Over twenty years ago Brodie Rush started up a band called Be/Non. A band that has, over it’s long career, had more members than Spinal Tap. The only consistent member, songwriter and producer being Kansas City native, Brodie Rush. After all these years, Be/Non still remains largely undiscovered.
After forming in 1994 the band went through many incarnations to eventually become a power trio. In 1996, the band released two cassettes, The Black Tape and The Blue Tape. After playing their first gig (as the power trio) with Brooklyn’s Sunday Puncher at The Replay Lounge in Lawrence, Kansas, they were approached by Sunday Puncher tour manager Justin Weyerhaeuser to put out a 7-Inch single on his new NYC based label, Turnbuckle Records. Be/Non’s sound at this time was mostly guitar-based, angular noise-rock.
Released in March 1997, Be/Non’s first single found itself with minimal airplay but with encouraging reception. By the summer of 1997 Be/Non released its first full-length LP, You’re Playing with Children in the Land of the Bugs, engineered and co-produced by Brooklyn’s legendary Martin Bisi. The production of this album was solid but overall, the band felt like it misrepresented the sound they were ultimately trying to achieve. By the fall of 1997, Be/Non had become a duo. For the next two years, Be/Non toured extensively with fellow labelmates Oneida and Sunday Puncher. In the spring of 1998 Be/Non recorded Meet the Person Most Responsible for Your Safety, featuring Steven Drozd of The Flaming Lips on keyboards. This marked a departure from the angst-driven, guitar-heavy sounds of previous recordings, hinting at more elaborate orchestrations and complex production.
By 1999 Be/Non, for all intents and purposes, had become a solo act. Turnbuckle Records went out of business and Be/Non found itself label-less and besides it’s brainchild, member-less. In an era where labels meant everything to a band, not having one meant that the chances of Be/Non gaining success as a rock band were minimal. For years, countless attempts and promises were made, but no label ever manifested for the band.
Over the next decade, dozens of line-ups came and went. Some were extremely solid long-lasting line-ups and some were very experimental and short-lived. Even though Be/Non was still actively playing and recording music all this time, the band didn’t officially release another album until the self-released A Mountain of Yeses in 2009. The music on the A Mountain Of Yeses album was a stark contrast to the Be/Non of 1997. A concept record with a film still in production, this marked the next chapter in the band’s grandiose sound and musical evolution. Utilizing a Roland Juno 6 and a Prophet 600, synths became a major asset to Be/Non’s new sound, enabling the listener to take a journey from the “Mountain Of Yeses to the Valley Of No”.
Be/Non has recently released most of its back catalog on the Be/Non bandcamp, including the 7-Inch single “Moi Ou Toi” / “Not Tonight” (2011), two full-length albums RAN (2004) and Esperanto at the Pantheon, Incognito (2004), and a digital version of the cassette The Blue Tape (1996). The “Moi Ou Toi” / “Not Tonight” 7-Inch Single received a new revamped album cover courtesy of Haymaker Records in 2015 with added downloadable bonus tracks.
Be/Non proudly released their sixth album in February 2016, Mystic Sunrise / Sunset Magic on Kansas City indie label Haymaker Records. A musical direction unlike all previous endeavors, MS/SM is a meditative album, based on deep thought and cosmic oneness. It’s a one-two punch into the unknown with intuitive trajectory. A must-listen for those with a bucket-list for the bizarre. The purple blob vinyl for Mystic Sunrise / Sunset Magic is available through the Haymaker Records website.
Be/Non is actively performing live at assorted venues across North America. Ben Ruth, Be/Non’s longest-running member, rounds out the low-end on bass and keyboards. The “revolving door of Be/Non” rotates back in long-time member and multi-instrumentalist John Huff, drummer Ryan Shank, and Jeremiah James on guitar, keyboards, and vocals. The new album also features vocals from Nanci Ayala Rush, who occasionally joins the lineup on stage.
- Be/Non – Moi Ou Toi 7-Inch
Moi Ou Toi was originally released by Be/Non with the help of Gary Wilkerson from Earwaxx Records and his newly created record label Curved Groove in 2011. The record store closed soon after and the 7-Inch records sat sleeveless in a box for 4 years. Haymaker worked with Steady Co. in Minneapolis, MN to print special edition color RISOgraph sleeves to give the old 7-Inch recordings a new look and see the light of day again. Limited to 350 copies on translucent gold vinyl. Includes digital download with a bonus track. The release date for this 7-Inch is July 24, 2015 release with first availability at the Haymaker Records Summer Showcase.
- The Bridge (KTBG) Eight One Sixty Radio Podcast feature on Haymaker Records Summer Showcase
Haymaker Records owner Brenton Cook was a guest on last week’s Eight One Sixty show on Kansas City public radio station KTBG The Bridge 90.9. The conversation was to promote the Haymaker Records Summer Showcase Party at The recordBar on Friday, July 24th. Play the podcast below and listen to featured showcase artists Jorge Arana Trio, Schwervon!, Be/Non, HMPH!, and Riala.
- Haymaker Summer Showcase Party 2015/07/24
KANSAS CITY, MO. – Kansas City independent record label Haymaker Records is proud to host its first showcase party on Friday, July 24th at The recordBar. The event, highlighting the first year of Haymaker Records, will feature five musical acts from the Haymaker Records roster and serve as a preview for three full-length vinyl albums to be released by the label over the summer and fall.
The show opens with the three acts with upcoming album releases. Label newcomer and shoegaze indie rock band Riala will see the release of their first album Be Here | Be There in early fall. Math rock duo HMPH! will showcase their technical guitar and drum wizardry in preparation for the release of their first album Headrush due out this summer. Twenty-year Kansas City rock legend Brodie Rush and his band Be/Non will entertain with the spaced-out rock sounds of their upcoming fall release Mystic Sunrise / Sunset Magic. Closing out the night are sets by Schwervon! and the Jorge Arana Trio. Indie pop duo Schwervon! relocated to Kansas City in 2013 after a decade as a band in New York City. Having completed a month-long tour of the midwest and east coast, Kansas City anxiously awaits their return. The night ends with the Jorge Arana Trio. The Jorge Arana Trio are a three-piece instrumental jazz-fusion math rock hybrid that were the first band to be featured on Haymaker Records. The Oso EP, released on vinyl exactly a year ago, was met with high praises from local and national media and the band recently completed a three-week tour of south and west coast in May.
A compilation called “Fairgrounds” was released by Haymaker Records on January 1st and featured label artists as well as friends of the label. All the musical acts playing the Summer Showcase Party are featured on the compilation and it is a free download at Haymaker Records bandcamp.
- Haymaker Records Summer / Fall 2015
There is a lot to be excited about this summer / fall with Haymaker Records. Here is what we can tell you about now. Individual details to come soon…
*HMPH! – Headrush LP (Random Opaque Vinyl) – July/August 2015
*Riala – Be Here | Be There LP (Milky Clear Vinyl) – September 2015
*Be/Non – Mystic Sunrise / Sunset Magic LP (Vinyl) – Fall 2015
*06/05 – Josey Records Soft Opening – Free performances by HMPH!, Riala, and Lazy as part of the soft opening for the new record store Josey Records – Kansas City.
*06/12 – 07/11 – Schwervon! begin a tour of the U.S..
*07/22 – Haymaker Records owner Brenton Cook will be a guest on Mark Manning’s Wednesday MidDay Medley program on KKFI Kansas City public radio.
*07/03 – Crossroads Block Party – Free block party run by Golden Sound Records, featuring Monta at Odds and Your Friend
*07/24 – Haymaker Records Showcase @recordBar – This is the first Haymaker Records showcase, featuring Riala, HMPH!, Be/Non, Schwervon!, and Jorge Arana Trio
- Fairgrounds – FREE Indie/Experimental Sampler from Haymaker Records
This is a collection of experimental and indie music from the Kansas City area. This collection of songs represents 2014 releases on the Haymaker Records label, some future Haymaker Records releases, and other recordings by friends of the label. Indie-pop, math rock, jazz, psych, post rock, synthesizer quartets – it’s all viewed the same, as part of a greater cerebral experience – thinking man’s music, if you will. This is to be released in limited numbers on cassette. Of course you can always buy the full albums from the artists or, if released on Haymaker Records, from the Haymaker website. Thanks… and enjoy -brenton