Be/Non, Season to Risk, Paws Fest, and Meet in the Middle

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Be/Non, Season to Risk, Paws Fest, and Meet in the Middle

After two years of persistent touring and plenty of lineup changes, Be/Non, the area's most adventurous psychedelic rock outfit, has returned to recapture local listeners. Its first showcase is Thursday, August 24, at The Bottleneck, as part of a bill that also includes the indie-rock all-star band Enon (with former members of Skeleton Key and Brainiac). But singer/guitarist Brodie Rush isn't overjoyed at the rare prospect of playing with a band whose name rhymes with his own group's obscure moniker.

"Brainiac was the only band I ever sent a postcard to with a Be/Non sticker on it, and I figure it's kind of wickity-wackity that the guitar player comes up with a band called 'Enon,'" he explains. "Meaning 'none,' so why don't you just call your band 'None'?"

However, rather than sulking about this alleged intrusion on his creative property, Rush is planning a party -- a beach party, no less. "I'm making a set that will look like we're playing on an island with an ocean background, and there will be beach balls and all kinds of stuff," Rush says of this event, which washes up on the shores of the Replay Lounge on Wednesday, August 30, and includes a set by Jumbo's Killcrane. "The rules are that you either bring your swim trunks or a Hawaiian shirt," Rush says.

Rush stripped to less than swim trunks at a recent show at the Hurricane, writhing in his underwear while singing a Prince tune. "He put on the greatest show," recalls Season to Risk singer Steve Tulipana, whose band was headlining that night. "He forgot about the show until the last minute, and the rest of his band was out of town, so he found a drummer, and for most of the show he was just singing. He sang the Prince song perfectly. He's talented and creative."

Given such raves for an impromptu performance, it's not surprising that Rush seems destined to make the same mistake again. "I haven't talked to any of my band members about the beach show," he admits. "They don't even know this is happening. I just get ideas and go for it."

Regardless of whether the rest of the group is on board, Rush will unveil all-new material from the band's forthcoming third full-length release. However, if bassist John Huff and drummer Ryan Johnson are in attendance, fans will get to see how this trio has gelled because of what Rush dubs "pirate-style" touring: "We've been coming into towns, taking shit, getting drunk, going to strip clubs, and just reaping the fruits. Now it's our job to hit Kansas City and Lawrence."

Season's Greetings
Rush's spontaneous crooning might have been a hard act to follow at the Hurricane on August 12, but Season to Risk was well equipped for the task. In addition to a lineup change (Billy Smith has replaced Josh Newton on bass), the group is exploring new sonic terrain, incorporating keyboards into its trademark chaotic mix. "Some of it still has that heavy dissonance to it," Steve Tulipana says of his band's latest work, "but we're working a little more with melody and adding some different flavor to the songs. All of us play the keyboards. On some songs, several people are playing, and on others there's just one, and just for a section of a song. Some of it is loop-based, and the drummer uses a sampler."

Season to Risk didn't unleash any of this material on its recent jaunt across the East Coast with pop-punkers All and Wretch Like Me, but it did manage to win over plenty of fans outside its core demographic. Bands that get listed in CMJ alongside the words "recommended if you like Pantera" don't usually share the stage with cheery pop acts that sing about girls and such. But Season to Risk recently joined Shiner on the roster of Owned and Operated Records, which is run by former and current members of All and Wretch Like Me, among others, so this was a prime opportunity for the group to show its new label what it had to offer.

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