Friday, January 29, 2010


One of my favorite parts of Razorcake is reading up on the Rhythm Chicken and his adventures in "The Dinghole Reports" column. The basic story is that he's just a dude who likes to grab his drum kit, set it up on street corners, restaurants, weddings, record stores, supermarkets, or wherever the mood guides him, and then go at it for 5-10 minutes. Then disappear. While wearing a fuzzy bunny head. Often under the influence of cheap beer. He's been doing it for like 10 years or so. Suck on that flashmobs and social networks.

Stupid and immature on the surface, but for some reason it fills me with joy. I think the absurdity of a drum kit as a street performer's instrument of choice helps. So does the bunny head and his drumsticks in the air patented pose. Most folks take it in stride and see the benefit of a random bunnyheaded, potentially shirtless guy blastin' the skins in weird public spots. One of his big deal events is some parade where he rides his own float/flatbead truck, mostly decorated with beer cans. He coins what he does "Ruckus". Sometimes he uses completely stupid oversized drumsticks to add to the hilarity.

His identity is still a mystery to me and I like it that way. Though I did do some research eventually and found some interviews and podcasts with the guy. The rabbit talks in a strange series of chicken clucks, is probably of Polish decent given his knowledge of weird Polish words (Rytm Kurcze) and love for Polish hardcore bands, and lives in or about Milwaukee - which means there's an OK chance the guy is a nerd or sorts since Gencon was hosted there for years. And he loves to bring the Ruckus.

What's the point? I dunno. His latest exploit impressed me the most, so I wrote about it to raise Rhythm Chicken awareness. One of his friends bought a goofy boat and they decided to take the Ruckus one sunny afternoon to the people boating on a lake. A full day of drumming whilst on a crummy boat. Genius. Mayhaps one day he'll do DC. Probably already has.

Hitting Youtube, I actually found some doofuses on a boat (ignore their whoooos and focus on the chicken) who caught the Rhythm Chicken in action a few times while at sea. Plus one of his float appearances.

Long live the Ruckus.


Chris Horse said...

This eerily reminds of similar stupid stunts we used to perform back in the St. Paul Street days.

I applaud this half-man half-beast entertainer.

Murphy said...

Out of curiousity, why is he not "Rhythm Rabbit"?

Anonymous said...

Ahhh, Rhythm Chicken...eases the pain. It's like watching Square One and seeing Math Man go sickhouse on the devious Mr. Glitch.

Jessica said...

I second Murphy's question. It reminds me of that whole egg-laying Cadbury bunny thing, and you know how that messed me up as a kid.

Anonymous said...

uh, how odd to find this today. and it was posted on jan. 29th, my birthday............ let me introduce myself. i am the rhythm chicken. yeah, i used to live in milwaukee, but am really from door county, WI, (the real DC), but am now in boulder city, NV for the winter. DC?? i know eric axelson, and i also know coburn dukehart. uh, other dismemberment plan dudes. whatever. haven't been there in years. i played a gig in baltimore last june. fun. strange town.

Ack Ack Ack said...

Yes! The Rhythm Chicken has landed!

Of course this leads one to wonder if the Rhythm Chicken spends it's days googling itself. Sounds dirty.

Your podcast interview thing with Razorcake led me to Brainiac, and for this I thank you.

Keep up the good work. Maybe one day you can bring the ruckus to all the statues and memorials littering this town. I'm sure Lincoln would be stoked.