Ken Eckert Music
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Fresh-sounding. Innovative. Eclectic. Melodic. Yes, these are just some of the many adjectives used for independent musicians who have their own websites. As for this one, you’re out of luck.

Ken Eckert (me) has been recording electronic rock music since 1985 with various groups and in solo work. Subscribing to the philosophy “Stop taking everything so damn seriously,” what sets us apart from other indie music is the fact that we admit our music is cheesy. In fact, we embrace our cheesiness.

  • Turn down your brain,
  • Listen to the music,
  • And forget about quality!
Rated 5 stars (out of 20)
Legal notes


 

New Album: Chewy Planets (May 2018)

Chewy Planets is proudly postmodernist plunderphonics, where I used and abused classic rock songs as a platform to construct new songs and mixes. Recorded in Incheon, Korea, the album includes samples and riffs from Willie Nelson, Talking Heads, Elvis Presley, U2, Charlie Pride, Howlin' Wolf, Led Zeppelin, Herbie Hancock, Rammstein, Grease, Bee Gees, Supertramp, Chemical Brothers, Beatles, Black Sabbath, and Megadeth. I am not sure this is all legal, but as usual: totally free songs and videos here, forever.


Venereal Disease Can Be Fun (1994)
What’s The Name of This Song? 5:01 Mp3
Spanish Igloos 4:07 Mp3
Masters of Halvah (EP) (1993)
Landyaeger 2:18 Mp3
Elvis Parsley (1991)
Meta 5:55 Mp3
Atomic Soap (1987)
Choir-in-a-Box 6:55 Mp3
Helicopter 5:40 Mp3
West Ed Mall (1986)
In Time 6:03 Mp3
West Ed Mall 3:54 Mp3
(Based on “West End Girls” by Pet Shop Boys)

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Kill the Wabbit

You can also see some other videos on my Coughlan House Site

Yes, I know that actual Vikings probably didn’t wear pointy hats. It’s a bloody music video, not BBC History.

Q&A with Kill the Wabbit

Q: Where is Kill the Wabbit located?

A: We originated in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in 1993, but more than half our catalog was recorded while living in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Several tracks do not appear here because they got rained on. I now record from time to time in my home in Korea, and I involve Mark when I can.

Q: How did you come up with the band name Kill the Wabbit?

A: It comes from the Bugs Bunny cartoon What’s Opera, Doc?, where Elmer is a theatrical Viking singing a song about hunting. The band members decided on Kill the Wabbit after vigorous market research. Actually, I remember coming up with the name suddenly during our first recordings. As police reports say, alcohol was a factor.

So far, fortunately, Warner Brothers doesn’t know or doesn’t care about the name. As all the music and video here is free and non-profit I believe it falls under fair use.

Q: What difference does the name make? How can you be a band when you don’t regularly record together.. and you don’t actually play live.. and no one would ever pay good money for your music anyway?

A: Wait a minute! I’m the one writing these questions! They’re supposed to be fawning and complimentary to the band. Okay, Q & A over!

What does the yell in The Viking Song mean?  This is from “The Battle of Maldon,” an Old English poem about a battle between the English and the Vikings in AD 991. 

Hige sceal þe heardra / heorte þe cenre 
mod sceal þe mare / þe ure mægen lytlað! 

(“Our resolve must be harder, our hearts keener, and our spirits greater, by as much as our strength diminishes!”)

 

Heralds of Cheese
When I lived in Newfoundland in the nineties, I recorded with Mike Winsor (guitar) and Scott Batten (bass, rhythm guitar). I played drums and sometimes bass and keyboards. It was refreshing to do things this way. Heralds of Cheese was a sort of un-band of Joe Satriani-meets-Jan Hammer. No live performances; no videos; no second takes!

 


Artless was my first real band (1990-91), formed when we were students at Concordia College in Edmonton. We started out, as most do, playing cover versions under the slightly cheesy name Visionary but we progressed to writing and recording original songs. Noel Nibblett (vocals) and Alex Chu (guitar) were better songwriters than I was, so I stuck to percussion and recording. We also had Jim Mulligan (rhythm guitar) and Trevor Grinde & Corey Payne (bass).

 

Ken & the Cowflops

My first recorded work was Ken & the Cowflops, in which I played every instrument. If you like Yello, Herbie Hancock, or Kraftwerk you will perhaps like this. There were no Cowflops; it was just the name I chose to use for my solo work. Like most people, I never expected to see the inside of a recording studio and so I began to build my own. All of these recordings were made by myself using technology which slowly improved from two cassette decks mixed together, to a four-track recorder, to producing almost studio-quality recordings on my computer with MIDI and digital editing programs, all on a budget of likely less than what U2 spend on coffee. I have had some of this material played on a few radio stations and have performed live a few times.

 

CKO Radio
CKO Radio was the name of an imaginary radio station that my friend Paul Horsman invented in 1983 when we were grade 10 students in Edmonton at Concordia High School. Paul and Roland Schwaldt began writing and recording short skits for CKO with a tape deck and a record player. I joined in 1984, and over the next two years an album of comedy shorts took shape. In 1989 we began a second album, now equipped with multi-track tape recorders and sampling keyboards. I eventually become the recording engineer and some of the skits became pretty complex.

Some of these radio spots have been played on campus radio. As some of them use bits of copyright music in the background, I can’t do much with them commercially at present, but you’re welcome to listen to a few clips for fun. There are no obscenities in these recordings, but the subject matter isn’t suitable for children.


Paul Horsman & Roland Schwaldt at the end of CKO I, March 1986. A recording session in November 1991: Roland, Paul, Ken.

 

Making a rock video is twenty times as much work as I expected, and I sympathize with those poor bands who spend weeks on their video and end up being made fun of on Much-Music’s Video Fromage the next year.

I ended up spending about $170 on my first computer-edited video, the Viking Song.  I was able to do this because I had help from the Education department at MUN, which lent me a camera, and from the Arts & Culture centre in St. John’s, which lent me some costumes.  I then spent two weeks on Adobe Premiere editing five gigs of video files (that was a lot in October 2000) and trying to keep my computer from dying under the load.

My later videos have been somewhat less ambitious than the Viking video, as I no longer have access to a large cast of friends I can bribe with cheap beer to put on goofy costumes. I also don’t have the luxury of spending a month building costumes and assembling harps. Nowadays I tend to just use clip art for props and a lot of After Effects plugins. If you’re going to cut corners, don’t go halfway.


To make a rock video, you need a video camera, a color screen, and a program like Premiere that crashes every five minutes.

You also need some friends to act in your video. The sillier the friends, the better. Music videos are not high art.

Viking babes Danielle, Michelle, and Tammy, with homemade outfits and "improv" dance choreography.

Myself burning my harp, a la Hendrix. The harp wouldn’t burn and so we had to use newspapers and fix it in the mix.

Morphing images together in software is fun, although it will take all day to render on your computer.

And sometimes women might dance in their underwear. Hey, it was artistically meaningful to the song, alright!

 

E-mail Ken for weddings, bar mitzvahs, summer blockbusters, or Olympic theme anthems:
© 2018 Ken Eckert / Moldy Rutabaga Music, inc. Legal notes

Some recordings on this site feature brief excerpts of copyrighted recordings as background samples, or are cover versions of copyrighted music. No money is made from this site, and the performances here are for personal use and may not be sold.

Low Noon (2017) Killing Floor (Howlin’ Wolf) (2015)
Another plunderphonic extravaganza at your service. Because blues should be played on cheap MIDI keyboards.
8:52 • Save YouTube 3:38 • Save YouTube
Marking the Papers (2015) Girls of the World (2015)
Because copying from another band text is so, so unethical. “Meaningless, all is meaningless, says the philosopher!”
4:49 • Save YouTube 3:43 • Save YouTube
Those Autobahn People (2015) Who Invented Beer? (2008)
My definition of ‘postmodern’ is writing music about places I've never been to. The age-old question inquiring minds want to know.
5:28 • Save YouTube 4:19 • Save YouTube
Germans (2007) Rhapsody Espanol (with August Champlin) (2005)
They can be funky. And you will dance when directed to. Live at KNUE, Gangnae, Korea
3:37 • Save YouTube 3:10 • Save YouTube
Puma (2004) Cordless Mouse (2004)
Several digital ones were harmed in the making of this video. So why not a mouseless cord to complete the package?
4:04 • Save YouTube 3:44 • Save YouTube
She’d Rather Arm-Wrestle Than Kiss (2001) The King of France (2001)
For that very special lady. Pick a Louie, any Louie (up to sixteen or so).
4:12 • Save YouTube 4:07 • Save YouTube
The Viking Song (2000) Du Hast (Rammstein) & Love Shack (B-52s) (1999)
For those about to vike... We salute you. MUN Talent Show Band
3:54 • Save YouTube 8:14 • Save YouTube
Bullet the Blue Farm (1994, 2004) The Rock (Symphony No. 2) (1995)
Yes, it rips off U2, but who reads the fine print? 5:32 • Save YouTube
1:18 • Save YouTube  
Across the Midnight Sky (1991) Hot For Teacher (Van Halen) (1991)
3:31 • Save YouTube 4:14 • Save YouTube
Help Me Baby (1991) Panama (Van Halen) (1990)
4:40 • Save YouTube 2:49 • Save YouTube
Hit the Ground Running (1990) Don’t Want a Pickle (1992)
You say cheap, I say minimalism. Some lyrics from Arlo Guthrie.
05:50 • Save YouTube 3:53 • Save YouTube
August Afternoon (1991) She’d Rather Arm Wrestle Than Kiss (1987)
Recorded in an Alberta November, sadly. Chivalry lives.
4:54 • Save • YouTube 1:14 • Save
All Right! (1987) West Ed Mall (1986)
Dig that Vic-20 drum program groove! Based on West End Girls by Pet Shop Boys.
1:05 • Save 1:13 • Save