- sounds INCREDIBLE! I’ve made dandelion wine, but never blackberry- I’ll have to this year, as we have a huge patch in the yard. Thanks!

Comment by relaxshax

Deek- We’re low tech wine makers. To make “hillbilly wine” all you need is fresh juice, regular baking yeast, sugar, water, a clean plastic milk jug, a holey balloon, and a strong rubber band. Fill the jug anywhere from a fourth to a third of the way with juice. In a saucepan, heat about 4 cups of sugar and a couple cups of water until all the sugar is melted. Let this concoction cool to lukewarm then pour off a bit into a bowl with the yeast. Let it sit for about ten minutes. While waiting, go ahead and add your sugar/water to the juice. Add your activated yeast/water. Then add water to bring the level to no more than two thirds full. Cap it and shake it to mix. Then uncap it, place a balloon over the top and secure it with a rubber band. Poke a half dozen holes in the balloon. This allows gases to escape without letting air in. Let it sit for a couple of weeks undisturbed. When the balloon deflates and falls over, the process is done. At this point most people drink it, but we are sugar junkies. We dissolve about another cup of sugar in some water and add it in. It won’t react to the yeast because the yeast has already eaten the original sugar and died off. (Sounds kinda gross, but this stuff rocks.) Of course you COULD use a wine making kit, but I think it’s more fun to practice a little mad science.

Comment by Lisa

PS…I neglected to mention that the jugs we use are gallon sized.

Comment by Lisa

I’ll have to try the recipe. I’ve made the “ghetto-grape-juice” 3-day wine version(supermarket juice) before- and it wasn’t half bad. I’m sure this will BLOW it away!

Comment by relaxshax

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