Spacehog, Sponge

A vortex of happenstances occurred in 1994, when four expats from Leeds collided to become Spacehog. Brothers, Royston Langdon (Vocals and Bass Guitar) and Antony Langdon (Guitar and Vocals), Jonny Cragg, (Drums) and Richard Steel (Lead Guitar) found themselves gathering the force that occurs when stars properly align.

The band became quickly infamous; their situationist concerts were legendary in the East Village. Their sound so very different from the neo-grunge movement of the early 90's, that within a short time, after the signing of a cocktail napkin deal with the prolific Seymour Stein, Spacehog entered the airspace of nineties rock stardom on the Sire label.

On October 24, 1995, Spacehog released their debut album, Resident Alien, produced by Bryce Goggin. Resident Alien was widely received, selling a million copies, and spawned the hit single and video "In the Meantime". Spacehog created their own genre of sound challenging the moniker of glam-rock by rounding out to a whole new identity, carrying forth the profound influences of T Rex, Iggy Pop, Queen, David Bowie & the Spiders, by colliding these influences with a wall of distorted guitars, and the stupendous daring of their lead vocals. It was a musical statement that seemed to say, life is too serious to be taken seriously, and was a welcome reprise from the levity of late-90's alt-rock.

The band's second album, The Chinese Album, was released on March, 1998. The Chinese Album featured a more ambitious symphonic sound in the spirit of British psychedelic rock, garnering critical acclaim. Where the evolution of Spacehog did not always meet with the same commercial viability as the band achieved with Resident Alien, the band evolved and its sound matured. Spacehog signed with upstart label Artemis Records, and released its third album in February, 2001, "The Hogyssey" produced by Paul Ebersol, in Memphis Tennessee. Life and its trappings ran fiercely concurrent with the severe mood of the world in September 2001, and Spacehog disbanded.

It's been 10 years, and Spacehog is back. The years that have passed delivered them to a whole new level of sound through experience. Given the lessons of time and the longing to evolve furthur as a group, Spacehog found their alignment once again, by force of will and gravity, reuniting with Bryce Goggin to create "As It Is On Earth" , the long awaited 4th album. At once rebellious and repentant, the sound transforms the emotive to the auditory, insistently driving the landscape of the listener as if to say "life is much too serious to be denied."

As the band prepares to invade our airspace once again, a series of residencies are being planned for NYC this winter with Timo Ellis, the multiinstrumentalist of Netherlands fame. Timo has stepped in on guitar and vocals for Antony Langdon, whilst he pursues celluloid success out west. Jonny, Richard and Royston are geared up and ready to remind us, that after all, the essence rock and roll is drama. "As It Is on Earth" promises to deliver.

(Vinnie Dombroski, lead vocals; Kyle Neely, guitar; Andy Patalan, guitar; Tim Patalan, bass; Billy Adams, drums)

During the boom of the mid-90's, Detroit based alternative rock band went Top 5 on the charts with songs, "Plowed" and "Molly (16 Candles)." With their catchy hooks and bone crunching riffs, the band went platinum on their debut album, Rotting Piñata. They are one of the most sought after live acts around and have been seen sharing the stage with such mega-artists as Guns N' Roses, Nickelback, Iggy Pop, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, and Kiss. Sponge is now touring in support of a brand new release Stop the Bleeding.

For a band with so little pretense, sometimes it can be easy to forget just how much the respected DC quartet Lionize has accomplished since their inception in 2004. From being the first band to play both Bonnaroo and the Vans Warped Tour in the same year to their five full-length albums to virtually non-stop touring year after year, the groove-heavy rock group has dared to do more than most bands could ever hope to accomplish. On the release of their most recent album, Superczar and the Vulture, produced by the famed J. Robbins and their first on Pentimento Music Company, the band showcases their live sound in a way that they have never done before, allowing the listener an unprecedented look at the experience of hearing the songs played live in front of them.

"Superczar was the first time we were really intent on capturing the sound of the band live. We had done so much touring in the interim between records that our style had begun to change quite a bit," says bassist Henry Upton who established the group in 2004 with vocalist/guitarist Nate Bergman and keyboardist Chris Brooks. Drummer Mel Randolph completed the current line-up when he joined the band in 2007. Upton goes on to explain that on the new record, "our influences crystallized and we had a greater sense of identity… we also tried to create 'song suites' for the first time on this record, where there's 10-15 minutes of uninterrupted music, something more ambitious than we'd done before. It's definitely the most complete, distinct Lionize record so far."

Doubtless, the band's long tenured members and extremely heavy touring schedule have contributed to the evolution of their distinct brand of dark reggae-infused rock. "Having the same group for so long has led us to be able to open things up musically. We get along shockingly well," muses Brooks. "Touring has a way of making you a better player at your craft, and as a band. It has allowed us to build a reputation for ourselves as being a great live show and really cutting deep into improvising," says Randolph. All of this makes it obvious that for the members of Lionize, music is not only a passion but an integral part of who they are. "We really are just 4 guys who get together in a basement and jam. Whatever comes out of that is where we will go. As a band we never really try to discuss the direction of the sound or songs, we really just play what we think is the grooviest and heaviest jam we can, and let the music take us forward," claims Bergman.

This straightforward approach embodies the hard-working, every-man ethics that are at the very heart of Lionize, and has led to both critical acclaim and an ever-growing fan base for the band. Bergman continues, "The shows keep getting bigger, and the tours get better. More and more people continue to spread the word and come out." Chimes in Randolph, "Our fans are very loyal. They range from their mid-teens to upwards of their late 40s. It's cool having a wide spread of generations as fans of our music."

Yet as they grow, long-time fans of the band have nothing to fear. "As cliché as it is, the more things change, the more Lionize seems to dig its heels in and make the music we want to, the way we see most fit," says Bergman about their fierce, uncompromising nature. But you can always guarantee that no matter what, the guys will continue to create a powerful sound uniquely their own. Affirms Randolph, "Crowds will hear the name 'Lionize' and kind of expect more of a straight-ahead reggae style from us, but there is a lot more to our sound. We're always mixing it up, and making it funky!"

With their heavy touring continuing throughout the foreseeable future, one can be assured that Lionize's incomparable sound will only continue to grow stronger with each show and audiences will persist in being impressed by a band which, as one critic said, makes even the most notable musicians "shake their heads and wish they'd thought of that."

The Red Paintings

After suffering a near-fatal seizure, visionary performer Trash McSweeney now sees colour in his music and has set out to share with the world all the ideas about what he has seen and felt. By taking to his guitar, piano and notebook, The Red Paintings were officially born upon the dawn of the new millennium.

Based in Australia and Los Angeles – and having been fortunate enough to already tour much of the globe – The Red Paintings are a five-piece group (guitar, bass, drums, cello & violin) who incorporate additional orchestral, choral and performance art features wherever possible. With costumes, themes, painters and other artists their shows combine sound and visuals to create a living canvas that stimulates the senses and minds of the audience. A true and unique art experience. The Red Paintings' sound evokes everything from child-like lullabies of the future, to tearing, biting, alternative-rock numbers. They are sometimes compared to multi-faceted acts like Radiohead, Muse, and The Arcade Fire, and their appeal reaches baroque-pop steam-punks, metal-heads, indie-rock fanatics, and beyond.

$25

Tickets Available at the Door

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Advance Tickets available at: The Horseshoe Rotate This and Soundscapes

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Spacehog, Sponge with Lionize, The Red Paintings

Wednesday, December 11 · Doors 7:00 PM / Show 7:30 PM at Lee's Palace

Tickets Available at the Door